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Ask Dr B – about Stories We Tell Ourselves, Low Self-Esteem & Self-Sabotaging Behaviors - 030

podcast self-esteem Aug 03, 2017

Welcome to the thirteenth Ask Dr B episode, and the thirtieth episode overall of Harness Your ADHD Power, a podcast show I created to explore the many facets of adult life with ADHD and how you can learn to harness your personal ADHD power to become unstoppable.

I’m so glad you could join me today for my podcast show.  I get SO excited to create episodes that you my listeners ask for.  You send me questions or issues that you are struggling with and ask for insights and solutions, which results in inspiration and another great episode.  You have no idea how happy that makes me; or maybe you do.

Based on Monday’s episode 029, I hope you all get just how important it is that we develop executive function skills; just not something we should skip over or take lightly.  If you haven’t listened to that episode yet, I recommend you do so you’ll understand what I mean.  There’s no short cut here.  These skills are the pre-requisites to the more advanced skills we need to learn and master in adulthood; and we can’t jump to advanced skills without the basic foundational ones in place.  Correction…we can jump there, but we can’t stay there because we don’t have what is needed to succeed. 

And since helping you to shape new behaviors is part of my intention here with the stories and action steps for you to take, I want to remind you that today’s success or lack of it started last night.  That’s right.  If you got a good night’s sleep, felt rested when you woke up this morning and were excited about your day, then you’ve set yourself up for a successful day.  If you let yourself stay up late again, because you “felt like it” and didn’t gently and lovingly escort yourself to bed, then you’ve got some work to do around that behavior and way of thinking.  With our fast-paced brains, we definitely need our sleep! 

My VERY curious mind is always wondering what the #1 biggest struggle or frustration is for you right now, so I can help you with it.  I wake up each day wondering that, so I can direct my energy to the solutions you need.  I really want to know; I do.  The thought of millions of adults with ADHD suffering every day is a painful thought to me, especially when I have answers and solutions that could ease your pain.

 

In this episode, I respond to topics about issues or challenges you experience as an adult living with ADHD, and offer you hope.  Today's topics are Stories We Tell Ourselves, Low Self-Esteem & Self-Sabotaging Behaviors.  A huge thanks to Britt, in CA for today's topics.

And remember to pay attention to your WINS!!  Look for them, acknowledge them, celebrate them in a full-hearted way!  Exaggerate your emotions and feel the rush of excitement of having done something special and worthy of celebrating.  You can even celebrate YOU!

Developing your Executive Function Skills and shifting your limiting beliefs is the fastest and most effective way to overcome ADHD limitations, find focus, gain confidence, and newfound freedom in your life!

My mission is to put an end to the worldwide needless suffering of adults with ADHD and those with under-developed Executive Function Skills - whether from ADHD, chronic depression or anxiety, trauma, addictions, or chronic illnesses.  And, you don't need a formal diagnosis to know you need help developing these executive function skills in order to greatly reduce your suffering.

 

Full Episode Transcript HYAP Podcast Episode #030
Ask Dr B – about Stories We Tell Ourselves, Low Self-Esteem & Self-Sabotaging Behaviors
Thursday, August 3, 2017


Today is Episode 30 with Dr B, and the thirteenth “Ask Dr B” Show.


Hey ADDers! I’m so glad you could join me today for my podcast show. I get SO excited to create episodes that you my listeners ask for. You send me questions or issues that you are struggling with and ask for insights and solutions, which results in inspiration and another great episode. You have no idea how happy that makes me; or maybe you do.

Based on Monday’s episode 029, I hope you all get just how important it is that we develop executive function skills; just not something we should skip over or take lightly. If you haven’t listened to that episode yet, I recommend you do so you’ll understand what I mean. There’s no short cut here. These skills are the pre-requisites to the more advanced skills we need to learn and master in adulthood; and we can’t jump to advanced skills without the basic foundational ones in place. Correction…we can jump there, but we can’t stay there because we don’t have what is needed to succeed.

And since helping you to shape new behaviors is part of my intention here with the stories and action steps for you to take, I want to remind you that today’s success or lack of it started last night. That’s right. If you got a good night’s sleep, felt rested when you woke up this morning and were excited about your day, then you’ve set yourself up for a successful day. If you let yourself stay up late again, because you “felt like it” and didn’t gently and lovingly escort yourself to bed, then you’ve got some work to do around that behavior and way of thinking. With our fast-paced brains, we definitely need our sleep!

