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Apr 30, 2022

One of the phrases that bother people who have ADHD the most is when people tell you to “try harder.” many of us with ADHD heard this phrase growing up, and even sort written on our report cards. But those with ADHD know better. “Trying harder” is far from a solution to improving our lives.

Burnout can come from trying harder so it's important to understand how our brains operate.

Laura MacNiven from the Springboard Clinic in Toronto is back on Overcoming Distractions the podcast to discuss this very topic and to offer a different viewpoint. She is the co-author of May We have Your Attention please? With Dr. Anne Bailey.

People with ADHD need to try differently rather than focus on trying harder.

Laura takes time to explain the core differences between trying harder and trying differently and Dave and Laura even pull the phrase apart “try harder” to understand what it actually means.

Laura says that a lot can be accomplished by understanding the stories we tell ourselves. If we can reshape those stories, we have a better chance of finding different ways to accomplish the things we want.

Dave and Laura also discuss what can happen if people with ADHD continue to just try harder including the effects of burnout.

Laura and Dave chat about why understanding our brains as adults with ADHD and some self-awareness can go a long way and understanding how to create different ways of getting things accomplished.

Laura gives some tips for understanding your ADHD brain as well as creating some personal awareness. That includes taking time to check in with yourself and to check the stories you are telling yourself. Take time to pause repeatedly to look inward. Understand what's important in life and your career and what wakes your brain up. And finally, take some time to understand when you are at your best. That can be the time of day or the part of the week where you can operate smoothly and focus on what needs to be done.

Fine the Springboard Clinic here:

Learn more about the book “May We Have Your Attention Please?” here: