Adult ADHD and Fear: Why We Procrastinate
One of the things people with Adult ADHD symptoms really struggle with is procrastination. And procrastination really comes out of fear. What kind of fear?
There are two main fears people with Adult ADHD symptoms face when they try to start a big project.
1. How do I know I’m choosing the right thing to work on?
2. How do I know I won’t fail, especially if I don’t know anything about this yet?
First of all, you’ve got to ask yourself, “What am I so afraid of?” Let’s just bring it out into the open. If I pick an opportunity, the fear becomes, “Oh, my gosh. What am I going to miss?”
The truth is, the second someone with Adult ADHD focuses on something, you’re missing a lot of other things. That’s just the way it works.
It’s not about the opportunity. It’s not about which Internet-type thing you should be doing. It’s “why.” You’ve got to ask yourself, “How would this particular opportunity fit in with my larger vision?”
Some people with Adult ADHD might not feel like they know exactly what they want to do with their whole lives. And this is where a lot of fear about choosing what to do next comes from.
Well, you know what? Whatever you want to do with your life right now, it probably is going to change at some point (especially if you have Adult ADHD). Just because you’re going full tilt on something right now doesn’t mean you have to do that for the rest of your life.
It does mean that, if you’re going to spend your time doing something, it should be something you’re incredibly passionate about to begin with, something that you’d like to spend all your time on anyway.
Most likely, if you have Adult ADHD symptoms, you’ll find yourself in the exact same situation at some point in the future. It happens. You work really hard. You go full speed at something, and occasionally, you look up and you say, “What the heck am I doing?”
That’s ok. At that point, if you really want to, you can shift your focus. No one’s stopping you. But don’t let that fear stop you from starting.
The second fear those with Adult ADHD symptoms feel has to do with how much there is to learn about a subject or skill, and the information overload that occurs so often with Adult ADHD.
My experience was, I said, “I’m going to learn this Internet thing. I’m going to go out and I’m going to learn everything that I possibly can,” and I didn’t realize at the very beginning that there were so many different subspecialties. It’s an entire industry.
You could be a specialist in list building, in search engine optimization, in advertising or all these different subspecialties, and you realize that what you’re trying to do is go out and learn an entire industry. Of course, it doesn’t really work that way.
You don’t go out one day and say, “Okay, I’m going to be a lawyer,” and understand every aspect of law. Even lawyers have to pick a specialty, be it corporate, criminal, bankruptcy or whatever. You don’t say, “I’m going to go out and learn everything there is to know about foreign language,” right? You pick one.
So, if that is true, that brings up another question for people with Adult ADHD symptoms: “What sub-specialty do I pick then? I have to pick one.”
Again, we’re teaching you ways to think with your Adult ADHD brain instead of against it here. As you’re thinking about the anxiety of having to pick one area of specialty, for example, to grow your business or to work on in your life, remember that people with Adult ADHD symptoms have something that they use automatically every day they don’t usually appreciate, and that is a very highly-developed intuition.
Intuition is why people with Adult ADHD make snap decisions all the time. You’re really good at it naturally. It’s coming from your gut.
But you need a clear head to do it. So if you’ve got information overload, and you can’t decide to focus on one thing, how do you clear your head?
What you need to do is this: You need to go on an “unsubscribe” campaign! Start with the information you have coming in on your computer every day.
You should continue subscribing to or buying the information from the people that you intuitively know are going to help you with your one main focus. But clear out the rest, so you don’t even see it. Let your computer sort it so your head doesn’t have to.
Do this with other things in your life too. Once you decide what you’re main focus is (at least for now)–then “unsubscribe” or disconnect from anything, and anyone, that doesn’t contribute to that one goal.
Then you can get down to the business of choosing a specialty and learning all about that one thing. You’ll be amazed how much more focused you’ll be, automatically! To learn more about how to beat procrastination and focus on your goals with Adult ADHD, see below.