And if you need to learn and master executive function skills or anything else I suggest, you are going to need to set aside the time to do so. And I hear you! Set aside “what” time when you already feel strapped for time, and steal from your sleep or other places in your life to barely get things done? I get it. These executive function deficits may be affecting many areas of your life and perhaps are the underlying reason for so many of your challenges. So either “life” will make you stop and have to address them or you will be proactive and choose to do so before a crisis hits. I will do whatever I can to help you!

And what about your questions? Did you wake up with any this morning? If so, and you’re looking for answers, consider sending your questions over to me so I can answer them or find the answers for you. I’d love to do that! Or perhaps your questions arise in the moment, when you think about the tasks you have to complete and feel overwhelmed before you even get to them because you have questions about what to do, when to do it, how to do it or if you even should do it? Is that you? If so, then keep track of your questions, as best you can, and send them over to me so I can help you get answers and get unstuck. And, you are welcome to ask more than one question, on more than one occasion. If you have lots of questions, then ask me lots of questions; seriously!! You’ll be doing me a big favor by sending me your questions! Seriously!!

And in case you’re wondering what kind of questions you can ask me, here’s some examples of what others have asked me over the years:

· Have there been any studies that have looked at culture and ADHD?
· Do ADHD brains have difficulty foreseeing consequences of decisions?
· Do focusing on the strengths one already has and developing them to the point where they can be assets to success or achieving goals serve us better?


Your questions matter to me; all of them! How are you going to do what you want or need to do if your mind if filled with questions and roadblocks instead of excitement and motivation? Where are you supposed to turn in times like that? Well, one place you can turn is to me, which is one reason I created the Ask Dr B format. It’s not just that we are a curious bunch, although we are. You may also be sitting with huge gaps in your knowledge base and can’t move forward on what you want to achieve; in fact, you may not even know what questions to ask to get the information you need. I know that was true for me in the past. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if someone would ask you “what are you trying to do” and you could tell him or her, as best you can? And then they would ask you “do you know how to do A, B, C, D, etc. and you could tell them what you knew and didn’t know. And because they know the sequences and the steps, they could guide you through the tasks you want to get done and answer your questions along the way. I’d like to be that person for you.

And if you’re the kind of person, who needs to have all the details up front before you step into the ring, and you have huge gaps in the process or sequence of events, or you are missing key executive function skills, how exactly are you supposed to proceed? Seriously! This has nothing to do with how smart you are and everything to do with your learning style and informational needs. Even with ADHD, some of us are quite literal and need the step-by-step version of the story to engage. Others of us are more inferential and just jump in and kind of fly by the seat of our pants; filling in the details and information as we go along. Either way, you need what you need and that’s just how it is. Period. And, if you’re anything like me, and don’t get the answers you need, you might keep spinning or ruminating like I do until I get the answers I need. The entire situation can turn into one overwhelming experience. Perhaps that happens to you too.

You’ve heard me say this before if you’re a regular listener, and it continues to be true. MY very curious mind is always wondering what the biggest struggle or frustration is for you right now, so I can help you with it. I wake up each day wondering that, so I can direct my energy to the solutions you need. I really want to know; I do. And I’d love to know how ADHD is the same or different in all parts of the world, which is one of the reasons I created The Harness Your ADHD Power Community on Facebook. And a special thank you to those of you, who have generously shared your thoughts with me, and told me how you are truly suffering. Low self-esteem, self-defeating behaviors, sabotaging the life you want to have, lost productivity, lost income, lost respect by family, lost respect among peers and clients, feeling of hopelessness, struggle and inadequacy. Even feeling like you can’t do school and aren’t smart because your teachers or professors aren’t teaching you the way you learn best. That’s a lot of suffering!! The thought of millions of adults with ADHD all over the world suffering every day with these challenges is a painful thought to me, especially when I have answers and solutions that could ease your pain.

I made it even easier to get your questions over to me. Just head over to my website and you’ll see “Ask Dr B” in the main menu now. Just click there and ask away!! I’ll be notified immediately and get to work on them for the next Thursday show.

And in the event your question is outside the scope of my license, practice and/or knowledge base, I will find a guest who can address your question and have them do so on one of the special guest shows. Either way, you will get answers, to the best of my ability to provide them.

