I’ll be doing some hacks on them, and “resharpening” these old saws, so they work for ADHD folks. Here come the "before" and "after" versions...
Before: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” This variation of an old proverb is attributed to William Edward Hickson, a British educational writer in the mid- 1800s.
Perseverance is a quality that’s valued by most, and is crucial for success in many endeavors. There are a number of variations of this sentiment, like “…get back on the horse”, or this one from Winston Churchill: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”
There’s no doubt that this is sound advice, but incomplete for ADDers, so here comes the hack saw.
Resharpened: “If at first you don’t succeed, try again, after you look with awareness at what occurred and make skillful adjustments.” We give something our best shot, and accept the results- not resignedly, but with the clarity and calm to learn and to adjust our approach or expectations.
We sometimes give something a really good try (or two, or three) then stop trying because we see the unsuccessful tries as “fails”. We take a hit to our self-esteem, and now we have two issues- the perceived fails AND the way we feel about ourselves as a result. Welcome to the "ADHD Daily Double”. This can cause us to delay or even completely blow off our goal.
Also, if we just keep trying over and over without assessing and adjusting, there’s another old saw for that-“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” (thanks, Albert Einstein).
To proceed with awareness and skill towards success:
- Consider resetting the bar/reassessing our goal and time frames
-Break down our plan into smaller, more achievable steps (subtasks) that can become mini-wins
-Prioritize tasks and subtasks
-Allot enough time for tasks and subtasks (and be generous)- schedule tasks if possible
We are more able to follow this approach and succeed when we look at our “try” more as simply info we can adjust, and less as some flaw or failure in ourselves. This important personal work is focused and accelerated via an ADHD Coaching partnership with me.