One Magic Ingredient That Increases Intimacy in Your Creative Genius Relationship

by Linda Walker

The way we were

Duane and I have shared our story many times. We are open about how bad things were for the first 15 years of our marriage. We don’t hold back, because we want people to understand we’ve been where you are. But we also share how we’re still married after 34 years. We want to give you hope.

Those first 15 years were rough. We were in dire financial straits. Duane never followed through. I don’t have ADHD, so I picked up the slack for everything Duane couldn’t do. And there was a lot he couldn’t do. (Sometimes I was sure it was stuff he wouldn’t do!) We were both under a lot of stress and that puts strain on a relationship. We fought all the time!

People think it was Duane getting help for his ADHD that changed our relationship. They think once he was “fixed,” it was smooth sailing. Of course, when Duane got help, it reduced a lot of stress on our relationship. But even that wouldn’t have saved our marriage. We needed one more thing. Luckily, we discovered the missing ingredient. And it turned our hellish marriage into wedded bliss.

What’s that secret ingredient?

Empathy was missing from our relationship. We discovered we weren’t listening to each other. Neither of us understood how much we had in common. We both felt lonely and wounded. It was only once we began to “listen” that we were able to see each other’s point of view. Once we were able to see our partner’s point of view we were able to mend the relationship.

Empathy is the ability to see things from another person’s point of view. We often say “put yourself in the other person’s shoes.” Seeing the world from their perspective is the only way to understand what’s happening. During our many fights, (actually shouting matches) we spewed our anger and pain at each other.

We weren’t listening to each other because we were too busy trying to be right. When you listen, listen to understand. Don’t listen only to prepare your comeback. That’s “empathy.” Is it the missing ingredient in YOUR relationship?

It’s Like Déjà Vu All Over Again

by Linda Walker

As another February started, I was reminded how often adults with ADHD relive the same old challenges they’ve been dealing with all their ADHD lives. It’s as if you keep replaying the actions, hoping the outcome will be different each time.

But now that Groundhog Day is over, why are you continuing to relive the same challenges? If this sounds like you, it may be that you feel as if you’re stuck and not making any progress. Of course, if all you’ve been doing is replaying the scene over and over in the same way, and of course, achieving the same unwanted results, you are stuck!

Though maybe today is the day you realize that if you want a different outcome, you need to change some things. If you’re ready to make that change, where do you start?
Many ADHDers and other creative geniuses struggle with managing everyday life.

How often do you rush out the door at the last minute for an important appointment then berate yourself or scream at the drivers around you who seem to be slowing you down? How often have you looked for your keys, your wallet, your bus pass? How often have you promised to buckle down and get work done in your business but found yourself watching cat videos on YouTube for an hour instead?

Each time you mess up, you vow to never repeat the mistake again. Yet the next day, you find yourself doing it again. Each time you repeat the same mistake, you berate yourself for your lack of discipline. Every time you repeat this same cycle, you are eroding your self-confidence, convincing yourself that if only you had more willpower, you could change. Soon, you believe that you are simply flawed, you don’t have as much willpower as other people, and therefore you’ll never be able to change.
This is simply not true. You’re reliving the same problems, not because you lack self-discipline, but because you lack a plan to solve the problem at the source. And it’s not a lack of willpower that’s at the source.
How would you like to live a new life adventure, one where you’ve got your sh**t together?

Here’s a strategy to do that: As my husband always says:

“Don’t solve the problem once, solve the problem once and for all.”

The first step to doing that is to set aside time to think about the problem.

Consider the steps you take to get the current result – otherwise known as the routine. You accomplish your current results by following a series of actions, and those actions are the same each time. Next look at the results you want and compare them to the results you’re getting – what is the gap? How close, or how far, are you to achieving the results you want?

Determine the source of the problem

Why are you always leaving at the last minute? Are you getting up too late? Are you getting involved in something in the morning and losing track of time? Are you looking for something to wear? Are you spending too long singing in the shower, practicing to get on The Voice?

Identify a solution you want to adopt

As a result of your analysis, you determine you’re checking your emails and spending too long answering them. What’s the solution? You could decide not to open emails in the morning or set a timer to limit the time you spend on them and only scan for and respond to urgent emails. You could get up earlier.

Put it in writing

Next, write down what you’ve chosen to do because there’s a good chance you’ll forget. You could create a notebook in Evernote and create a note. Include a trigger to use to remind you of your new plan. It could be a paper or electronic post-it note that pops up when you turn on your computer, or a visual cue you leave on top of your computer – a troll doll or other small figurine, for example – or have someone remind you – although I am not a fan of deferring your responsibilities onto others because when they mess up, you end up playing the very unproductive blame game.

