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  • Writer's pictureSgt. Robert Bauer JD MA (Ret OPS)

The Greatest Battle You will ever fight is in your mind

Recently I began to write a manuscript for a book idea I have had for a long time. It is one how our mind can be our friend or our enemy. Dr Carol S. Dweck PhD published a book "Mindset" where she explains that learn to mindsets from those in our environment as early as early as our preschool years.

We learn one of two mindsets from those who have a keen influence on our lives. Dr. Dweck tells us that our fixed mind contains our personality qualities and most are unchangeable. Yet the growth mindset looks at things differently. The growth mindset can change your career outlook, your relationships, the way you raise your children and your overall life satisfaction.

I work a lot with trauma survivors, those that have experienced some of the gravest trials in life, from childhood abuse, rejection, abandonment, sexual assault and worse. These wounds can be found in many fixed mindsets.

A trauma survivor living with a fixed mindset has a limited view point on life in general. They feel like the experiences of their life has charted the journey of their life.

A trauma survivor that sees life with potential has a growth mindset. They take their pain and turn it into purpose.

Let me share with you two examples of what I am talking about. I was working with this veteran who had Complex Post Traumatic Stress disorder (CPTSD). While in the Army he experienced heavy combat encounters, the loss of buddies, sleepless nights, anxiety, depression which led to heavy drinking and drug use. When I met him he was homeless and living on the streets. I was able to get him off the streets and into a sleeping room paid weekly. I then found him an out patient treatment program for his alcohol and drug use. Then we began to work on getting him his Veterans Compensation. But half way through the process he abandoned all efforts to get the compensation. He valued the attention from others, those who gave him money and things. He did not want to try and find a path that led to healing. He had a fixed mindset. He was comfortable with getting the attention from others who wanted to help.

Another example of a person dealing with the pains of trauma was a police officer. He brought his trauma pain with him from childhood. Yet he didn't know it. He was in and out of relationships trying to find approval and love, yet never succeeding. He tried to find hope in his faith and found only loneliness. He was constantly dealing with anger and depression. He was involved in a toxic relationship where his fiancee got pregnant and terminated the pregnancy without his knowledge. He learned about the abortion from his fiancee's mother who thought he knew. After years of being together this was the straw that ended it all. His pain was overwhelming. He had lost friends in the military, his first marriage ended with his high school sweetheart leaving him for someone else, his father died of a brain tumor and he had to change careers and was caught up in a relationship that ended badly, he had been homeless, penniless and jobless and tried suicide and now this. He would soon be diagnosed with PTSD. Emotionally he was done. But he had a choice to live with a fixed mind which limited him or develop a growth mind and find purpose.

As a result of all the ugliness and pain, this man decided to find away to secure his healing and then reach out to others that find themselves in the same dilemma. With a growth mindset, you are able to see the potential for hope and healing.

That is what Sgt Robert Bauer's Warriors Project-Warriors Outreach is about-using the growth mindset to help others to grow. Join us. A Man's Soul is Worth Fighting For.

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