I hate to say it, but the vast majority of adults with ADHD who I come across are in need of an attitude adjustment. That’s because many adults with ADHD go through their lives as negative thinkers with low self-esteem.
We can understand why this happens. When you go through life feeling chronically overwhelmed and judging yourself for your differences, it makes sense that you might develop a bad attitude as a result. But that bad attitude has to change if you want to learn how to manage your ADHD and move forward in your life.
Adjusting your attitude involves two things:
- Improving your self-esteem.
- Developing a positive outlook on life.
Let’s start with self-esteem. Adults with ADHD have a bad habit of focusing on what’s wrong. We focus on differences that we think are bad, we focus on challenges, we focus on mistakes, and we get wrapped up in them. We spend so much time focusing on the things we think we need to fix that there’s no time left over to work on developing the strengths we have or the systems that are already working.
No one ever gets ahead in life by focusing on their weaknesses. Think about it: the only way to get ahead in life is to focus on your strengths—your talents, your skills, your passions, the things you do well—and to get even better at them.
And if you waste all your time trying to get good at the things you’re not naturally good at, then there’s no time to really hone and polish the skills and strengths and talents that you do have. Instead, what happens is that you spend your time feeling bad about yourself. Because the only things you’re thinking about are the ways in which you feel like you don’t measure up. And that’s not good for anyone’s self-esteem.
The next piece of the attitude adjustment puzzle is about your outlook on life. For all the reasons we’ve talked about so far, it’s easy for an adult with ADHD to become a negative thinker. Negative thinking will hold you back in life. You won’t see the opportunities that present themselves when you’re focused on the bad stuff. But even the most hardened negative thinker can turn things around. There are actually some simple and easy steps you can take to adopt a more positive attitude immediately. In fact, self-care alone can help you be a more positive thinker!
When you’re stressed or worried, your breathing becomes shallow, your heart rate increases, and your muscles tense up. Your mind stresses your body. And it’s very hard to be positive when your body is tense and uptight! However, when you’re calm and relaxed, your breathing becomes deeper, your heart rate decreases, and your muscles relax. In this calm and relaxed state, it’s much easier to think clearly and see a more positive side to things. So you can become a more positive thinker just by virtue of relaxation and self-care alone!
The bottom line is that it’s much easier to manage your ADHD when you have a healthy self-esteem and a positive outlook on life. And, in turn, life becomes much easier and more enjoyable.
Do you have a healthy self-esteem? Do you consider yourself a positive thinker? How could better self-esteem and a more positive attitude help move you forward in life? Please share your thoughts with other readers in the comments below!