Last weekend, I did something that I thought was impossible. I broke a piece of wood into two pieces with my bare hand. I was in total shock afterward, but a good kind of shock. Breaking that wood was such a stretch for me that afterward, my mind started to play tricks on me. I wondered if I did really do it. Luck for me, there was a room full of people watching me and could verify that I did actually do it. AND I have the piece of wood to prove it!
People with ADD are very good at achieving things and not acknowledging them, whether it’s a university degree, a new job, pay raise or a personal accomplishment. Often they believe that they are undeserving, that it happened by luck or that people believe they have more skills and talents than they actually do. They often feel like a fraud and that one day they will get found it.
Of course, you do deserve these things because you worked hard and the skills and talents that are required. It could be because you have struggled behind the scenes to do what others seem to do more easily. It doesn’t matter how you achieved it, the biggest challenge is making it real for yourself.
So what can you do to make it real for yourself? To really acknowledge to yourself what you accomplished:
1. Never belittle your accomplishment by saying, “Oh, well, it’s just a…” (Masters degree, middle management, etc.)
2. Never contort your face or shrug your should while you say your achievement. Instead practice saying it with a straight face and no sighs or shoulder shrugging.
3. Save all your positive feedback in a “Brag Folder.” If friends send you a card to congratulate you, or you get an email from a happy work colleague, etc., print it out and pop it in your “Brag Folder.” Then you can refer to it when you feel low and are questioning yourself.
4. Always celebrate big events. Never just let them slide by without acknowledging them. Have a party with all your friends and family to celebrate your success. (It’s fine to throw yourself one.) For smaller accomplishments, say, “Cheers,” over a glass of wine with a friend.
5. Share all your “wins” with people that care about you.
6. For big achievements, write a list of all the things that you did in order to get there, then when doubt creeps in, remind yourself of what you wrote on your list.
7. Create a wall of fame for yourself. Have all your certificates up on a wall in either your home or place of work.
8. Take photos of you performing or celebrating these achievements and buy pretty or stylish frames and pop them round your house. These act as a constant reminder of your successes.
We want your achievements to really sink into your body and your brain so that you can stand tall and say what you accomplished with a smile on your face and the knowledge that you earned it. If you have any other habits that have worked for you in the past, keep on doing them.