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Sound familiar? Common experience for many with ADHD or ASD.
In our all or nothing nervous system we like it or we don’t. We’re good at it or we aren’t.
We can hyperfocus on certain things for hours because they’re the things we’re good at. They place few demands on our executive functions and provide loads of dopamine and serotonin.
The other stuff is much harder with a higher failure rate. Gee, which activities am I going to lean toward?!
Also, motivation isn’t one thing such as will-power. It’s a combination of focused attention on a goal, emotional enthusiasm about attainment of the goal, belief the goal can be attained, for example.
There’s also the question, “Motivation to do what?” Maybe I’m more motivated to avoid the risks involved in what’s being asked of me. Will I feel stupid, look stupid, be reminded I need more help than other people, you name it.
I could also be reminded that it’s great I have people to call on when I need them. That I’ve learned clever workarounds for everyday problems and live in a digital world where I can likely find a solution online.
Becoming more motivated requires you to change your relationship with failure. From adversarial to advisory, it has so much to teach you about humility, curiosity and resilience.
It requires you to begin experiencing discomfort as the butterflies in your stomach right before your first kiss. It’s exhilarating, a little dangerous, an unknown, it won’t kill you, you’re going to be okay when it’s over, you may just be changed by it.
You may have more reasons for inaction than anything. You’re sick of feeling defeated. I get it. I spend much of my day bringing my attention back to what I was focusing on. I probably only spend a few hours of actual focused activity. That isn’t laziness that’s ADHD.
I’m highly motivated but I’m poorly focused and highly distractible. But I digress.
Bottom line. Motivation isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. You often need to dig a little deeper to see what bubbles up when the idea of taking action occurs to you.
What do you expect the result to be?
How do you expect to feel about that result?
How do you expect to feel about yourself?
How often are these your answers when faced with this situation?
Will you allow me to help you break free from this pattern?