Mindset

The First (And Most Important) Step in Getting Your Act Together

It sucks when you really want to do something and you just can’t do it.

It sucks even more when you know you can, but for whatever reason, it seems you can’t get your sh*t together and get it done.

If only I could get organized, then I could get this project done.

If only I knew where to start, then I could get this business up and running.

If only I would pay more attention to what I am doing, I wouldn’t lose everything I own.

If only I’d start remembering to do the important stuff, my bank account wouldn’t have gone overdrawn again for the third time this year.

 If only I’d get it together, I could really go for my dreams. I could live the life I want. I could stop living on the edge of greatness and become the person I really want to be and know I could be.

Why can’t I just get it together?

Have you been there? Cryptic words written on long-gone but not forgotten report cards echoing through your memory… “Would do well to pay attention.” “Must try harder.” Reminiscent of troubles that have repeated themselves throughout your life’s timeline…

Pay attention? Try harder? Thank you very much for the well-meaning advice, but when you take your car into the mechanic for a service, you don’t expect him to turn around and say to you “Your car needs a service”. That part is obvious. What you really want to know is: what needs to be done and how are you going to do it?

We are always trying harder. We are always paying attention. In fact, we overpay it. If attention was a currency, then we ADDers invest in so many different funds it would give the hardiest of accountants a stroke trying to keeping track of it all. We hemorrhage attention and have no innate ability to cauterize it. That’s why we can’t get our acts together.

So where does that leave us?

Usually, we just try harder. And hope that this time it will really work.

Like the latest business cliché, we don’t want to try harder. We want to try smarter. Most of us have this latent sense that we are capable of so much more than what we are doing right now. We sense that we could do great and wonderful things if a few habitual barriers would just get out of our way. And we tell ourselves that we will be truly happy with ourselves once we finally get our act together.

I hate to tell you this but it doesn’t work that way. That little piece of misinformation is what keeps you chasing your own tail in life’s revolving door of chaos.

The truth, in fact, is diametrically the opposite. You will get your act together in a much greater way once you become happier with yourself just the way you are.

It sounds crazy. Its feels counter-intuitive. How could being happier with how I am right now help me get more organized and on top of my game, if how I am right now is a complete mess?

I’ll tell you how in a minute, but first let me share with you a little analogy. When working as a Cognitive-Behavioural Therapist, I did a lot of work with people suffering from Panic Disorder. If you’ve ever suffered from a panic attack, you can appreciate how dreadful this condition can be. The question I was most often asked by clients at the beginning of therapy was:

“When will the panic attacks stop for good?”

My reply was always the same.

“When you stop being afraid of having them.”

This is the irony of Panic Disorder. It’s almost impossible to have a panic attack if you are totally comfortable with the experience of them. They’re never going to feel nice. But if you get to a place where they are reduced to the annoyance-level equivalent of a hiccup, they’ll pretty much disappear.

And so it is with ADHD. Not saying ADD will disappear once you learn to accept yourself with it. But the grip that ADD challenges have over your life will loosen. The less important they become in your mind, the less power they will have over you. New ways of being will finally feel free to manifest in your life when they no longer fear getting caught in the crossfire between you and your “old self”. When you open up your arms and embrace who you are right now, you are also welcoming the you that you are becoming. (Click to tweet)

When will you start getting your sh*t together?

When you stop being afraid of who you are with ADD.

This is what I am talking about…

Obviously, there is a lot more to getting your act together than this. But learning to embrace yourself as you are is the first and most crucial step in breaking through the glass ceiling of ADHD and moving up to the next level.

This post is the first in a series I intend to do on the topic of learning to be confident in yourself and flourishing with ADD. If you have any questions you would like addressed in this series, here’s your chance to let me know by leaving a comment below. If you are a blogger, don’t forget to sign in with Commentluv so you can promote your latest posts as well.

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8 comments on “The First (And Most Important) Step in Getting Your Act Together

  1. I loved Mmori’s analogy of the soldier gone to war and not seeing any action. The frustration, the anxiety. I see exactly what you are saying and I also see it from a different angle. I see that soldier prepared for war with all of the God given talents he has that were made for him to take on the battle, and then when the action starts, his hands are tied behind his back. Society hasn’t put his methods into the game plan yet, but…. I think that today more than ever, the ties are being torn loose and the soldier has scrapped the so called PLAN. You warriors of ADD are leading the battle with your OWN PLAN and your own methods and are clearing the path for all those other soldiers (distracted children sitting in their desks at school, or adults who are being frowned on by their family and bosses) to tear those bindings loose also. Society has never needed you more so show us what you’ve got!!!

  2. Oh, I am so happy to see positive spins on ADD, that’s why I keep coming back to your site! That video, by the way, had me cheering time and time again with every thought portrayed there. My soul was saying, Yes!, Yes! to every sentence. Simply, a superb video.

    Please give us more thoughts on the topic of being confident with an add personality. I personally believe that is one of the root issues with us.

    I always tend to leave long replies. I’ll try to keep it short, I apologize. Please just allow me one final thought. I always felt like we (add) are born with a mission. Society’s ills have caused our immediate environment to feel like a hostile war zone. Our ancestors sensed that danger in an un-conscious level and transmitted that information through their genes. We receive that coded message and our genes are turned on to turn us into soldiers, soldiers that will lay down their lives to rescue this sinking ship. Since we are born, however, we end up filled with frustration because we are raised in an orderly environment that “pretends” to be peaceful. My point? We end up with the same kind of frustration and boredom that any real soldier feels whenever they are sent to a war, but they never see any battles. The difference with us is that we have to live the rest of our lives waiting to fight a battle that never comes. No wonder why we tend to get into trouble just to make our lives more exciting! Sorry for the long reply again. I’ll stop now.

    1. Hey Mmori – thank your soul for saying “yes!yes!” to the video, my soul wrote it with the same passion. We kindred souls find our strength in this cpmbined passion. You have read my mind when you say that being confident with an ADD personality is one of the root issues for us, and will be pleased to know that topic is EXACTLY the underpinning of my next series of posts.

      Please don’t ever cut your replies short or apologize for them, you have always had really important and well-articulated contributions to add in your comments, never too long! I LOVE the soldier analogy – you could write a whole post out of your last paragraph! (Hmmm… there’s an idea!). I very much see us as DRD4 warriors/hunters/nomads. We are the ones that usually do save the sinking ship when no one else can or will, but are lambasted for the same energy (that enables us to do that) when it is no longer needed. How many bored school kids and wanderlust nine-to-fivers must feel like civilian versions of the soldiers in Jarhead I wonder?

  3. Love that video!!! It was captivating and really spoke to me! Everything about it was like brain candy for an ADDer! Excellent post too by the way! Haha!

    1. Thanks Rikki. When it was first made I was really worried that it moved too fast, and then I thought to myself “oh yeah, remember who you made it for? It’s all good!” Big thanks to you all around Rikki 🙂

  4. 50 plus years of hiding, there has to be another way other than liking myself…that’s not happenoing anytime soon! LOL

    1. 🙁 Drew (((hugs))) don’t give up on the destination, it may be just an unusually bumpy road to self-worth. Maybe one that needs a bulldozer to plow down the barriers???

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