“I’m so stupid.”
“I’m always messing things up.”
“No one ever wants to be with me.”
“Everyone hates me”
“I’m so fat!”
“I will never be anything more than I am now, so why try?”
For those with ADD, these types of negative beliefs are common. They become ingrained from experiencing continual frustrations at school and work, the cruel things that others say during moments of frustration, and from the bullying that many children with ADD endure.
There are still those without ADD that have these thoughts and think these words are true for them and believe that they are not worth more. Some fight to get up in the morning and do anything to put a smile on our face when we think of who we are or what we are.
An ADD child or teen may believe that they’ll fail in school — because that was their experience at some point in the past — so they will not try. A person without ADD can focus on the negativity that they will never become more than what they are now. They can allow themselves to think they are worthless and that they will never amount to anything. They find themselves not setting goals because they don’t even see the point in trying because they won’t be successful.
These types of negative thoughts often “just happen,” so we call them Automatic Negative Thoughts. When we take the first letter from each word, it spells ”ANT.”
Whenever ANTs creep into the mind, they must be eliminated! We eliminate them by talking back to them; if we don’t, ANTs become the seeds of future anxiety and depression. We are not to allow ANTs to control our moods, our facial expressions, or our thought process.
Some people tell me they have trouble talking back to their ANTs because they feel that they are lying to themselves. Initially, they believe that all of their thoughts must be true. Our minds play tricks on us and repeat the words that have been told to us in the past by others. We cannot allow these words to resonate for any period of time within our minds. We cannot allow them to become truths. We must overcome these negative thoughts.
Don’t be fooled – your thoughts can, and will lie to you!
- Whenever an automatic negative thought enters your mind, train yourself to recognize its type and write it down (see types below).
- Talk back to the ANT – this takes away its power so you can gain control over your moods and feel better.
- “All or nothing” thinking: thoughts that are all good or all bad. “I can’t do anything“
- “Always” thinking: thinking in words like always, never, no one, everyone, every time, everything. “I am always breaking things”
- Focusing on the negative: only seeing the bad in a situation. “I may have completed that task but I messed up several times“
- Fortune telling: predicting the worst possible outcome to a situation with little or no evidence for it. “I can’t so that so I won’t try”
- Mind reading: believing that you know what another person is thinking even though they haven’t told you. “I know he doesn’t like me so I am not going to speak to him”
- Thinking with your feelings: believing negative feelings without ever questioning them. “I hate my eyes”
- Guilt beatings: thinking in words like should, must, ought, or have to. “I have to do this for them, even though I don’t want to”
- Labeling: attaching a negative label to your self or to someone else. “I am so ugly”
- Blame: blaming someone else for the problems you have. “It’s not my fault I am so heavy”
We must rethink and retrain our minds. We must train our hearts and minds to believe the NEW TRUTHS!
- “I have never done that so I will try”
- “I break a lot of things but I will be very careful with this”
- “I finally got it right!”
- “I will attempt to do this new thing”
- “I am going to smile at him and he will surely want to speak with me”
- “I love my hair”
- “I will not be going to that even though they want me to”
- “I am beautiful in the eyes of Christ”
- “I will stop eating out so much so I don’tget heavier”
We have to change our thought process and teach ourselves to love ourselves. We must train ourselves to enjoy our own company. We must speak affirmations into our life, daily. We must share these words with others and give them the confidence boost they may need.
If you hear someone speaking to themselves in this way, simply tell them how awesome you are and how you overcame it.