Learning Not to Drown (guest post)
by Casey Dixon, ADHD Coach (http://www.dixonlifecoaching.com/live-well-adhd)
My clients are creative and talented. They are adults with ADHD whose professional accomplishments humble me and shine like beacons in the darkness of “underachievement” that is typically associated with ADHD. They do things that parents would be super proud of, like run successful businesses, stand up in court for victims of crime, conduct large research studies on public health, care for patients in hospitals and clinics, fly across the globe to lead U.N. committees, and develop multiple projects to advance local leadership capacity and improve social welfare. They are attorneys, professors, accountants, neurologists, coaches, entrepreneurs, and leaders.
They also have ADHD. They struggle with typical ADHD challenges, like planning tasks, scheduling time, getting started and finishing their work, curbing distractions, and taking care of themselves with healthy habits. Despite the outward appearance and reality of their successes, adult professionals with ADHD also experience the daily struggle of keeping it together, managing tasks while being overwhelmed – not drowning in the shame and imposter feeling they get when they think about their own performance.
But, how does one learn to not drown? How does one learn to live well and not to just get by, stuck in the dangerous undercurrents of struggle and shame? In my experience as an ADHD coach, the shift in how you live with ADHD is tied directly to a shift in how you think about ADHD. One of my clients expressed her shift in thinking when she said, “Drowning and just getting by is not good enough anymore. It is time to live now.” This was her moment, when she chose to be fully intentional about how she thinks, feels, plans, works, and acts. In order for this shift to work, adults who have ADHD will need to explore and acknowledge both their strengths and limitations, and engage in a targeted exploration of how to optimize their own neurology, create solid external tactics and habits, and purposefully alter their context so that they can swim with ease.
It is the switch from getting by to being purposeful that allows adults to really embrace and stick with the changes they need to live well with ADHD. Learning about ADHD, therapy, coaching, and group support can help you to make the switch.
If you want to learn more about group coaching for ADHD, check out Live Well ADHD, my 6-week group coaching program for professionals with ADHD, and see if it feels right for you!