It doesn’t seem like it should be this hard to get on top of things, does it?
If you know what needs to be done, you should be able to just do it, right?
Maybe its the approach you’re taking.
I’m going to shoot myself in the foot when I say this, but you don’t need coaching to help you manage the challenges of ADHD. To say that in writing is a bit bonkers, since I am an ADHD coach. Why would I tell you that the thing I have to offer is something you don’t actually need? Hint: it’s not because I lack sales skills (though actually, I do) or because I am a half-wit (though actually, I hope I’m not!)
In truth, no one needs coaching. No one needs counseling either. There’s no rule of physics, philosophy or otherwise, that states things have to be any different than they are right now.
But when you want to feel better, leave a problem behind you, or move past a limitation – you may choose to get help. Through coaching or counseling or whatever means available. You don’t need to overcome challenges. You want to.
And get this: a lot of the help available, should you choose to seek it out, is free – or close to it. ADHD resources – such as books, websites, online videos and courses – are bountiful and relatively inexpensive. Most of them are but a click away, at any time, from anywhere in the world. Maybe not from my house on a Sunday evening, when the Internet connection collapses from winter traffic. But from anywhere else, anytime else.
But here’s the catch:
Just reading the book or watching the video is not the same as doing the work.
A lot of people use self-help materials. It’s a huge industry. No doubt, some of them are better than others (this blog is one of the better ones, just ask my mom). In any case, it doesn’t really matter. You have all the answers you need within yourself. Whatever resource you consult is merely a way of tapping into those answers.
That’s why I want to share with you the “secrets” of coaching. There’s no real mystery to it. You are the expert on you. And you can coach yourself through ADHD if you know how to approach it.
Here’s How to Coach Yourself
1. Find out everything you can about it
Books, videos… whatever! A good ADHD coach knows a lot about ADHD, and not just about the typical symptoms listed in a wiki. They know that ADDers can be accident prone but also make great athletes, can be unfocused at work but awesome in emergencies, and can look like they’re procrastinating when really they’re perfectionisting (my word, but you can use it).
ADD is full of paradoxes. Learn about those paradoxes so you can understand why some so-called easy things are hard while other, objectively harder things – are easy.
2. Become more aware of YOUR ADD
It’s been said that there are around 18 thousand variations of the ADHD presentation. That’s why it’s so highly misunderstood.
My ADHD will most definitely look different than yours. Coaches help individuals figure out their own brand of ADHD, from the big challenges to the more subtle nuances of it.
3. Be More Accepting of Yourself
My most important job as a coach is to teach my clients how to let up on themselves a bit. You know how honey catches more flies than vinegar? My clients work harder when they know it’s okay to screw up. I don’t lecture them because I’ve made all the same screw ups in the past too. Except for my client who once burned down his garage. I haven’t done that (yet?)
Don’t lecture yourself. Remember: you are learning. You don’t have to get it perfect. You just have to step back and think:
What did I learn from this and what will I change next time?
4. Stick to one or two strategies at a time
My clients show up to our first meeting wanting to work on time management, clearing up clutter on the second, and by the third – they want to launch a new business selling personalized hour glasses to house keepers.
I’m no different. I’m an avid reader. I’m certain that each book is “the one” that will change my life forever. I’m a book-promiscuous. My Kindle has become a cemetery for forgotten epiphanies.
An ADHD coach’s job is to hold dear what the client quickly forgets. When my clients bring up new goals, I check in with them… “Are you sure you want to tackle thermodynamics right now? Cuz we haven’t really nailed the scientific method yet!”
In the beginning, focus on one or two of your “this-will-be-a-huge-relief-when-it’s-gone” type of challenges. Focus on first-things-first, before you take on the complete redesign of your entire life.
5. Keep doing the work
Richard Branson wasn’t built in a day. He may have been made in 15 minutes or less, but his empire took years to build. And he built it by making records and launching airlines, not watching TV.
My job as a coach is to keep my clients working hard, even when they don’t feel hopeful or motivated. Your job, as your own ADHD coach, is to make that commitment to yourself. Show up. Do the work. Repeat.
6. Celebrate successes
My favorite coachy things to say is: “Whoa pony, slow down! You just did what?!”
Not because my clients like being referred to as equines, but because my clients rarely take a moment to congratulate themselves when they kick butt. That’s where I step in and high-five their butt-kicking.
So when you coach yourself, make sure you high-five yourself. A lot. When no one is looking of course.
There’s no mystery to coaching yourself to overcome ADHD challenges, it just takes the right mindset and a willingness to accept your challenges, learn from them, and take a moment to celebrate when things go well. Now that I’ve talked myself out of a job, I must add that I’ve been incredibly happy to do so. I want everyone to know that the power to change their lives is within themselves, but you have to treat yourself the way a coach would treat you. Do onto yourself as a coach would do onto you – remember that okay?
But if you can’t do that, then maybe we should talk. Drop me a line on the contact page and we’ll see what we can do.