5 Self Confidence Boosters Part 2: Be Positive

Wow… all of that on negativity in Part 1 was a downer. Important stuff, but it can bring us down. Let’s turn to being more positive. The power of positive thinking is amazing! Many people with ADHD have trouble staying positive. They have so many struggles, they often find it hard to feel positive.

Turn that frown upside down!

That’s a popular phrase for a reason. When we act happy, it’s easier to feel happy.

Remind yourself to be positive.

If being happy isn’t your nature, give yourself some prompts. Put sticky notes around that remind you to be positive.

Post positive reminders - the more you see it, the more you'll believe it!
Post positive reminders – the more you see it, the more you’ll believe it!

Some suggestions for your sticky notes:

“I’ve got this.”

“I can write this paper.”

“I’m a good friend.”

“I am smart.”

Basically whatever negative thoughts cloud your mind, counter them with positive words.

Just like when you’ve heard a million times that you’re not good enough, so you start to believe it, when you see these positive messages, you start to believe them.

Post positive messages. Read them. Start to believe them.

Do what you love.

Think about all the things you love to do. They are the things that naturally make you happy and put you in a positive mindset.

Sports… Dance… Art… Music… Reading… Writing… Running…

Whatever it is that you love, as long as it’s safe and healthy for you, schedule time in your day to do it. Sometimes we get so busy with the things we have to do, we don’t ever get around to doing what we want to do.

Schedule both. Get the things you need to do done, then do the things you want to do.

You know what’s great? Despite the fact that people with ADHD have a hard time focusing on many things, they can often hyperfocus on what they enjoy.

By doing the things you enjoy, you may benefit from being able to really focus. Doesn’t that make you feel good?

Surround yourself with positive people.

Surrounding yourself with positive people helps you stay positive. It makes sense, right?

When we’re around negative people, they bring us down. That’s why we try to avoid them. Their negative outlook and comments don’t help us and actually inhibit us from going forward.

The opposite is true. When we’re around positive people, their positivity can rub off on us. Let the power of positivity rub off on you!

Be grateful.

Take a moment each day to think about what was good about the day.

Go one step further and write it down.

What should you write? Anything that you’re thankful about.

  • That person who smiled at you at just the right time today.
  • The teacher who hinted at a pop quiz to give you time to review notes.
  • Perfect weather for your outdoor adventure.
Why bother writing it down?

Writing it down forces us to think of something concrete rather than just the vague, “I’m thankful for stuff.”

This helps us really think about what is good in our life. You don’t want to write the same thing every day. Yes, I’m grateful that I have a warm home and food on the table, and I shouldn’t take those for granted. But writing things down will help me expand to the little things that might otherwise get missed.

It also reinforces the thought in our mind and strengthens it. Just like when you take notes while studying you reinforce that information, writing your gratitudes daily helps to reinforce them in your mind.

It’s also a great resource to review when everything seems wrong in our lives. If everything seems to be against you, take a minute to review your list of things you’re grateful for. That can be an immediate pick-me-up!

Go one step further…

Tell the people who helped with your daily gratitude that you’re thankful for them and why. It just might make their day!

This doesn’t have to be a long letter like people of generations past used to do. It can be a quick phone call. Or even a text. Just a word of thanks!

The power of positive thinking is amazing! Learn how being positive can boost your self confidence and self esteem.
The power of positive thinking is amazing!

Stay tuned for next week…

Come back next week to learn how finishing tasks can help boost your self confidence. And more importantly, how to finish those tasks!

5 Self Confidence Boosters Part 1: Stop Negativity

Do you feel like you’re the bad kid? Are you always getting in trouble for speaking out of turn or forgetting to turn in homework? Do you feel stupid because you make careless mistakes on tests? How can you boost your self-confidence? Negativity can get us down and hold us back, so stopping it is the first of the many ways we can boost our self-confidence and self-esteem.

Top 5 Self Confidence Boosters:

1. Stop Negativity
2. Be Positive
3. Finish Tasks
4. Self Care (The Big 3: Eat well, exercise, and sleep)
5. Help Others

Today is Part 1 of a 5 part series of how to build confidence. I hope you check back next week for more!

I’m starting with what many will find to be the hardest of the 5 ways to boost confidence. I like to get the hard stuff out of the way first. But I also think that negativity is one of the biggest problems for people with ADHD – and people in general.

Stop the Negativity.

Everyone says it, so it must be true?

When we hear over and over again that we’re not good because we forgot to do something or that we’re not doing a good job at whatever we’re supposed to be doing (like sitting quiet and still) we start to feel bad.

We assume everyone’s right that we’re not good enough or we’re stupid.

