Stop "shoulding" yourself

Hello friends,

I've been reading the excellent book by KC Davis, How To Keep House While Drowning.

I really love how accepting it is and how it calls out the negative traps we set for ourselves, often without even realizing it.

It's easy to trick ourselves into feeling bad for things we aren't accomplishing but think we really should be doing.

This can be especially harmful for people with ADHD.

Years of dealing with the symptoms of ADHD (and the hurtful remarks from those around us) have left us with damaged self-esteem and deep shame that never seems to fully go away.

If you have ADHD—especially if you were diagnosed late in your life—these endless apologies and self-blame may have added up to a crippling sense of shame. —Dr. Ned Hallowell

One method to help get over this is to change those shoulds into *coulds.

Instead of "I should exercise more", say "I could exercise more."

Look at that!

It's basically the exact same thing, but without the shame. It still presents an option, but now it's just a possibility rather than a source of shame if you fail to do it.

In her book, KC Davis says that whether we do the task or not is irrelevant. "You weren't [doing the task] when you were being mean to yourself either, so at least you can be nice to yourself. No one ever shamed themselves into better mental health."

We could all use a little more kindness in our lives, so why not start with ourselves?

Stay focused, Jesse J. Anderson

P.S. I just released a fun new episode of ADHD Nerds, Monica Lim: Battling Career Boredom and Being A Mom With ADHD.

I've also decided to start releasing podcast episodes in video on YouTube—you can currently see Guilt-free Meditation, Radiant Brains, and Beautiful Math (Stephen Scott) with more coming soon!