Is ADD Getting You Down? 6 Tips to Sharpen Your Celebrating Skills

Sarah Jane Keyser

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Celebrating is a skill that adults with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) are often short on. They tend to have a negative image of themselves. Their own internal gremlin keeps reminding them of their failures and unrealized dreams and “the others" in the outside world often remind them when they don't live up to expectations.

Here are six tips for Celebrating with ADD.

1. Celebrate failure

People with ADD often take failure personally as proof of their own stupidity. Getting it wrong is the first step to getting it right. Understand what went wrong and plan how to do it differently so it doesn't happen again.

Thomas Edison made more than 1000 attempts (failures) before he made a successful light bulb. He made careful notes of each trial so he wouldn't repeat a failing design.

2. Celebrate small steps forward

We work for rewards. People with ADD have difficulty staying focused on big projects because the reward seems so far away and imaginary. Recognize and reward each small step forward to have that feeling of satisfaction often.

3. Celebrate little things

You got to an appointment on time; pat yourself on the back. Share your success with someone who will celebrate with you. You remembered to return the books to the library with only one reminder. Think about how you did it. Plan to do it again and give three cheers.

4. Train a friend to celebrate with you

Other people usually do not understand how difficult small steps are for people with ADD; they may belittle your efforts to manage yourself. Choose friends who will understand what ADD means and train them to celebrate with you.

5. Laugh often

Laughing makes us feel good. No surprise! A hearty laugh boosts serotonin, the feel good neurotransmitter. You can laugh at your little mess-ups: the spilled milk and keys forgotten; it puts them in a lighter perspective.

You don't need to have something funny to laugh at; there are now laughing clubs where you can laugh in company. It's great for the immune system too.

6. Have an Unbirthday party

Why wait for birthdays to have a party? Getting friends together helps strengthen relationships and provides a chance for networking. If planning parties is too much for you, get a friend to help.

Sarah Jane Keyser worked for many years with computers as programmer, analyst, and user trainer, but her struggle with inattentive ADD kept getting in the way of her plans and dreams. Once ADD was identified and the great need that coaching filled, she added ADD Coach training (ADDCoach Academy) to complete her preparation for a new career as ADD Coach.

Learn more about ADHD at or sign up for Zebra Stripes, a free E-zine for ADHD at


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