1) Ask "What Went Right?" I have seen lives changed when people start asking this question. Many people narrowly and obsessively focus on what is wrong. Many people discount positives. You can turn this around by asking every day "What went right?" You can turn your family dinner conversation around with this question.
2) Think of a time when you felt loved. Spend 1 minute every hour "marinating" in that feeling. It's too easy to doubt yourself. It's too easy to remember the slights and the hurts. You can choose to receive love and define yourself by those experiences in which you were cared for and appreciated.
3) Finding and focusing on gifts you have will create a different future. If what you see isn't where you want to be, if you change the way you see yourself now, you will change the future. Sometimes you have to believe it first to see it in the future.
4) Think of 5 past successes. Just thinking of 5 past successes reminds you that you have a track record. Change is hard and goes slowly. Remembering past successes allows you to see how long it can take to make things happen. Also seeing that you have a track record of success allows you to challenge the belief that you just got lucky. You can see you bring a lot to the table and you can bring those same traits and abilities to the table in the current challenge.
5) Come up with 5 reasons you can make something work. As an example, many people in middle age who face having to change jobs feel they cannot handle it. Some reasons that being older increases their ability to handle a new job is that 1) they have learned from mistakes 2) they have more credibility 3) family responsibilities have lessened so they have less work-family conflict 4) they have a larger social network and 5) they have testimonials from prior successes.
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Dr. Lara Honos-Webb is a clinical psychologist and author of The Gift of ADHD, The Gift of ADHD Activity Book, The Gift of Adult ADD, The ADHD Workbook for Teens and Listening to Depression: How Understanding Your Pain Can Heal Your Life.