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How to Manage ADHD and Perfectionism

Posted on January 07, 2017

Woman carefully polishing wine glass

 

Does your need for perfectionism paralyze you to the point of not being able to start a project, let alone finish it?

What’s going on with all this? Is it the fear of making a mistake, thus avoiding the whole thing altogether? Why is there so much anxiety about this? Why do we hold ourselves to a higher standard than others?

My guess is that when confronted with a task or project, we freeze because to us, it represents another potential failure and lord knows, we’ve had enough to last more than a lifetime. And guess what? Many of those “failures” are perceived ones- not actual ones. We hold in our heads the idea (ideal?) of perfection: a home where everything is in its place- no piles of stuff taking over the dining room table. No clean clothes still sitting in laundry baskets on our bedroom floors. No dishes sitting for two days or two weeks in the sink.

The idea of jumping in and taking care of such tasks can be terrifying (and WE with ADD “get” this, whereas those without…well…they usually scratch their heads and wonder what all the fuss is about. But why do we care so deeply?).

It’s this black and white thinking: we think we HAVE to have perfection in how we manage our chores. And we question our ability to accomplish this “perfection”.

 

What do we do about it?

 

We have to change our expectations of ourselves, of our homes, offices, desks, craft rooms, basements, cars, and most of all, our brains. We are not wired the same as neurotypicals, but that doesn’t make us any less able, less intelligent, less creative. In fact, in my 20 years of working with ADHD adults, I see more creativity than anywhere else.

 

Here’s my suggestion:

 

When you come nose to nose with a task that you’re avoiding, dreading and fearing, don’t look at the final outcome as perfection. Look at it as a work in progress.

Can you spend just 10 minutes on one task that has been on the back burner of your brain, making you feel crappy about yourself?

I invite you to post briefly what that task is, and how you plan to get started on it. Post your plan in the Comment section below.

You can do it. I’ll be looking over your shoulder, gently encouraging you, too.

Need help? Well, that’s what I’m here for! Join me and the Queens of Distraction and we’ll help you get started AND see you through. Join today at my New Year’s Special pricing (20% off): www.QueensOfDistraction.com .

 

 


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