Tell me if this makes sense . . .

Tell me if this makes sense.

Your life is a story.

Your story has events and characters.

When I had cancer at 18, that was a chapter. Let’s call it chapter 18.

I called myself a cancer survivor for decades.

But that’s like someone asking me during chapter 49 (where I am now), “Tell me about yourself.”

Only to respond, “Chapter 18 explains a lot.”

What about the other chapters?

Why are they even there if I put so much stock in Chapter 18?

Now consider chronic conditions like ADHD.

ADHD is a recurring character. One who shows up in every chapter.

ADHD is a lead character but not the only character.

There’s more to the story than ADHD and there’s much more to you.

I start all kinds of projects but don’t follow through on any of them. What do I do?

This is the biggest struggle my clients with ADHD face every single day.

You too?

You have a mind filled with exciting ideas you have difficulty prioritizing, executing and keeping momentum toward bringing them into reality.

What is a brilliant, creative yet scattered brain to do?

I have a few suggestions.

1. Begin with a goal, a clear concise goal.

Without a destination you have no measure of whether you’re lost or on track.

2. Before chasing any new shiny object, ask yourself, “Will this move me closer to or further from my goal?

I think it’s evident what we’re shooting for here.

3. Not every stimulating idea is the most amazing idea you’ve ever had.

Your “all or nothing” thinking tricks you into believing every thought is equally valuable and needs to be acted upon.

That’s why you start so many projects at once.

Be mindful of this and its easier to let go of even the shiniest ideas that try to distract you from your “clear, concise goal”.

4. Load your calendar with reminders to snap you out of hyperfocus and reign you in when you become distracted.

A reminder before an activity gives you time to transition.

A reminder at the time of prompts you to get started.

AND, some benefit from a timer that pings every 15-20 minutes to remind you to check what you’re doing to make sure you’re working toward your goal.

Of course there are deeper aspects to this, things that can sabotage you. That’s why I created the Breakthrough Academy for Women with ADHD.

There we can take the time to explore the surface and deeper reasons for the habits keeping you away from what you want most.

You don’t have to struggle any longer, I’m here to help.

 

The universe rewards action

One of my clients (w/Asperger’s) is seeking a job after losing the previous one.

In the past they would’ve taken a passive, fill out applications then wait to be called approach.

Now, through coaching they’re very proactive. They follow up and even show up when needed.

This time around they’re receiving multiple interviews as a result of their efforts and I’m confident they’ll have a job soon.

Here’s why this should matter to you as someone with ADHD or another issue that defaults to overthinking, procrastination, rationalization or another form of resistance.

The universe rewards “action” more than intention.

I imagine some of the law of attraction (LOA) folks may argue with this. But in my experience, the intentional thinking of LOA creates behavior change since we only act according to our beliefs.

LOA works when your intention becomes a belief that informs action that helps create the result you want.

Just like the farmer can’t manifest a crop by intention alone.

Without the action required to move you forward the world, the universe doesn’t know what you want.

Your action is like a big finger (not that one) pointing toward your goal.

When you’re seen working toward or talk about your efforts it becomes a signal to those who can help you.

So get out of your head and into the arena.

You’ll never make a touchdown from the bench.

I need help, I just don’t want to ask for it.

This was a theme in a recent post (see here http://bit.ly/2mljLY9).

A large number of people commented who need the help, want the help, and yet, won’t ask for it because a limiting belief gets in the way.

It’s amazing the lengths you will go to and the suffering you’ll endure because of a rule you embrace as an inflexible order.

In our all or nothing culture, “help” is either thought of as someone using you for your generosity or criticizing you for reaching out instead of doing it yourself.

That’s really messed up my friend.

There’s a middle ground so few consider.

I call it “The Law of Complimentarity”, Yin and Yang if you will.

It’s a principle in which you surround yourself with people who are good at the things you are not.

What’s equally important is that YOU are good at something they are not.

That way your combined efforts make each other’s lives better.

You help each other succeed so more people are helped as a result.

These relationships are by no means a utopian dream, I have dozens of relationships like this which help me do all that I do.

I simply could not show up at this level otherwise.

It takes a village, team, community, friend to change the world.

That’s what we work on in my Business of ADHD for Women Community.

As Steve Jobs famously put it, “We’re here to put a dent in the universe.

Asking for help, inviting people to participate in your vision is a critical first step. Take the chance.

Ready isn’t a thing when you have ADHD

“I don’t feel ready.”
“Ok, I’m ready!”
 
Ready! Is that even possible?
 
In the conventional sense being ready means you feel fully prepared to take action toward a goal, dream or desire.
 
As someone with ADHD you may scratch your head when you hear someone declare, “I’m ready!” Then proceed to execute what appears to be a flawless or nearly so, execution.
 
Yes, sure, you have your moments. When you’re hyperfocused, in the flow so to speak, that you feel everything coming together and rarely does the thought of failure enter your mind.
 
But whereas everyone else appears to experience the feeling of being “ready” in multiple areas of life. You experience it seemingly in a more random way.
 
