As an ADHD coach I hear a lot about people not getting things done. My clients often share with me how they didn’t get anything done from the last time we spoke. When I push them a little on this it turns out they did get some things done just maybe not everything or maybe not perfectly. We tend to judge ourselves for our perceived failures instead of seeking out our successes.

The difference is important. What would you prefer to be “stubborn” or “persistent?” One has positive connotations and the other negative ones. We can focus on our failures but that is not very motivating, it can actually be de-motivating. Or we can focus in on our successes and semi-successes which tends to motivate. It can also provide helpful information to help us succeed.

Let’s say you are trying to diet. You do well the first few days then blow it on the weekend. Many of my clients would tell me they failed and might even use that as an excuse to quit. Instead, I would suggest focusing on the days of success before the weekend. What made the weekdays easier to maintain the diet versus the weekend. There might be some good information to be discovered that will help manage future weekends. The successful should be acknowledged, the weekdays, and curiosity should be applied to thinking about the weekend. I use the word curiosity specifically because it involves being open to possibility and learning whereas judging shuts us down.

If you are dwelling in negativity about not getting things done try looking at the flip side. What did happen not what didn’t happen. Get curious, learn and re-apply yourself to the task.