#623 Depressed? Two Ways to Respond

Science Says: One Is Better than the Other

In our last +1, we talked about Michael Jordan and Carol Dweck and growth mindsets.

I mentioned the fact that when I imagined Jordan crying after missing the cut for his varsity basketball team, I thought of Carol Dweck for two reasons. Yesterday we talked about the first reason. Today I’d like to talk about the second.

First, again: Imagine Jordan missing the cut for his varsity team. Feel his heart SINK as he looked at the sheet on the wall and saw that his name was MISSING.

Of course, that shouldn’t be hard to imagine (and feel) as we’ve ALL experienced exactly that sense of despair when we failed at something super important to us. (Enter: Common humanity.)

Then, let’s follow Jordan back to his house where he locked himself in his room and CRIED. And cried. And cried. Totally devastated.

That shouldn’t be hard to imagine either as we’ve all experienced our own version of that as well, eh?

(btw: As Emerson and I were reading the Odyssey, I was struck by just how often Odysseus and his men WEPT in response to the losses they experienced and the challenges they faced. Yep. Heroes cry. A lot. It’s NOT SUPPOSED TO BE EASY!)

So…

Our young hero is devastated. Then what?

Then we come back to Carol Dweck and the point of Today’s +1.

Here’s how she puts it (in Mindset): “How do you act when you feel depressed? Do you work harder at things in your life or do you let them go? Next time you feel low, put yourself in a growth mindset—think about learning, challenging, confronting obstacles. Think about effort as a positive, constructive force, not as a big drag. Try it out.”

<- Well, how do YOU act when you feel depressed?

We need to REALLY get the fact that we ALL get depressed.

And…

(And this is a VERY (!!!) big AND (!!!)…)

We need to know that there are two VERY different ways to respond to that depression. And, we need to know that our responses are shaped by our mindsets.

When fixed-mindset people get depressed, they tend to think that something’s inherently wrong with them (and that they’re the only ones who experience failure and its associated pain).

Then they tend to STOP doing the very things that could help them rebound. And, anti-voila. Downward spiral.

btw: My old self was an EXPERT at this type of thinking. I had no sense of perspective and/or self-compassion (and/or emotional stamina) (and/or any fundamentals) (and/or ANY of this wisdom!) and I thought something was fundamentally wrong with me that I a) failed and b) felt horrible about it. (Oh, again: To have been taught this stuff decades ago! 😲)

On the other hand, when we approach the exact same devastating failure with a GROWTH mindset, we respond in a VERY different way.

We KNOW we can get better.

So, we work harder.

We get to work on learning from our mistakes and Optimizing.

Again, know this: If you don’t think you can get better, then every little mistake is torture. It’s proof that we are, in fact, idiots. Eek.

Much better to take Matthew Syed’s approach and use every single failure—no matter how big or small—as another opportunity to get better! <- Newsflash: That’s the EPITOME of the GROWTH mindset!!

So..

Today’s +1.

Life kick you where it hurts lately?

Cry. Cry some more. Then cry a little more.

Then get up. And get better. Be more committed to your protocol than you’ve EVER been in your life—remembering that the WORSE we feel, the MORE committed we are to doing the right thing.

Life deliver a -1? -1? -1? 1? -1? -1? 1? -1? -1? 1? -1? -1? 1? -1? -1? 1? -1? -1? 1? -1? -1?

Fine. We respond with: +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1. +1.

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