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A Positive Intelligence (R) Approach to ADHD and the Restless Saboteur

Embarking on the journey of understanding ADHD and its connection to the Restless Saboteur is like navigating a winding path through a bustling city – full of twists, turns, and unexpected discoveries. In this article, we'll explore together, delving into the dynamic interplay between ADHD and the Restless Saboteur. We'll uncover how these two forces shape our experiences, influence our daily lives, and offer strategies for finding harmony amidst the chaos.


The Positive Intelligence Restless Saboteur is one of the inner saboteurs identified in the Positive Intelligence theory developed by Shirzad Chamine. These saboteurs represent the internal voices or thinking patterns undermining an individual's mental fitness and well-being. Specifically, the Restless Saboteur is characterised by a constant need for activity and stimulation, making it difficult for individuals to stay present in the moment or focus on tasks at hand.


Individuals influenced by the Restless Saboteur may experience a sense of inner restlessness, an inability to sit still, and a tendency to seek distractions or constantly jump from one task to another. This saboteur often leads to feelings of anxiety, stress, and dissatisfaction as individuals struggle to find fulfilment and satisfaction in their lives.


You would easily see the correlation between the restless saboteur and ADHD, fitting together and exacerbating each other. ADHD is like having a symphony of thoughts playing simultaneously, each vying for attention. Now, add the Restless Saboteur to the mix—that persistent voice urging us to keep moving, keep doing, never stopping to catch our breath. Together, they create a whirlwind of energy that can be both exhilarating and overwhelming.


Living with ADHD and the Restless Saboteur can feel like riding a rollercoaster without a seatbelt – thrilling but also a little terrifying. From struggling to focus on tasks to feeling like we're always one step behind, the impact can ripple through every aspect of our lives. Relationships, work, school – no area is immune to their challenges. Yet, amidst the chaos, there are moments of brilliance and flashes of creativity that remind us of the unique gifts these traits can offer.


The restless saboteur wastes your time by starting too many things that either go unfinished or distract you from your real priorities. It means not sticking with what you are doing long enough to make real headway with things, getting distracted and starting different projects instead. This, in turn, makes you feel unfulfilled with what is in front of you, looking for more excitement elsewhere because you are not getting the results that you need. You become anxious that your lack of focus costs you productivity and results. The restless saboteur also damages your relationships, as you are not fully present when spending time with other people, reducing their sense of connection with you, and you don't always follow through with what you commit to, reducing their trust in you.


So, how do we find our footing in this whirlwind of thoughts and impulses? Here are some strategies to guide us along the way:

  1. RecRecognisee Restless Saboteur: RecRecogniseen you are being taken for a ride by the saboteur. You might do this by planning out your priorities for the day so you know if you are on track or committing to a certain amount of time to a task so that you can make some progress. You might do this by pre-empting its interference when a task is unpleasant so that you can make an informed choice about whether to stay and finish or do something else.

  2. Embrace Mindfulness: In a world constantly buzzing with activity, mindfulness offers a sanctuary of stillness. Doing two minutes of PQ reps when you notice the Restless Saboteur rear its head allows you to make calm, considered, sage-driven decisions about what is important and what you want to do. Building a habit of PQ reps throughout your day also helps you recognise the Restless Saboteur.

  3. Find Your Flow: Schedule parts of your day to do things you enjoy so that you can break from the restless saboteur. Get deeply involved in the things you love so you can experience the success and motivation of sticking with a project.

  4. Cultivate Self-Compassion: Living with ADHD and the Restless Saboteur can be challenging, but it's important to remember that we're not alone in our struggles. Practising self-compassion and embracing our imperfections allows us to approach ourselves with kindness and understanding, fostering resilience in the face of adversity.


In the intricate dance between ADHD and the Restless Saboteur, finding harmony requires patience, perseverance, and a willingness to embrace the journey. By learning to navigate the ebbs and flows of our restless minds with grace and compassion, we can unlock the hidden potential within and embrace the unique gifts these traits have to offer. So, let's embark on this adventure together, embracing the challenges and celebrating the triumphs along the way. If you want to learn more about your saboteurs, here is an easy online multiple-choice quiz to see which saboteurs affect you the most: https://www.positiveintelligence.com/saboteurs/.


If you have questions or are interested in mental fitness, please book a free 15-minute chat with me at https://www.maydayadhdcoaching.com/booking-calendar/discovery-call?referral=service_list_widget.

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