One of the things that my brain wiring works well with is music. I remember melodies easily, and once I have them they’re in my head, they usually stay, and it’s always been that way. I’m talking all music, from the ridiculous TV jingle to the sublime jazz ballad.
This access and remembering is as normal as breathing for me, and seems to require little or no effort. I have spent most of my life taking it for granted (“It’s no big deal, I do it without thinking, all the time.”), and since it’s easy for me, I don’t always perceive its value or importance. This sometimes results in me not giving it additional energy, attention, or structure, which is what’s needed to achieve a higher skill level. So often we ADHD adults will go through hell trying to fit into the linear operating system of our world, while what comes easily to us languishes or gets pushed aside.
At an ADDA conference a number of years ago, I heard Sari Solden (read her books!) speak, and she talked about how many of many of us with ADHD spend a lot of our lives pushing away what’s closest to our hearts. Then she throws another fastball when she says “develop your differences, magnify your differences”. Her words hit home time after time that day. I knew I had to take these words home with me, keep their energy alive, and use them to help keep that fire in my belly, under my behind, wherever it belongs.
Identify what your differences are, because they may also be your strengths- be aware of how and when they appear, how best to see them, to use them, and how to apply structure to develop them. It’s as important as identifying how and when ADHD holds you back- probably more important. This can and should be a major focus in an ADHD coaching partnership.
Don’t devalue something you’re good at because it comes easily to you. Sometimes we believe that we have to go through hell to accomplish something, make money, start or complete a project, or just get through our days. Not true. But we do have to do 2 crucial things:
- Do the work to develop the mindful awareness to acknowledge what we have, to improve on our strengths and take them to another level.
- Learn and improve the executive functioning skillsets (organization, time management, etc.) and then employ that structure to enable what we want happen.
These are 2 of the most important things I work on with my ADHD coaching clients, regardless of what types of strengths they possess.