Mindset

13 Interrogation Tactics for a Confidence Break-Through (and why you deserve it)

IF YOUR CONFIDENCE HAS EVER BEEN AT ROCK BOTTOM, THEN MAYBE IT IS TIME TO HOLD THAT SELF-DOUBT ACCOUNTABLE FOR WHAT IT DOES TO YOUR LIFE…

The room is dark and damp, the lights are bright and oppressive. Self-loathing is in the interrogation room, charged with the crime of ruining your life. It says:

I don’t deserve to feel good about myself.

I have had so many failures and made so many mistakes, there is nothing in my life to feel good about. No matter how hard I try, I let people down. I let myself down. There is nothing about me to feel confident about. I don’t deserve it. I’m not good enough. 

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, Who am i to be brilliant,

Gorgeous, talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

 

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking

So that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do.

We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.

 

It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.

And as we let our light shine, we unconsciously

Give other people the permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,

Our presence automatically liberates others.” 

                                                                                                   

Says the good cop, quoting Marianne Williamson.

Nice try. Sweet, poetic, moving words but they didn’t break through to your self-loathing whose conviction in its righteousness is inpenetrable. It won’t budge, won’t confess its sins.

Enter the bad cop.

He has only one question for self-loathing and its kind of a rhetorical one at that.

 

“Who the hell do you think you are?”

 

You can tell by the tone he’s not looking for existential prose.

He’s stating a pivotal truth.

 

You don’t deserve to feel bad about yourself.

 

Your self-loathing doesn’t buy that. It has plenty of bonafide reasons to believe it has every right to be there. Failures from your past, experiences that shaped your lack of confidence and criticisms from important people whose opinions really mattered at the time.

But the bad cop doesn’t give up just yet. He’s got plenty of staying power, just like your self-defeat. He challenges you with these concepts:

 1. You are human.

We all make mistakes. Everyone knows that. Nowhere in the book of life does it indicate a cut off point which divides the worthy from the unworthy. Fifty mistakes and you’re a-okay, 75 and you’re a loser? Its not in the rule book – go ahead and check.

2. Your life is a miracle.

I don’t care what you believe about the origin of the universe and mankind, the fact that you are alive is a miracle. The plight that one single sperm goes through to force itself through the millions of others, through hazardous and hostile environmental conditions, to penetrate the egg and form the union that made you – is a miracle.

To loathe “that you” is pure irreverence to the majesty and miracle of life.

3. You’re not here for you. 

You weren’t born to serve only your own purpose. If that were the case, you would have manifested as a virus or a parasite. You are here to make a difference, no matter how small it may seem, to the world and the people in it. Confidence in your worth opens the door to making that difference in a bigger way. Self-doubt keeps you locked in the closet.

 

4. You’re wasting time.

I’ve got some terrible news for you – you’re dying.

Every day we live, we are all dying. Its not a reason to get depressed. Its a valid and paramount reason to not waste a single minute of this life. This life that we have already established is a complete miracle.

If being small and self-oppressive serves in any way to make the most of your life, then go ahead and keeping on despising yourself. But most of the time, self-reproach stops you from doing valid and important things with your life.

 5. Your critics are human too.

The voices who have influenced your low opinion of yourself belong to people who have a multitude of their own sins. Casting stones may be one way of protecting themselves but it doesn’t mean that they have chosen the best self-defense strategy. Psychological offence is not the best defense, its the best demise of everyone involved.

6. Your inner critic doesn’t know everything.

If you are so wrong about everything, if you are such a failure and incompetent – why would that inner voice who tells you so be given so much undoubted authority? If you are incompetent, then isn’t it possible that inner critic is also incompetent?

7. You don’t know what you don’t know.

Lack of self-worth is usually a rigid, over-generalized belief that serves to feed itself by focusing on all the mistakes you have made in your life and your perceived inadequacies. No one with a strong conviction sets out to prove themselves wrong. How this translates in real life is that you never notice, or very frequently overlook or discount anything you have done that proves your worth and capability.

