When someone gives you a compliment, what do you say? For example, let’s say you just baked a batch of cookies for some friends. When they tell you how delicious they are, and what a talented baker you are, do you say “oh, I just cut up the Toll House cookie dough log and popped them in the oven”, or do you say “thank you”, and bask in the love and admiration that’s coming your way? The majority of the population tends to deflect, make excuses, or minimize these lovely complements. This comes out of a combination of a lack of recognition for your own gifts, but also a desire to not want to overshadow others or make them feel “less than”. This is a problem for 2 big reasons.
One, when you deflect complements, you are not allowing yourself to receive. Everything is a microcosm of a macrocosm, so when you don’t allow yourself to receive the admiration from someone you just baked cookies for, think about what else you’re not allowing yourself to receive? All day, the universe is trying to give you gifts in the form of wealth, love, kindness, health, joy, messages from your higher self, and all kinds of other gifts. As you practice allowing yourself to receive complements (even ones that seem trivial), it will open you up to be able to receive more and more good things that want to come your way.
Two, when you don’t allow yourself to receive, you’re sending messages to others (like your compliment giver) that it’s not ok to receive. As you allow yourself to receive, you will subconsciously be teaching others to do the same. Allowing yourself to receive will raise your vibration (ie- put you in a good mood). Your elevated energy will bring blessings to all those around you. This is why it’s so important to do things that bring you joy. It will bring more joy to everyone around you. Consider the ripple effect of a smile. What happens when you smile at someone walking down the street? Many people walking down the street are caught up in their brains, analyzing and processing their past and their future, with very serious looks on their faces. When you beam them over a glimpse of your pearly whites, there’s a strong chance that their frown will turn upside down. Who did that person just shoot a smile over to? Now that’s person’s smiling as well! By doing what brings you joy, you will uncover more and more of your gifts and talents. When you allow yourself to receive admiration, money, praise, appreciation, and whatever other types of positive feedback for how you’ve expressed your gifts and talents, it opens the door for you to be able to receive more positive vibes.
People with ADHD have a hard time at receiving because they are notoriously hard on themselves. If you’re someone with ADHD, you’ve probably been told “just try harder” when it comes to your struggles with reading, remembering to do things on time, and organizing your home. You’ve probably compared yourself to others with neurotypical brains who naturally have a much easier time focusing on what they’ve read, who seem to have their “to-do” lists under control, and who’s homes look like they could be a photo in a magazine. Your self-esteem erodes when you consistently compare yourself to people, or when you believe others who are encouraging you to feel not as good as so-and-so who can keep their desk neat and tidy. Learning how to be compassionate with yourself is the path towards regaining a healthy sense of self-esteem, which will allow you to accept the gifts the universe is trying to give you.
Step 1) Do what authentically brings you joy. You don’t have to know why you’re doing something. Do you like to paint? Have fun with it. Feel like blowing bubbles? Just do it. The more you allow yourself to follow your bliss, the more your gifts and talents will make themselves known. Trust joy.
Step 2) Educate yourself about some of the differences between how an ADHD brain operates versus a neurotypical brain. Another one of my ADHD friends and I used to try to check ADHD books out from the library and we’d chuckle about how the books we had been trying to reserve were never returned on time. Whether you like to learn by reading, listening to audiobooks, or watching YouTube videos, do some research on ADHD and see what resonates. As with all types of medicine, there are many different theories, opinions, and approaches. Don’t limit yourself to one medical expert. Gather information from a variety of sources. Dr. Daniel Amen and Dr. Gabor Mate are two of my favorite doctors who provide good quality resources about ADHD. They both have several books and are easy to find on YouTube. Jessica McCabe is a YouTuber who has an excellent channel dedicated to educating people about ADHD.
Step 3) When you notice the little voice in your head telling you to “just try harder” on something that you’ve exerted an amazing amount of energy on, ask yourself, “What if I’m enough?”. Positive “What if?” questions are the fastest way to re-route negative thinking. The more often you’re able to re-route negative self-talk, the faster you’ll be able to break the habit of negative thinking. This will have amazing benefits on your physical health and your self-esteem.
Step 4) When someone gives you a compliment, instead of trying to make excuses or deflecting their kind words in any way, try to just smile and say “thank you”.
Step 5) Want to take it a step farther? Imagine positive vibes coming in through the back of your heart chakra. Positive vibes could look like light, water, birds, butterflies, or whatever imagery you like to use to imagine positive energy entering your body. Imagining yourself receiving positive energy through the back of your heart chakra WHILE meditating is a way to supercharge your ability to receive, because at the same time, you’ll be activating your pre-frontal cortex and allowing it to essentially get stronger. Having an underactive pre-frontal cortex is usually why people with ADHD have such a hard time with things like reading, planning, and organizing.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where I’ll give you ADHD and the Art of Receiving, Part. 2. When it comes to the art of receiving, what has helped you allow yourself to learn how to receive? Please let us know in the comments!
By Jean Prominski, Certified Professional Organizer
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