If you’re a new listener, welcome! I’m honored that you’re here. If you’re a subscriber or regular listener, thanks for your loyalty and for trusting me to share meaningful content with you in each and every episode. And whether this is your first or thirtieth time of listening to my show, you’ll hear me say time and again, that you are NOT what you do or don’t do; that you are more than that. WE are not defective or less than as people – as human beings; we’re just wired differently and the difference is actually pretty cool once you have answers to your questions, know what you need to do and how to do it, and have the best tools for you to get it done, with the least amount of stress. It’s my hope that you’ll get some of what you need here.

And remember, I’m a work in progress, just like you. Sometimes a whole lot of things hit all at once and I have to regroup my energies and prioritize differently in order to get things done. In times like that, my self-care comes first; not last, as is often the case for others. I know that I have to take even better care of myself in times of hustle if I’m going to come out on the other side of a crazy busy time in good shape. And I know the higher demands on me are only temporary; not permanent. Perhaps you can relate. I know that my energy and speed of doing things is variable, and depends on many factors. Sometimes I’m the tortoise and move slower and consistently. At other times, I’m the hare, and sprint to where I want to go. Point being, I’ve learned a lot about myself over the years because I’ve been willing to be a student of my own life; to step into the situations that present themselves and learn how to navigate what I find. This doesn’t mean that I’ve liked everything I’ve encountered; rather that I’ve accepted what is and I work with that. This has meant learning how to quiet my challenges or insecurities (and there’s been plenty of them) and making the most of my gifts (certainly more than I ever knew was possible for me), once I understood myself, and got the information I needed. And I trust you will be able to do the same thing for yourself, once you get what you need.

Shifting gears here…


I absolutely love my world map, with little flags marking all the countries and states where you all are listening. It’s so cool! I want to acknowledge and welcome new listeners in Malaysia, India, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Jersey, Romania, Mexico, Kenya, Hong Kong, Denmark, Saudi Arabia, Belgium, Japan, Sweden, Norway, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Australia, Philippines, Ireland, South Africa, United Kingdom, Canada, and just about every state in the US. It’s very exciting to know that WE are not alone at all with these concerns! I am not much of a world traveler, however, it is exciting to know that my voice is traveling to all of you, no matter where you are on this planet of ours. That no matter where you are located, you are listening and relating to the challenges and stories and solutions.

So, thank you ALL for listening. I trust you will benefit from at least one episode of this podcast show; hopefully more, but at least one. Knowing you’re there listening, and reading your reviews and emails makes me want to give even more of myself to meet your needs via this podcast show, live videos, innovative programs, the Facebook community group and in many other ways. You are a blessing to me, and your presence in my life is beyond anything I’d ever imagined.

Speaking of the Facebook community group, it’s called “The Harness Your ADHD Power Community” and I created it for us to be able to relate as a community. After seeing that you all are listening from so many different parts of the world, I thought it would be a wonderful thing for us to be able to come together from our many diverse spaces and freely communicate and discuss focus, follow through, self-management and other relevant topics. I even created a quick little poll to let me know what episodes you’ve all been listening to and which ones you’ve enjoyed the most. Plus, just a few “house rules” for the highest good of the group space: be mindful of your posts and comments, don’t spam (including self-promotion), definitely celebrate your WINS, and get involved! Let’s support each other on this journey of becoming and living as our best SELF! Of moving from stuck to unstoppable!! I’d love to get to know you all! Please friend me on Facebook and then come and join the community! Again, it’s “The Harness Your ADHD Power Community” on Facebook.

Before I get to today’s questions and answers, I have a question for you; and you’ve heard it before if you’re a regular listener. It’s about your state of mind and your WINS. I can’t emphasize this enough, and will continue to ask you about your WINS and encourage you to acknowledge and celebrate them every day! I have this quote, author unknown, that has inspired me for years: “Set a goal SO BIG that you can’t achieve it until YOU GROW INTO THE PERSON WHO CAN.” Seriously, it helps me track myself and check in with myself day-by-day and determine whether or not I am moving in the direction of becoming the person who can achieve that big goal. It keeps me from wandering off into other directions and keeps me true to my path. What about you? Do you have a goal that is so big you can’t achieve it until you grow into the person who can? If so, then grow you must!

