When I talk about ADHD, I often talk about how we’re given a diagnosis, handed some meds (if meds are a tool we plan to use) and then we’re told to go forth and be great. That’s cool and all, and for a while that worked really well for me. However, after a while that feeling that there HAD to be more persisted.
I had to be able to function better at work. People needed me to be able to get to more places on time. I still didn’t feel like I was functioning the way I wanted to. I still felt easily overwhelmed and struggled to juggle everything that was going on in my life.
In short, I needed more. ADHD coaching turned out to be the more that I was looking for. ADHD coaches work with people who have ADHD to help them with the executive functioning challenges ADHD can present in their life.
When you’re able to confront those challenges, the “something missing” becomes much much more apparent, and you’re able to complete that missing spot.
How can you coach with me? Head right here to access my consultation calendar!
ADHD Symptoms that can block your success
When ADHD is interfering with ADHD people’s lives, the everyday tasks other people do without a second thought can seem impossible to complete. Keeping up at work? Maintaining a clean home? Showing up places on time? All of those can be areas that people with ADHD struggle in, and they can wreak havoc on their lives.
Even when people with ADHD are “successful” (whatever that means), the amount of work that it requires can be draining, and often their nearest and dearest don’t realize how exhausted they are. It’s important to know what ADHD looks like so you can keep your eyes peeled for telltale signs of ADHD.
People who have ADHD often display some combination of these symptoms (plus others): difficulty sitting still or staying focused, being easily distracted, impulsive behaviors, and difficulty planning or finishing projects.
When you do the work, ADHD Coaching can REALLY help you learn how to harness your strengths, and support yourself in the areas you need additional help in. We talk a lot about accommodations for ADHD on the job and in school.
In my humble opinion, ADHD coaching empowers you and gives you the knowledge you need to be your own best accommodation. Because I have the knowledge of what works best for me, I now can adapt tasks and translate them into my language so to speak!
Why ADHD coaching can be so powerful
One of the most beneficial parts of ADHD coaching is the focus on finding solutions and developing habits that will set ADHD people up for success every day.
Before coaching I always felt like I was Indiana Jones, running frantically to stay in front of that huge boulder before it crushed me.
What makes ADHD coaching so powerful? In addition to developing new behaviors, ADHD coaching offers many opportunities for improvement through feedback, guidance, and accountability.
By employing the tools they acquire, coaching can lead to increased confidence, improved focus, and more self-sufficiency as the coachees learn how to utilize these skills for themselves.
Some of the benefits that those who do well in coaching have experienced:
-improved performance in school
-improved relationships with ADHD people’s friends and family
-reduced overwhelm which leads to a better quality of life!
You have the answers. No, really.
When you’re able to use the tools yourself, it is so empowering. Coaching hinges on the premise that we have the answers, we merely need to collaborate to unlock them. Is that a shocking concept to you?
Many of us with ADHD grow up with the idea that we NEVER have the answer. Not an answer that anyone would find acceptable anyway. Because of that, we’re often unsure of the decisions we make. ADHD coaching taught me to trust myself again.
Coaching can help ADHD people live fulfilling and satisfying lives.
I have learned through experience that ADHD coaching can help people develop new behaviors and live more fulfilling lives. The ADHD coach is there to assist the client in moving forward.
Coaching can help someone identify what they want out of life and how they are going to get there by working WITH their ADHD, not against it. ADHD Coaching provides us with a vehicle for self-development that doesn’t shame us for who we are.
The point of coaching is to enhance what is working well and to supplement in those areas of challenge. For people who live in a world that tells them they must work to eliminate their symptoms, this can sound foreign.
The idea that we deserve support is something that seems self-indulgent. I promise you, you’ll get better results from working WITH your brain than you ever did fighting it.
You’re a person, not a problem
The idea that we aren’t a problem to be solved, that we are not ineffective is something that can be sorely lacking in our narratives. In coaching, I learned to appreciate who I am for the very first time.
