Monday, October 21, 2013

Give Your Self-Esteem a Lift

Spotty performance, but improving
In the last journal entry that I shared with you, I wrote about a recent epiphany where I discovered I had inextricably linked goal making with my self-esteem. It was an obvious problem once I drew attention to it, but I was surprised at how long I had been cluelessly operating under such a destructive thought process. How could I like myself if I only liked myself if I was working towards goals? There would always be more goals because if I finished a goal I would immediately be unhappy and restless. I needed a new goal for focus and purpose. I placed all my self worth on success and only success. I had become addicted in a way to ADHD’s hyperfocus, needing more and more goals to find clarity. It was exhausting, but how to train myself out of it?

First of all, having goals isn’t the problem. Goals are good things to help motivate us to improve ourselves, and improving ourselves will benefit us by uplifting our quality of life. But only being happy if goals are being met can drive one crazy. Life is full of variables and obstacles, like a chronic respiratory illness and spinal injury as I’ve experienced this year. My epiphany was that even if I overcame said obstacles, I couldn’t continue on this way because happiness to me was a carrot that was always out of reach. How depressing.

I decided to start a new habit with Lift, an app I’ve written about before and still find immensely helpful. I called it “Like Something abt Myself”. At first I was only remembering to work at it every few days, but lately I’ve been making the project a daily habit. The results have been surprising. I am actually happier. I smile easier. I laugh easier. I spend less time ruminating about failures. And I still have my beloved goals. Not only am I going to continue doing this for the rest of the month, it occurred to me that others might like to participate in the project as well.

Even if you do not have an iPhone or iPad, you can still sign up at Lift’s website. The website looks great for desktops and mobile browsers. Just set up an account, add “Like Something abt Myself” to your list of habits, and get working on it. We can give each other encouragement in the form of props and comments. We’ll work on it as a group for the rest of the month.

Positive self-esteem takes work. Not just people dealing with ADHD or Depression struggle with it, but we certainly seem to deal with more than our fair share. By forcing ourselves to think of one thing a day that we like about ourselves, we can start the process of building a solid self-esteem core that will have far reaching effects in our lives. If you struggle with this, too, it is time to like yourself despite your limitations. You are not your disability.