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Autism and fear as motivation



other resources and insights

My mastodon request for resources

The only thing that has worked for me is to make a written list of positive reasons why I'm doing something, and take a few minutes and dwell on those reasons. It sometimes helps for a bit!


start by maybe changing how you talk about things.
Instead of I need do x, tell yourself you want to do x. I guess this is only tangental, but that's something I have worked on because all the must need and have tos were very very stressful to me.


I have never solved that problem.

But I can sometimes get things started by using the Pomodoro method.

I say to myself that I can do something for 25 minutes, no matter what it is. And for me, the break is mandatory.

I hope this helps.


I have been in the same cycle for 50 years. It got better when starting medication. You are not alone, this is depressing and exhausting.
Pomodoro is a valuable tool for me, sometimes. On bad days I have to set the intervals way smaller, even below 10 minutes. It‘s “I can do this for 7 Minutes“ plus “I can do another 7“ - it tells my brain that it will not die of boredom because time is moving.


I often need to distract part of my brain with sounds in order to let the other parts work.

Two good resources are and


all my resources are videos (tiktok, YouTube) but in general I think trying to focus on enjoyment of the processes of whatever you're trying to do is key, as well as having an "immediate" why rather than a "when I complete this goal" why


yeah, this is an extremely hard thing to do. One of the differences in how an ADHD brain works that you don't get (to a varying amount, depending on the person) as much of a endorphins/dopamine release as a result of completing things. And without that, the body doesn't have the automatic connection ("reward" link) between completing something and a positive emotion.

I decided to join an ADHD group therapy session, and we've done some planning/organization skills stuff, but also one of the things we're going through is consciously thinking about emotions and emotional responses. Consciously thinking about the emotional response you had after completing something might help establish that link for you?

Some people have reported that doing some regular exercise - I've started taking a half hour brisk walk in the morning whenever I can - might help regulate this a bit too. Some combination of the fact that exercise produces endorphines, combined with the need to concentrate to maintain the physical thing you're doing, with less ability for your mind to wander? Nobody seems to really know, not much reviewed research.

coupling the emotional reward with some sort of other reward can sometimes help you something to look forward to as well; like, I often do my walk before breakfast and will have a treat with it on days where I did take a walk, or if there's something that you really want to do but didn't think you had time for, reserve some time to do it after you complete a more difficult task.

a few links:

a lot of the discussion about dealing with rewards for doing something is oriented at parents dealing with kids, e.g. but the idea also applies to adults trying to figure out how to motivate themselves. Hardest part is picking a reward that is healthy, that is something you are definitely looking forward to, and that you know you won't accidentally get/do if you forget about the other task. Also don't forget to write down the reward in as part of planning/scheduling the task in your task list or calendar or whatever :) It doesn't even have to be something you give yourself - if doing the task has some positive effect in itself, write that down and make sure to reflect on the result when you go back to check off the task as 'done'.


I’m rereading this book Triggers by Marshall Goldsmith and have found it useful in terms of really recognizing how much of my experience wrt the situation you’re in now is from not recognizing how my environment really drives a lot of my behavior. Not sure if it’s the same for you, but might be worth a flip through !🤷


for me, i had to learn what kinds of other motivation actually did anything for me. i am really really responsive to words of praise, so I’ll ask my partner to tell me I did a good job on something (even if was something I was doing for myself) to give me the brain chemicals to give me good associations with it. or, i like things looking a certain way, so my room being uncluttered or my jira board being empty is its own reward for me to clean/work.