ADHD & Developing a Positive Mindset

Every positive experience we’ve had lives inside of us, just waiting to be brought up into the present. These experiences can be expanded upon, improved, or even revised. To do this, we can pause to pay attention to an experience from the past, and align it with a purpose we have in the present.

Think of these moments like buried treasure. We had these experiences at some point in our lives, and buried them inside of ourselves. Now we have to use the map we made to rediscover these moments. It doesn’t matter if you have ADHD or not, this is an extremely powerful exercise that ADHD coaches use to help clients develop and discover strategies to better manage their ADHD. These memories of happiness, fulfillment, and success are our buried treasure. Going on the adventure of rediscovering these experiences teach us about what is possible when we choose to pay attention to them and integrate more of them into our lives. But if these don’t surface right away when trying to think back on past experiences, don’t worry they will show up at the right time. Most of the time when we least expect them to.

Unfortunately, what usually happens after experiencing these moments is we move on to the next immediate task. This is a typical thing with ADHD, we don’t like to hang out very long and want to move on to that next dopamine hit. Because of this our positive experiences are often forgotten. Revisiting these moments is the process of making them visible again. Once we are able to dig them up, we can identify what has been missing, and needs to be integrated once again. If we are able to do it once, we’ll be able to do it again and become even better each time.

Quick Exercise

Try taking a step back into one of these moments once you’ve identified one, and notice how you feel. Allow your posture to mirror how you sat or stood during this moment, and invite the senses you used. Make sure to pay attention to your feelings, and try to feel them again. Try to look through your own eyes as if you are experiencing this moment now.

Sometimes we’ll throw dirt on our positive experiences. Make sure to brush that off and allow it to shine through the way it deserves. Get rid of any negative stories, or feelings attached to it. Don’t let anything dim the light of your moment.

These are events, moments, dreams, or experiences where you felt like you were on top of the world, strong, powerful, grounded, confident, competent, or otherwise your best self.

Give your experience a title, or name. Think about how you will remember to enlist them when faced with new challenges or opportunities. Discuss prompts with a partner, colleague, or friend.

Prompts to help you remember these experiences

Was this something you were passionate about?

What experiences produce immediate enthusiasm when thinking about them?

When was a time you felt a sense of brilliance, innovation, or creativity that you had not before?

Did your inner child come out to play?

Does it give you a strong positive emotion, inspiration, or courage?

Don’t forget to write down your moments, and how you felt while remembering them.

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