That’s human nature – we take on the beliefs of what we hear over and over again. People with ADHD are especially sensitive when it comes to things like this. Maybe it’s because it’s just the way they are. Or maybe it’s because after time and time of being told something, they just break down and start to believe it. It’s what everyone else thinks, so it must be right, right?

Wrong.

ADHD comes with many challenges, but most people with it are not bad or stupid. Some ADHDers try really, really hard… but it’s just too hard to stay focused, organized, still, and everything else that we’re supposed to do.

Stop the negative self talk.

When you start to believe in the negatives, you need to really consider if it’s true or not. Stop the negative self talk.

Pretend you’re talking to a friend instead of talking to yourself. We tend to be nicer and more forgiving towards others. We’re our own harshest critics. What would you tell a friend if you were trying to reassure him or her?

If you think ~
  • I’ll never finish this assignment on time.
  • I can’t write well.
  • Math isn’t my thing. I am never going to understand it.
  • Those kids will never like me. They won’t understand me.
Stop.

Stop thinking those thoughts that you’ve probably had over and over in your mind. They aren’t facts. Think of the facts and what you can to about them.

Be careful. Feelings are much louder than facts. You really have to focus on what is factual and not just how you interpret things. This can sound really difficult, but try the exercise described in Don’t Think of Pink Elephants.

Practice.

It takes time, but it’s so worth the effort!

Try using this powerful trick.

Stop bringing yourself down.

There are things that many of us tend to do that make us feel sad.

Being alone…

If we stay alone in our room, we tend to feel worse about things. I read this great analogy with a creaky house that helps to explain the issue. Read the whole thing from the hyperlink if you have time.

An excerpt from THE OLD CREAKY HOUSE: ONE WAY TO FIGHT DEPRESSION:

Depression is like a creaky house.  It will creak and creak, no matter what you do.  You’ll notice the noise more sitting quietly in your room.  You’ll notice it less if you throw a party.  Depression is similar – the feelings of sadness/guilt/apathy are likely going to keep on creaking (you can’t just “stop being depressed.”)  However, you’ll notice them less if you keep yourself busy.  And, sitting quietly in your room can make you feel even more sad/guilty – in this way, depression can be a vicious cycle.  It can control your life, it can be a bully.

Instead of going to your room and closing the door, sit in the family room. Stay at the dinner table a little longer before jumping up to be alone. Make real conversations with people instead of texting. Connect with your friends and family.

Complaining.

When we complain about all the bad things (homework, that annoying kid in math class, how much work there is to do) we feel worse. Our brain is focusing on the negative, which just brings us down.

It also makes others not want to be around us. That adds to our low self-esteem.

Thinking and Rethinking what you did wrong.

We’ve all messed up. We do embarrassing things. Sometimes we fully intend to finish something, but then we’re distracted away and forget to return.

Use whatever the problems you’ve had as learning experiences. Stop blaming yourself. Don’t keep thinking on what you did wrong. Change the thinking into what you could have done instead to have things turn out better. Try that improvement next time.

Turning to negative habits.

Sometimes we feel so low that we want to try unhealthy ways to feel better. Some people try alcohol, marijuana, or other drugs. Others try cutting or other harmful behaviors.

Unfortunately people with ADHD are more likely to have problem behaviors with drugs, alcohol, and other dangerous behaviors. The impulsivity, low self-esteem and risk taking behaviors that are common among people with ADHD put them at risk.

If you find yourself struggling with these issues, please talk to a trusted adult. Once these habits start, they’re really hard to break. Don’t try to handle it alone! Help is out there.

If you ever feel like you’d be better off dead or want to harm yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for 24/7, free and confidential help. 1-800-273-8255

Tune in next week…

Next week will not be so much of a down topic! It’s all about being positive.

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Negative self talk can make everything seem worse. Learn to stop the negativity!
Negative self talk can make everything seem worse. Learn to stop the negativity!

Also recommended…

Anger and ADHD: How to Build up Your Brakes: Jessica at How To ADHD has some great tips on learning to control your anger and emotions. From her summary: Impulsivity is one of the main characteristics of ADHD, and building up our brakes is one of the most important things we can do. Here’s the science behind it and 5 things that help.

Celebrate ADHD – Yes, Really!

Ok, so I know most people will read this title and think I’m crazy. Celebrate ADHD? Really?

Problems are easily identified.

Kids with ADHD have trouble with behavioracademics, and social skills.

Adults with untreated ADHD fail to meet their own expectations, as shared by Jessica McCabe, and have problems at work and home.

Dr. Russell Barkley has studied ADHD for many decades. His research shows that people with ADHD have a shortened lifespan when ADHD is not well managed.

