Living with ADHD: How coaching can help you find your focus
Staying motivated and focused can be difficult for all of us at times, but for those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) it can feel impossible. Classed as a behavioural disorder, ADHD can cause hyperactivity, impulsiveness and an inability to focus. Though the condition is more common in children, it can affect adults.
Sarah Clark is a life coach who has worked with clients including those with ADHD for over 20 years. Describing the impact on day-to-day life, Sarah says the condition can affect how someone structures their day, their ability to meet deadlines, cope with boredom and interact with others.
“On the upside it can also mean that the person has endless amounts of energy which can be channelled into achieving a range of tasks at work, home and also can have the ability to use ‘out of the box thinking’ to be really successful and happy.”
She goes on to say that ADHD is a ‘label’ which can be helpful in some respect, to understand ourselves better and access support, “as long as we are focusing on our strengths and not using the ‘label’ in such a way to think negatively about ourselves”.
The challenges of ADHD
This label can be seen as a hindrance to productivity and achievement which, Sarah explains, can impact how someone views themselves in a psychological and emotional way.
For example, someone with ADHD may set goals for themselves but because they struggle to stay focused and complete the goal, they may not achieve what they set out to achieve.
How can coaching help those with ADHD?
Sarah tells us that clients typically come to her because they feel overwhelmed, like things are out of balance and in need of some clarity. This is where coaching can step in.
“Coaching can help support people with ADHD to work on their goals, stay on task, avoid procrastinating, reduce anxiety inducing behaviours and become more effective at organisation skills. It can also increase interpersonal skills and assertiveness, helping them ‘get into the flow’ with motivation and address low frustration tolerance.”
One reason coaching is so appealing to people is the idea of having an accountability buddy – someone who can help you keep on track by reviewing what you’ve done and help you decide on future plans. This alone can do wonders for motivation and Sarah says this is something clients with ADHD can really benefit from.
Beyond the label
Coming back to the idea of ADHD being a label, Sarah explains that while it can have positive and negative connotations what really matters is the individual’s experience.
“By learning more about ourselves and understanding the differences between us and other people we can come to a greater acceptance and ability to move forward in personal and professional life.
“We can increase our empathy for those who may be struggling with ADHD and also recognise the strengths inherent in any individual. We can make changes and develop ourselves to the best version we can be by more effective self-compassion and self-management.
“It is important to value and respect ourselves and feel that we can speak out and seek help if we require support.”