Commitments, ADHD, and the Pause

by | Jan 20, 2022 | ADHD Success Skills and Tools | 0 comments

commitments and ADHD

One of the biggest ADHD challenges I’ve had to learn to push past is keeping commitments. Those I’ve made to other people. And commitments I’ve made to myself. 

A commitment is a promise. It takes dedication, loyalty, devotion, and faithfulness. Traits we’re drawn to, yet have a hard time living with adult ADHD.

In fact, commitment can be a four-letter word for people with ADHD. You’ve promised to do something, show up somewhere on time, pick something up and since you have ADHD, you often don’t follow through and do it.

And when you fail in your commitments, you likely cue the shame and guilt. Top it off with a dollop of self-loathing. You’ve disappointed someone else or yourself…..yet again. 

Keeping Commitments with ADHD

To succeed with ADHD, you need to build a new relationship with commitments. 

First, and the topic of today’s blog, we need to become more aware BEFORE making any commitment. ADHD means we have an idea and we blurt it out before thinking about it. That gets us in trouble time and again. 

Why? Because often the commitments we make aren’t realistic. They’re not something we’re good at doing or have the capacity or time to do. (Keep reading to find out my number one trick for avoiding unrealistic commitments.)

Second, we need to learn how to make it easier to keep the commitments we make. (We’re not talking about this in this blog. Just remember: Easy Gets Done. And if you want more help in making it easier to do stuff then consider joining the ADHD Success Club group coaching program.)

The Power of The Pause for ADHD

Here’s your new skill to work on to help you avoid making unrealistic commitments. Building this skill has totally changed my life and my relationship with my ADHD. 

What do you do? Before you make any commitment (to yourself or others) take a Pause. Stop. Take a breath. And think for a moment if you can do what you are about to say you’ll do. 

This means you need to build your awareness of when you’re about to commit to something. Taking a Pause sounds hard to do with ADHD, but pay attention and over time you’ll be able to stop before making a commitment. 

That in-the-moment pause is a necessary ADHD life skill. 

You can use the pause when you’re feeling mentally stuck, scattered or dealing with heated conversations. And especially when you’re in danger of making a commitment that you know you won’t follow through on. 

Your ADHD brain craves action and forward movement. It loves making commitments. You actually get a dopamine kick when you make them.

But what the ADHD brain wants is very different from what it needs. Your brain wants to GO – but you really need to SLOW DOWN and PAUSE. 

The power of the pause, an action of inaction, will slow your brain down, increase your awareness, and help you make better choices to live more successfully with ADHD. 

Before long the commitments you DO make after that pause will most likely be conscious and more likely to be ones you keep!

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