We all want to throw our hands in the air and scream, “I quit,’ more than once in our lives. Yes, there are times when you should quit, such as working on something so hard, it seriously impacts your mental health. It is okay to quit, reset and rethink what you are doing, then go forward with a new plan. When you want to quit and there isn’t a life altering reason why you should, then look to the main reasons to buckle down and get at it.
Your starting point to understand why you need to push through the wall is pretty simple. It is called the, “Big Why?” Unless your big why is not fully understood, chances are you will quit. Taking the time to sit down and write out all the reasons why you shouldn’t quit, often will be enough to propel you forward. Ask yourself if you are doing this for you and why you deserve it. You might have a family and you look back on your childhood with some dismay. You want something much better for your family and it means so much to you, that putting in 16 hours days is more than worth it.
To pump up that persistence muscle, you will occasionally have to reflect on the fact that there will be some serious roadblocks. Try sitting in a comfortable chair and look at the roadblocks, while asking yourself if they are super solid or are you blowing them up to the size of a mountain? Frequently we tend to take a situation and add in conversations and things that didn’t actually happen. Think about how many times, someone got you upset and you replayed the conversation over and over, with you giving different answers. The truth is, we can create worlds in our head, yet sometimes that world is full of anguish when it doesn’t have to be.
One way to stop projecting roadblocks in your mind, is to replay breakthrough events in your mind. These positive memories will make it hard for false roadblocks to grow. Everyone has breakthrough moments in their head. It may be simple ones, like struggling for two years in high school math but suddenly in the third year, a bright lightbulb comes on and you got it. It could also be more significant like trying for years to be the number one salesperson in your company, only to place 2nd. Then you turned that frustration into action and put in the hours and calls that made you number one. The feeling of hitting that huge goal and the pleasure of getting a massive bonus was truly exciting.
For those who say they never had a breakthrough moment or have any memories of being a winner, then create one. Your brain cannot tell the difference between a real event and one you create if you put enough power into it. Simply write a scene where you had a serious roadblock and you “Hulked Up,” smashing the obstacle in your way. Put serious emotion into it, picture yourself, jumping up and down, screaming in a loud voice, “I did it!” When you replay this scene in your mind, it will be a real movie. Sports people do this all the time. The best free throwers in basketball, have a mental picture in their mind that supports them. They see and feel themselves stepping up to the line, bouncing the ball a few times before throwing it and boom! Nothing but net, no rim bouncers here in this mental replay.
When overwhelm hits you and you’re trying to push through, stop and take a break. Detoxing your brain is super healthy, the same as detoxing your body. In this case, shut off your phone and all electronics. Get outdoors and play. It does not matter where you live or what you do, so long as you are moving and smiling. Give yourself one to three days and don’t think about why you wanted to quit. Simply detox.
After that detox, sit down and take time to think through the overwhelming task ahead and look at ways to cut it into smaller parts - smaller parts are easier to handle. Instead of one huge task - like cleaning out the garage - think of how many smaller tasks are really involved. Can you mentally partition the space into several areas, and focus on tasks that you will repeat in each area? That way, you can start a list of supplies to pick up, and do that errand on a week day.
Next, gather the containers that you will need to hold items while you sort and purge. You can probably get that done on another weekday. While you're dropping off the containers, bring a few trash bags with you, and see if you can get some trash out of there before the big work day.
Lower the size of the speedbumps that get in the way of getting moving, imagine yourself tackling the problem areas with gusto, turn up the fun with a partner and some music, and when you are ready, re-focus on what you want and why…then take small steps that lead to massive action.
I am overwhelmed, I am tired, but I am determined. My children deserve to enjoy the benefits of our ADHD gifts, and so do I.