5. Paying attention to the wrong things

Focusing on the negative

Interview with David Giwerc, President ADD Coaching Academy

Andrew: Do we pay attention to the wrong things? As ADHD adults we seem better at paying attention to our problems, our issues and we take for granted the positives. We skip straight past successes and focus on the smallest issues. If we have a perfect meal, each course delicious, the company great, the location fabulous we can still come away thinking about our dirty fork!

David: That’s such a wonderfully difficult, challenging, rotten point all rolled up in one. You’re absolutely right. I had a client who was a wonderful speaker and I asked him “So when you speak to 1000 people and 980 of them love it and 20 people don’t, what do you pay attention to?” He said the 20 that don’t. I asked then “So you mean that you miss that 980 people that really like what you have said?” and he wasn’t even aware of it. There’s a very important point here.

We grow up in a world that is looking for and seeking perfectionism and it finds fault with everything.

In the physical world of manifestation you can will always find imperfection not perfection. If I draw a circle two thirds filled, you don’t look for the two thirds that are already filled. You look at the empty third, that’s missing or incomplete. This perfectionism is so dominantly reinforced by society that we look to fix things all the time and it reinforces a mindset of worrying about the perfect solution so that we don’t fail.

What we pay attention to grows

The way our brains work is that the strongest thoughts that you consistently have are reinforced over many years, they tend to take over and dominate our internal programming. We have a part of our brain that doesn’t analyse, judge our thoughts as good or bad. It simply lets the strongest thoughts through and the electrical currents they create in our brain.

Unfortunately the strongest thoughts that we have are about fixing: fixing problems and faults. It’s not about possibilities. You have done this for yourself, Andrew. I know this for a fact because I’ve heard you do it. You’ve changed your pattern from one of pessimism and negativity to realizing that that those dominant, negative thoughts only drain your positive energy and take you away from possibility and positivity.

Andrew, look at what you’ve done with your website, newsletter and your coaching practice.

At some point you made a decision to say that old pattern does not serve me well.


ADHD Coach, Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis is an ADHD Coach, writer and founder of SimplyWellbeing. He has over 10,000 hours and 15 years of experience in coaching hundreds of ADHD executives, business professionals and creatives, and previously running a large ADHD support group and an ADHD diagnostic clinic. His business expertise comes from a twenty years career in software, from programming, through marketing, sales and running a few start-ups. His ADHD insight is personal, with decades understanding his own ADHD experience and in bringing up his ADHD daughter. He has published his writing primarily via this website, with interactive ADHD courses in development.


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