Parents typically come to us because they want something in their life to change.
They are unhappy with how things are going for themselves and/or their families, and they want it to be different. At times, the desire can be desperate – something needs to be “fixed” quickly or they feel like they will hit the wall. Other times it’s just a nagging feeling, a hope for something other than the current experience, a longing. Regardless of how the desire shows up, the common denominator is the need for change.
Here’s the underlying reality. People who come to us are often stuck in some way. Don’t worry – it’s a normal situation to be in. Sometimes, when we want to make a change, we just do it, and go about our life. But important, bigger stuff can be more difficult. So if you are looking for change, chances are that something is getting in your way. It happens to all of us. We know what we want, we may even have a clear vision for it, but the solution, the steps, seem just out of reach.
So what might be getting in your way?
- Limiting Beliefs & Interpretations: “I’ll believe it when I see it” is a popular catch phrase. The reality is that sometimes you have to believe it to see it! Often what gets in our way is the thought that things won’t work out the way we want them to. ”Why should I bother, it will never work?” In coaching, perspective is everything. If we are able to look at the situation from a different point of view, it can be enough to motivate us out of a stuck position.
The Tip: If you notice a belief or perspective that is getting in your way – test it. How true is it really? Would others think that it is possible? If you are willing to consider that the outcome you want might possibly happen – even if you have just a glimmer of hope – it can be sufficient to move you from inaction to action.
- Assumptions: Often we grab on to the belief that just because something happened a certain way once, it is likely to happen this way again. This sometimes leads us into a defeatist mindset, and again we are stuck in a place of not acting.
The Tip: Unlimited possibilities! Many of us believe that that there is no way to predict the future, and just because something happened before, doesn’t necessarily mean it will happen again. Ask any ADHD parent who’s tried to put a behavior program in place – things change all the time! Why not believe that what you want can possibly happen? It works for me!
- Gremlins: OK, not the little wacky guys in the movie. Gremlins are those voices in our head (sometimes called the inner critic) that keep us small and prevent us from playing big in life. Whether your voice tells you that you “aren’t good enough,” or that you” have to do things perfectly or you shouldn’t try,” or “people will laugh at you if you do it,” these inner doubts are very real and often paralyzing when we want to move forward into action.
The tip: Name your gremlin! Get to know it personally. If you can get clear on what’s real and what’s simply the voice of doubt, it can help you move past stuck. Thinking through situations thoroughly can be important, but after awhile you may need to just tell your gremlin, “thanks for your concern, I’ve got this one!”
- Executive Dysfunction: Let’s face it, a good number of us not only have kids with ADD/ADHD, but also have the same challenges ourselves. People without ADHD often have the ability to “just do it.” If you have ADD, chances are that this is much more difficult for you. You need to have genuine interest in what you are doing in order to make it happen.
The tip: Find a motivator. It works for our kids and it can work for us too. Put in place a positive incentive, or connect the goal with a strong value in order to help you make it happen.
Feeling like we aren’t accomplishing all we want in some aspect of life is no fun, and it gets in the way in other parts of life as well. Self-awareness and self-care are critical building blocks to success in life. So are strong relationships. If you continue to feel stuck, it might be time for some outside support, from friends, or even a coach.
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Elaine Taylor-Klaus and Diane Dempster, founders of ImpactADHD.com, teach/write about practical strategies to parents of “complex” kids with ADHD and related challenges. To help your kids find the motivation to get anything done, download their free parent’s guide, The Parent’s Guide to Motivating Your Complex Child
This article was originally published at ImpactADHD. Reprinted with permission from the author.