ADHD coaching is about more than ADHD. It’s about you. How you see yourself, and how you see yourself in the world.
ADHD Coaching is about how you show up, and how you want to show up differently. It’s the journey toward self-mastery, authentic self-expression and robust personal agency.
ADHD coaching is relational, not transactional.
Are you surprised?
When people first come to me, they’re often unsure about what to expect from ADHD coaching, or how it actually works. They want to ‘fix’ what’s not working, and they’re afraid that what’s broken can’t even be fixed. But there’s big a difference between fixing and transforming. It’s transforming that makes the changes stick.
If you’re like many adults with ADHD, you may feel broken, but you’re not. It’s true that ADHD symptoms can have an enormous impact on every part of your life. But you’re a natural learner, in your unique way. The coaching process helps you access that innate potential for growth. As you go deeper, you become supremely self-aware and skilled at creating the outcomes you want to experience.
All coaching is about self-knowledge and empowerment, but ADHD coaching has a unique poignancy.
Untreated ADHD prevents you from doing what you know to do and behaving the way you want to behave. This discrepancy between knowing and doing has a devastating impact on self-esteem, marriages and careers. Over time, you may even believe that this is who you are and that you have no agency at all.
It’s this perceived lack of agency that executives with ADHD want to hide. They know what they want to create, who they want to be and how to do it. But they don’t do any of it reliably.
In addition to skill building, ADHD coaching is about learning to see yourself as you actually are: whole, creative, loving and worthy. You let go of the idea that you are defined by ADHD. In a sense, this is the work of soul recovery.
When I’m feeling broken, how can I know I’m capable of change?
This is such a great question. Look what’s underneath it. You’re doubting your ability to learn because of how you feel.
When you believe your feelings as facts, what choices do you make?
Here’s the cycle that I often see.
You’ve tried to change many times in the past, but you remember those efforts as failures because they didn’t seem to work in the way you’d hoped they would. Then you feel discouraged and unmotivated. The effort it would take to try something new feels insurmountable.
Eventually, you come to question whether you can learn a new way of being at all.
This pattern is the executive functioning loop of difficulties masquerading as facts about who you are.
But the fact is, you can trust that you’re capable of learning because you’ve done it all your life. You’ve learned to drive a car, get an education, find a career, a partner. You may be thinking, “Yes, and most of that has been really difficult! How can I be a good learner if it was so difficult?!”
Difficulties don’t mean you can’t learn. Unless you decide they do.
Difficulties are signals that learning is available to you. They don’t mean anything more than that. Your innate ability to learn remains intact – no matter how you feel.
When you find yourself in a fixed mindset (I can’t learn because….) your antidote is a growth mindset (I can always learn). A growth mindset is your trusted engine for change, even with ADHD.
How ADHD coaching develops your personal agency
When you coach with me, you’ll have a non-judgmental space for you to create self-awareness and experiment with new ways of being. You’ll be accompanied, supported and loved toward the change you desire.
- Identify the goals behind your goals
Coaching supports you in turning toward what you want, with less focus on what you want to avoid. Wanting to complete projects on time is not really about satisfying your team. It’s about what it would say about you, and what makes that matter to you. It’s about knowing your values, so you can spark your own motivation when you need it.
- Embrace an accurate self-concept
Separate your idea of who you are from the ADHD symptoms. Clear up any misunderstandings you’ve accumulated over years of perceived failures.
Your executive functioning is the engine under the hood, but it’s not the whole vehicle. Learn to drive it. You’ll be able to see yourself more objectively and more accurately. You’ll embrace who you really are, joyfully and confidently.
- Choose consciously, consistently
Coaches ask you a lot of questions. There’s a reason for this. Telling you what to do doesn’t help you learn. Every time you consciously choose something, you’re practicing the habit of tapping into your inner knowing. And better still, you’re exercising your executive functioning skills for goal-setting, prioritizing, self-monitoring and cognitive flexibility. And even better than that, you’re building agency and self-trust.
- Target your actions
Targeted action leads to change. Practicing new strategies in real time is the key to transforming your experience. When we coach together, we’ll co-create new strategies – and more importantly – what you’ll need in order to implement them successfully. This emphasis on the ‘how’ will support you in taking actions when you might not otherwise. Every successful action increases the muscle for taking more and more positive action.
- Reflect with curiosity
Coaching is all about getting curious – about everything. “What worked this week? What got in my way? What was I believing?” When you ask yourself relevant questions such as these, you’re scaffolding your reflection. You’re not brainstorming randomly. You’re reflecting actively. In this way, you’re cultivating key executive functioning skills impacted by ADHD: meta-cognition, self-monitoring, planning, focus and cognitive flexibility.
You are the master of your experience. Can you imagine breathing possibility into your experience?