When you are treating and managing your ADHD, it will almost certainly involve you making some lifestyle changes. Perhaps changing the way you eat, exercising every day, and taking an omega 3 supplement, going to bed before midnight, etc.
When you make those changes, an interesting phenomenon happens.
1. You feel excited and proud of yourself because you are consistently taking actions that help your ADHD.
2. These new habits help your ADHD. You feel more in control, less frazzled and able to focus and concentrate more. High fives!
3. You start to worry about how other people are able to manage their ADHD.
Concerns about how other people manage their ADHD vary, but here are some common ones.
· It’s fine for me, but what about the moms with small children? How would they have the time to do this?
· I can do this because I make a good income, but what about the people with ADHD who don’t make as much money as me?
· I am lucky because I have a supportive partner; but what about people who are single? How do they do this?
· I have an understanding boss. But what about those people who have strict bosses? How do they keep their jobs?
Even though you are a kind person and care about others, these worries aren’t about anyone else, it is about you. It’s a clever way to sabotage your success.
Let’s take an example of Ken (not his real name). He tried many times to exercise on his own and as a last resort, hired a personal trainer. It worked! Ken was thrilled about being able to exercise regularly, his annoying ADHD traits reduced, he lost weight, so he was on cloud nine. Then, 3 months later, he stopped working with the trainer. He told himself that other people with ADHD couldn’t afford a trainer, but they still managed to exercise; so he should be able to as well. Ken hasn’t been back to the gym since.
Ken’s story is a classic example of this self–sabotage behaviour. Because you aren’t use to feeling calm and organized, you feel guilty, selfish or that you don’t deserve to feel this good. You create a way to bring yourself back to your comfort zone of being disorganized. Gay Hendricks calls it an “Upper Limit” problem.
Those people who you imagine, don’t actually exist. Everyone has a unique situation. So the chances of someone having the exact situation as you, with the additional problems that you are imagining, are highly improbable.
Also, don’t presume the way that works for you and your ADHD would work for everyone.
In Ken’s case, training with a personal trainer solved his problem of exercising regularly. However some people love exercise so much, they can’t wait to get to the gym. Others would much rather go to a Kung Fu class or exercise alone than work with someone one-to-one.
If you have found something that works for you, keep doing it!!! Recognize those thoughts and worries for what they are: Self Sabotage. Stopping something that works for you doesn’t help those ‘mom’s with young children’, etc. All it does is stop you from treating your ADHD and reaching your potential.