What’s the wrong answer to give to someone struggling with ADHD?
Just try harder.
Yet, if you struggle with adult ADHD, I suspect you’ve heard ‘just try harder’ your whole life. Some well-meaning person notices your challenge and suggests you aren’t trying hard enough.
Late to work again? Just try harder…
Forgot to pay the electric bill again? Just try harder…
Finished the client’s proposal late? Just try harder…
Papers and clutter, piled around your desk? Just try harder…
Forgot to pick up the dry cleaning? Just try harder…
No need to go on is there? You get the picture.
We’ve all been there.
I was that distracted schoolgirl who struggled to pay attention in class. Deep inside I knew I was smart yet my grades told a different story. How many times was I told to stop being lazy and “just try harder?” Too many to count.
Except I couldn’t try harder because I couldn’t do what the grownups in my life were expecting me to do.
Now, in hindsight, I know I couldn’t pay attention in class because I needed things to be different. A different environment. Stronger structure and skills. More attention to brain care. My world needed to be set up so I could get stuff done and succeed.
I’m not blaming anyone. Few knew about ADHD when I was in school. But, I sure needed a lot more than a rousing chorus of just try harder.
Here’s what you need to know if you struggle with ADHD.
When you say you CAN’T do something then you can’t. At least not the way you’ve been trying to do it. And, not the way everyone else does it.
A true “I CAN’T do this” is much different than an “I don’t want to do this. It’s a subtle difference. As you get more aware and honest with yourself you’ll detect the difference.
In ADHDLand a Can’t is a Can’t.
Can’t is where the rubber meets the road with ADHD. When you have tried and tried and still can’t do something than I suggest you look for other solutions.
Attack the problem another way. Just trying harder won’t do the trick. Trying harder leads to us not getting done what we need to get done.
Just trying harder makes us feel like we’re worthless. It leaves us frustrated and hopeless.
If you are at the CAN’T level of struggling with ADHD please stop trying harder. Please get the help you need to be able to build a successful life with ADHD.
Find a well-trained ADHD coach, join a support group, learn all you can about your brain and how to get it to work better for you.
Living with ADHD doesn’t have to be so hard.