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ADHD And The Self Fulfilling Prophecy Of Self Doubt

A glimpse of the seeds of self doubt ...
A glimpse of the seeds of self doubt …

To have ADHD is, often, to be judged incapable. It seems easy for those around us to consider us lazy or inattentive.

Well, we can be inattentive, but the misunderstanding is in whether or not the inattentiveness is passive or active. We are perceived to be actively not paying attention, when really we would love nothing more than to be able to apply our unwavering focus to some mind numbing thing and get it done. We are just fresh out of unwavering focus.

Pay attention to this …

Many of us can dredge up old report cards that say things like “Your child is not working up to his or her potential and would benefit greatly from paying more attention.”

I know that in my case, year after year of receiving these comments began to take their toll on my self esteem.

I know that in my case, year after year of receiving these comments began to take their toll on my self esteem. I now have a wagon load of self doubt over and above that which I can carry with any sort of competence (see, I’m not even able to doubt myself with sufficient zest to satisfy, I must be lazy!).

Self doubt leaves an impression

So being consumed with self doubt does take up a fair bit of my mental capacity. It does this by engaging my mind in constant worry and anxiety over what I’m doing, what I should be doing, and what I’ve done.

My mind is a finely tuned engine that can tear along at alarmingly fast speeds, but it has to be put in gear. If it’s engaged in self doubt, it might as well be in reverse. If I’m not doubting myself, my mind is engaged happily in whatever task it has gotten hold of and I’m able to account for possibilities and foresee problems well in advance. Even the things that sneak up on me are no match for my lightning quick, problem solving, outside-the-box thoughts and reactions.

But the old self doubt and subsequent worry just stops my mind in its tracks when a problem shows up.

You’re too sensitive!

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m too concerned with too many things that I cannot really change. Whether I’ll end up homeless, whether I’ll have an income, whether I’ll even have enough to eat, and oddly enough, what people think of me, all seem to weigh on my mind.

World economics, and just dumb luck would have a greater effect on my situation if I just didn’t care, but worrying about things is going to be what stops me from succeeding.

Begin something, doubt myself, stop in my tracks …

So if worrying about the outcome means I’m more likely to fail, I think I’ll just assume failure, and stop worrying about it. If I know I’m gonna fail, maybe I’ll have a greater chance of success.

Hey, it might work …

ADHD And The Self Fulfilling Prophecy Of Self Doubt


Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man


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APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2013). ADHD And The Self Fulfilling Prophecy Of Self Doubt. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 25, 2019, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2013/08/adhd-and-the-self-fulfilling-prophecy-of-self-doubt/

 

Last updated: 15 Aug 2013
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network (blogs.psychcentral.com) prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.