I should be able to get ready in 15 minutes.
I should be able to find my keys.
I should be able to get to the meeting by 10:30.
I should be able to handle all of my tasks.
Fighting What Is
On occasion, I observe my clients and myself fighting reality by holding onto a story, like those above. By continuing to believe that we should be able to do something, we may resist finding solutions to the challenges of our ADD.
I used to claim that I should be able to drive my daughter to school in the morning in ½ an hour. I told myself this story for almost a whole year! Finally, I admitted that it really takes 40 minutes. I finally conceded to the reality that my daughter seems to need to observe something of interest on her way to the car and I often need to run back into the house to get something that she or I forgot.
In all of the above cases, the reality is that we are not doing what we think we should be able to do. By clinging to the story, rather than accepting “what is,” we initially resist finding a solution to our challenges.
In some cases, when the reality contradicts our stories, we beat ourselves up for not being able to do what we think we should be able to do.
When we accept reality, we are in a better position to move forward toward finding solutions. In my case, I simply added 10 minutes onto our travel time, and that prevents us from being so frantic in the morning.
Here is an example of a conversation I might have with client.
Me: So, you are going to call Mr. Smith. When are you going to call?
Client: Right after I get off the phone with you.
Me: How are you going to remember?
Client: I’ll just remember since it is right after the call.
Me: No you won’t (at which point we both laugh)
Client: Yeah, you’re right. I’ll write it on a sticky, and put it on my computer
In this case, the reality is that, as in many cases of people with ADD, she has poor short term memory. So, the chances are great that she will forget about making the call as soon as she hangs up the phone. By accepting this, she can use the simple strategy of putting a sticky on her computer.
Do you ever fight reality by saying, I should be able to…. (fill in the blank). Does the evidence support your story? If it does not, what would you like to do to find a solution?