Learned Helplessness

Learned Helplessness. Dr. Martin Seligman coined this term and it comes down to one thing — control. The cause of learned helplessness is being repeatedly exposed to an uncontrollable event. After many repeated and failed attempts, your brain “learns” that success is beyond your control; that you cannot affect the outcome. Basically you get to the point of thinking, “Why bother?” Once “conditioned” in this belief, you give up hope and effort, even in situations where you actually do have control and the ability to change the outcome. In effect, you’ve learned to become helpless.

Here is a Step by Step plan to overcome helplessness :

  • Recognise and accept your learned awareness and get to the root of it.
  • Identify your limiting beliefs. Reframe them in a positive, optimistic light.
  • Watch you self talk. How do you talk to and about yourself? Change negative self talk into positive.
  • Improve your self-awareness through journaling.
  • Set SMART goals.
  • Change your environment in a way that helps you achieve your goals.
  • Take one small action every day.
  • Celebrate small wins and important milestones.
  • Learn and implement self-care.

Reference : https://www.developgoodhabits.com/learned-helplessness/

29 Comments Add yours

  1. your's_Nomison says:

    https://artnomison.wordpress.com/2020/05/14/the-sunshine-blogger-award/
    Hi friend. I have nominated you for the ideal inspiration blogger award. Feel free to accept it.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you Simon. I am glad that you find my posts inspirational. Unfortunately, I don’t do awards. But thank you again.

      Like

  2. This is so good. What is a SMART goal?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      SMART goals are goals which are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. This specific criteria is easily remembered by using the acronym S-M-A-R-T. SMART goals can be used to improve both your personal and professional life.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I have heard of SMART goals I just could not recall what the acronym meant. Thank you for reminding me.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. joliesattic says:

    That’s not where I thought you were going with that, but I like it. At first, I thought, and I should have known better, because you are always positive… at first I thought you were going to show how learned helplessness and recognizing it is how some folks get what they want by feigning helplessness and getting others to do the work for them. lol Oops, I’ve seen that before, but I like how you brought out how we can overcome it in ourselves once we see it for what it is, a roadblock on our path to success. Some people call it the fear of failure. They’ve failed or been blocked and no longer allow themselves to try or keep at it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Hahahaha. I am just glad you liked the article. And yes there are many people who get stuff done by learned helplessness. Sad but true. The effects of learned helplessness can be extensive, impacting a person’s mental health, relationships, and other aspects of life. It also increases the risk of stress, depression, and low self-esteem. Certain factors, such as a history of abuse and a pessimistic outlook, can make a person more prone to learned helplessness. However, it is possible to overcome it with therapy and lifestyle changes.
      Anyone who believes that they are experiencing learned helplessness should consider speaking with a mental health professional who can help them take control of their circumstances.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. joliesattic says:

        I totally agree. That’s why I noticed a big change after therapy. My therapist said that after all the abuse I’d endured, she was amazed at how well adjusted I was, but I’m an optimist by nature and I think that was my safeguard. I think in my self conscious, I sensed mother was unstable.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Garima says:

        You are an inspiration. Thank you for sharing.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Milena Alien says:

    I agree it’s not easy to pull yourself together and take control of the situation. Well-written!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      Yes Milena, but anything can be overcome with conditioning. The way you talk to yourself can make you move through trauma better. When it’s unhealthy, self-talk keeps us stuck and makes us feel helpless, she said. She shared these examples: “Why is this happening to me? I can’t believe this! I have the worst luck ever. Nothing in life ever goes my way.” Healthy self-talk inspires healthy action. It is proactive and empowering. What can I do to make this better? This is bad right now, but it won’t always be. I can get through this.”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Glad I read this. Now I know the source of my learned helplessness. Great food for thought… and change!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Garima says:

      At the root of it, learned helplessness is a form of conditioning. Conditioning is based on the idea that human behavior is learned via associations and responses in the environment. Simply put: If something is reinforced/rewarded, we are more likely to repeat that behavior again. And likewise, if we are punished, we’re more likely to avoid that same behavior in the future. Unlearning this association and deconditioning the response takes just a little bit of practice. In the sections that follow we’ll focus on how to reverse this way of thinking/behaving so that you can grow positively and be motivated in taking risks and trying new things out.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Garima says:

        Anytime.

        Like

  6. Andres-David says:

    Nice content.. keep it up..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Filling our minds with limiting beliefs of what we’re able to achieve (or not) is dangerous. It generates a cycle of self-defeatist thinking. And when caught in the middle of this cycle, your motivation and overall productivity will inevitably start to suffer. Hence we should always find ways to prevent ourselves diving deep into helplessness.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. nikhil says:

    That’s a very good post and it was helpful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Glad you liked it. We can overcome anything in life, awareness is the first step.

      Like

  8. Flyhiee.com says:

    Thanks for this informative post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      People can push back against learned helplessness by practicing independence from a young age and by cultivating resilience, self-worth, and self-compassion. Engaging in activities that restore self-control can also be valuable. For example, an elderly person who feels helpless in the aging process can engage in small exercises that they know they can do to restore a sense of control.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. gpavants says:

    Hi Garima,

    This is great for many of my students who have gotten this stuck in their heads. We really have to be aware of engraining this into our children.

    I am talking to my fellow podcasters tomorrow and will have more information about having you on soon.

    Thank you,

    Gary

    On Thu, May 14, 2020 at 12:44 PM Be Inspired..!! wrote:

    > Garima posted: ” Learned Helplessness. Dr. Martin Seligman coined this > term and it comes down to one thing — control. The cause of learned > helplessness is being repeatedly exposed to an uncontrollable event. After > many repeated and failed attempts, your brain “learns” t” >

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Thank you Gary. I am looking forward.

      Like

  10. A. White says:

    I learned something new. I understand the concept or state of mental conditioning but had no idea there was a name for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Garima says:

      Learned helplessness is defined as the general belief that one is incapable of accomplishing tasks and has little or no control of the environment. For example, a child who performs poorly on math tests and assignments will quickly begin to feel that nothing he or she does will have any effect on math performance. I am glad you liked the post.

      Like

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