Coaching to help you increase your strengths and flourish with ADHD
We all have strengths and weaknesses and understanding these can lead to a more productive lifestyle, improved relationships and a positive view of self. If you have an ADHD diagnosis you might find that you are hard on yourself and have difficulty seeing the positives. You may experience issues with impulsivity, find getting things done tricky as you procrastinate and on occasion feel like other people just 'don't get you'. You may also be highly creative and have exceptional problem solving skills and high energy.
However it presents for you, the good news is that there is more support and recognition than ever out there and it's possible to tap into our 'superpowers' and manage our environments and ourselves in order to flourish.
Here are 6 tips below that I have taken from my work coaching to support ADHD.
1. Tap into what works
Each person is unique and if you feel like you have many televisions on at once, which is how one of my coachees describes her experiences when she is trying to focus and remain on task, then trying to fit in with the idea of what should work may not be the best way.
Consider instead what is working for you currently and then we can figure out how to get/do more of this.
If we tap into a strengths based approach we can consider the best way to keep focused and interest when we usually start to zone out to 'a different screen'.
2. Set your scene
Set it up! This is one of my favourite tips to compartmentalise all the things you have to do using colours, funky stationary, certain areas of your office, a clear or dedicated section of your desk, so you can focus on the specific thing you wish to do in the day. We all have a tendancy to get distracted so how can we eliminate these and have an environment that makes us more productive than ever? What is within your power to change?
I run four businesses and I love to use different cupboard space for each area and have folders to section it up.
Putting away what you don't need, focus on what you do. My coachees often say that noise can be an issue so put on headphones or find yourself a quiet space.
You do you with a scene that works for you. Set it up, perhaps, the day before and picture what you would like to achieve!
3. Get in a flow state
Csikszentmihalyi developed flow theory (1975) linked to his research into individuals so absorbed in the task in which they were undertaking that they didn't get distracted but were totally in a 'flow state'. He suggested that a balance of skills to challenge led to optimal learning and achievement.
So we can apply this when considering how to get our stuff done. Do you have enough skills to achieve what you set out to do and enough challenge to keep your interest peaked?
It also helps to link your values with your purpose and know the deeper reason for why you do what you do.
If I research for a training session or to teach dance, for example, what do I get out of it? Then what is the deeper achievement from that? If I help people to learn then I feel good about that. If I do my background research to be the most effective I can be then I feel a sense of accomplishment. If I feel like I have accomplished something then I am more like to do it all again. Flow and linking to your values and sense of purpose in turn helps with motivation, future incentive and ultimately goal achievement!
4. Use the if.. then... of consequential thinking
Impulsivity can be an issue for those individuals within an ADHD category. We instinctively as humans are seeking rewards. So the short term pain of putting up with something we don't want can be balanced with the consequential thought
if I.....then.....So if I get the shopping done which involves standing in a long supermarket queue then I will have some lovely items for that meal later. Or if I recognise I am getting irritated and take a step away from a situation then I will be in a calmer place to talk to my partner. Change the story you tell yourself with the if ..then... to help slow the process down and be more zen!
5. Know your triggers and slow it down
Knowing what sets us off with negative moods or impulsive behaviours can help with the feeling of helplessness we experience when we are in an overwhelmed state reacting to the trigger. We don't have to give into a Diana Ross (chain reaction!) we can slow it down and stop the reaction, putting strategies in place to disconnect the next link of the chain.
We can use techniques such as writing it down, moving around maybe to a different area, taking a break, tuning into our breathing, using a distracting activity, surfing the urge to react, using a visualisation process and if it feels fine to do so expressing how we feel. Coaching can help you to identify the what works agenda for you.
So know your triggers and take responsibility for what you can do to stop that automatic chain reaction that can ensue. My blog on tuning into your emotional intelligence may be of help -https://www.mariposacoaching.co.uk/post/2018/09/19/tune-into-your-emotional-intelligence .
6. Kindness is key
Shoulds, musts, oughts are not helpful. We want to be as flexible as possible to be compassionate to ourselves when we are struggling and if we are too hard on ourselves with inflexible thinking patterns we are not going to feel good and this is not good for anyone. So give yourself a break. Change your absolute mental scripts to preferential statements. It would be preferable to ...rather than I must...
Set it up with those people you are close with, if you are finding a strategy helpful and feel comfortable enough to explain it to loved ones then this atmosphere of understanding can create great things.
You might want to share what is going on for you and what would be helpful from the other person, that any critism can be hurtful but positive strategies are helpful.
One final tip before I go is to keep seeing your strengths and the magic in you..!
I hope that you have found this article beneficial and if you have thoughts or ideas on this subject I would enjoy hearing from you. I offer a free 20 mins consultation about how coaching can benefit you so do get in touch.
Thanks for reading..you have got this!