If the Label Bothers You, Focus on the Person

Occasionally, I’ll read or hear someone say “there’s no proof ADHD is real.” There will always be a little controversy with the ADHD diagnosis and it’s validity. But, when you try to create controversy over a label, you miss the point.

There’s a person behind the label.

Hopefully, there’s no debate about people being real. Does anyone have the right to validate what a real person is experiencing?

If the label bothers you, focus on the person instead – their behavior and qualities, their struggles and strengths. Those things are real with or without the label. No matter what anyone is labeled with, we all just want to understand ourselves better so we can succeed in life. That’s all a person with ADHD wants and that’s what being properly diagnosed helps them do. There’s nothing controversial about that.

There’s an epidemic of people who are passion-deficit, sense-of-humor-deficit, and empathy-deficit. Or people who watch too many hours of reality TV shows. And yet, there’s no controversy surrounding their condition. I guess ADHDers are more fascinating and worth debating about. SO fascinating that, surely, we must be faking it.

“There’s no proof ADHD is real” is a selfish debate.

It isn’t helping anyone. It creates zero solutions and spreads intolerance.

So debate about what’s the best way for a person to manage and succeed with ADHD. That’s a topic worth discussing. At least the intent is focused on helping the person behind the label. People can create controversy over labels all they want.

But, that will never be as productive as trying to understand a PERSON. (and that logic goes beyond the topic of ADHD)

Using Apps to Document Change

People give too much credit to the power of their thoughts. There’s even a whole book entitled “Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life”.  I’ve intentionally changed thoughts countless times. It didn’t change anything.

Whatever is going on in my head is useless if reality doesn’t change. Life changes for me when: thoughts lead to action –> action creates change –> and change influences BELIEF. Changing your thoughts won’t help much if you don’t believe them. And it takes many small actions over time to get from thinking to believing. It’s not instant gratification. Real change takes time.

I would never chalk it all up to a change of thought.

Six years ago, when I was 165 lbs, every daily change I made to lose weight was boring. It wasn’t motivating or inspiring. And it required very little thinking and a lot of doing. And I lost 65 lbs in 5 months and continued to stay in shape since then. My reality changed when I saw results. Literally.

THEN my beliefs changed. THEN I felt motivated. Not before. If someone asked me what thoughts did I change to inspire myself to lose weight, I would find that very insulting. Thoughts? I could tell you the many actions I took despite negative thoughts and self-doubt in my head. People assume if you did something, then surely you must be one of those motivated positive thinkers. But, accomplishments are the result of being mobile, not motivated.

Using apps can be helpful.

Recently, I’ve been using OhLife as a reminder to make small daily changes towards bigger goals. OhLife is free. Once you sign up, they’ll email you every day and ask you: How did your day go? When you reply, it records your journal entry for the day.

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