I recently had a conversation with a friend in which I shared my frustration with being “under the gun” around writing my October Newsletter. Now, I normally follow my own advice when it comes to procrastination, and I generally stay on top of my work load for the most part, but for some reason, no matter how good my intentions, miraculously, it seems that every month, the entire month “slips by”, leading to a lot of self imposed pressure to get it done NOW. Sound familiar? Well, for many of us, with ADHD, procrastination is an ongoing dilemma that seems to plague our lives and create a lot of unnecessary stress. On my friend’s suggestion, I decided to share my dilemma with you, in the hope that I will not only find a solution for myself, but help in better understanding the thought mechanism behind procrastination and how these thoughts influence our ability to achieve our goals. Therefore, in working on my own goal to get my Newsletter done early each month, I have decided to block out at least 30 minutes each day to do my writing. I will let you know next month, how successful I am. Since, I am generally the one holding my clients accountable for starting and completing projects, you, can now hold me accountable. I promise to report back to you next month and let you know how I did on achieving this goal. In addition, I am dedicating this month’s Newsletter to overcoming procrastination and achieving one’s goals.
It has long been known that circus elephants have historically been trained to stay tethered to a post by attaching heavy chains to their legs when they are very young so that when they yank or pull at these chains, they are unable to break free. Within a short amount of time, they give up trying, having learned that it is useless. From that moment on, they no longer need a heavy chain to hold them because anytime they feel any resistance, no matter how heavy or light the chain, they give up trying, having incorporated the belief that they cannot succeed in breaking free. This is regardless of the fact that, as they grow into adulthood, they have more than enough strength to pull out any restraint, break any chain and tear up the entire circus tent. Elephants are pretty smart animals, but learned helplessness and a self limiting belief system creates the exact outcome the trainers want. The elephants give up trying. Although individuals with ADHD are not elephants, we can easily draw the comparison and easily understand that the biggest obstacle to achieving success, is our own self limiting beliefs. For anyone, especially those with ADHD, whose early life experiences were most likely fraught with frustration, disappointment, and perhaps failure, one can see how easy it would be to create multitudes of distortions around what is true and possible, while creating many self limiting beliefs. Therefore, breaking free from these negative beliefs, is probably the single most important step in reaching one’s goals and achieving success in life. This article explores these self defeating thought patterns and provides insight into ways to change them. (more…)