You may not have all the information or skills – yet – to fully embrace and achieve that BIG GOAL; however, it’s a matter of needing to learn some things, which you can do. It’s about becoming the person who can. One of the reasons I encourage you to “really look” for your WINS, and then acknowledge and celebrate all of them, is because every WIN you celebrate on the road to that big goal will serve to encourage you, lift your spirits, create a “can do” mindset and lead you to more and more WINS. Plus tracking them will show you the path of your growth, which is a wonderful to see!

So, back to WINS! I talk a lot about WINS. Why? Because cultivating and having a WINS mindset can transform how you experience your life. And how you experience your life and the meanings you give to your life events contributes to the quality of your life and how you feel about you. So, have you been taking the time to look for your WINS? Really look for them? Acknowledge them? Celebrate them? Share them with others who appreciate what a big deal they are for you and celebrate with you? Are you doing this every day? I sure hope so because there is truly “magic” in all of this.

So, what do I mean by WINS? They are those little things that happen every day, that are good things, positive things in the bigger picture of your life, and yet they go unnoticed, unacknowledged and uncelebrated by you. It’s sad when that happens. It takes shifting your mindset, which is your attitude or outlook, and it’s totally worth it. Please don't be the person that continues to tell yourself that it’s pointless to reward yourself for what you’re ‘supposed to do.’ That these things are just the “thankless tasks of life.” Ouch!! That couldn’t be further from the truth!! Those are the very things that deserve to be celebrated so it becomes easier to do them consistently and more enjoyably each and every time.

So, what’s it going to be for you today? If you discovered what’s been holding you back all these years, and you’re ready to resolve it, that’s a WIN. Perhaps you signed up for a class for the fall that you’ve wanted to take for years; that’s a WIN. Maybe you’ve changed your diet this month because you want to experience what it’s like to eat healthier and how you might feel better; that’s a WIN. Maybe you joined our community group on Facebook, that’s a WIN. And if you introduced yourself or reached out to me with your questions there, that’s a WIN. You get the point; celebrate all of them. And none of this “half-hearted celebrating”; mean it. Exaggerate your emotions. YES!!!! WOW!! AWESOME!! And, certainly celebrate the big WINS too; it’s just that they happen less often and so celebrating daily WINS makes a difference faster in your life because of the frequency.

Shifting gears now…


Today’s episode is all about answering the questions you have about issues or challenges you experience as an adult living with ADHD, and offering you hope. How much time do we have? Not much. So let’s get to it.

Thanks to you, my listeners, for today’s 3 topics:

1. The Stories We Tell Ourselves
2. Low Self-Esteem
3. Self-Sabotaging Behaviors

Now back to being an adult with ADHD in today’s world.


There are a lot of different reasons why you have the questions that you do. Maybe you’ve had these questions your entire life and never had anyone you could ask. I know I’ve felt that way about a lot of things. It’s possible you have lots of misinformation or are missing steps or skills or strategies or a deep enough understanding of yourself to make choices that truly serve your best interests. Everyone’s reasons are different; and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here to answer what I can for you.

I’m going to share a little about each topic, offer my point of view about that topic, which as always, includes suggested action steps to take. Yes, there are action steps for each topic, because just hearing an answer or explanation isn’t enough; you need to take action or nothing actually changes; so don’t let yourself off the hook here. You do have the ability to respond to your needs. I hope at least one of these topics will resonate with you and be of benefit. So let’s keep going.


Huge thanks to Britt, in CA for reaching out to me and suggesting today’s three topics. I’ll start with The Stories We Tell Ourselves.
· My clarifying questions to Britt resulted in the following statement -“So, are you saying that you feel you don’t deserve to have good relationships or other good things in life and hence sabotage what might turn out well for you so that you can match what you think and feel to the actual outcomes in your life?” The answer was yes. I trust many of you can relate.

So here we go:
· First, where do these stories come from?
· We make them up. We all have a “history” and “facts” from our lives to work with and we can spin whatever kind of stories we want or need. Supportive stories, encouraging stories, and motivating stories to help us achieve important things in our lives or totally self-defeating, self-sabotaging and negative stories about the less than deserving person that we believe we are, and they shut us down and stop us in our tracks. And mind you, we are using the same history or facts, and giving a different meaning to the events and actions we took or didn’t as well as filtering out “facts” and being “selective” which each story we spin so that it conveys what we are thinking and feeling about ourselves. Remember, you are the “meaning maker” of your life and the stories you create.

