Kick Procrastination In The Butt!


Kick Procrastination In The Butt!
Learn how to break free from negative beliefs to start reaching your goals and achievements!

By Leslie Rouder, LCSW,CHt

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.


The four most common self defeating thoughts that I notice when working with clients are; 

Overgeneralizing and exaggerating.  One of the ways that people with ADHD will distort reality is by over exaggerating, and then making sweeping statements which lead to negative conclusions.   For example, someone makes a silly mistake while taking an exam, which causes them to either fail or do poorly enough not to proceed forward in their education or certification.  Instead of the individual feeling disappointed and recognizing that they needed to slow down, take time to proofread  their test questions more thoroughly before answering,  and perhaps even study a bit harder or differently next time,  they might make an internal decision that they are "stupid" and that they just can't handle taking tests.    In addition, they may become so filled with frustration at "having messed up again", that they just give up altogether, never completing their education or certification.  The tendency to over exaggerate the significance of any simple mistake and blow it way out of proportion becomes a negative self fulfilling prophecy.   "I never get anything right, so why even try".

Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Leslie Rouder


Leslie Rouder, LCSW, Cht. 

For further articles pertaining to women and women's issues please go to

For further articles on ADD or to sign up for my free ADD Newsletter. go to


Location: Boca Raton, FL
Credentials: CHT, LCSW
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Empowering Women, Holistic Coach
Other Articles/News by Leslie Rouder:

The Great Slut-Shaming Hoax: Ladies, Don't Buy It!


Gloria Steinem once said that "any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke." I realize how true this statement is as I consider a recent blog posting that was placed on the Internet by the ex boyfriend of a good friend of mine. He referred to ... Read more

Why Answering This One Question Changed My Life


What do words mean to you? To your relationship? And how long do you remember what your partner tells/asks you? Author Leslie Rouder talks about the profound question a therapist asked her thirty years ago and why it still matters today. The lesson learned? Words matter.  Back in the 1980s, while living in New York City, I saw a therapist named ... Read more

Help! My ADHD Partner Never Hears Me


The great Carl Jung once said that "Loneliness doesn't come from having no one around you, but from being unable to communicate the things that are important to you." Although this is a universal truth, in the case of those who have ADHD, communication can certainly be a bigger obstacle to intimacy than to those who do not. Not only for the person ... Read more

See More

My Videos
Most Popular