It’s a principle of management. It’s a principle of parenting. It’s probably a good principle of conflict resolution. It’s a cornerstone of good teaching. You have to meet people where they are. But I find that my clients consistently forget to meet themselves where they are.
As ADHD adults, we tend to be harder on ourselves than anybody else’s. Which is funny because the rest of the world often thinks that we don’t care and we’re not trying that hard. But the reality is that every little failure, mistake, misstep, or faux pas, whether real or imagined, it’s just another opportunity for us to beat ourselves up for our shortcomings.
I’m not saying we don’t need to work on ourselves. I’ve more or less made a career out of working on myself and then teaching others to do the same. I think working on ourselves is an essential part of being a good human and a happy human. But understanding how to work on yourself in a productive and self-loving way is so important.
if you constantly have expectations for yourself that are unrealistic you will consistently set yourself up to fall short, experience failure, and not succeed in the way you want to. But if you set realistic expectations for yourself and focus on succeeding that can be a foundation to be a little bit better and then a little bit better and then a little bit better over time until you’ve reached the place you want to be, even though you’re not there yet.
I joke with my clients that my success in life is based on setting a low bar. The reality is, I think my success is based on setting a realistic bar, achieving what I can, and then figuring out how I can raise the bar a little bit tomorrow in a way that’s reasonable and attainable. Lather, rinse, repeat. Over time those little incremental steps make a pretty big difference in moving you forward in life. But as they say, Rome was not built in a day. What they don’t tell you is, how thoroughly disappointed you would be in yourself if you expected it to be built in a day.
so chill out. Most of the people I work with hold themselves to a much less empathetic standard than they would anyone else in their lives. Be nice to yourself. Support yourself. Love yourself. Except that you’re flawed. Do the best that you can and work on yourself. That’s all anyone can really ask of anyone, especially themselves. Good luck and happy self-actualizing!
Standard disclaimer: I promised myself when I started this blog that I would post regularly, hopefully weekly. In order to achieve this goal, I have to fight against my own perfectionists. That means I edit very little if at all. I’m focusing on content not on detail. So please forgive any mypellings grammatical / punctuation mishaps, and anything Strange like weird capitalizations due to my using voice recognition.