How to Look At Mistakes as ADHD Men
"Man, what was I thinking? I can't believe I allowed this to happen. I'm so disappointed in myself."
Something that men with ADHD find themselves saying a lot and a rabbit hole I know that I have found myself in many times.
As men with ADHD, we have our struggles. Often struggles in keeping careers, maintaining relationships due to something we said that we might not have meant to say, paying bills - things that we're all too familiar with.
While there are many ways to look at these different obstacles, today, I want to talk about a huge factor in our lives that often occurs right after these events, and that's self dialogue.
Men, what's your relationship like with self dialogue?
When you're growing up with an ADHD brain, it's so easy to feel very "outside the box". Young boys with ADHD are often getting in trouble, struggling with grades, having issues at home and often, when these events occur, we think to ourselves "Why me? Why am I like this?"
I've been there.
It's tough. It really is.
But I have good news.
We can change our perspective when it comes to mistakes, and we may even be able to use them to our advantage.
Here's some of what's helped me!
Rather than "mistakes", they are teachers.
This is huge. One of the most important factors in seeing mistakes properly with ADHD is that we recognize the teachers that they are. They are teachers about ourselves and once we learn what they are teaching, we can get the help we need.
When I find an issue of some sort in my life, one of the things I like to do is to take note of that issue in a journal, record how its effecting me and how it makes me feel, and then make a strong point to talk about it with my therapist. This can apply to coaches, therapists, counselors - any person who provides some sort of treatment/accountability for your ADHD. Once this is emphasized, we really have some opportunity to build on the things that are making us feel less like ourselves.
2. See your humanity.
When we "fall short", we often compare ourselves to what we call the "neurotypical" person, being completely unfair to ourselves.
The truth is, while we may be very different in many ways, the people who we feel are "perfect" have flaws of their own. They have struggled in many ways themselves.
A sense of loneliness often comes around when we make mistakes. Reminding ourselves in the moment via something like an affirmation can be very helpful.
I like saying to myself "I am not alone in my imperfections. Others fall, too."
3. See the "rebound".
The beauty of life is that it goes on. You, on the other side of this screen, are not stuck where you are.
Let me say that one more time.
You are not stuck where you are.
A good piece of advice I was once given by someone well known in the meditation community when I asked about "falling off" my practice was to see it as no different as getting distracted in the meditation itself.
When you get distracted in meditation, you simply bring your awareness back to your breath and keep going. Over time, you get better and better.
The same rule applies for your work out routine. Or your money. Or your relationships.
You're never defined by your past, and giving it a second go is always a good idea, as you're worth a life of engaging in the things you love.
If you're a male with ADHD, I'd love to have you as part of my free ADHD Men's Support Group where we connect, build a sense of community and now offer bi-weekly Zoom meetups. Click the link to join!