I co-hosted a great ADDA Webinar recently with the brilliant Eric Tivers, who laid out what he calls “Top Lies People with ADHD Tell Themselves…and Really Believe”. Whoppers such as…
“I’ll remember that.” “I’ll do it later.” “I’ll be done in five minutes.”
“I’m just going to check my email.” “I’ll just do one more.”
Now, these seem like fairly innocuous lies, but you don’t need to be a Board Certified psychiatrist to know what kind of trouble and overwhelm can result from buying into these lies.
Eric’s talk reminded me of a strategy I hatched a ways back but that didn’t make it into the ADD Crusher™ videos, or even a blog, ‘til now. It’s a ‘brain hack’ I call, Know What You Know and then KNOW It, and it gets right at the heart of upending these lies we tell ourselves. Here goes:
We ADHD adults know deep down such little lies aren’t true (“I know I WON’T do just one more, but I don’t care cuz I’m having fun hyperfocusing”). We also know a bit deeper down the kind of mayhem believing these lies creates (“My husband’s gonna be p.o.’d if I’m late again”). But we don’t KNOW something truly until we act according to that knowledge. To “know” is one thing. To DO RIGHT (i.e., take action) is to really KNOW.
“We lie to ourselves because we don’t have the psychological strength to admit the truth and deal with the consequences that will follow.” @DrCortneyWarren TWEET THIS
Once you adopt and adhere to the above assumptions, you can begin to put this powerful strategy to work for you. For instance, given this classic internal dialogue…
“I’m just gonna check a few more emails before I leave for my daughter’s play…” [Lie #1 — Deep down you KNOW you’re in the middle of a nice comfy hyper-focus session].
“…Besides, it’ll only take me a minute to get ready…” [Lie #2 – You’ve never timed your getting-ready. You’re just smooth-talking yourself to gain permission for continued hyperfocusing.]
“…and probably only 15 minutes to get there.” [Lie #3 – If you think about it, 15 minutes is the least it’s ever taken you to get there – you’re engaged in wishful ADHD-time-warp thinking.]
And overall, you know deeper down that this same or similar situation has resulted in you being late to this, that or the other thing many times before. Now, the pivotal question before you is whether you will choose to KNOW WHAT YOU KNOW, and then KNOW IT – by getting out of that chair and heading off to your daughter’s play with a shot at actually being early. Think of how good that will feel! That’s the power of knowing what you know and knowing it.
So next time you catch yourself in one of these little lies, ask yourself: Don’t I KNOW this is really BS? Don’t I KNOW nothing good will come from ignoring this knowledge? And do I KNOW the power of DOING the right thing instead of believing the lie?
An important P.S.: There are two more powerful lie-busting strategies you can use. I wrote this blog a while back, but more recently I expanded on this blog, dedicating an entire Episode of Crusher™TV to this topic, and in it I shared more ways to slay this habit of self-sabotage.
It’s Episode 100, The Self-Sabotage of Lies and Loopholes, and below is the preview of that episode.
What’s Crusher™TV? It’s not just a weekly online TV show that teaches ways to have more control in your life. It’s a LIBRARY of over 95 20-minute videos teaching ways to beat procrastination, get prioritized, get organized, manage your time, and more. You might get a lot out of watching the entire Episode 100, The Self-Sabotage of Lies and Loopholes, where I dig deeper into this topic. (To watch full episodes you can become a member for a buck and cancel any time you like, but either way, you can preview that episode by clicking the image below.
Episode Description: We lie to ourselves all day long: “I’ll remember it – no need to write it down.” “I’ll do that later, for sure!” But little lies and “loopholes” can cause big trouble. I’ll share 3 Loophole-Killing Hacks that’ll help you stop the self-sabotage. And we’ll be joined by coach/therapist Eric Tivers.
Alan P. Brown, an internationally recognized Productivity Coach, TEDx Speaker and #1 Best Selling Author of Zen and the Art of Productivity: 27 Easy Ways to Have More Time, Earn More Money and Live Happier is the host of Crusher™TV, where he and his Guest Experts share simple ways to get more done in less time with less stress. Follow Alan on Twitter and on Facebook.