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The Myth of the Quick Fix

adhd all blogs executive function Mar 19, 2022

During the last few decades our society has been conditioned to the phenomena of the quick fix (AKA “life hacks''). With smartphones, computers, Google, microwaves, smart cars, and the multitude of technology at our fingertips, it seems natural that we’d gravitate towards finding the easy, quickest, and most efficient ways to find solutions. 

But what happens when we’re looking for a quick fix to the problems of being a human with ADHD–like time management, impulsivity, decision making, emotional regulation, and relational difficulties? 

Many are so accustomed to searching for the next quick fix, trying a bit of this and a bit of that. It’s like an addiction–and then they wonder why it leaves them worse off than when they started. 

That’s what I call “The Myth of the Quick Fix.”


How the Quick-Fix Myth Works

Let me show you how this myth operates: 

First, you might google a question.

EX: How to stop impulsive behavior?

Then the magic screen pops up with answers–lots of answers….Did you notice that within .62 seconds over 9.6 million answers appeared? That’s quite a lot to choose from. (See screenshot below)

As a ‘quick-fixer,’ you’ll probably scroll for the next hour or two and pick a few, or many, ideas to implement. You might even try them out to see if they work for you. Maybe they do momentarily, but not enough to truly curb your stressed-induced impulses. Then you get frustrated with yourself because the promised change hasn’t manifested. Ultimately, you won’t change because these aren’t real human solutions. They never address the root of the problem you’re trying to fix.

Next, you’ll pose the same question to a respected mentor. They’ll ask you lots of questions about your behaviors and habits, and then offer another set of solutions. 

Instantaneously, you’ll get a rush of relief. You’ve talked about your problem with a real person. The pressure and anxiety you’ve been feeling will be temporarily relieved. 

You’ll begin implementing the offered solutions and for a few days you’ll feel hopeful and in control. Your mentor will check up on you for a few days to weeks and you’ll believe you’re progressing…the check-ins will lessen. You’ll think to yourself, “I’ve got this!” Then you’ll relax because the “fix” seems to have worked.

Over the next few days, you’ll ease up on your intentional solutions. You’ll start to lose momentum little by little and begin that familiar steady downward slide into the state of “I am never going to be good enough.” 

You’ll eventually give up again, and fall deeper into anxiety or overwhelm, until the next time you’re desperate enough to search for that “quick fix.” 

Does this spiral sound familiar? That’s the cycle of the quick fix! 


So What is the Myth Tied to the Quick Fix?

The Myth of the Quick Fix is that it’s a permanent solution, but truly it’s only a band-aid on a wound that gets reapplied each time. 

Would you like a Snoopy band-aid or a Superman band-aid? It’s all just dressed in different well-meaning marketing ploys. 

You’re worth so much more than this! 

When you think through the lens of “fixing” yourself or your problems there’s so much more that goes into it than you realize.  

Our brains are actually resistant to the idea of “fixing,” or anything that leans towards negativity. Positive messaging is far more effective. 

“Fixing” involves lots of hard work, because it implies there’s something wrong with you or that you’re broken in some way. It’s actually a ‘going away from response’ and our brain associates that with losing something valuable…And this type of thinking also reveals deeply embedded beliefs, thinking and habits that take time for rewiring. Our brain and nervous system operates according to what it’s always known. A ‘quick fix’ isn’t the right solution, nor is it an effective band-aid.

Changing begins by shifting your thinking towards being more creative about the life you want. This allows you to focus on what you truly desire as a ‘going towards response’ for gaining a positive solution for yourself and your brain. 


Healthy Ways To Approach a Problem

Here’s the difference in how we approach a problem: 

Instead of asking: “What’s wrong with me?” (a ‘going away from’ response) Ask yourself: “What do I want to have more of in my life?”  (a ‘going towards’ response)

Answering the right question will be the beginning point of opening up your life towards transformation and success. 

If you’re prepared to pursue what you truly want more of in your life, it will take more than repeating the do-it-yourself, fix-it spiral. It will take an intentional investment of your time, effort and energy. Developing what you want in life requires a strategic approach that not only considers the problems you’re trying to overcome, but also the limiting beliefs and the outdated identity you’ve been holding onto, as well as the development of your core life skills, otherwise known as Executive Function skills.  

I know because I’ve been where you’re at right now. Any changes I tried to make couldn’t stick because I didn’t have the healthy perspective, pre-skills, or Executive Function skills I needed to succeed. The solutions I needed weren’t available 30 years ago, so I experimented, practiced and developed proven strategies over time and have seen success in my life and in so many others I’ve had the privilege of working with. 

If you’d like to learn more about my exclusive Empowered Achiever Effect, including the five elements needed for developing your EF skills and for maintaining lasting change, you can receive more information here.

You don’t have to live in the myth of the quick fix any longer. Real change happens in consistent, intentional increments over time while building upon a solid foundation of understanding what you want more of in your life.