“I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”Charles R. Swindoll
The other day my youngest daughter was putting up our play chairs all in a row to make a path for her to walk across. The problem was that her path was blocking my path. As I came up to her creation, my hands were full of things I was trying to carry to the kitchen.
“Great,” I muttered to myself, “now I can’t get through.”
“Wait, what?” I questioned myself, “Did I seriously just say I can’t about this tiny little problem? This obstacle is totally surmountable!”
My daughter came in the room and asked innocently, “Do you like the path I made?”
“Yes, I do!” I proclaimed. Honestly, I didn’t even have to move the row aside in any way, I only had to step over to get to the other side. Fortunately for her, Mommy had been learning about perceived mental barriers, otherwise I might have felt irritated or even overwhelmed. Instead I was excited, and I wanted to share my insight with you!
I felt cheerful every time I saw the great wall of chairs that I had to step over, because my brain was continually registering the assignment as impossible, and I kept practicing overriding that thought. It was strangely empowering. I was even motivated to sweep the floor well enough to take a picture. 😉
Not every obstacle we run up against is so simple. Life is complicated and life is hard, but try to avoid telling yourself, “it’s too hard.” That’s called mental resistance. Having mental resistance about a problem we face only makes it more difficult to solve, or more difficult to endure.
Your brain is programmed to protect you from expending too much energy, and it tells you to avoid anything difficult or stressful. That programming can work against us, though. Don’t be afraid of the effort it will take to tackle a problem that at first seems too hard to face; or to experience a feeling that seems too hard to feel.
Those of us with ADHD experience a LOT of mental resistance when it comes to doing the most ordinary, mundane things. Rather than trying to escape, next time you run up against a wall of something you “can’t” get over, challenge that thought. Doubt what your brain is programmed to tell you, and see if your problem really can be overcome. Perhaps with more effort, and more external support, I hope you can feel empowered to do all kinds of things you never thought you could!
That is one of the great hopes I have for this blog; that it will inspire you to reach and grow beyond your own expectations. Start small, and when you notice an obstacle, think of it as an opportunity to practice overcoming.
Share what you learn! I’m excited to see what you come up with, and how a difference in perspective changes an experience for you!