ADHD involves impairments in executive functioning. How can anything causing a broken executive functioning system be even remotely good?

How can something with so many problems be celebrated?

Because there are many positive traits that can be cultivated and celebrated.

  • People with ADHD tend to think outside the box so are great problem solvers.
  • They have lots of energy so can work tirelessly.
  • Many with ADHD are very creative, so are gifted in the arts.
  • They often have a great sense of humor.
  • We all think of inattention and poor focus when we think of ADHD, but there is also hyperfocus. If people with ADHD become passionate about something, they can sustain attention and work on it for long periods of time. If they use this hyperfocus wisely (with setting time limits so they can do other daily activities) they can become an expert in that area. For young children the hyper focus tends to be on “kid” things, like trains or video games. As kids get older, they can experience activities that interest them. This gives the opportunity to find a life passion that could turn into a fantastic career.
You're not alone if you have ADHD. And you're in great company.
You’re not alone if you have ADHD. And you’re in great company.

Everyone has gifts.

ADHD has many variables in the way it shows up, so people with it also have many variations in gifts. But they do have gifts.

I want kids, teens, parents, spouses, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncle, neighbors, teachers, and more to understand the value of these gifts and recognize the benefits that people with ADHD can have.

“ADD people are high-energy and incredibly good brainstormers. They will often happily work 12 to 15 hours by choice. The business community should not fear ADD. Instead, they should see that they have a potential gold mine here.” – Dr. Kathleen Nadeau, psychologist

I’m not saying life with ADHD is easy.

It’s not.

People with ADHD struggle with many things other people can easily manage. But they still have gifts. I want kids to grow up building their confidence by using their gifts, not by measuring their failures when they don’t conform to norms.

Kids can lose their drive and ambition if they are not supported along the way. Depression and anxiety can easily develop when kids continuously fail to meet their potentials.

Proper management of problematic symptoms of ADHD can help kids grow into successful adults. Exercise, healthy eating, and sufficient sleep are essential for everyone to optimize potentials. Some of this management can be things done in a classroom to support learning and focus issues, such as fidgets and the ability to take tests in a quiet area. Medications are often very helpful in symptom management once the proper medicine and dose is found. Work with your physician and other ADHD professionals to be your best!

I love this photo from The ADD & ADHD Answer Book. It makes a great side-by-side comparison of these problems and gifts so you can easily see reasons to celebrate ADHD.

Is AD/HD a gift?
From Instagram… Is AD/HD a gift?

Role Models, Mentors, and Support

Consider finding a mentor who is successful but has the same diagnosis.

Read Percy Jackson (link to a book review). He’s a fictional character with ADHD and dyslexia that you can look up to.

Throughout history many successful people have had ADHD. People with ADHD can become leaders, inventors, artists, or otherwise excellent contributors to society. They give us great reasons to celebrate ADHD!

Teens in the KC Metro can benefit from joining ADHDKCTeen.

Teens can learn from professionals about various ADHD topics at monthly events. Being active in a support group of other teens who struggle with the same issues can help much more than working alone on troublesome issues – and much more than just ignoring things. You are not alone! Join ADHDKCTeen and participate in our monthly events to learn and grow!

ADHDKCTeen is a group for teens with ADHD who want to empower themselves by learning more about ADHD and Executive Functioning so they can gain independence and learn to thrive.

 

Help Wanted! We’re looking for Teen Leaders.

Are you a teen with ADHD?

Do you like to speak in front of groups? Are you good with AV equipment? Do you want to inspire younger teens with ADHD and help them learn? Are there other gifts you have that could help our group become fabulous?

If so, we need you!

We’re looking for volunteer Teen Leaders to help in many ways. Fill out our ADHD Teen Leader Application and we’ll get in touch with you.

Some examples of what teens can do:

  • Attend meetings to learn about the topic, then summarize the topic in a blog for the website.
  • Record and edit the meetings so the video can be placed in a members-only section of our website.
  • Design social media posts that can be shared publicly. These would be approved (and posted) by one of the ADHDKCTeen adult board members.
  • Do you have other ideas of how our group could use your gifts? Let us know!

If you have questions, send them to Kristen@adhdkcteen.com.

Apply now!

Applications are currently being accepted. Please complete the ADHD Teen Leader Application.

Share with friends

Do you have friends with ADHD who would make a great leader? Please share this opportunity with them.

Do you have friends with ADHD who would benefit from a support group of others with ADHD? Share this with them too! Not everyone needs to help lead, but many can benefit from learning from the group.

Teen Leaders are needed for ADHDKCTeen.