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ADHD & Finances: Where to Start When You've Tried Everything

Learn to Trust Yourself

We often prioritize instant gratification over long term effort

If there’s one thing all of us with ADHD know it’s that Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder presents an ever present activation challenge.

A challenge to get on track. To get on the right track. To stay on track. To get back on track. A challenge to resist distraction and reign in avoidance behaviors.

The metaphor that resonates with me most is “climbing a ladder.”

Success requires climbing ladders. Climbing ladders requires sustained effort and concentration.

Progress is slow.

It’s hard work and often not very exciting. On the other hand, falling from those ladders is fast, painful and often damaging.

ADHD & Self Doubt

Those of us with ADHD have fallen off far more than our share of ladders. It would be naive to believe we haven’t been affected by the pain.

In the ADHD community we often speak of time blindness, impulsivity, and the “now” vs “not now” mindset.

We love new ideas! Have you ever wondered why we love new ideas? Obviously, they’re exciting.

But what if there’s something else going on? Would you want to know about it? Would you want to do something about it?

Indulge this thought process for a moment…

I Don’t Believe In Myself

Progress requires sustained effort.

It’s slow.

It flies in the face of our learned “do it all right now… because I don’t believe I can sustain this effort long term” mindset.

In short, the ADHD impulsivity problem and propensity to prioritize instant gratification over long term effort often comes down to “I don’t believe in myself.”

One of the primary reasons we fall victim to instant gratification temptations is our prescient lack of faith in the future.

Climbing a ladder requires faith in self.

A life of falling off of ladders has taught us our future is far from certain, and instilled a measure of learned helplessness that gets in our way… over and over again.

An expectation of failure, if you will.

In falling, we go backwards sooooo much faster and it’s painful. Then we start climbing again. It’s what we do. ADHDer’s are nothing if not resilient.

We climb out of holes and back onto the ladder. We climb with the weight of a learned self-fulfilling prophecy… “knowing” we will fall again.

But, what if we learned to successfully climb?

What if we felt a sense of pride with each achieved rung?

What if we focused our attention on the step right in front of us and not on the ultimate goal we’re climbing toward?

What if we arrested our slips sooner, before damage is done?

What if we destroyed the belief that we can’t believe in ourselves?

ADHD Beliefs

Let’s talk about safety nets and tactics. Let’s talk about shedding beliefs that don’t serve us well.

I believe ADHD is horribly mislabeled. Deficits and disorders are the language of victim-hood. Of capitulation.

ADHD is a neurological brain function difference. It presents challenges and opportunities.

Would I like to be rid of the negative aspects? You betcha! But I wouldn’t trade away the positive aspects in a million years.

Behaviors are habits. And, in our behaviorism approach we need to reveal what’s under the surface first so we can remove those which aren’t serving us.

Once we have a decent handle on how to serve us and our needs better, we can move forward with practical and responsible actionable steps to get us on track.

I’ll show you the steps to take on the ladder to financial security in my next blog, ADHD & Managing Your Money

Rick Webster
Rick Webster

About Rick Webster

Rick Webster is the CEO of a financial literacy company called Rena-Fi which is geared towards individuals with ADHD. Rick is on a mission to help people find their path to financial freedom. Contact Rick and visit Rena-fi.com for more in depth information and to engage in great discussions and find helpful resources!

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