My ADHD clients (and me too!) are filled with guilt about their lack of achieving anything during this past year. That is a total lie. They hold themselves up to far too high standards and I will take this apart in the blog.
It is already December. In a few short weeks, 2023 will be upon us.
Here is a snapshot of my diary entry for November 2018. Let me share with you how I felt in November 2018.
“I feel intense pressure that gets worse as the days and weeks moved towards the end of 2022.
My thoughts are constantly going around in a loop as I reflect and think about my achievements, or lack of them, this past year.
I can’t even remember the goals that I set for myself in January 2022 for this coming year. I lost the piece of paper. The word doc is lost in my digital desktop jungle.
I feel acute intense pressure to perform, to get something worthwhile done. I feel so disappointed with myself. I believe I am useless. I am a sham. I look at other businesswomen who have succeeded, and this makes me feel much worse. I haven’t completed even one goal that I set for myself in January 2022.”
I spent far too much energy hiding my intense guilt from the world. My show of calm confidence was slowly cracking. I couldn’t understand why other women were successful, and I was not. What secret did they know I didn’t know? I wanted to know the magic formula for success. Maybe there was no magic formula. Maybe I was doomed to fail for my entire life.
This is an accurate picture of my internal world before I learned about ADHD.
I only got diagnosed with ADHD 3 years ago.
I used to live with a constant state of acute anxiety, guilt, pressure, frustration, hopelessness, despair and anger, every single day, but since my diagnosis I have been able to manage my ADHD better. Get an ADHD diagnosis at leading assessment and treatment clinics like The ADHD Centre while learning tools and ways to manage your ADHD so that you can put your overwhelm in the bin where it needs to go. And create your calm, confidence, and focus.”
I used to live with a constant state of acute anxiety, guilt, pressure, frustration, hopelessness, despair and anger, every single day.
Now I know that a sizeable chunk of this pressure was created by me. It was my default ADHD thinking working against me. Many people with ADHD think in “all-or-nothing terms” or black-and-white thinking. They want instant success or quick success. Success takes time and they don’t understand that. They don’t understand that outside achievements do not measure that success. Success is measured by your internal shifts that then influence your external world.
Either the project is perfect, or it’s nothing. Either 20 people turn up to my course or I am a failure.
You get the idea.
If you are a woman with ADHD, please understand that you are not faulty or lazy. This ADHD default thinking can serve you well, only if you know how to channel it in the right way. If they did not teach you how to channel your default black-and-white thinking to work for you and not against you when you were young, you become your worst enemy.
You become the silent monster inside your head, criticising you non-stop. The more you focus on it, the more it grows.
You have set too high standards for everything that you do and now you are trapped inside your own head. You won’t believe what anyone says to you. Genuine praise from others sounds false.
This is how I feel now in December 2022.
When I think back to the goals that I set at the start of this year. I can’t even remember the goals.
I feel satisfied because I have done my best each day to move forward and learn from my mistakes. This is true even though I can’t remember what I achieved. I have achieved many important things in my business and personal life. The most important changes are not apparent if you hop on my website. They are those tiny, almost invisible shifts in perception and action.
Here are some of my business achievements so far for 2022.
Every day, I check my business and personal bank accounts. When I check my bank accounts, I no longer get panic attacks. I have removed the anxiety and overwhelm, the guilt and shame regarding managing my finances, business and personal. I know what date payments are due to go out and come in.
I zapped two overdrafts on two personal bank accounts. One for £1500 and one for £1000. I have organised the family bills to go out of one account and arranged funds to cover all the bills each month. It just ticks over from month to month. This is ADHD Heaven! There is no more panic about how I will cover my bills and expenses. This is mega beyond huge. Not only do I have ADHD, but I also have Dyscalculia, which is the number form of dyslexia.
I removed my online courses from all platforms. They are all now only on Udemy.
I walked every single early morning this past year, with two exceptions. When there were storms, high winds, and intense heat, I walked. I walked even when my daughter, who was staying in my home, went off to the hospital to have her first baby at 8 am. My son went off to school, and I shot out like a rocket. I needed that walk so badly.
I now know that every minor achievement is not that minor at all. It affects every single area of life, and creates ripple effects that extend further than you can see.
ADHD management is Pills and Skills. An ADHD Coach supports their clients with the skills that they need to get on in life.
If you are a woman or mum and you think you may have ADHD, stop excusing. Stop blaming. You and only you can get a grip on your life. If you tell your GP that you may have ADHD and you want to be referred for an ADHD assessment, he may not even listen to you. He may just chuck anxiety pills and anti-depressants at you.
It is time to empower yourself with the true ADHD facts.
How do you manage your ADHD? Get an ADHD diagnosis. Learn tools to manage your ADHD so that you can put your overwhelm in the bin where it needs to go. And create your calm, confidence, and focus.
Don’t let that voice in your head put you off by telling you all sorts of lies. Change is like compound interest. It multiplies and increases and grows more and more.