Before I launched the ADHD Enclave I spent approximately three years working through my own limiting beliefs.
And when I say working through, I mean talking to therapists and a coach who both helped me to get my head on straight.
My fears ranged from practical to totally paranoid. Here are some of them:
Nobody will believe that I can really do this
I don’t know how to “sell” things
I’m not sure people like me enough on social media
Nobody will pay for a private community
Everyone is going to make fun of me for even trying
People are going to write terrible reviews about me and make terrible comments on my website
This is what actually happened: I failed forward.
It wasn’t as painfully as I thought. And I figured out that what held me back was NOT any of the things I listed above.
It was my limiting beliefs about myself.
Limiting beliefs are the basis of all of our fear.
If we are aware of our limiting beliefs, we have the power to move past them and live fuller lives.
Here are some examples of limiting beliefs, along with some ideas for combating them.
Limiting Beliefs and ADHD
I am being judged
When I started this website and the Enclave I didn’t tell anyone but my closest family members. Some of my friends didn’t even know. In fact, I still don’t talk about it in “real life” very much.
I don’t discuss the membership because I am afraid I will be judged.
Solution: I/We need to get over our fear of judgment. Maybe people are judging my decision. But then, maybe they aren’t.
Most people are so focused on themselves they don’t have time to judge you.
I cannot be successful
This is a tough one, because everyone defines success differently. For me, this belief tends to be more of a comparison. As in, I could never be as successful as ——.
So many women with ADHD doubt our abilities and competence. We do this because we tend to predict the future based on the past.
Solution: Realize that success is self-defined. But also, get it into your head that your future is NOT defined by your past. Practice it as a mantra if you have to, but absorb that message.
I am not deserving
Whenever something really good happens in my life I hold my breath and wait for the other shoe to drop. This is partially because I often feel as if I don’t deserve “good luck.”
Actually, I used feel like I didn’t deserve much of anything.
Am I alone in this? I think not. It is easy to say that all humans deserve respect, or clean drinking water or healthcare…. But it is so much harder to say, “I respect myself.”
Solution: Work on respecting yourself. Actively seek out opportunities to show yourself that you are deserving of everything. Journal about your days. Talk to a therapist if you can. If you don’t have access to a therapist find a good support group.
I will be rejected
Not sure about you, but I have been rejected in my life. We with ADHD are extremely sensitive to rejection, to the point where we think*** we are being rejected even if we are not.
I know how much rejection stings. We all do, it’s part of the human experience and we all share it. Even celebrities have been rejected.
Solution: Ask yourself, what is the worst thing that can happen? Someone says no?
Rejection hurts your pride, and then you have an answer. You have closure. Stop fearing the rejection, and start look at it as information. When someone rejects you or your work it doesn’t mean anything about your character.
And the next time you have to reject someone for any reason, consider their feelings.
It’s too late
This can take many forms:
“I’m too old to find another job.”
“I waited too long to change my diet.”
“I blew it, he met someone else.”
“The opportunity has passed.”
This is the one limiting belief that I have never fallen into. No matter what your age and circumstances it is never too late.
Solution: Realize life is too short for regrets. I would rather try something crazy, (like starting my own online business) – and then fail, than sit around wondering what would have happened. At least if my community fails I have a large body of work to point to for reference.
I’m not strong enough
We have all had moments of self-doubt. But when we doubt our own inner fortitude we are truly lost.
Strength is hard to define. The way I see it, we are all strong just by virtue of reading this article and taking the time to think about what our limiting beliefs are. We are all strong because we made it this far on this day.
Solution: Get to a place of knowing. Know that you are strong enough to handle anything that comes your way. You will stumble. You might even collapse from time to time. But you’ll get back up.
Make yourself aware of the limiting beliefs that are holding you back.
Consider the negative thought patterns going through your head. You have the power to work through it. We all deserve to live a full and happy life.