Most of us with ADHD have been told quite often that we are doing things the wrong way. We try hard to change, but when we fail to change, our frustration and shame can lead to a nagging sense of low self-esteem. How do we change something so basic as our inner sense of our own worth?

One way to start is to challenge yourself at the end of each day to list at least three things that you did well that day. You might find it’s a lot easier to think of things that you did not do so well, but persist in finding three things, however small, that you did well enough that you can say something positive to yourself about them.

Even if these seem like tiny things (such as getting to one appointment on time, or making a kind remark to someone, or organizing one small corner of your desk), recognizing and celebrating these positive accomplishments can have a powerful effect on how you see yourself.

When you find those positive thoughts hang onto them tightly; they can be a life raft. But be prepared for the rough seas of negative thoughts to threaten your grip on that raft.

For example you’ll hear yourself say,

Yeah, I may have done a little something well,
but it’s meaningless in the face of
all the things I failed to do well or failed to do it all
Or you might catch yourself saying,

Yeah, I may have some good qualities, but look at all my weaknesses.

That “but” comes in and wipes out any chance for you to appreciate your positive qualities and accomplishments. My suggestion to you is: “Get off your but!”

That is, see if you can make a true statement to yourself about some of your positives without adding a “but” clause that buries your positive awareness. If you can do this for yourself, it can make a big difference in your sense of self worth.

Negative thoughts about yourself will still try to sneak into your self talk and rob you of that positive experience. The secret is letting them come but not letting them have the last word.

In other words, when a self deprecating negative thought comes into your awareness, immediately add to it a “but” clause of your own stating something positive about yourself.

Putting your positive “but” clause after any negative self talk can take practice and persistence, but boy can it pay off over time in changing your sense of self-worth!

So good luck!  And,

“Watch where you put your but!”

You’ll be glad you did!

Take care and stay safe.

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