For most of her fifty years, Barbara was at war with herself. Keeping organized, being on time, and finishing what she started were always a struggle. (Sound familiar?)
She always secretly felt that she was broken and that there was no way out.
We met after a presentation I did for NAWBO, a women's business group.
"My desk is a train wreck, I can't get myself to do the things I know I have to do and I know I'm smart but my brains take a hike when I need them most. Can you help me?" she asked, the words running together in a stream of hope and fear.
After coaching ADD-ish entrepreneurs for the last 13 years, Barbara's frustration was very familiar to me. During our first coaching session, I used Dr. Edward Hallowell's list of 20 traits used to profile Adult ADD. (Be my guest - take a similar test online!)
A score of 12 gets you into the club of ADDers. With Barbara's score of 18 she could run for president!
Like so many people, Barbara felt a surprising sense of relief in having a name for the challenges and loneliness that had haunted her all of her life.
You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Crazy or Stupid?
As I spoke to her about being ADD-ish, tears ran down her face in a blur of emotions. Suddenly she wasn't broken and there was a lot she could do to be happier and more successful - the ADD-ish way!
I shared my positive outlook of being ADD-ish. I know first hand, because I'm one, too.
I told her about our tremendous gifts like passion, creativity, compassion, seeing the big picture, intuition, and so much more that counterbalance the challenges when you have the strategies and support that work for you.
Barbara wasn't a victim any more. Now that she knew how her brain works, she had new choices she could make.
Since then, we've worked together to redesign her life around her strengths. Instead of hanging out alone in her condo, she's joined a church group where she made a number of new friends. Rather than doing routine work that bored her, she now has a project-oriented job in outside sales. She's dropped 25 pounds since she began exercising regularly and staying away from junk food and late night TV.
Life's not perfect, but she's a whole lot happier!
Most importantly, she feels so much better about herself. And that's a great thing!
Since 1992, Suzan Fiskin has loved being a Master Coach for ADD-ish entrepreneurs (and most entrepreneurs are ADD-ish!) as well as a motivational speaker. She served on the Boards of the Forum of Women Entrepreneurs, Association of Women in Technology and the Professional Coaches and Mentors Association. She has a free online assessment, bi-weekly teleconference calls and a number of other resources for ADD-ish entrepreneurs on her website http://www.ADD-ish.com