· Second, why do we believe these stories?
· I feel we believe these stories because we believe what we think and feel as if it’s the truth. Often there is no “proof” for the stories or perspective we take yet we believe the stories nonetheless. Many adults I work with believe that whatever their mind generates must be true because it’s what they think or feel. Instead of understanding that feelings “just are” and they are in large part the result of what we “think” and the meaning we give to those thoughts.

· One of the great things to know about the mind and how it works is that whatever we whole-heartedly conceive and believe, we will achieve. And so, if we are focused on negative stories about ourselves, and we believe them, we will achieve them because we have to “prove our thinking to be correct.” We have to make the stories come true which means that we have to make the choices that are in line with the stories we tell ourselves so that the outcome matches what we believe. It’s an interesting way to think about this.

· Your mind is indifferent to what it spins out and what you give it to work with; there’s no judgment going on inside your mind that says, “this isn’t really good for me to be thinking about; in fact, it is really a damaging way to think about myself.” Instead, it’s given the “ingredients or ideas or thoughts” and spins out story after story in the theme you have directed it to take.

· And, poison is poison whether it’s your best friend that gives it to you or your worst enemy; things just are what they are. So, if you give your mind poison to work with, then it will poison you.

· Another important piece of information about the mind is that what you focus on grows. So, if you focus of defects or mistakes or negative things about yourself or even others for that matter, they grow and take over front and center in terms of your mind. If you focus on negatives, you will see more negatives. If you focus on positives, you will see more positives. That’s one of the reasons I keep reminding you to really look for your WINS; to really look for and celebrate all of the little things that are right about you, good about you instead of focusing on what’s not the way you want it to be – yet.

· When you shift your focus to becoming the person you want to become, one day at a time, then you are focused on doing those things that are supporting you becoming that person. If you focus on all the ways in which you are not that person today and keep yourself focused there, you will continue to ruminate on the negative and generate more of the same. So remember, what you focus on grows. Make sure that what you are focusing on is what you want to grow (something good for yourself) rather than a poisonous weed that could strangle the life out of you.


· Third, how do we change these stories and what do we change them to?

· These are two very good questions – the how and the what. I’ll start with the “what.”

· You change your stories to whatever story will support you, encourage you and move you forward in a positive way to what you want now. For example, your history may show a lot of poor decisions made by you, with very bad outcomes. The first place I go with this is “did you intentionally make bad decisions and know they were bad decisions when you made them?” For most people, the answer is no. Sometimes yes, when we know we are self-sabotaging, and I’ll get to that separately. Mostly you didn’t know it was a bad decision when you made it, and learned it was a bad decision because of the outcome you got which was bad; hence the conclusion that it was a bad decision.

· For the “how,” you take the “facts” you are working with and consider all the alternative meanings you could give to those same facts other than the meanings you have given them that are negative and self-defeating. Spin at least a half dozen alternative stories with different meanings given to the same facts. Try on each story and see how it makes you feel. Hopeful? Understood? Relieved? And be aware of what you want to feel about yourself as a result of the stories you tell yourself; this is very important.

· And if you think that what I am saying is for you to “lie to yourself” and “make up a story that just isn’t true,” that’s not what I’m saying at all. In fact, the stories you’ve made up are just as much a “lie” as the ones I am suggesting you make up. Why? Because it’s all made up!!

· Last piece here on this topic is to realize that executive function deficits can impact your ability to do all of what I am suggesting. And that you might need to take care of some executive function skills first, in order to be able to successfully address and transform your negative stories into positive and supportive ones.

· Examples of skills you’ll need for this work are what I’ve mentioned in a previous episode:

· Impulse control: the ability to think before you act (and not jump to the negative conclusions and meanings over and over again)

· Emotional Regulation: the ability to monitor and control your emotional reactions (and not have a meltdown about how you feel about yourself)

· Shifting: the ability to switch from one thought to another (or adjust your thinking when meanings change)

· Initiating: the ability to start a task (to actually begin to generate new stories from “the facts” you have)

· Planning: the ability to think through the steps towards a goal (which translates to think through what kinds of meanings and stories would be of greatest benefit to you and plan to generate them)

· Organizing: the ability to keep things in a logical order (relating to organizing your thinking so it takes you to the logical conclusion you are seeking)

· Working Memory: the ability to keep one piece of information in mind while doing something else (meaning you can hold the facts in mind while generating each new meaning for your stories)

