Many of us with ADHD have a fear of starting new things. It’s not because we are nervous about the challenge. Or think it’s a bad idea. It’s not about the THING at all. In fact, we love shiny, new things – they are exciting and release dopamine hits that keep us going.
We have this ADHD fear because we have a history of starting things and never finishing. We are scared it will just be one more thing that goes on the ‘incomplete’ shelf. Just like almost everything else in our lives.
I hear this all the time from my coaching clients and ADHD Success Club members. Smart, capable, incredible people who are a few credits shy of college graduation. DIY home improvement or craft projects that are 85% done. Missed opportunities because they didn’t complete the paperwork. Money thrown away because they didn’t show up.
And the ramifications of never finishing something? You have the tangible impact – the jobs you’ve missed out on without a degree, the clutter (or potential long-term damage) in your home, financial issues, relationship conflicts and so much more.
Then you have the internal consequences. The shame and guilt. The hit on your self-esteem. Negative self-talk. All leading to anxiety and fear because you don’t want to have another unfinished thing bring on these emotions.
If this sounds like you, let me tell you – your fears are so normal. This fear is realistic. We have a history of starting and never finishing. We have a history of people being disappointed in us. Expecting us to give up. We have a tendency to leave a trail of ‘unfinishedness’ almost everywhere we go.
I know. I lived like that for years. My life was a hot mess until I learned to live easier with ADHD by doing the things I teach in the ADHD Success Club.
If you are standing on the precipice of a new activity, here are some things to consider before you take the plunge, and I’m going to use the ADHD Success Club as an example.
Three Things to Consider Before Starting Something New
1. Right at the start, make a list of what you will get if you complete the activity. We have already said the chances are high that you might not stay involved. Especially if it’s a long-term activity. The ADHD Success Club requires you to show up every week. Until July! Some people do drop out.
Here’s the good news: The people who can stay engaged have changed their lives. They tell me joining the Success Club has been one of the best things they’ve ever done for themselves and for their families. Some of them stay in the group for multiple years because they keep improving their ADHD skills. It isn’t easy. But being afraid and doing it anyway is what we’re all about in the Success Club.
So if you are considering starting (or stopping) something new, consider this: what will you gain from staying on board? How might your life change? What will you get out of sticking it out?
2. Another thing to make sure you have is support. Is there someone who can be there as encouragement or to ask for help so you stay engaged?
In the Success Club, I am there with you. All you need to do is email me or ask for help during one of the calls and I’ll do what I can to help you stay engaged. It’s so important to me to have you improve the way you live your life.
3. Find out what happens if you do pull the plug. Can you cancel your payments or get a refund? Or will there be a penalty of some sort? In the Success Club, if it’s not right for you or you just can’t do it, you cancel your membership without penalty and look for what does work. No shame. No guilt-ridden hard sell to keep you there. We thank you for joining and wish you well.
The thing is to not give up. We need to try new things. Our ADHD brains need those dopamine hits, to keep learning and growing, be entertained and active. There are too many amazing things in life that you haven’t experienced! So being afraid to try can be extremely damaging. No one with ADHD wants to lead a boring life!
I have tried so many different things and am so glad I did.
One final word – if an ADHD fear of not sticking it out is keeping you from joining us, please give the ADHD Success Club a chance. Living with ADHD doesn’t have to be so hard. It just doesn’t.
I hope to see you on one of the calls next week!
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