Effective and timely decision-making is the key to maintaining your personal power. When you defer to others, procrastinate, second-guess yourself or take things too personally, you abdicate your power.
While this struggle occurs occasionally for most people, throw in ADHD and it becomes a constant companion, and not in a good way.
When you are able to eliminate or manage these barriers more effectively, you are on your way to strengthening your decision-making muscles.
Issue #1: Deferring to someone else: possible desire to please others, not make waves or not to appear dumb.
Example: A group is going out for lunch. Everyone is asked where they’d like to go. You say “I don’t care; wherever.” You end up at a sushi bar. You HATE sushi.
Solution: Rehearse a couple of lunch or dinner options that you’ve scoped out in advance, fairly certain everyone would like them so that you can help direct the decision toward something that you’d enjoy.
Issue #2: Procrastinating until there’s no need for a decision: is it fear of the unknown, feeling of overwhelm, waiting for the “perfect” time, or wanting to avoid criticism or shame.
Example: you really would like to go back to school so that you can take advantage of the time-sensitive tuition grant from your employer and advance in your job. But….and you wait just long enough that the offer is no longer available. Opportunity missed.
- Give yourself a deadline of 3 days before your answer is due.
- Gather all the information you need to address your questions, doubts and fears.
- Put together a pro/con comparison.
- Discuss with someone who knows you well (only one person).
- Ask and answer the question: What’s the worst that could happen if I go/don’t go?
Issue #3: Second-guessing yourself: revisiting your inner dialogue, seeking confirmation/affirmation from others, comparing to others.
Example: You’ve been offered a great promotion with more responsibilities, more pay and more prestige. You decide to go for it, then spend many sleepless nights worrying if you’ve made the right decision.
Solution: You’ve already made your decision. If you utilized the above 5 steps, you’ve likely made the “right” decision, or the best one for you. Looking forward and embracing your decision allows you to better prepare for what’s next, vs. getting frazzled and overwhelmed by conflicting thoughts.
Issue #4: Taking it personally: you seek the advice of others, and suffer with guilt and shame if you don’t agree.
Example: You’ve connected with someone who shares a lot of the same interests and discussed setting up a time for lunch. After leaving two texts over the past week, you haven’t received a reply. Why don’t they get in touch? You discuss the issue with three or four other friends. Half say don’t contact the person, the other half criticize you for “stalking.” You’re convinced that “they don’t like me.”
Solution: Remind yourself that you can’t control the other person, and really don’t know what’s going on with them. What are the facts? They could be sick, busy at work or just plain suck at follow-up. It’s really not about you.
Figure out when you are most likely to give your power away and decide which solution might best work for you.
And finally, if you need help don’t procrastinate. Get some assistance. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit my website: https://adhdtreatmentsolutions.com/