“The most important relationship you will ever have is the one you have with yourself.” Author unknown
Each year, Valentine’s Day seems to draw attention to the notion that love is indeed a mystery. For some, it is a day looked forward to eagerly as they await their chance to acknowledge or be acknowledged by those they love. However, for many people with ADHD, their own inner struggle with poor self-worth, lack of self-acceptance and low self-esteem limits their full appreciation of the abundant love from those around them and for themselves.
When you have spent your life not being able to meet other people’s expectations and your mind is full of self-sabotaging thoughts, it is nearly impossible to appreciate your own natural talents and innate value, let alone share and receive this joy with others. People with ADHD are passionate and generous by nature, unfortunately, many hide alone behind feelings of shame, emptiness, disappointment, sadness and self-blame. This Valentine’s Day, I wish people with ADHD to appreciate themselves as much as they deserve and acknowledge themselves for the heart they bring to the world. Hopefully the suggestions below will help us all be a bit more content, delighted and thankful of ourselves!
Let go of the past
You deserve to start fresh! Everyone has had something that has made their life hard, even seemingly impossible at times. Don’t close yourself off to the possibility of a bright future because of past disappointments, misunderstandings or another’s fear or ignorance. Acknowledge the feelings and situations that have brought you to where you are today, then put them behind you. Decide, finally, not to take these hurts and regrets into your future.
No doubt you have already punished yourself from what you did in the past. Quit punishing and abusing yourself by holding onto this mistake. Continuing to do so is not serving you or anyone else, and it is preventing you from moving forward in your life. Instead, look for what you have learned from this experience. Sometimes all we can take from past mistakes is the new knowledge we gained and the hope we won’t do it again. Let it go…
If you can’t say anything nice
Most of us know the life lesson, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” This applies to yourself as well. Many of us continue to belittle ourselves in conversations with others or allow inner negative self-talk to continue. Stop saying “un-nice” things about yourself to others or giving into those pessimistic nagging thoughts that rattle around inside your head. We all have inner critics or “gremlins” that continually challenge our self-confidence with saying things like, “How could you be so stupid?!”…”You can’t do anything right.”…”Who do you think you are?”…”You are never going to get it right.” Instead, be aware that you can minimize these negative thoughts by first becoming aware of them and then remind this inner-critic, that “If you can’t say anything nice…”
Get into action
Each day be sure to take small steps toward your bigger dreams. Even small steps in the right direction will get you further in your journey. Some days this may be simply to write a list of five things you appreciate about yourself. Other days it may mean spending more dedicated time to actually completing those things on your “to do” list or creating a more detailed plan to achieve your specific dream. Taking small purposeful steps allows you to succeed.
Laugh…out loud. Smile, it will make others wonder what you have been up to. Go barefoot. Whatever makes you smile or laugh out loud…do it. You, your life, your relationships, your world are meant to be enjoyed. There is too much beauty and wonder in this life not to appreciate it. Spend time doing those things that bring you joy.
People with ADHD have amazing, innate gifts that often go untapped and unnoticed. It’s no wonder you don’t appreciate yourself. Too often we have been trying very hard to be someone else. Be who you really are! You have a unique combination of gifts and talents meant to be shared. Make a conscious decision to stop trying to be what others have expected of you your whole life…it’s not working anyway.
So, go ahead, let go of the past, forgive yourself, get into action, have fun, be yourself…you can start today to create the loving life you deserve. I wish you all a Happy Valentine’s day, full of appreciation for the wonder that you are in the world.
Let me know what you think. I welcome your comments to this post and others.
Beautiful, Honey – – Your Dad says (I read him the above) “Laurie’s clients are so luckly” – – “Do they realize how lucky they are?” What a gift you are!
I’m glad you enjoyed today’s post 🙂 I am the lucky one!
This is terrific! I am about to send this to my son in college who still struggles with ADHD despite treatment and struggles with trying to reach his goals. Thank you.
Hi! I am glad you enjoyed the post. I hope your son finds value in it as well. Keep in touch. ~Laurie Dupar
This article is so encouraging. Thank you so much!
Hi Heather! Thank you for your post. I am glad you enjoyed the article. Happy Belated Valentine’s Day! ~Laurie Dupar
Hi Heather! I am glad you enjoyed the aricle.
this really touched me laurie! thank you for reminding me and all the rest of us that the more we love ourselves in the way we want to be loved the greater the capacity we have to love those around us and i’ve found when we break the pattern of negative self talk and ask ourselves better questions we get the answers that bless our lives and those we care about. I have developed a strategy to excersise the very first thing in the morning , its my time to spend thinking about solutions , and appreciating everything & everyone in my life . I also make sue I tak my meds this time so I have all those good edorphins available to condition that feling all day My whole life up til recently have been full of not meetig others expectations and letting that get to me -Thank you so much for all you give everyday i have become a big fan of your work!!!!! hppy belated valentine’s day
Hi Micheal! Thank you for your heartfelt comments. I truly appreciate your sharing. I am happy that the article was valuable to you and that you are taking time to appreciate yourself and are enjoying the blessings that come with that. Keep in touch, I will look forward to hearing from you again. Most sincerely, Laurie Dupar
Love this post and the positive outlook on everything! I will re-blog this on my own site, giving you full credit and providing link, of course.
It often saddens me to hear how down people are on themselves, especially when their differences are what makes them unique and interesting. Hopefully, your words will encourage someone to take those first little steps towards liking themselves.
What a beautiful article, Laurie. Reading this post gave me the same good feelings as receiving a Valentine’s card. Happy Valentine’s Week!
Hi Mae-Ling! Thanks for your post. I am glad reading this article gave you that same feeling as reading a card, especially since I know how much care, love and thought YOU put into your cards! Fondly, Laurie Dupar
I just read you post. It is very comforting. You describe my world very accurately. I just had very bad day ADD wise. Left keys at home wasted time on the wrong stuff, forgot to cancel an appointment after remembering 3 times This is a little ray of sunshine .
HI Wayne! Thanks for your comment. I am glad it brought you that ray of sunshine! Sorry to hear about your day…it sounds like a tough one. I know these days happen, sometimes too often. Hang in there, you are not alone. Oh…and Happy late Valentine’s Day. Keep in touch. Warmly, Laurie Dupar
a beautiful article, i immediately remeberedi am a nice, generous, loving, forgiving person with intestinal fortitude for life ( these are the five thing i wrote down i like about myself) thanks for taking the time to write this 🙂
Hi Damon! I am glad you enjoyed the article and it helped your remember your valuable qualities and for sharing them with me! Keep in touch! Most warmly, Laurie Dupar
Laurie, thanks so much for this reminder that I’m not doing my clients, co-workers, or family members any favors by silently berating myself all day long for succumbing to various ADHD-related temptations. I knew it in my head, but you’ve helped me to get it from there to my heart. (Thanks again for your kindness to me last Wed.)
Hi Mike! My pleasure. Be kind to yourselfm always. ~Laurie Dupar