If you have not read my last post, ADHD and The Mindset For Success, I suggest giving that a read before continuing on.
In that post I shared a little bit about the difference between a growth mindset and a fixed mindset.
And suggested that having a growth mindset is a key part of working effectively with your ADHD. I’m pretty sure most of you will buy into this suggestion. But just buying into the idea is certainly not enough to be able to develop one.
You knew that…
If you are interested, though, there are steps you can take to develop a growth mindset.
Change Your Internal Dialogue
What kind of internal dialogue do you have now?
When things go wrong for you does your internal voice pipe up with comments that sound like some of these?
- “Nobody can rely on me.”
- “I’m always screwing up.”
- “I used to do great (fill in the blank)… in college, before kids, etc , and now I can’t get anything done.”
Many adults with ADHD have an internal critic that sounds like this. And, if you do, it is likely that your running negative comments serve to feed your fixed mindset.
So, the first step to changing your mindset is changing your internal dialogue to reflect a growth mindset where you embrace “challenge, struggle, criticism and setbacks.” It begins to sound more like these examples.
- “Nobody can rely on me” becomes “I was late again. I wonder what it would take to get to places on time. I bet I can get help to figure this out.”
- Similarly, “I’m always screwing up” could be replaced with “I screwed up today, but I’m going to figure out what I can do prevent this from happening so often down the road.”
- And “I used to do great … and now I can’t get anything done” might become “My life is more complicated, and I’ll need to learn new strategies and skills. I can do that.”
You get the idea.
It starts with your thinking. And I know it is not easy!
Create A Plan
Once you are engaging in more helpful self-talk the next step is to create a plan to reach your goals.
Having a plan, a roadmap, will build your confidence in your capacity to reach your goals. And this confidence will contribute to the development of growth mindset.
So, think about your goals and find answers to questions like:
- What steps do I need to take?
- What would help me stay on track?
- What information do I need?
- What kind of support do I need?
Then, even though you may still feel a bit of trepidation, you move forward one step at a time.
Make It Concrete
After creating a general plan, it is necessary, especially as an adult with ADHD, to make the steps concrete in order to increase your chances of following through.
That is, it is not enough for Bob to say, “I’m going to leave my home on time so I can be at the office and ready to work by 9:00 am.”
Rather, he needs a plan that may look like this:
- Get up at 7:00. (Through experimentation he discovered that he needs an hour to get ready in the morning.)
- Leave the house at 8:00. (It takes an hour to get the office, including a daily stop at Starbucks and time to park and walk to his office.)
Knowing exactly what he needs to do to get there on time will make his chances of success greater.
And the more he is able to experience success in following through the more likely he will step into the growth mindset, as he has more evidence that change and growth is possible.
How can you make your plan more concrete?
Are you unsure how to create a plan with the right concrete steps to reach your goal(s)?
It can help to get out of your own head, and ask someone you feel comfortable with to help you talk through the steps. In addition, it will help to have someone give you feedback along the way as you execute on your plan. With someone to help you, you can increase your chance of success.
As is often said, “Nothing succeeds like success.” And the more you experience success by using all the resources at your disposal, including people, the more established your growth mindset will become.
Give it a try. You’ll see.
ADDed Perspectives Bottom Line
No doubt. Reaching your goals is not always a sure bet. There are things that are just not within your control.
But there is much that is within your control. The willingness to take the steps that are within your control, in spite of “challenges, struggles, criticisms and setbacks” requires a growth mindset.
What steps do you want to take to develop this mindset?