Self-doubt is a bias, a prejudice.

8. You aren’t omnipresent.

There is nothing about you that is always the same, all of the time. Its human nature to define the present and predict the future based on past experiences. But you are never exactly the same as you were the moment before. You are always capable of being different.

9. You aren’t omnipotent either.

You were designed to be flawed and make mistakes. Perfection is reserved for God, the Higher Power or Universe – however you choose to see it. Our flaws and mistakes are what challenge us to grow in spirit and determination. Which leads to the next point…

10. You’re stagnating.

You were made for growth and development. Hating yourself doesn’t help you grow. It keeps you oppressed.

11. You are in grave danger.

The voice of self-doubt usually grows as a protective mechanism to keep you from risking vulnerability and potential humiliation. What it also does is it exposes you to the risk of terminal disappointment. When you make it to 80+ years of age (God-willing) and you review the movie that was your life, you will rue all the things you never did or gave of yourself because you were filled with doubt.

You may also regret some lengths you went to in order to protect your fragile ego.

12. You’re setting a bad example.

If you are a member of any society (my apologies to cave-dwelling hermits who probably wouldn’t be reading this anyway), you are always influencing and affecting other people. Whether you mean to or not, feeling bad about yourself – to the extent that you don’t value who you are as being – says to others that there are particular standards that define worth. If those standards define you, they must define them.

Your self-reproach could inadvertently teach someone else to dislike themselves as well.

13. Your incapacitating humility is conceited and selfish.

Whoa, I can’t believe I really said that out loud.

Low blow, eh? I’m a bit nervous now, but let me explain. I have been locked in mental closet of rumination and self-reproach for many years, and now I am free I can say with experience I recognize its narcissism.

Worthlessness always has some roots in comparison. Its pretty conceited to think that your faults are so much worse than anyone else’s. Its arrogant to believe that the voice of self-doubt has more validity than any other possible opinion. Its selfish to hold yourself back from being your true self because of greed.

Greed? Yes, greed – indulging your own need for self-preservation while denying the world its right to benefit from the miracle of your unique contribution to it.

 

At the start of this series of gaining confidence as an ADDer, I told you I want to do everything I can to help you grow that confidence.

I didn’t say I was going to be nice about it.

If my hypothetical “bad cop” seemed a bit harsh, I can assure you that it wasn’t done sensationally or without good reason.

I know, intimately, what it is like to feel worthless and incompetent. I also know a lot about human psychology. Enough to know that the voice that feeds self-doubt is not kind or soothing. That voice is harsh, mean and just plain cruel.

That kind of voice does not respond to sweet and supportive words of encouragement like the beautiful sonnet from Marianne Williamson. It responds to a voice that lambastes it.

Fight fire with fire. So I have been cruel to be kind.

Please know this, as you finish reading this installment…

My “bad cop” was not talking to you. He was talking to the self-doubt that is interloping your psyche. If you want to start feeling more confident in yourself from this moment, the one thing you can do is make this differentiation.

That voice is not you. It’s just an opinion.

And opinions can be changed.

Growth

The 5 Powers of Coaching You Never Knew About (And How It Can Change Your Life)

 

“Stand up to your obstacles and do something about them. You will find that they haven’t half the strength you think they have.” Norman Vincent Peale

 

Everyone has obstacles. EVERYONE HAS OBSTACLES!

Sorry for shouting. It’s just that on this path we call life, we tend to forget a couple of really important things along the way. The first of these being the fact that we aren’t alone in our vulnerability and tendency towards screwing things up.

The other thing we forget? That by turning to each other for support, we leverage our skills together towards removing the obstacles we face. Two heads are definitely a lot better than one at turning mountains into mole hills.

Support can come from a lot of different sources. It can come from family and friends, from employers or even from groups of people who share a common experience. But the best kind of support is the kind that comes from within. Being helped is great, but being aided to help yourself is even better.

You know, that teach a man to fish kind of thing…

Coaching is a perfect example of such help.

