I want to make a note to refer to any time I’m sharing strategies, tools or tricks with you. It’s important that you understand that this is where I am coming from when I share strategies. Not understanding the intent and approach could undermine your progress and leave you with intervention fatigue. Pushing yourself hard to blindly follow someone else’s strategy, just because “it worked for them…”, is not worth it. And it will undermine that inner voice that knows you all too well and can help you find what works for you. The neurodiversity approach is about recognizing that we all have different brains, needs, pasts, and current circumstances – and therefore different strategies may work for different people.
Way too many advocates and uneducated coaches are spouting advice that is based just on their personal life experience – perhaps spiced with some general self-help seasoning- and presenting it as “the truth”. But no strategy I share is one size fits all! I try to share things that might be helpful to a lot of people. But given the fact that we are all different: it’s very unlikely that any strategy I share will work for all of you.
Some of the strategies I share are partially based on very real science about how our brains work. But even there: the specifics of a strategy based in that knowledge can fall flat for your specific character, situation and intended outcome. You may need a different strategy based on the same knowledge! Or to tweak this one until it does fit.
In the words of the wise Rene Brooks:
Do check out the whole thread, she has more wisdom to share….
Sharing examples and hoping to inspire…
I’ll often share things that have worked for me, and that I’ve found to be effective with clients. And I’ll often try to also highlight some ways that these could be tweaked or adapted to fit better, without getting too confusing. I always applaud you for trying something you’ve read and adapting it to your own needs. Even the first time you try it. You know yourself and your previous experiences best. As an example: I myself adopted lots of bullet journaling elements into my Passion Planner without ever trying out a full bullet journal system. I just knew drawing weekly layouts and feeling the pressure to prettify them would bring out my perfectionist side. So why even begin to try it?That would just exhaust me and make it less likely that I do any actual planning.
When I share strategies and tools and tricks it is as examples and for inspiration. Not as rules to be followed to the letter. I will always applaud you for adapting them for your own needs and finding success with “what works for you”!
Small steps lead to big wins
Please remember the best way to learn to do better is to see it as a process. Trying new things, reflecting on how it worked, possibly adapting, and trying again. And when that is not working: try the next thing….
Never say: “I can’t do that!” Always say “I can’t do that YET”. By which I do not mean that you can not acknowledge that there are things that are WAY harder for you to learn than they are for most people. If you have the luxury of playing to your strengths and collaborating with others… People who do in a breeze what you can’t -and who need help with what comes easy for you. By all means DO! But if there is something you need to master yourself, that has been hard for you in the past? Then, please remember: it will take time and effort to find the best HOW. And we need to give ourselves permission to try and find our own best ways of doing things, even if it seems strange, weird or like a long and winding journey…. Incremental improvements lead to winning strategies!
And let’s face it: for ADHD brains learning new strategies and building the habits to use them is not easy. Our brain is very much an energy-conserving machine. And because our brains need to work harder at certain tasks: we are failure-avoidant as hell! It’s why coaching is so effective. To have someone by your side to do the tweaking with, to help you
- do the hard work of reflecting on past experiments,
- pushing through the frustration of what is not working YET,
- figuring out all the moving parts about what is getting in your way and how to intervene
- building the courage to try a new version or a whole other strategy
- be your accountability partner as you create habits
That is what a coach is for and can help your with.
So now you know: whenever I am sharing a strategy I am trying to inspire you to keep trying to achieve YOUR goals YOUR way. I’m never prescribing something that is guaranteed to work, nor will I shame you when you share that it’s not working for you. I WILL be happy to help you track down whatever it is that DOES work for YOU.
Would you like to work on creating your own tailor-made strategies with my help – in coaching? I’m happy to support you! We will explore your goals, previous attempts, and current successes and failures. We will experiment and reflect and tweak until you have something that works for you… Book a free coaching consultation here