Acceptance and Commitment

When is “good enough” good enough? A professional helper with an excessive change-orientation could be contributing to your self-defeating thoughts, like this one: “I’m not competent enough to accomplish my goals…I need to be better than I am to achieve my vision.” Change at the expense of acceptance contributes to negative judgment about one’s potential. Dependence on the helper may make the helper feel valued, but it may have the opposite effect on clients who already minimize their value. Their experience  of not being seen, accepted, and respected for who they are is familiar. Their self-doubt has a history.

Recent research suggests that non-judgmental self-observation and radical acceptance are critical in managing emotions and overcoming self-defeating thoughts and behavior. The power of acceptance and commitment are well documented as catalysts for development and change.

We have the power to accept our cognitive differences and commit to action, despite uncomfortable feelings and negative thoughts. Living well with ADHD means attending mindfully to what we want to accomplish and not being sidetracked by excessive attention to symptoms and limitations. Reviewing published research on these topics last night, I came across this: “Thoughts are not facts.” And I recently read the following powerful sentence in a book on mindfulness: “Feelings just are.”

Perfectionism can derail you; whereas, acceptance of your thoughts and feelings can prevent them from slowing you down. They’re just thoughts and feelings. In the 1980’s, I was inspired by a song whose chorus began with, “Ain’t nothin’ gonna break my stride…” 

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