· Self-Monitoring: the ability to think about and analyze your own actions, thoughts and feelings (so you have an accurate assessment of what’s working and isn’t so you know what to change)

· From what I’ve studied over the years, I’ve learned that not everyone who struggles with Executive Functioning has ADHD, but everyone with ADHD struggles with Executive Functioning. In fact, I think it’s the Executive Functioning that becomes an even bigger challenge, as we get older, because when we are younger our parents typically act as our surrogate CEO. As a teen and certainly as an adult, we need to do these things for ourselves, which means the responsibility falls to us to learn how to do these things with the scaffold learning we needed or got as kids.

· I hope my input has given all of you some things to consider about the stories we tell ourselves, and specifically the ones you’ve been telling yourself, as well as a place to start, so you can begin to take a look at your own stories and determine what you want to do about them, if anything.

Transitioning to our next topic…


Thanks again to Britt in CA for this second topic of Low Self-Esteem

· First, a few things about self-esteem:

o Self-esteem reflects a persons overall subjective emotional evaluation of his or her own worth. Subjective not objective, which means not impartial, and your perception, not necessarily the perception that others have about you. It’s a judgment about oneself.

o Self-esteem plays a role in motivation and having a good enough reason to actually do something


· Next, a few things about low self-esteem:

o Having low self-esteem can lead people to become depressed, to fall short of their potential, or to tolerate abusive situations and relationships.

o Low self-esteem is having a low sense of self-value, either in comparison to where you believe you should be or in comparison to others and how they are doing in life.


· What can create low self-esteem? Many things; and certainly this brief list is NOT about blaming anyone or anything. What happened is what happened and it is still up to each of us to take responsibility for meeting our needs and resolving what needs resolving so we can move on and live our life to the fullest of what we each envision. Plus, it’s more about the meaning that we give to what happened than to what actually happened that is the issue here. Two adults can have the same experiences and give completely opposite meanings to those experiences and end up living completely different lives as a result of the meanings they have given the events of their lives. So, some possible causes or factors in the generating of low self-esteem can be:

o Uninvolved or negligent parents

o Negative peers

o Trauma or abuse

o Negative Body image, which is a huge factor in many people’s minds. I wrote a paper in 1984 about the psychology of body image and it’s posted on my website blog

o Feeling like a Small Fish in a Big Pond

o Having unrealistic goals

o Previous bad choices made

o Negative thought patterns


· Self-esteem is a state of mind and can be changed. To change your state of mind, you have to challenge the negative feelings and judgments you have toward yourself.

o I made up this game years ago that I play with myself and others based on the 1991 movie “Defending Your Life” as well as the 10 years or so I worked in law firms while attending university.

o The gist of the game is that I have to defend the stories I’ve made up about myself and show “just cause” for their validity.

o I also have to show “just cause” for low self-esteem. This is fairly easy because as I say in all my episodes, to me self-esteem or personal value is about the “human being” and not the “human doing.” If I base my self-esteem or value on my “being” and not on my “doing” then I am in good shape and high value as a constant. If I base it on my “doing” then it fluctuates just like the numbers on the scale when I weigh in. And if I were to give away my power to the numbers on the scale or to what I “did” or “didn’t do” or “how well I did or didn’t do” then my state of self-esteem would be in a constant state of flux and that doesn’t work well for me; typically doesn’t work well for anyone I’ve ever worked with. So I have found an anchor to keep my self-esteem high as a constant, which allows me to move forward without self-judgment and all the other baggage that comes from low self-esteem.

o I highly recommend you take to heart my thinking about using yourself as a “human being” for your self-esteem instead of your “human doing.” Just a thought…


· There are four quotes about self-esteem that support what I am sharing with you today and I hope one of them touches you as they do me.

· First, from Mary Dunbar – “We are each gifted in a unique and important way. It is our privilege and our adventure to discover our own special light.”

· Second, from Joseph Campbell – “The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are”

· Third, from Ralph Waldo Emerson – “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”

· And fourth, from Nathaniel Branden – “The higher our self-esteem, the stronger the drive to express ourselves, reflecting the sense of richness within. The lower our self-esteem, the more urgent the need to “prove” ourselves or to forget ourselves by living mechanically and unconsciously.”

