Life is constantly changing. A reality which can be difficult for people with ADHD who often struggle with making change, especially when it is unexpected. In order to make change more successful it is not enough to know what we want to change or even what is motivating us to change. We need to be able to have enough “space” to change.
Making change successfully requires that we have created enough “space” in our lives for that change to occur and be maintained. In order to make a change, not be overwhelmed in the process and be sure that the change is lasting we need to consider three things.
We need enough time. Change takes time. Research says it takes 24 days to create a new habit. For people with ADHD, it may take even twice that long. And even longer to maintain the change so it will last.
We need to make sure we have physical space in our lives. Another way to look at this is that we need to make room in our lives for change. For people with ADHD, this literally may mean cleaning out, de cluttering or tossing out items to create room for a different way of living. Creating space means also means that we have room to add some useful items in our space, such as a new filing system, storage bins, etc.
And finally, we need to have cleared a space in our heads for new thinking and habits to take root and support this change. Often this means getting rid of old negative thinking or beliefs. You know, those thoughts that keep you from moving forward, trying something new. Consider what is keeping you from making a change and mentally toss them out. When we don’t admit and rid our minds of long standing doubts, fears or false beliefs they will prevent new more optimistic and positive perspectives from being possible.
Once you have created the time, physical and mental space in your life for change to occur, you will be well on your way to new experiences that will surely bring you more success, enjoyment and satisfaction in your life. After all…isn’t that what you want?!
Great strategy. Hadn’t really thought that one through, but makes a lot of sense.
Glad you liked it. Do you have any other strategies for change you might suggest for people with ADHD?
Your points are right on the mark, as usual. People with ADHD often have difficulty with even small transitons, much less the broad sweeping changes one commits to when courageously finding a coach to enable changes when their experince with change has usually been disruptive and difficult for them all their lives.
Making space for time, the room to physically and/or psychologically to move things around and clear up the mess created by unfinished projects or finally make a decion on risking what security they have with the familiar, even if it is not serving them well is paramount to their success.
It’s good to make that space consciously, with the coach so that the gains made can become integrated into their life.
This is hopeful. I have always had a hard time with change, even when it was good. I never understood the extreme physiological effects of just visiting my favorite relatives (I was so happy to see them, but as soon as I was alone would cry from the stress). To this day I sometimes have a hard time with just transitioning from one room to the next. Logically it makes no sense…and I make myself move, but it is mentally painful sometimes. I must seem rather ridiculous. Buying a house, for me, was ten times harder than getting my PhD. It is unfortunate that I am not alone in this, but relieving to know there are others that have been helped.
Hi Kris! I am glad you found this blog hopeful. And no…you are not alone! Transitioning can be a challenge for many people with ADHD. To make it even more confusing transitioning may not be difficult in situations we are inherently interested in and show up in those we are less comfortable or less inherently interested in. I imagine other people reading your comment would much rather try to enter a room with relatives then ever try and earn their PhD. Just goes to show how ADHD shows up differently for everyone and is even then colored by other aspects of our personality. Thanks for sharing. Keep in touch. ~Laurie