Make changes where needed

Next, test your plan: Take some time at the end of the day to determine how well it worked and tweak as needed, then test it again.

 

 

Want to start right now? Register for my brand new Top 3 Productivity Hacks for Creative Genius Entrepreneurs.

5 Creative Genius Strategies That Will Make This Your Best Year Yet


Another year has gone. Are you feeling frustrated? Are you still grappling with the same challenges you were a year ago? We all tend to get down on ourselves for not being “better.” Change isn’t easy. You need to be aware of what needs to change. Then you need to decide to make it happen. Then you need to act. These five strategies will help make this your best year yet.

    1. Develop a scaffolding of routines and rituals. Build consistency into your life by creating anchors and supports. You will still have plenty of freedom to create, to innovate, and be spontaneous. The “trail markers” let you see progress, give you hints that it’s time to take care of yourself, and prevent chaos.Many creative geniuses don’t believe they can create routines or rituals. Have you tried adopting routines and failed? Or does the idea of adopting a routine make you feel ill? Do you worry routines will stifle your creativity and your spontaneity? Building and adopting routines does not lead to a boring life. It reduces chaos. It’ll take less time to do the things you find boring. Then you can do things that excite you and ignite you.

      You will never be completely free until you’ve adopted routines. Routines allow you to have time and energy to enjoy the rest of your life.

    2. Contrary to popular belief, your brain is better than normal. It works faster, it’s more creative, and it’s energetic. The problem isn’t with how your brain goes, the challenge is getting your brain to stop. Dr. Ned Hallowell compares it to a Ferrari engine with bicycle brakes. To work at its best your brain needs special care.

      Get enough sleep to be well rested
      every night; this is non-negotiable. Drink water; your brain works better when you are well hydrated. The effects are almost immediate and amazing.

      You need to exercise daily. Cardio exercise is essential to keep your body fit. More important, exercise releases the very hormones your brain needs most.

      Your brain runs on glucose. Do not skip meals. Eat healthy, low-carb, high-protein foods. The amount of glucose your brain needs for peak functioning is astounding. Food high in simple carbohydrates delivers inconsistent amounts of glucose. They don’t help; they make it hard to think.

    3. All work and no play makes your brain a dull brain. Most of us spend our day staring at a screen. We work at a computer. We spend our evenings watching TV or playing video games. Any spare minute, we’re checking our phone. We’re surfing the Web or on social media.You’re a Creative Genius. Creative Genius needs a real life to manifest itself! Stop living through other’s social media feeds. Engage your brain by engaging your body in real life. Get out in nature. Connect with people face-to-face. Engage in creative activities. Create something! Draw a picture. Cook a meal. Knit a scarf. Build a bookcase. It’s not important what you do as long as you love it. Express your creativity!
    4. Develop your strengths and passions. Do it on purpose. Do it every week. Identify your top five strengths – no more. Pick an activity that exercises one or more of those strengths. Make a plan to integrate it into your life. Now this may mean giving up another activity. You may even need your family’s help.Be prepared, you will face a lot of resistance to change. Enroll in a course, find a mentor, or join a team. Make it a consistent part of your life.

      Once you have done that, do it again. You’ll know you’re finished when everything you do engages your strengths and passions. (Ok, you’ll never finish, but it’s great fun to try!)

    5. Learn to work with your brain instead of against it. Many Creative Geniuses adopt strategies that work for neurotypicals. Unfortunately those neuro-typical strategies don’t always work for Creative Geniuses. You have unique brain wiring, so you need different strategies.How do you work with your brain instead of against it? You build awareness about the way you work best. Many Creative Geniuses are not aware when they focus best. Unless you understand how your brain works, you can’t optimize how you use your time. When you know, you can create the right conditions to focus so you can be more productive. You can get the right things done at work and at home, and still have time and energy left over to have an awesome life.

You’re a Creative Genius surrounded by neurotypicals. Society’s rules work for neurotypicals. Adopt these 5 strategies and live your life on your terms. Celebrate who you are. You have untapped potential. These simple adjustments will create the conditions that will unleash that Creative Genius.

3 Creative Genius Strategies for Surviving the Holiday Hustle and Bustle

by Linda Walker, PCC, B.Adm.

The holidays can be a challenging time of year for creative geniuses. There’s so much to do with decorating, shopping, cleaning, cooking, partying and the list goes on. You may push yourself to exhaustion.

This is often when you begin to feel overwhelmed and your mood starts suffering. And when that happens…!

