Understanding who you are with ADHD is paramount. This is where I recommend all the personality tests, ADHD research, and tracking of energy, habits, and issues.
What comes next? What is designing a path forward? Yes, goals are important. They set directions and conditions for success. Yet goals cannot be reached without a method and structure, a plan, a map, supplies, preparation. In some way, it is less about where you are going than how you will get there. What is your method for succeeding each day? In each moment? In the best of times and the worst of times?
You may have lived your life in the spirit of “The end justifies the means.”
The model I propose is the opposite –
“The means are the ends.”– Said by lots of smart people in one form or another
How you cope with life is how you thrive. Success in a moment is success in the long term. More important than the finish line is the starting line and each step. No one crosses a finish line successfully without success in each prior step.
So when I discuss the path forward, I am proposing you adopt a model for dealing with the promises and challenges of life. What is your process for enjoying a moment? What is your process for confronting a challenge? How do you respond to overwhelm? By understanding what we do we can move to how we want to do instead. We can plan for every scenario in a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style flow chart. We can simplify the executive function by anticipating the demands and programming our responses. We can free ourselves of our defensive mechanisms and their costly results.
So – When your relatives say that thing you know they are going to say, instead of going through the familiar trauma pattern you already do – what is your positive plan? Enact it. When the dog is acting up and you fear disciplining him – what pattern did you promise you would take? Do that. When the overwhelm of work or an enormous to-do list hits, how will you walk yourself through it to a place that is manageable?
You don’t have to wait. By now you’ve experienced every kind of stress. You can now calculate in analytical terms what your emotional response will be. Even if your immediate thoughts and impulse feel the same, you can override those old choices and consequences and follow your plan for a healthier, happier, more controlled choice and acceptable outcome.
Coaching is a space to do that work but regardless, it is positive potential for you to take control in a world that feels wild. You already know all the possible scenarios – Take charge and plan all your possible responses.
It’s as simple as having a method or routine. When something good happens – how will I enjoy it? When I feel overwhelmed, what will I say or do? What do I need at that moment? How will I give it to myself? When I’m stuck on a couch, feeling fatigued, how will I decide if I should stay put and if I should get moving, what needs to happen?
Plan the means. Mean the means. The means themselves define the end. If you define the means, you define the ends.
You’ve got this.