These are some of the lovely one-liners I use to override some of my brain’s automatic reactions.


“Do it now or do it never.” – I got this from a fellow ADHDer named Leslie. It reminds me that if something is important to me, I need to either DO it or WRITE IT DOWN the minute I think of it. Most likely, I won’t get another chance.

“As my day goes on, will I feel MORE like doing this task, or LESS?” – a procrastination buster, this question helps me realize that “I don’t feel like it,” is a smokescreen thought. Generally, the truth is that I will NEVER feel like it, so I might as well do it now. The slight discomfort I feel in the current moment is usually less than the overwhelming discouragement that results from a day filled with “I’ll get to it in a little bit….”

“Find the Nugget” – When I’m bored, I dare myself to find the ONE VALUABLE PIECE OF INFORMATION present in my surroundings. Making this a challenge gives me a shot of adrenaline and turns the situation into a kind of detective game.

“I LEARN by doing HARD things. Am I really DONE learning today?” – This is another sort of challenge. It reminds me that moving forward is usually uncomfortable, but that my discomfort indicates I am SUCCEEDING at growth. Because I actually love self-betterment, this thought can provide me with an invaluable extra thirty minutes of willpower when I most need it.

“Why are you accepting responsibility for someone else’s beliefs about you?” – Like many ADHDers, I often gauge my self-worth on the way I think other people see me. Asking myself this question brings me back to the truth – that what someone thinks about me does NOT create reality and that, in fact, what they think is based FAR more on their own past than it is on my present. Thus, all I need to do is hold myself to the standards that I and God have decided upon. If I am acting like the person I want to be, then the thoughts of others are cursory details.

“I can feel EVERY BIT of this (insert emotion), and nothing will happen.” – A cornerstone of my teaching, I use this phrase when I’m in the midst of an emotional surge (usually boredom or pain). It counterbalances the message my brain tries to sell me, which is usually something like, “WE ARE SO BORED. WE ARE GOING TO DIE. DIE DIE DIE DIE DIIIIIIIEEEEEEE!” The TRUTH is that we are not going to die. We do not need to avoid, suppress, or otherwise act on this feeling. We can simply observe it, without expecting it to disappear or lessen. Generally, though, it does JUST THAT.

I would love to hear your thoughts on my mantras, as well as any great lines that you use on yourself!


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