ADHD - a challenge or celebration?
ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has almost become a household name with about 1.5 million adults in the UK having the condition according to ADHD Action. But, what exactly does it mean and how can ADHD coaching support clients to achieve their potential with all the obstacles that ADHD can hurl along the path to success?
There are many reasons to celebrate ADHD with its long list of successful, world renowned individuals such as Richard Branson, Albert Einstein, Will Smith, Justin Timberlake, Paris Hilton... the list goes on.
There is no single treatment for ADHD - however, coaching that develops the executive functions that are so challenging for those affected by ADHD combined with life coaching means that neural pathways can be 'trained' to create new habits. One of the keys to creating these new habits is 'consistency.' Consistency in itself is a tough cookie to crack for those affected by ADHD - therefore, routinely practicing the new habits is crucial to moving forward smoothly and decreasing the stress and frustration so often associated with ADHD.
The executive functions are defined as focus, sustaining attention, time management, planning and prioritising, initiating tasks, cognitive flexibility, metacognition, organisation, emotional control, response inhibition and working memory. Anyone affected by ADHD will find one or more of these challenging in their lives.
Working with an ADHD coach means the challenges can be faced and the executive functions (EFs) developed so that strategies and skills can be 'learnt.' This means solutions can be found for issues in relationships, tasks at work, studying at university and everyday life so that long term goals become more achievable and confidence increases.
"EFs and the prefrontal cortex are the first to suffer disproportionately, if something is not right in your life," writes Adele Diamond in her article Executive Functions in the Annual Review of Psychology, British Columbia University.
Whilst developing the EFs, it is also vital that a growth mindset is simultaneously nurtured - empowering the individual to face challenges and learn from every situation, however painful and tough it may feel at the time.
In her book Mindset - Changing The Way You Think To Fulfil Potential Dr. Carol Dweck (Stanford University psychologist) explained, "We found that if we changed a students' mindset we could boost their achievement."
ADHD coaching works by addressing the unique challenges faced every day by the client and building new skills and confidence to discover individual daily strategies that enable emotional and practical obstacles to be overcome, bringing about a sense of progress which is both liberating and empowering.
There are numerous similarities between the clients I coach affected by ADHD and the one single most common issue is consistency in maintaining the newly, developing habits that have been discovered as key to success.
Sometimes it is the 'small' tasks that are overwhelmingly huge and stand as pillars in the way of the creative and entrepreneurial goals of my clients. Together we face and acknowledge the 'blocks' in a safe and non judging space and find ways to navigate these so they are no longer controlling lives.