Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about mindset, and how it affects our ability to manage not just our ADHD, but our lives in general.
Think about the people in your life… do you know anyone who is a “perpetual victim”? Perpetual victims tend to complain all the time, and they blame other people for everything and anything that is difficult in their lives. They have a very strong belief that life is hard, and that there’s nothing they can do to change that.
I think we’ve all known a perpetual victim, and some of us have more than one in our lives. Their negativity, complaints, and anger can be absolutely draining. Sometimes you just want to take the perpetual victim by shoulders and say, “Stop complaining and do something!”
That is, unless it’s actually YOU who is the perpetual victim…
In my work with ADHDers, I’ve found that there is a mix of people in our community. There definitely are some perpetual victims. Some people want to blame their ADHD for every challenge they’ve had in life. They are angry at the people who don’t understand them, and they believe that they’re destined to live a miserable life. So they complain, complain, complain. And they take on the role of a victim.
But there are also people who have similar feelings and, yet, do not take on the role of the victim. In fact, many successful and well-adjusted people do blame their ADHD for their challenges, and they do get angry when they feel misunderstood. They even complain sometimes. But not for long. Rather than take on the role of a victim, they take on the role of a survivor, a doer, or a maverick.
The difference between these two types of people can be explained by a number of factors. The one that I’m most interested in right now, though, is mindset. Some people tend toward a more positive outlook, and some toward a more negative outlook.
More often than not, the family of origin passes down a general mindset. ADHD or not, we grow up with parents who are either positive or negative. Sometimes people have a parent of each persuasion, which can make things even more difficult! But science has proven over and over again that we are a product of nature and nurture. That we can change the way we think, and the way we do things.
I’ll be exploring this topic for a little while here on the ADHDmanagement.com blog because, well, there is a lot I want to say! And in the meantime, I have two requests for you:
- Before I continue to write on this topic and you continue to read about it, please ask yourself, “Am I a perpetual victim? Do I complain all the time? Do I blame my ADHD for my challenges? Do I blame others for my difficulties?” If the answer is “yes” or “sometimes”—and most certainly if the answer is, “you don’t understand how hard it is for me”—then please don’t get angry at me and don’t get down on yourself! There is no judgment here. My goal is to help you build the skills that you need to thrive in your life. And in order to do that, you need to develop your self-awareness and be honest with yourself. (P.S. Even I do these things sometimes, so I think we all have room to learn how to improve ourselves.)
- Please make use of the comments section for this post. Tell me where a negative mindset challenges you most. Have you tried to overcome it before and, if so, did it work? Why or why not? Let me know what I can specifically address to help you in this area.
I’m looking forward to continuing this discussion with you! For now, do me a favor… smile. No matter what’s going on in your life, just stop and smile. Research shows that the simple act of smiling improves your mood. It can’t get any easier than that!