At the start of a new year, there is often a sense of pressure to make significant changes in our lives. We strive to become better versions of ourselves or find that elusive “magic fix” that will improve everything. However, sometimes, we find ourselves stuck in our old ways, making it difficult to move forward.
This struggle for change can significantly increase when we get into a vicious cycle of self-criticism. It’s hard to make the desired changes when we constantly berate ourselves for past mistakes, negative experiences, feeling different, or not living up to societal expectations. With ADHD, we know that this cycle of thoughts comes on fast and fierce. This cycle is rooted in shame, encompassing guilt, self-blame, embarrassment, and criticism. These feelings can harm your productivity and self-esteem, making it much easier to stay stuck where you are.
Fortunately, there are ways to break free from this cycle of shame and start making the change you seek. Doing so opens yourself up to possibilities and new ways of doing things.
Here are three things that you can take with you in the New Year to help unlock your potential and move towards the change you are seeking:
1. Building self-awareness: The first step towards growth and progress is self-awareness. Start by evaluating your strengths and challenges, determining what strategies work best for you, and gaining a deeper understanding of your processes. By practicing mindfulness and paying attention to your thoughts, feelings, and actions, you can gain valuable insights that lead to innovative perspectives and actions.
2. Knowing your strengths: Rather than fixating on your weaknesses, it’s essential to acknowledge and embrace the positive attributes that come with ADHD. Recognizing your creativity, persistence, and originality will allow you to tap into these strengths and cultivate a more positive self-image. As a result, you become better equipped to combat feelings of shame and self-criticism.
3. Embracing your differences: Having ADHD doesn’t mean you need to be fixed; it simply means your brain is wired differently. Embracing these differences and understanding how your unique brain functions can lead to unlocking untapped potential and brilliance within yourself. By accepting and appreciating your true self, you can work with your strengths and find practical solutions for your challenges, ultimately moving forward in a meaningful way.
As a coach, it has been incredibly inspiring to witness clients learn more about themselves, understand how ADHD shows up, and develop a new concept of themselves and their abilities. Remember, personal growth is a continuous journey. Give yourself permission to learn, grow, and make mistakes. With the proper support, ADHD symptoms can improve over time. You can unlock your potential and lead a fulfilling life by breaking free from shame and fully embracing your true self. It’s time to leave behind things that no longer serve you and move towards those that do.
If you’re interested in learning more about overcoming shame and shifting towards a more positive and fulfilling life, schedule a get-acquainted session with one of our coaches to learn more.
Kelly Thorell, PCAC
ADHD Coach and Life Coach, Executive Skills Coach