Do you know you can learn optimism? Deal with failures in life using the ABCD model

The bollywood is again divided. Normally, the debates related to Indian film industry are restricted to gossip or even political statements. However, this time the industry is divided on a serious issue. It originated after actor Sushant Singh Rajput committed suicide.

The number of people questioning the big names of bollywood and hinting at nepotism have ballooned from few hundred to few thousands in a matter of one day. Statements like — bollywood is full of bullies and they cannot accept an outsider, they cannot lend hand to someone fighting for his survival or that those actors who come from known families are shedding fake tears and never accepted actor Sushant since he came from a humble family and was outside fraternity. Questions are being raised on actors like Arjun Kapoor who shared the screenshot of an 18 month old chat with Sushant Singh that shows clearly that Sushant was going through mental stress. Why did Arjun did not reach out to Sushant despite claiming he bumped into him several times is the question media should ask him.

If you are wondering why are we discussing this topic on a Real Conversations podcast, then let me clarify that we are neither talking about the film industry nor the debates therein. My aim today is to draw parallel with it to our own lives and explore how a pessimistic life can be converted to an optimistic one. 

What I am going to talk about is slightly complicated, hence I would like to draw your attention to few examples that we see or hear on daily basis.

  • A smoker after failing to quit several times starts believing he will never be able to quit
  • A person not able to reduce weight despite trying lifestyle changes gives up trying to reduce weight
  • A woman facing domestic abuse for several years is unable to leave house despite support from an NGO. She believes she can never escape the abuser
  • A child striving for attention from the caregiver when gets neglected again and again, develops low self-esteem…. for entire life

These are some real people we come across every day. These are examples of learned helplessness. When we experience failures and set-backs again and again in our lives, we start believing that we cannot change the situation. And with time we stop trying…..even when there are opportunities to change our situation, we do not try. This in short is learned helplessness which means – we have learned to be helpless. Is there a way out of these mental blocks that we face?