What gives?
 
The ingredients of ready (as I understand it and in random order), are preparation, trust, concentration, resilience and support.
 
Preparation is about rehearsal. How many times have you been down this road before? Do you think and feel as though you have practiced enough? Do you believe what you’re about to do has become habit such that you can execute it successfully.
 
You need to trust your abilities are good enough to at least get started. Since creating a plan is difficult for you, your first step is often a leap of faith because your ability to create additional steps is shoddy.
 
It can feel like building a suspension bridge as you’re walking across it.
 
Often lack of trust that your abilities will carry you beyond the first step makes the idea of taking the first step appear even more dangerous.
 
Concentration is an unknown because your ability to focus is so flighty. Unexpected distractions could cause your momentum to implode like Jenga.
 
You’re well aware of this and through sheer will try to force yourself to concentrate only to wear yourself out. That fatigue of course, sabotages your concentration even more.
 
Let’s say you take action regardless of these uncertainties.
 
Are you prepared to fall and be seen doing it?
 
Are you prepared to embrace the fall with a feeling of curiosity?
 
To tuck that piece of experience in the, “good to know for next time” section of your experience.
 
THEN, are you prepared to get back up and keep moving forward? That’s a demonstration of your resilience. The ability to bounce forward after a fall.
 
None of this happens in a vacuum. Without support, having someone who believes in you, all of this can seem too big a risk to take alone.
 
However, when you live with ADHD, your haphazard string of inconsistencies may make finding someone who believes in you difficult to find.
 
What do you do then?
 
Find a community of people who “get you” and believe in you because they’ve walked a similar road.
 
Our community of women with ADHD are stronger together and that’s why they grow more quickly than they likely would if they chose to go it alone.
 
I can’t tell you what it feels like to be ready. I can tell you, that having the support of people who believe in you can make it feel safer to go after your dreams. Ready or not.

It’s right in front of your face!!!

There’s a phenomenon (do do dooo do do do) sorry, got distracted, any way.

I like to explore executive functioning challenges on a deeper level.

The surface stuff is easier to spot, the deep stuff can be a source of life long frustration, because the way it shows up in every day life can be confusing and embarrassing.

Especially, when it happens in front of people whose respect you want.

For example, do you experience looking diligently for something only to throw your hands up in frustration?

Then someone else looks in the same places you did and is able to find it quickly.

Their secret, while you were looking for it in plain sight, they moved things around and found it behind something else.

You’re left scratching your head wondering why you didn’t think of doing that.

Sound familiar?

I have a theory on why this happens.

I remember watching my older sons when they were much younger, they insisted on sequencing things. From smallest to largest, alphabetical, etc.

They’d only do this with things that had an obvious pattern to them. Like having step by step directions.

I can follow a recipe (pretty well), as long as it’s laid out, step by step crystal clear.

Now enter the research paper. Even with an outline, structuring our thoughts can still be intimidating because it’s difficult to determine which comes first, etc.

Still with me, we’re getting closer?

Then there’s the project where we need to determine all the steps ourselves and we freeze, why?

Because until we can determine which of all the steps is the first step, we do nothing.

In a way, you think if you start and get it wrong you may become even more confused.

Subconsciously you see moving things in the absence of a plan as a threat.

Which brings us to this morning.

I have a cabinet where I store my coffee and various dry ingredients I use in my smoothies.

I leave the coffee in front because it’s what I go for first. This is a habit so knowing it comes first is established.

This morning I open the cabinet and the coffee isn’t there.

I begin to wonder where it could have gone. I began opening other cabinets thinking I put it someplace else.

I decide to work on my smoothie while I think about where it could be.

I grab ingredients randomly knowing the pattern doesn’t matter as long as each one goes in.

As I remove items from the cabinet the coffee suddenly appears, behind something else. Something had been moved in front of it and it didn’t occur to me to move things in my effort to find it. WHY?

I avoid trying to sequence things (i.e. move them around into a specific order based on criteria such as first to last, etc.) because I’m so weak in that area. Yeah I just said, “weak”, deal with it.

Subconsciously my brain says, don’t move things around you’ll just make it worse, so I don’t move things. Make sense?

People with ADHD who have difficulty starting things, or who start something, get distracted and can’t remember where they left off, may have this problem as well.

They’re intimidated by the need for prioritizing order, putting things in a sequence. This resistance shows up almost everywhere.
Solution? Awareness.

Knowing this is an area of resistance is the first step to getting it out of the way.

In the Breakthrough Academy I teach my clients how to overcome challenges like this.

 

I’m going to STOP Eating!

When you have ADHD, keeping your emotions from swinging like a pendulum is difficult.

So you find external ways to help keep them in check.

You drink wine, use pills, watch TV, eat comforting foods.

Others do healthier things such as exercise, reading, enjoying nature.

But it’s the easy ways many of us tend to go to first.

In my case, I’ve used food and the occasional beer to moderate feelings I haven’t dealt with for decades.

