Make Confident Decisions: How to be Bold and Really Commit with ADHD

Individuals with ADHD tend to get caught up in decision-making dilemmas. It’s common to get overwhelmed by mountains of information and details and get lost in the pros and cons. While there are those who are consumed with making the perfect decision, some resort to impulsive, hasty decisions and others wait for the circumstances to determine their most favorable options.  

ADHD Decision-Making Dilemmas  

Lance finds it difficult to stick to a plan. He sets the intention for a new morning routine that he’s hoping will change his life; however, he can’t help but worry that the effort he will put into his improved routine will be a waste of time. He doesn’t get far with his cutting-edge morning routine. 

Janet homeschooled her kids this year, but homeschooling didn’t work out the way she had hoped. Her confidence faltered as she was overwhelmed with all the online information and details available on homeschooling. Janet impulsively switched back and forth between several curriculums.  If only she had purchased the “right” curriculum, Janet felt everything would have been different.

Megan was determined to use a planner this year to implement more structure. She started with one planner but found another that she thought would provide her with even more structure.  Megan soon began missing the original planner, so she chose to use both, resulting in a watered-down version of each planner. Eventually, nothing worked so she put both planners away.

Shawn and Beth were planning a trip for the summer. They researched the possibilities but got bogged down by all the choices they had to make. In the end, they made little headway. In due course, their decisions were made for them by what was left and the prices they could afford at the last minute.

These are all real-life examples of decision-making dilemmas living with ADHD, true names not used, and printed with permission. 


Here are four compelling strategies for making confident decisions, and boldly committing to your choices when you live with ADHD. 


Overcome Ambivalence 

Ambivalence is about giving up some desires and prioritizing others to achieve a decisive action. 

When living with ADHD, ambivalence shows up as being in a continuous state of confusion and uncertainty. Ambivalence can also show up as procrastination when someone waits for something to turn up or uses mixed feelings to avoid a decision. 
Low self-esteem can contribute to an unconscious feeling that no option is good enough, because none of the choices are perfect. There can be a tendency to erase creative ideas, especially when there are feelings of hopelessness. 
Quick Tips:
Determine your priorities in areas such as health, family life, work, money, children, security, freedom from stress, and quality of time to name a few. 
Consider your values and needs along with your high-priority items to help you make decisions.
What has you thinking that no option is good enough?
Try not to trivialize your ideas or look to please others before yourself. 

Develop Awareness of Decisions Made on Impulse  

Impulsivity and overwhelm can cause hasty decision-making to relieve emotional discomfort and the pressure of inertia. 


It can also be challenging to manage the executive functioning required to make a decision when living with ADHD. Gathering information and evaluating the various options can take time and resort to a decision made on impulse that oftentimes backfires. 

Quick Tips:
Give yourself time to think things through so you won’t make a decision that you’ll regret. 
Use a limit, such as time limits, budget, or number, for example, “I will get three quotes,” to limit information overload so a decision can be made. 
Determine the most important criterion such as price or location that will influence your decision. 

Commit to Making a Decision

When living with ADHD, it’s common to get lost in the advantages and disadvantages, opportunities and obstacles, and/or gains and losses about a decision. We know all too well that ruminating about making the right or wrong decision can paralyze decision-making. 

The truth about decision-making is that in the majority of cases, very few options are “bad” decisions. What’s most important is the process of dedicating and committing oneself to the decision.
Quick Tips:
Consider the time and energy lost when constantly weighing out the best planner, ultimate curriculum, perfect trip, or faultless routine.  
• Consistently worrying about what you might miss by making the “wrong” decision, brings you to a standstill and keeps you from engaging in the life you have now. 
Commit your time and energy to the actual choice. The failure of a decision has little to do with the choice, and everything to do with boldly staying loyal to that choice. 
Even the best outcome has its limitations and isn’t going to be perfect. It’s important to accept that with most decisions there is a price, cost, or downside. 

Accept Yourself and Your Loved Ones

To make sound decisions, you have to accept yourself and believe that you can carry out your commitment to your decision. An individual with ADHD can have a history of failed opportunities, their own self-judgment chipping away at their self-esteem. 

Some individuals with ADHD are so full of self-loathing that, lacking the confidence to draw on their own abilities, they wait for others to decide so they can take the opposite track. Their rebelliousness is a way of hiding their low self-regard and reliance on others. 
Quick Tips:
• Ask for what you need and pay attention to your own wishes. Although the input of others can be valuable, try not to get overwhelmed by too much feedback. 
It’s Ok to say you want to stop the conversation for now until you’ve had time to think. Asking for more time is your right. 
Ask yourself, what might you miss, if anything, by committing to a decision? 
• What's the experience you're looking for?
• What obstacles, if any, are holding you back? 
• You may have had a history of missed opportunities, but what’s true about your situation now?  
• If you have a friend or loved one who waits for others to decide so they can take the opposite path, focus on your relationship and what you can agree on. 
Acknowledging strengths, and what you appreciate in a loved one or friend may help them build confidence in themselves to commit to what they truly want.
When living with ADHD there’s a tendency to get caught up in decision-making dilemmas. Four strategies for making decisions when you live with ADHD are:

• Overcome Ambivalence

• Develop Awareness of Decisions Made on Impulse

• Commit to Making a Decision

• Accept Yourself and Your Loved Ones

Try these and let me know how they work out for you!




 PS. Need more assistance with making confident decisions and staying committed to your choices? 

Contact me for an ADHD Strategy Assessment and we can talk about some actions you can put into place now!


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