After an ADHD Diagnosis: 6 Steps To Successful ADHD Coaching
After an ADHD diagnosis, many new clients want to know, “What can I expect from coaching?” This may be especially true for adults with ADHD who are already feeling overwhelmed. They want to change their lives for the better, but they wish they could do less—not more.
So, how do you get the best results? What would lead to improved work performance, healthy relationships, and financial stability? As it turns out, the best results occur when clients are prepared to do things differently. Consider the following 6 steps:
- Get to know your ADHD It may be obvious, but getting a formal ADHD diagnosis is important to your success. ADHD is a neurobiological disorder, and with a diagnosis, you will know definitively why you have not been able to focus at will like other people. You will learn that you did not cause your ADHD symptoms, and that you are not to blame.
- Be committed to your stretch zone Just outside your comfort zone is the best place to make meaningful change in your life. This is where new habits are formed and self-confidence is developed. The idea is to feel the stretch, take the action anyway, and celebrate. Your coach will support you in finding the balance between trepidation and effective learning.
- Practice neutrality You can expect that feelings of frustration, fear, and even shame may come up as you fumble with new habits. Practice responding with neutrality. Non-judgment will support you in persevering until you reach your goals. It helps to see your failures as learning opportunities, and remind yourself that nothing is personal.
- Set reasonable expectations for yourself Many people with ADHD take on too much at one time, become overwhelmed, and then stop. Setting goals that are achievable leads to increased success. For example, overwhelmed by the piles of paper on his desk, one of my clients wanted to set up systems to keep his desk clear. For him, the first step in this goal was to purchase a scanner. Once he did that, he felt more confidence to take the next step.
- Take action Be prepared to take action if you want to change your life. There is no getting around this part. The plans you make with your coach are just the start; the real work takes place between sessions as you implement new, more adaptive habits. A word of caution, don’t let perfectionism stop you from practicing a new skill. Skills are developed over time. They will not be perfect the first time they are used. Instead of judging your performance, celebrate that you took a step toward something better!
- Consider all parts of your life Be willing to explore all areas of your life. For example, if you make a plan with your coach for improved time management without mentioning that you have a wedding scheduled in the middle of your peak work period, the plan is likely to fail. Be open to sharing what is going on in your life, even if it does not seem relevant. The best way to connect the puzzle pieces is to throw them all on the floor, then sort through them afterwards.
Remember, coaching is a partnership to improve your life. Decide to show up consistently, with openness and curiosity, and you will find the success you are looking for.