I’m coming up on a major anniversary tomorrow and have just realized how much my eating is related to my desire to keep old emotions buried.

When I’m anxious I often suggest we go out to eat at a place where I can order a tall beer to calm my nerves.

I have sought greasy, salty or sugary snacks for that feeling of euphoria that distracts me from feelings of insecurity or sadness.

What do I have to show for it, 100 extra pounds of weight?

Weight that has done nothing to help me heal the wounds that if left unchecked, will continue sabotaging my growth and preventing me from playing all out on the stage of life.

So I commit to STOP eating as a means to manage my emotions.

I’m going to feel them and heal them so my painful past doesn’t poison a present or future with more pain than joy.

I’m going to challenge the old beliefs that keep these feelings alive and replace them with more empowering ones.

What are YOU going to do?

What do you use to resist dealing with the pain that poisons your present?

 

Comparison is a confidence killer!

Here is a photo of Sailor Brinkley Cook, the younger daughter of Supermodel Christie Brinkley.

For those who don’t follow, Christy was cast to perform on Dancing with the Stars, but shattered her forearm in rehearsals.

She asked Sailor to step in for her with 2 days notice.

Sailor had to learn in 2 days what other contestants had a week to practice.

Sailor pulled it off and will be competing again this week.

On a lengthy IG post Sailor shared this, “I grew up very insecure. Never feeling thin enough or tall enough or pretty enough or just downright good enough. I spent a lot of time fighting against who I naturally was.”

I imagine this is true for any girl/woman, I imagine being compared to her mother her entire life was downright suffocating.

Sailor went on to describe the confidence she has discovered by being able to step out on her own and show what she’s got.

It’s amazing how life gives us these little opportunities in what seems, in part, to be on the heels of a traumatic event.

Like Sailor, stepping into the light to show the world who you are and what you’ve got is a courageous act.

Like my coach Desislava Dobreva talks about the fact that sometimes you need to act confident to stir up your true confidence.

That’s what Sailor did.

You may not realize how brave you are until you do something brave.

Showing the world your true face, who you are and what you have to offer isn’t only brave. It’s generous.

Imagine the difference you can make for others, for yourself, by showing up fully and confidently.

In a few minutes I’m masterminding with the women in the “Business of ADHD for Women group”. I’m going to teach them how to do all of this.

How honest are you being with yourself?

How honest are you with yourself?
 
I don’t mean that self-critical, perfectionistic diatribe you learned as a child that you’re still inflicting upon yourself after all these years.
 
I mean an honest inventory of the dreams you have and the actions you aren’t taking to move closer to those dreams.
 
Yes you’re allowed to have those, no matter what some others may have told you.
 
To realize those dreams will require you to consider yourself as more than the roles you currently play.
 
For example, Who are you if not a mother? Who are you if not a wife?
 
There is far more to you than what you’ve always done. It requires you to look beyond who you were raised to be and into who you want to be.
 
Just this morning in our weekly mastermind for healing relationships we discussed this very thing.
 
We talked about the strength and vulnerability required to step up and declare that you want more from your time on this planet.
 
That you want to BE more.
 
Most importantly, we agreed that having the support of like minded people like the women in our group is indispensable.
 
It provides you with a safe space for being yourself, confronting your fears and taking the chance to grow without fearing that you’ll be alone.
 
You may feel alone now, but imagine what it could mean for you if you know longer were.
 
Time to take your first step toward showing this world what it looks like when you show up fully.
 
Contact me to learn about how to heal your relationships, starting with the one you have with yourself

Making an impact regardless of the critics

Whether you have ADHD or not it can be intimidating to put yourself out there and declare what you stand for as a businesswoman.

Fear of negative feedback, arguments etc., can fly in the face of beliefs you may hold about the importance of pleasing others or being a peacemaker vs stirring things up.

Here’s the reality. You can be the juiciest, most delicious peach in the world and there will still be people who don’t like peaches.

With this knowledge your responsibility becomes to let the world know what kind of peach you are and what they can expect if they consume your juiciness (e.g. content, blog posts, videos).

You don’t have to diss apples and oranges (necessarily) to be clear that you stand for people who enjoy the kind of peach you are.

The occasional negaholic may show up in one of your threads and lay the criticism on thick.

When you have spent the time creating a consistent experience of you then the critic rarely has a leg to stand on.

The peach lovers in your tribe know who you are and that the critic is a complainer who likes to piss in other people’s cheerios.

Though you may at times allow this negativity to get to you (it’s happened to me), please remember that these bringers of all things poopy are of little more significance than the occasional itch on your butt.

It’s temporary and goes away quickly when you show it it isn’t welcome. Acknowledge it with a brief scratch, “I notice you, I scratch you off my list of things trying to get my attention and move on.”

Your gifts and your voice are too important to be intimidated by the occasional adult adolescent.

The amount of love and gratitude generated by your work will far outweigh any negativity you receive.

My Business Mastermind for Women with ADHD teaches this and so much more about how to make a larger impact with your message.