· I hope my input has given you some things to consider about your own self-esteem and how you can shift from low to high self-esteem by shifting your focus from “human doing” to “human being” as the focus of where your self-esteem comes from.

Transitioning to our next topic…


Thanks to Britt in CA again for this topic of self-defeating behaviors and how to change those self-defeating behaviors when they are so ingrained

· This is a huge challenge many adults face. I’ll cover some of the behaviors and solutions today

· A few examples of behaviors:

o Knowing that you need to exercise to feel good for your ADHD and other reasons, and purposefully not doing it

o Knowing that you’ve made plans with a friend to meet, that you have enough time to be on time and yet you seemingly waste time and arrive late, like some part of you is intentionally wanting you to sabotage the plans or friendship

o Knowing that the self-sabotaging behaviors you engage in are wrong and still continuing to do them


· Looking deeper for the real solutions:

o Many of the challenges I’ve shared with you are due to both ADHD and executive function skill deficits, which I talked about in response to an earlier question in this episode.

o To even begin to get at some of the solutions, I suggest you first identify what the source of your challenges are; meaning which are ADHD, which are executive function and which are based in emotional issues that you feel have nothing to do with ADHD or executive function.

o For those challenges that are connected to executive function skills, I suggest cognitive or mental training apps. My favorite is Peak Pro, which is the paid version of Peak. Not only do they provide training for memory, problem solving, language, mental agility, focus, emotion and coordination, they have additional add-on trainings that go deeper or compliment the basic training such as handling emotions, memory Masterclass, attention training, sports cognition training, emotional management, creative thinking, empathy and working memory.

o For those challenges that are related to your ADHD, look at your sleep, nutrition, physical activity or exercise, hydration, gut health and many other self-care areas, as well as medication, if that’s part of your self-care plan. It all works together or it doesn’t necessarily work; it’s like a great recipe that when followed generates a great meal. And when it’s not, you get what you get.

o For those parts of the challenges that are not related to your ADHD or your executive functions but to emotional issues, let’s take a look at the 3 examples I provided earlier.

· Knowing that you need to exercise to feel good for your ADHD and other reasons, and purposefully not doing it

· One possibility is that the “type” of exercise you are trying to get yourself to do isn’t right for you.

· Another possibility is that you are resisting doing anything that you are told is “right for you” or “good for you” because you are tired of being told what to do and have decided long ago that, “no one gets to tell you what to do ever again!” If that’s it, guess what? “No one” includes you and so not even you get to tell you what to do. That may have been a solution in the past to protect yourself and has now become a problem and needs to be modified to still protect you as well as allow you to help yourself.

· Knowing that you’ve made plans with a friend to meet, that you have enough time to be on time and yet you seemingly waste time and arrive late, like some part of you is intentionally wanting you to sabotage the plans or friendship

· One possibility is that you’re upset with your friend about something from the past and this is your way of “punishing them” which really don’t work well because it backfires

· Another possibility is that you don’t feel that you deserve such a good friend (based on your low self-esteem that you haven’t raised yet) and so you have to take actions that will get your friend upset or angry at you and perhaps end the friendship so that you can “prove” to yourself that you are a bad person and didn’t deserve such a great friend in the first place. You actually created the outcome based on the false belief that was based on your low self-esteem that you had to create the situation to play out as it did; there were no other options for you given your beliefs and stories about yourself.


· Knowing that the self-sabotaging behaviors you engage in are wrong and still continuing to do them

· One possibility is tied again to your low self-esteem and that you have to continue to engage in them because they are “right” for whom you falsely believe you are; and “wrong” for who you truly are.

· Another possibility is that what appears to be a self-sabotaging behavior is actually a solution to a problem from long ago that needs to be updated. Since the solution is out-of-date, it has now become a new problem, rather than the solution it used to be. This is where, in my own personal work, I like to dig in and find out how the behavior is serving me, what it’s purpose is at a much deeper level, other ways that it can serve it’s purpose, and a possible promotion to a new role or purpose in my life is in order. This is definitely advanced work to be done with a trained professional, as there’s a lot to unpack, understand and transform. However, it’s definitely work worth doing in the long run.

· I hope my input has given you enough to think about regarding your own self-sabotaging behaviors, and to be able see them in a new light, as well as extend empathy, compassion and love to yourself instead of judgment or condemnation.


That’s it for our 3 topics today. I want to thank Britt again for reaching out to me and suggesting these topics for the Ask Dr B format.