Before that, I lived in fear that I would be found out and exposed as a fraud. Now I know I am not a problem, I’m a person.
This isn’t the “your ADHD is a gift” type talk. This is actually learning how to stop wishing you weren’t the way you are, and living in your truth. If you are a person who struggles with timeliness, for instance, all the shaming, wishing, and self-blame will not stop you from having that struggle. What will is acknowledging it, understanding what it means for you, and learning how to best support yourself instead of resenting yourself.
The never ending demand for productivity.
Every single client I have ever sat down with wants to know how to be more productive. They’re ACHING to accomplish more things, and QUICK because they’re in trouble. One of the things that can be true for people with ADHD is that we don’t lack productivity so much as we lack a plan and we lack the ability to prioritize WHAT should be done.
When we are productive without a direction or a plan, we are churning out work that does absolutely no good for us. THAT is why we feel so tired yet also feel like we got nothing done. We did many things, but none of those things moved us forward towards our goals.
Working with a coach can really help you to clarify what you want to accomplish, how the activity will serve you, and what you will need to get it done. You and your coach will collaborate on a plan that redirects your productivity into activities that actually help you.
My relationship with productivity
Productivity and I have a strange relationship. For one, I think we focus too much on producing more and not the value of the work we’ve already done. We don’t stop to appreciate our wins, we go right on to the next demand.
We want to churn out the work like a machine. No breaks, no rest, no celebration, just a new stack of work in thanks for our efforts. How are we to feel encouraged or accomplished if our constant demand for more means we never get the satisfaction of having accomplished anything?
In my humble opinion – and it is JUST an opinion- our idolization of productivity leads to much of our dissatisfaction with our lives. Productivity is important, but it is not the only important thing. Learning how to prioritize and plan can help you focus on other things too.
How ADHD coaching helped me clear away my biggest productivity blockade
Here’s how coaching made me a more productive person: it brought me into the present. When I came to coaching I was always stuck in the past. I was cleaning up projects whose deadlines had passed.
When I wasn’t doing that I’d catch up on cleaning, or pay bills that were long overdue. Because I was always fixing the past messes, I wasn’t paying attention to the current day things that needed me. Those present problems guaranteed a future full of the same old cycle of playing clean-up crew.
ADHD coaching helped me to see that cycle wasn’t serving me. I never realized I couldn’t focus on the present because I didn’t know what to do with it. Or how to manage my time. I didn’t know how to keep things maintained. I only understood crisis mode.
Crisis mode isn’t for everyday operations
Nobody is meant to operate in crisis mode as a regular mode of operation. It’s only for crises, it is right in the name. You couldn’t tell me that, I and my adrenaline from my self-made messes were getting things done . . . just not consistently and not on time.
The skills you’ll learn in ADHD coaching can plant you firmly in the present. They’ll help you create a plan to work on the things in the past that still require your attention. When you have some balance there, you won’t have to constantly live in that crisis cycle.
ADHD Coaches talk coaching!
The ADHD community is so wide and so varied that there is a whole world of coaches out there. You can find one to fit well with you if you take some time to explore. Recently, I had a thread on Twitter where I asked for answers to add to this very article.
You can click right through to the original thread to see all of the response; I have highlighted some of them right here. Keep reading below the tweets for more!
ADHD Coaching was a game changer for me. It took me from feeling confused about how I was accomplishing things into being completely aware of why things worked and how to make them keep working. When you understand the way you think, you can do so much more with your ADHD than you were able to before. If you’re looking to enhance the way you live with ADHD on a daily basis, head to an ADHD coach’s calendar on the article!
Not ready to coach yet? That’s totally cool. If you just need a boost with some of the things you struggle with, check out my individual workbooks and workbook bundles. They help you out with common ADHD problems like how to clean up, dress well, and be on time! The book bundles combine the titles so you can meet more than one need. Book Bundles are currently on sale for $5 off!
Until next time,