What is the old saying? “Nothing is certain but death and taxes.” When I was a kid, I heard it as, “You don’t have to do anything but pay taxes and die.” This is what I want to talk about today.
Think of all the things you HAVE to do. Sometimes the list seems endless, right?
When you have ADHD and you struggle to plan, prioritize and execute, it can seem even worse. I got you!
I’m going to offer you a way to reframe this so that you feel so much better. I will give you an exercise and create a worksheet for you. So stick with me.
Are feeling drained, overwhelmed, or crushed by your responsibilities?
I’ve been there, and there is a way to feel great without changing anything but your brain.
This post will be interactive. Grab the worksheet here:
Make a list of all the things you can think of that you have to do. Keep going until you empty them all out of your brain.
Is your sheet full? When I did this the first time it was full, things were written on the space on the side and then flipped it over. Okay, so these are all the things you have to do. In general or for the week, the month or the year. It doesn’t matter. Whatever is weighing on your mind.
Now keep that sheet handy. We will need it. Feeling overwhelmed yet? Or did you start that way?I talked about this in my YouTube Video this week, which you will find here. What I left out of that video on accident was the next step in the exercise.
Which of these things can you eliminate?
Which if they didn’t happen would go unnoticed? Which of these are only you, telling you what you should do? Do you really want to do them? Are they really required? Can you let it go? Mark those off.
You can! You are the adult in charge of your own life.
Might other people have opinions about it? Sure, but their opinions are just their thoughts which they are responsible, not you? Will someone judge you if you don’t do this thing? Maybe. Also, just their thoughts.
Will they get mad? Possibly, but again, what is making them mad are the thoughts they are thinking, not what you do or don’t do. Get where I’m going. I haven’t even gotten to the exercise yet!
Click below to get the free worksheet.
I want you to take every one of those things you have to do and tell me why you WANT to do them or GET to do them.
I HAVE TO do the laundry.
I WANT TO do the laundry, so I or my family has clean clothes.
I WANT TO do the laundry because I don’t want to have to buy new clothes every week.
I GET TO do the laundry with running water, electricity and soap.
I GET TO do the laundry because I’m lucky enough to have several changes of clothes.
I GET TO do the laundry with the ease of a machine rather than washing my clothes on rocks.
Do you see how this works? Let’s do another.
I HAVE TO go to work.
I WANT TO go to work because I like collecting a paycheck.
I WANT TO go to work to contribute to society.
I WANT TO go to work, so I don’t get bored.
I WANT TO go to work, so I feel I’m contributing to society.
I GET TO go to work because I’m employed.
I GET TO go to work because I was picked for the job.
I GET TO go to work and share my skills.
You don’t need a certain number of WANT TO or GET TO just enough, so you are showing your brain that it’s been confused this whole time about the things you HAVE TO do. Next time the HAVE TO thought comes, you have a list of gentle reminders of how you actually WANT TO or GET TO do these things.
If you are saying, “But I do have to!”, to any of these things, let me share with you with the utmost respect and kindness you are arguing for your limitations and your victimization. You are in charge of your life. There is nothing you have to do. You ALWAYS have a choice.
The reason I want to drive that home is to empower you and show you that you are the boss of your brain and your life.
It’s up to you. You may not like the consequences if you didn’t do these things, but you do not HAVE TO do them.
If you are spending any time at all trying to find the things that are surely the loophole, you are off in the wrong direction. Come back. Allow yourself to feel good. Oftentimes, when we are so used to negative emotion, we don’t feel comfortable with good emotion.
That is not to say the goal here is to feel good all of the time about everything we do.
Trust me, that is just not possible. Life is 50/50. 50% good and 50%. We could argue those figures, but just know that when you are in the bad 50% it was to be expected. It doesn’t mean anything has gone wrong.
Do you notice no one ever just feels blue anymore? What does it mean to be blue? To feel sad. We don’t let that be okay. Alarm bells go off about how something is wrong, and now we are anxious. We get so anxious we are paralyzed, and we have welcomed depression.
Negative feelings, negative thoughts are just messages.
What are they trying to tell you? Often it’s simply that you could be kinder to yourself.
Negative thoughts about people. Usually a mirror of what you don’t like about yourself.
Negative thoughts about your environment? Typically, a judgment of what you should be doing.
Negative thoughts about yourself? Sends us right back to the need to be kinder to ourselves.
I really hope this helps you the way it helped me. Our goal here is to create a life we are excited about living. One of the first steps is to take control and realize it’s your life to live. How do you want to live it? What do you want to do? How do you want to feel?
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