ADHD coaching is quickly becoming one of the most popular “non-medical” ways for managing the challenges of ADHD, and can be a powerful way of helping people reach their goals. Its power is rooted in the strength of the coaching relationship and the never-wandering focus on the goals you design for yourself.

When working on the challenges of ADHD, a coach won’t to tell you what to do but will help you figure it out for yourself. After all, you are the expert on your own life and no one else. At the same time, being helped through coaching is likely to be different from any other kind of help you’ve had in the past. So it may help to know a few key things to expect before jumping into it.

1. Coaching is based on a strong partnership.

We’re not talking about the same kind of partnership that you see in the doctor-patient, therapist-client, or any other kind of “helping relationship”. Those relationships tend to be based on one person being the expert and the other being the recipient of that person’s expertise.

Coaching is based on a strong connection and rapport between two people, whose aim is solely to help move the other person forward. A coach doesn’t necessarily know more than the client, but he or she does know how to ask all the right questions to help that person unlock their strengths and remove limitations.

The real power of this kind of relationship is based on a strong alliance between the two people, which stems from good rapport. If there is no rapport – don’t hire that coach. Trust me when I say that a good coach won’t agree to work with you if you don’t seem to connect.

2. Coaching is goal-oriented. On YOUR goals.

Some people come to coaching because their spouse gives them an ultimatum, or their bosses gives them one last chance to salvage their position with the company and offers coaching as the “fix”. Coaching is not a fix. It’s a method.

No matter the catalyst, regardless of the instigator, once you get in to coaching you will quickly figure one thing out – it’s all about you baby. Nothing is more important than what you think, what you want, and where you want to be.

3. As much as coaching supports you, it will equally challenge you.

Just as a sports coach inspires his player to be confident in their abilities, he also motivates and challenges his players to get even better at their game. Your ADHD coach is no different, but in this case, your game is your life.

Coaching isn’t just sappy “pep talks”. A coach asks the right questions to get you thinking, and then asks more right questions to get you acting. Thinking + acting = changing. Seems like an over-simplified formula, but when was the last time you sat and thought about an ongoing challenge from a different perspective? An ongoing challenge is usually ongoing because the thinking behind it has been unbending and rigid. Change the way you think about something and you are likely to change the thing itself.

Change the way you think about something and you are likely to change the thing itself. (Click to tweet)

 

4. Coaching is so transparent it’s practically see-through.

There are no tactics, magic tricks or head-shrinking psychological tools to mess with your head. A coach is present, authentic and completely up front about what it is he or she is thinking or curious about. He’ll say “Hey client – I’m wondering something about you right now and want to know if I’m right – can I share it with you?” A coach knows he may be right and he may be wrong, but he won’t know unless he asks.

He not only welcomes, but expects you tell him when he’s got something wrong. Not many professions allow the client to take such a lead, but coaching not only allows it but depends on it. Why is this? Because coaching is all about you.

5. Like I said, it’s all about you baby.

When is the last time you sat down and talked to someone for an hour straight about your goals? Or the last time you had someone else’s undivided attention and interest in what was on your mind? Has anyone ever asked how best they can support you in reaching your goals?

If you said “no” or “never”, I would not be surprised at all. Relationships aren’t built to focus only on one person’s experiences or goals, and the ones that do don’t tend to last very long.

Yet this is the concentrated focus required to make a life transformation possible. Before you deem the method as being egocentric or self-involved, let me invite you to think about it objectively, as if removed from the process.

When a company designs and launches a new product or endorses a new operational procedure, there are likely to be a few, if not several, meetings dedicated solely to those aims. In that same token, wouldn’t it make sense that there should be a few “meetings” dedicated solely towards your aims if you are in the position of redesigning your life? It’s not selfish, its good business sense. Your life is the most important business you will ever run.

Coaching is a safe place where it’s completely okay for it to be all about you.

I could talk forever about it, but I won’t because words can never portray the magnitude of a person experience. If you are thinking about trying coaching, the most important thing you need to know is that there is nothing sophisticated or mysterious about it. But the way it helps you explore and leverage your strengths, unlock your limitations, and catapults your towards achieving your goals can be simply magical.