Anticipating that many adults with ADHD all over the world want a better life, are ready to do what it’s going to take to create that life, and that as comprehensive as my podcast episodes are, you still need or want more, is one of the reasons I’ve created so many different resources for you. Here’s what’s available so far:

· This podcast show, Harness Your ADHD Power, which currently releases two episodes per week, on Mondays and Thursdays.

· The Harness Your ADHD Power Community on Facebook. With listeners in many parts of the world, I created a space were we can all come together to exchange ideas, talk about challenges and get answers as well. Please friend me on Facebook and then come and join our community with other like-minded adults making this journey.

· Live videos on my Facebook page, ADDventures in Achievement, because many of you enjoy watching videos as well as listening to podcasts. So three times per week, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I go live and answer questions in an Ask Dr B format.

· A free video and e-book about getting your ADHD needs met from mental health professionals

· A free tips e-book on decision-making, since life’s filled with making decisions

· ADDventures in Achievement, my innovative online coaching and educational program. After 30+ years of working 1:1 with adults with ADHD and hearing from many who wanted to work with me that they couldn’t afford to do so for any meaningful period of time, I worked out a solution. Because the program includes lots of 1:1 work, I limit enrollment to ensure the success of all current students. New enrollment opens again on August 15th so get on the Waitlist if you want to receive additional information before the 15th to know if this might be right for you.

All the links and resources are on my website just waiting for you. Be sure to take advantage of everything I continue to generate with you in mind. And please reach out to me directly if there’s something else you’d like to see as a resource. I’d love to hear from you, because your needs matter to me! If I’m going to help make a significant difference in your lives, I need to know what your challenges are and what you need.


A Favorite Quote:

Tony Robbins said, “We are defined by the stories we tell ourselves.” The question I have for you at this point of our journey together is “What are the stories you are telling yourself about YOU that are defining you? And are there others stories you could tell yourself that would define you differently and serve a higher purpose than tearing you down or having you relive your past mistakes daily?”


Whether you’re learning from my podcast episodes or live videos or part of the new community group on FB or working with me directly in my innovative online program or 1:1, you are in my world and I’m here to serve your needs. So no matter how you choose to have me serve your needs, it is an honor to accompany you on your journey and make a difference in the quality of your life. So be sure to reach out and get your needs met. Ask me questions; suggest topics you want to hear about. It’s up to you to take action here so things can change for you.

I appreciate you showing up to listen today and in the future. For now, new episodes are released on Mondays and Thursdays. As a subscriber, the newest episode will be in your feed by 1 am Pacific time, plus you won’t miss out on anything “special” I create; certainly a good reason to subscribe. Perhaps make a date with yourself to listen to each podcast episode, so you hear your questions answered if you’ve asked any for the Ask Dr B format or just enjoy all the episodes, where I’ll be talking about such compelling topics as understanding your personal rights in being a good communicator, how to get comfortable with being assertive rather than a doormat, how personas or identities can set you up for success, and what you might need to learn to be able to make a plan and actually follow through on it. Remember, I love answering questions, so ask away or suggest topics for the Thursday episodes.

I’m here for you and will continue to tailor both the Ask Dr B and regular episodes to meet your needs. To do an even better job of that, help me to know what you need to know or would just enjoy hearing my point of view on by reaching out to me directly. You can post your suggestions for topics in the community group on Facebook. And if you’re not yet a member of that group, just friend me on Facebook and then I’ll add you to the community. Love to have you join us from wherever you are in the world!!

So, if you enjoyed today’s episode or any of the other episodes, please share this podcast show with your friends and family, as well as rate the show. If you’d like to do a little more, I’d be grateful if you’d write a thoughtful review on iTunes so I know I’m meeting your needs and how the show is helping you, if it is. You don’t have to write anything lengthy; just a line or two would be great!

I do love hearing from you, reading your reviews, learning about your struggles and how the podcast show is benefiting you and those you care about. It means a lot to me to know your life is getting a little bit better every time we get together.

So that’s about it for today. If you want to participate in the survey, ask me a question for a podcast episode or live video, get your free resources, receive periodic updates on new happenings with Dr B, get on the Waitlist for ADDventures in Achievement or just download your Show Notes, you can do all of that on my website, as well as learn about other resources and services, that is…if that’s of interest to you. Thanks for listening… Until the next time… Bye for now…

 

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