"I'd rather regret the things I've done than regret the things I haven't done" – the dynamic Lucille Ball
One of the significant characteristics of ADHD is that it can cause us to be impulsive.
In the brain, within the limbic system, the thalamus area of the brain controls response inhibition. It works like a gate, sending signals to allow or stop certain behaviours.
In ADHD brains, however, the thalamus 'gate' doesn't work well, and given our dopamine-seeking tendencies, we might, for example, interrupt conversations, buy more online than we need, drive irresponsibly or over-commit in our leisure, work and social lives.
These examples illustrate how we ACT impulsively. However, it’s worth thinking about how our impulsivity might cause us NOT to ACT.
As children with ADHD we might have been told we’re lazy, or lack intelligence. Over the years, accumulated feelings of low self-esteem might also tempt us to see ourselves as ‘less than’. Our perceived shortcomings (in coaching terms, our limiting rules or beliefs) become our ‘reality’ so we don't even question them. Faced with an emotionally challenging situation, the Limbic system can easily lead us into ‘freeze’ mode when we adopt phrases impulsively like ‘I couldn’t possibly..’ or ‘I’m no good at..’
Is this happening with you? Question your negative responses!
What are you avoiding on impulse?
It might be a task, for example, is your household clutter so overwhelming that any thought of tackling it is impulsively banished?
Or social events? Is it your impulse to turn down invitations? What opportunities does that habit deny you?
Or perhaps it’s something more life-changing, like advancing your education, or getting your genius start-up off the ground.
Are you impulsively rejecting offers of help?
Perhaps you are even denying yourself the opportunity to find out if you truly have ADHD.
If you'd like to tackle impulsive avoidance in the future, simply make a mental note next time you decline an opportunity. Was it an impulsive ‘no’? What would you rather have happened?
Continue being self-aware and with your new knowledge, reach out for guidance.
Following a course in CBT more information here or clicking to book a discovery call with me
will help you seize opportunities and propel you to your new, exciting and fulfilling life!
I do hope you found this blog helpful.
Enormous thanks for inspiration to:
Emma Slade https://emmaslade.com
Laurie Dupar, founder of https://www.iactcenter.com/