How to Overcome ADHD Obstacles Part 2
Thoughts That Keep You Stuck
1. Extreme Thoughts
Extreme thinking can pop up at any time and in any situation. A person is either really nice or awful, a situation is completely bankrupt or totally resolvable, someone loves you or hates you, you’re either great or you totally suck, etc.
Extreme thoughts create a life filled with turbulent feelings.
In many cases, people with ADHD continually act upon these feelings, creating hardship for themselves and fostering unnecessary problems.
In hindsight they often realize things could’ve been dealt with in a more productive or even-minded way. They realize too late that their extreme emotionality has gotten them into serious trouble. It’s unfortunate when resolvable situations crash and burn or good relationships are irrevocably destroyed.
What to Do?
Be Aware of Your Thoughts
The only way to overcome this dangerous train of thought is by becoming aware of its presence. Whenever you catch yourself thinking in extremes, remind yourself that situations are rarely black and white. Finding the middle ground will often temper negative emotions.
Find a Positive Approach
Give yourself time to calm down and look at the situation from multiple perspectives. If possible, find a win-win solution. Most challenges you face, whether of a practical or emotional nature, have a win-win solution.
See if you can find a solution, a point of view, thought pattern or approach that will help steer things in a positive direction. Don’t give into destructive fear or anger-based thoughts and actions. You will surely regret it.
Don’t Give Up
I realize that turning suggestions into action can be difficult. Instead of trying to change your behavior, there will be times when you feel like giving up. Don’t do it!
Every single time you manage to stop yourself from impulsively blurting something out or having negative thoughts, you are rewiring your brain and changing a habit. If you do it often enough you will create new, healthier neural pathways that will only strengthen over time.
2. Commitment and Boundary Problems
People with ADHD get very excited about new projects and activities. They like being engaged in many things at once and often want to help others whenever they can.
Unfortunately their initial excitement can wear off easily and they may soon find themselves overwhelmed, flustered and stressed. When they spread themselves too thin, their performance starts to suffer and they can look for excuses to back out of commitments.
This behavior can lead to feelings of personal disappointment and regret of having let someone down. Needless to say, outcomes such as this don’t help build self-esteem.
What to Do?
Carefully Consider New Commitments – Buy Time!
It can be tricky to find the right balance between enough and too much stimulation. The best way to find that fine line is to take some time to consider your commitments before diving in.
When people ask you to engage in an activity, for example, don’t commit without thinking first. Tell them you need to check your schedule and that you will get back to them later.
This can buy you time to consider their request. Take a moment to decide whether or not you’ll have the time and energy to commit to it. Once you’ve made a commitment, give yourself enough time to adjust to new responsibilities before taking anything else on.
If you’re already overwhelmed, consider giving up an old commitment before engaging in a new one.
Monitor Your Energy
If you have ADHD it’s important to check your daily energy level. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what you need at any given time. Don’t feel pressured to take on more than you can handle. There are always times when things get hectic and situations force you to bite off more than you can chew. Just remember that, to maintain balance, you also need time unwind.
Help Yourself to Help Others
Be careful with placing other people’s needs before your own. If you have time and energy to spare, helping other is great. However, if you’re running on empty and still place your own needs last, you may find yourself becoming resentful and angry. Make sure you’re ok before you commit to helping others. If you’re already wearing yourself thin, you simply can’t contribute to other people’s lives in an efficient and nurturing way.
Set your Boundaries
Don’t let others push you into engagements you’re not prepared for or can’t handle. You don’t need an excuse to say ‘No’. You may need to find a diplomatic way to phrase your refusal, but in essence you shouldn’t let yourself be pushed or guilt-tripped into anything. Accept that you can’t please everyone all the time.