Overcome Hidden Obstacles Living With ADHD

This is the time of year when we make promises and commitments to ourselves, but research shows that most of us fail to accomplish our New Years resolutions. Goals are too high, too many, or don’t line up with who we are.

The ADHD Internal Dialogue Thoughtful Business Man in Glasses

People with ADHD experience happiness and criticism more powerfully than others. The perception is that people are criticizing even if it’s not the reality. Individuals with ADHD tend to hear well-meaning feedback as an attack on their character.  Shame is like a lead raincoat cloaked around an individual with ADHD well into adulthood. These harsh internal dialogues become ingrained inside them. 

As a result, for people with ADHD, motivation for satisfying intentions, goals and commitments can become muddied by self-judgment, self-criticism, and underlying messages that "I'm not good enough." 

 Here are three ways to help overcome these hidden obstacles so you and your loved ones can accomplish your goals, make decisions and do what matters to you.

Avoid People Pleasing Woman Stressed at Work from Multi-Tasking

As a way to overcompensate for low self-confidence, there is a tendency for individuals with ADHD to please others at the expense of pleasing themselves. While it’s a virtue to do for others, it's a faulty perception when one views taking care of oneself as self-serving and selfish. 

Quick Tips:

• Ask yourself:

“What’s keeping me from asking for what I want?”

“What do I really want?”

• When children ask you for advice about what you think, try to encourage their responses. This could be as simple as choosing what book to read.

“I have some ideas, but first I’d like to know what you think.”

or “What would you like to do?”

Say No to Say Yes to Yourself Thinking Woman Outside in Winter

It’s important to set healthy boundaries so we take care of what’s important to us without losing who we are in the process. Especially as parents or caregivers, it’s natural to focus on our loved ones with complex needs. At the same time, we need to work at making sure we’re not taking care of our loved ones at the expense of taking care of ourselves. Over time, we can build resentment, become fatigued and even compromised in our health when we sacrifice ourselves in the process. 

Quick Tips:

• If there were no consequences of time or money, what would you love to do for yourself?

• What difference would it make for you?

• What stops you from saying no to make that happen?  

Let Go of Perfect Woman Letting Go Raised Arms in Sunset

It can be common for an individual with ADHD to give up on themselves when things don’t go as they had planned or hoped. This comes from attachment to "should's," and what is perceived as the "correct" or "best." It’s a way of securing control with a perfect outcome. This desire for perfect can be an unconscious strategy for avoiding perceived failure. For example, if I get behind on this project, it’s already too late, so I’m going to stop trying. Or, if I don’t go to the gym, getting in shape is ruined. 

Quick Tips:

• What has you holding on to a particular way of doing things? 

• What if there were no correct way? What would that mean for you?

• What’s really going on with being “perfect?”

• What would happen if you let go of the outcome?

To summarize, to overcome hidden obstacles self-judgment, self-criticism, and underlying feelings of not being good enough:

• Avoid People Pleasing

• Say No to Say Yes to Yourself

• Let Go of Perfect


Experiment with some of these and let me know how it goes for you!




 PS. Need more assistance creating lasting joy and resilience living with ADHD? 

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


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