Negative thoughts are the most common and influential barrier for individuals with ADHD in achieving their goals mostly because these thought patterns create a feeling state that was probably set up many years ago as young children and are seated in the unconscious mind, controlling the individuals actions (or lack of them). Bringing these thought patterns into consciousness is vital to being able to recognize and challenge their validity, while making decisions regarding alternative self talk that will ultimately serve in bringing about a sense of competence and control over ones life.
Since so much of they way we cope is not made conscious to us, asking the right questions can lead to insight that can help in making positive changes. This is the basis for most Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Notice what thoughts come up for you when you have a task or project that you feel like putting off? What are the associations that you make in your mind? What's the self talk sound like? Do you tell yourself that you aren't any good at something? Do you make sweeping generalization that may not apply? Do you predict that it will be boring and difficult? Do you really know for sure that any of your negative thoughts about the work are actually true? Do you do what you like, rather than what you should because its just more fun and it feels difficult to delay gratification?
If you ask yourself these kinds of questions, you may begin to recognize those negative thought patterns that interfere with one's ability to initiate and follow through on what needs to be accomplished. But that's only half of it. Notice the feeling state that you create for yourself when you begin taking on these negative thoughts. Do you notice a lack of energy? Is there any anxiety, depression, frustration, sadness? Now remember a moment in time when you were successful and handled something just the way you would have wanted to. What was the feeling state that was created around that? Were you energized? Did you feel motivated, happy, peaceful, competent and in control? Can you see where I am going with this? Thoughts are energy. They can actually change our physical state. So, how we feel, is directly associated with our thoughts. (and vice versa)
Creating objective balanced thinking not only helps one develop consistency in being productive, but creates resourceful mood states that support one's ability to be successful. Making behavioral changes and being successful at them consistently may ultimately provide us with the ability to experience those feelings associated with high achievement and its those feeling states that also sustain us in making permanent changes. So success, leads to more success. If you are feeling stuck, reflect back to a moment in time when you were very successful, remember the feeling state associated with that achievement and model that exact physiology. Model excellence enough times and watch what happens to your feeling state. In conclusion, if we really want to break free of our self imposed chains, we must become aware of those negative thought patterns and beliefs that are holding us back, and what's even more important, ACT. After all, we must remember that the elephant has the strength all along to break free and, if not for giving up, there would be no holding him back.
You can find out what I learned about procrastination by viewing my article called What I Learned About Procrastination. I hope it’s helpful to you!
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