Executive Dysfunction, The Other ED
We’re all familiar with Erectile Dysfunction, right? Wait, that didn’t come out the way I meant it.
I’ll start over …
Erectile Dysfunction has been put in the spotlight lately, due to the ability of pharmaceutical companies to remediate that situation, at least long enough to get through any situation where ED has a negative impact.
But no one is offering a fix for executive Dysfunction, temporary or otherwise.
And so …
Yeah, sorry, I’ve not got a fix for it either.
But I do have some advice for coping. I call it FITYMI!
You can call it that, or you can call it … ha, I got nothing, you’ll have to think of a name on your own.
Let me explain…
FITYMI stands for “fake it ’til you make it.” And that’s exactly what you need to do.
How many times have you seen someone afraid to fail, so they don’t try? Too often to count, right?
That’s you. That’s us. Or at least that’s what happens to us too often.
I humbly submit that that is at least one aspect of our procrastination. We’re afraid to make decisions because we know we have trouble with our EF.
We know …
We know that as soon as we think of a reason to decide one way or the other, we’ll hyper focus on that reason and eventually convince ourselves that it is the deciding factor.
Worse still, due to our need for instant gratification, we no doubt went looking for a reason to back the choice that we would like to make, rather than figuring out which choice we should make. It’s a bad place to be in.
We tend to …
… concentrate on the potential positive results of choosing what we believe we want to choose, rather than trying to anticipate the negative and positive potential of either choice.
And worse still, we convince ourselves that we are actually considering all the potentials, by telling ourselves that anything we may have overlooked will be negligible, or at least manageable.
Is there a hack?
Well, I’m glad you asked that. Yes, there is. You’ve heard, perhaps, some people talking about methods of making yourself accountable? Typically this requires involving other people.
When you have a decision to make that requires executive function, talk it over with someone you trust, or someone you believe cares about you. Failing that, find someone who knows you, or maybe someone who doesn’t know you. If that isn’t doable, turn on the TV and talk to the news anchor with the volume turned down. Or talk to your dog, your cat, hell, talk to the goldfish.
Conversation is king!
The point is, talk it out. Talk it out – out loud. Say the words. Say them so that you hear them.
It is absolutely amazing how much more accountable we are outside of our heads than we are inside of them.
And that conversation that we’ll have if we do this, that’s us participating in fake executive function.
It’s partly about taking the time to talk it over, because that forces us to take the time to think it over.
But it’s also about getting in the habit of using another part of our brain to mimic EF. And the part I use is the mouthy part.
Surprised? Not really, eh?
Babcock, K. (2017). Executive Dysfunction, The Other ED. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 23, 2018, from https://blogs.psychcentral.com/adhd-man/2017/12/executive-dysfunction-the-other-ed/