We have all failed at some point in our lives.
For Adults with ADHD, failure may be all too familiar. Especially if your ADHD was undiagnosed or misdiagnosed until adulthood.
If this is the case for you, you may fear failure to the point that it is holding you back from setting or reaching your goals or making the changes that will help you manage your ADHD better.
I get it. At some point, after trying and trying, you get tired of falling short of the mark.While it took me a longggg time to really step into this perspective, I have come to think of failing as part of the process of succeeding.
That wasn’t always the case. I used to be terrified of failure. So, I would
- not make a decision, and let the deadline for making the decision pass.
- impulsively make a decision that seemed safe just to avoid failure.
When I was in 20’s I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I felt directionless. Afraid that I would never have a career or financial security, I jumped into teaching. It seemed safe.
Unfortunately, I made the decision out of a fear of failing; I did not think I could find the right career for myself.
I’m still not a fan of failing… And sometimes I avoid putting myself out there because I want to avoid any missteps. But I am more comfortable with the uncertainty of life and more willing to take risks.
Accepting Failure In Order To Succeed
If you are trying to manage your ADHD or achieve a big goal, you will need to experiment. You know that some strategies will work and some will not.
And if you are willing to acknowledge and accept the possibility of failure, one of the benefits is that you will have less of a chance of being completely thrown every time something goes wrong.
Another benefit is that you will also be more willing to experiment and move out of your comfort zone.
Additionally, as you become more self aware and able to identify where your fear of failing may be getting in your way, you can make different choices. You can address your fears directly either on your own or with professional help.
Increasing The Chances of Succeeding
Maybe I should back up the train here.
I am not suggesting that you should just accept that failure happens. I do think that you should be proactive.
One way to do this is to create an environment that will increase your chances of success and minimize your chances of failure by:
- learning all you can about your ADHD.
- implementing those strategies and techniques that can help you manage your ADHD.
Think You Are Going To Fail?
Another way to be proactive is to question your thoughts.
Sometimes it is your thoughts about failure that may be getting in your way. You may stop trying because you think it is a fait accompli; failure seems certain.
If this is the case, it may be time to look more rigorously at what you are thinking. You can read more about this in ADHD and Racing Thoughts: Don’t Believe Everything You Think!
Learning From Failure and Moving Forward
Of course, you can learn a lot about what works and what does not work for you by examining those times when you do fail.
Hopefully, this learning will help you to prevent the same type of failure in the future.
ADDed Perspectives Bottom Line
Yes, we can do our best to minimize our chances of failure. We can also questions our thoughts about failure in order to create a more helpful mindset. We can even learn from past mistakes.
But we still do not have complete control over what happens in our lives.
Acknowledging and accepting that there are going to be times that you are going to miss the mark can help you persist toward your goals, in spite of these failures.