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ADHD and Coaching

How do I celebrate my successes? Will I have any? I don’t believe I can do it.

Taken from  ‘ADD and Coaching: You Don’t Have to Go it Alone’ Part 5 of 6


I just don’t believe I can change. The belief system, that you have the assumptions that you make that you think things are really a certain way but if somebody says – is that truth or is that assumption? and you really think about it very often it’s assumption. My mother’s gonna kill me when I get home. Truth or Assumption? I don’t think she’s got that knife waiting for you she’s she
may be mad but or nothing may happen. So a lot of our beliefs about how the world works and how it works in in our ADD brains is not not true and a coach can help sort of bring that bit of reality in. I can tell you from my own experiences as a child. I was always incredibly frustrated because I felt there was a lot more going on behind my eyes than I was getting credit for, and
it really did a number on my sense of self-esteem, and so to be able to empower these kids, for myself and a lot of the coaches it’s almost like we get a second chance to make a difference in their lives and it really is something that is very rewarding.
I also look for pattern language sometimes certain language tells me that a person might have some very limited beliefs about themselves or about what they’re able to do, or about the world in general, and then it’s questioning that’ll help us first become aware of that limiting belief and what would life be if you believed differently. Better it would be better. How do you want to re-frame your your day to day so that you are competent and so you feel confident that your strengths are showing not it’s not all about your weaknesses and to actually talk to the people who you’re assuming are looking down at you or who are mad at you and to confirm is that real or is it an assumption? Oh my husband’s so wonderful I’m such a I’m such a mess up I could
never keep the house straight. He has to do everything well is he mad at you? Well I don’t really know this is this or is this just how things work what do you bring to him it’s oh he’s so right brained he you know our kids need me because I’m the warm fuzzy he’s the keeps everything on schedule.
So you don’t have to be like him it’s the balance it’s the way it’s the way the life keeps keeps moving forward for you. It’s like ADDers were born left hand in the right hand in the world they spend their entire lives paying attention to right-handed solutions and as a coach as I say I can’t change anybody but if we just notice that you grab the door with your left handed or that’s naturally. Wait a second if you’re left-handed the solutions are obvious play golf with the left hand set of golf clubs. Notice that you didn’t change you were born left-handed, but if you change what you pay attention to your behavior will change and will change easily if you’re left-handed. Okay so I get we’re building on strengths and yes maybe I have some but how does it work on a call what happens?
I usually start by what do you have to celebrate today you know what are the things that you’ve that have happened to you or that you’ve actually made happen in the last week that you’re proud of? and sometimes they come in and they they don’t have anything they don’t think they have anything and when we look at some of the things that they had committed to, I’ll start asking them about that to see if there’s any obstacles or and I’m realizing that they’ve gotten everything done that they
had you know expected to do. So one of the things is of course we celebrate the things that they do. Just to have a person who says to you you got up this morning way to go you cleaned up after yourself you’re you made it to work you got gas in your car. You don’t even realize that those things are part of the successes that make your day.
People don’t acknowledge other people you know I grew up in a world where my parents saw the deepest hell during the
Holocaust and yet when they came to the States they always I was blessed that they always found me doing things right not wrong, and we don’t do a lot of it. So when somebody does something well they don’t pause to celebrate it it’s like a list on the task go on to the next thing. We tend to be so task oriented that we do something and it it’s finished we check it off and we’re
often the next thing we don’t take the time to really look at Wow what did I learn from this? A lot of times because they’ve just finished and gone right on you know I never taken time to go yay look what I did but so I send them back to resumes and pictures and interviewing friends and family and we build a list of successes and wins and we keep building on to that list.
So they begin to have evidence of their very own. I have done these things oh my gosh. I do know these things oh my gosh I did
this before oh I can apply that here. When we actually celebrate somebody’s successes and break it down and here’s what you did and then give them visual symbols and pictures that’s what’s so beautiful about video you actually have a recollection a thing to savor that reminds you of it.
I want every parent to learn to start as early as they will to ask a child what are you happy about that you did today? What are you grateful for today? and write it down for them until they can begin writing for themselves and let them draw it it doesn’t have to be words it could be pictures and drawing, but if you start and have several notebooks of their successes and wins and accomplishments. By the time they hit adulthood you have handed them gold. I wish my parents had done that yeah but what if you don’t remember successes? I have to go back and try to recreate some of that and think how much we’ve lost because they’re not gonna be able to remember all of it or find it again. yeah recognizing what I have done would be good. But also in a typical
session look at okay so what are the next things that you’d like to achieve. I’ve done up so many to-do lists and wish lists and lists of goals even bucket lists and then I lose them or I forget them. and because of this memory issue with ADDers they have a lot of trouble making decisions and the part of that is that they don’t remember what they’ve done before, they don’t know the
criteria with which to make a decision and so it’s really hard. if you don’t know what the limitations are for the decision, if you don’t know how long it’s going to take.
You can’t figure out the priority if you can’t figure out how important it is it’s really hard to make decisions. I keep having to reel
than the wheel because I forget what I’ve already done. So I want my clients to create a personal operations manual. oh I like that idea. and every time they learn about a value every time they learn about their goals or create a new one. Every time they’ve made a decision I want them to write down why they made that decision. Okay, because a lot of maybe viewers go back two weeks later and second-guess themselves because they forgot why they made it or they recreate and have to reinvent the wheel because they forgot what they did before. If we had documented that then we could go back and save ourselves so much time so much reinventing and second guessing those decisions. Just write you know anything you’re doing how you do it right your
processes and systems that you create right what works your habits just right it linearly just do it because then you have one place.
I’m thinking about a new decision and you won’t think I’ve done something like it before but you can learn to say let me go back to my operations manual see if there’s anything in there like this before that I could use. What a savings for you to learn what you’ve done before how it worked out and be able to start from there to go forward that’s what the general population is able to do but we can’t because we don’t have the memory of it. So we’ve got to create it and document it. It’s not a fancy name to call it a personal operations manual but it fits the idea it’s what I want them to do and the more they do it they come back and go I went back to that yeah yesterday and there was a list of how I did it and I was like so easy and there’s they’re all excited because
before they would have had to create that all over anew again, or they’d have agonized well, I don’t know why I made that decision it was crazy it’s like. No you researched well and you made a careful decision.
Or I don’t know my criteria I don’t know how to make this decision. Well let’s look at your values. Let’s figure out your goals and see if this is aligned with them. There’s criteria. So if we don’t know any of that we can’t use it, but if you’ve got it someplace Wow a power tool. I remember hearing Dr. Russell Barkley say when you can’t rely on your memory you have to write it out or create a reminder. Put it in a note somewhere. You have to externalise it. Externalise externalized create that scaffolding to support yourself that’s what it’s for. yeah scaffolding to build on. And if you’ve written it down and you go back and find it you can still adjust it you’re not writing it in concrete. You can still adjust it and say oh well now it’s kind of changed. and at least I’d
have something to start from. It’s always easier to edit something that it is to start from a blank piece of paper and that’s what we don’t realize we can do so I find that really invaluable if I can get them to do it.
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