 

Growth

5 Simple Steps to Master Your ADHD Challenges Now

So you’re stuck.

You do everything your clinician has told you to do, you take the medication and try to get organized but still, you just can’t get on top of your ADD.

As much as I wish medication would fix everything, it doesn’t. It helps, but it only takes you part way on the journey to ADHD success. It drops you off somewhere in the middle of the road, hands you the keys and says:

“You drive now.”

But it doesn’t give you an operator’s manual and the vehicle you’re meant to drive doesn’t run like an ordinary one.

So now what?

That’s the easy part. Take the wheel.

As frustrating as ADHD may be, it’s yours. All yours. It’s going to be with you for the rest of your life. So you might as well learn how to drive it.

The challenging part is that course is a bit bumpy and winding and the map you’ve had up to now has been, for the most part, inaccurate. The fun part of the ADD life is that it’s a ride like no other. The quicker you get in the driver’s seat with the right map at your side, the quicker your road will become less bumpy and a whole lot more fun.

There are five things you can do this month to take the wheel and become a better driver.

1. Learn about ADD.

Read at least four or five books on the subject BUT don’t read just anything. ADDers don’t have a lot of time, and they certainly don’t have a lot of attention. So the books you choose should maximize both your time and attention. Choose books that target your specific challenges. Read reviews of the book to first make sure your time spent reading it will be a good investment. As you reading, keep notes, make mind maps, take photographs of poignant paragraphs, or dictate key ideas into a voice recorder. Capture and remember important ideas however you can because ADD will make you forget everything almost as quickly as you close the book.

2. Get to know YOUR ADD.

I cannot scream loud enough for you to hear JUST HOW IMPORTANT THIS IS!

Yep, this “diagnosis” brings us ADDers together under an umbrella that describes a bunch of things we jointly experience. But that’s about it. ADD is a totally unique experience for each and every one of us. Think about it this way: ADD is the country, you are a citizen. Find out who you are as a citizen of ADD.

What are your challenges? When do they come up? When don’t they come up? What makes them worse and what makes them better? More importantly, what are your strengths and how can you leverage them against the things that you struggle with? Answering these questions will help you get to the reasons simple organizational tips and tricks haven’t worked so far.

Psst! If you want FREE resources to help you unlock the secrets of your ADHD, sign up for The Art of ADD newsletter (right sidebar) for the tools.

3) Give yourself a tune up.

We all know how important proper nutrition, lots of exercise and adequate sleep are for every being on this planet – none more so than the ADDer. This topic has been beaten to death by smarter people than I, so I won’t say much about it other than this:

Do one thing and do it now. If you’ve struggled with dozens of attempts to get fit and healthy, change just one little thing and stick to it for three weeks. Twenty one days and you’re on your way to making a new habit stick. Drink one less cup of coffee a day. Eat a handful more protein. Walk up and the down the stairs two times a day.

Do something. Just don’t do everything, because all-or-none thinking is the Achilles heel of ADD. More often it becomes none rather than all.

4) Get a coach.

Like any coach, an ADD Coach helps you figure out your game. A coach helps you get to the bottom of your slump and figure out a way to remove those obstacles. He or she understands ADD and helps you figure yourself out, so that you can design a life that works better for you. Most of all, an ADHD Coach helps you unlock your strengths, get on top of your game and reach your goals.

5) Make yourself a priority.

Life is busy. A busy life with unruly ADHD is harried. Make a to-don’t list for the next month. Give yourself a break from unnecessary tasks for awhile and devote yourself to the first four steps.

People go on retreats so they can immerse themselves in a new way of being. Immerse yourself in self-discovery and finding your self-efficacy. Ask for help or hire it in if needed. Give yourself a kick start by doing as much as you can to master your challenges. Then give yourself a break and reward yourself for your efforts.

These five simple steps won’t remove all the obstacles from your life, but they will make the ADD journey a lot easier. Tell me about the ways you have dealt with ADD challenges in your life. What was your best kick-start?