This holiday season do yourself and everyone around you a favor. Don’t allow yourself to get overwhelmed. How do you do that? Here are 3 steps to a better Christmas.

Simplify

This season is about being together. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s okay to let go of some of the “fluff” if it takes you over the edge. Some creative geniuses I know don’t put up a Christmas tree. We don’t decorate the outdoors anymore. If some recipes are long and tedious for you, don’t do them unless these things provide more joy than effort.

Don’t overspend

Studies prove experiences provide the most joy, not things. When we buy gifts to “wow” our loved ones, we forget that what they want is to spend time with us. We run out of time to enjoy the people we love.

When you spend your holidays sweating the credit card bills, they aren’t much fun. What if you did something different this year? Try playing board games, building Lego cities or chill-axing with your loved ones.

Take care of your needs

Many of my clients describe feeling overwhelmed during the holidays. This can be especially true when the whole family is together. Overwhelm can lead to especially bad consequences during your Recharge Zone. Allow yourself to disconnect for 20 minutes when you feel overwhelmed. Excuse yourself and explain you need a bit of air or a short nap. You’ll come back ready to reengage. Let your loved ones know you need a break.

Whatever you do, take time to enjoy this festive season to be with your family and friends.

The Single Most Important Thing Creative Geniuses Can Do to Get Better Results

 

Most of you don’t know this, but I suffer from chronic pain from an injury I sustained almost 20 years ago in a car accident. Since then, I live every day with pain. I manage the chronic pain through good lifestyle choices such as exercise and good sleep. Every now and then, the pain increases to excruciating levels. Those periods can last between two and four weeks. A bone growth digging into nerves on both sides of my spine creates severe pain. It can affect my back and one or both arms. There’s no cure for this at the moment.

Want to Change Your Results? Change Your Mind

Why am I telling you this? I’m not seeking sympathy. Many Creative Geniuses struggle in a neurotypical world, faced with failure after failure. At least, they do until they discover how to unlock their full potential. Life is lonely and painful – it is its own brand of chronic pain. If you’re a Creative Genius who’s felt the “chronic pain” of not fitting in, what I discovered will make your life better.

This flare-up came right in the middle of the launch for my biggest program. Program launches demand enormous effort, energy and money to be successful. A lot was riding on this launch.

There couldn’t have been worse timing. Or…? I now see what happened as an omen.

It All Depends on Your Mindset

Like many Creative Geniuses, I struggle with negative thinking and rumination. Every now and then, a horrible Gremlin whispers in my ear that I don’t deserve success. That voice tells me “catastrophes” always occur when I’m taking risks.

But are these “catastrophes”? Or is it only life unfolding? No one is bombing my neighborhood; no tornado is destroying my home. Those are catastrophes. Let’s de-dramatize the problem.

When I’m stretching out of my comfort zone, I often feel I don’t “qualify” for the “Successful People’s Club. Is it true? Am I “not enough” to be successful?

Kick Your Gremlin to the Curb

Everyone has the potential to make a great contribution.

This belief led me to work with Creative Geniuses. My Creative Genius husband transformed his life, yes. But he also transformed our family. And his transformation has affected friends, co-workers and thousands more Creative Geniuses. All by learning how to succeed as a Creative Genius. I wanted to unleash that potential for every Creative Genius.

We all have the potential to make a great contribution. It’s true for me, and for you. “Being” is all you need to qualify for the “Successful People’s Club.” All you need is to change your mindset so you have the strength and the courage to say, “Shut up Gremlin!”

While this was happening, I was reading “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero. A great book for anyone, it is especially wonderful for Creative Geniuses. You’ll find wisdom and inspiration to push through the hurdles you face as you stretch out of your comfort zone.

Seeing the Perfection of It All

The author suggested we face every challenge with the statement “This is good because …”

One Wednesday morning, I called my husband, Duane, at work. I was crying in agony – nothing would relieve the pain and felt vulnerable and hopeless. Duane dropped everything and came home immediately. He spent the next week and a half with me. We often say “I love you”, but nothing brings home that love like the selfless support he provided. I’m getting teary-eyed as I write this.

I had no choice but to rely on other people for everything. There were people counting on my program and I could no longer deliver, not on my own. Duane and my assistant, Kelly, worked together to support me and to run the launch. With my support system in place and medication for pain, I was able to complete the last video.

It was terrible. It looked like I felt. I couldn’t think straight, I didn’t have my usual energy. I hated it, but I knew it was the best I could do. As I watched it, my inner perfectionist struggled to release it.

This is Good Because…

Despite that lousy last video, I enrolled twice as many participants as my previous record! The statement, “This is good because…” was challenging. But demanding an answer no matter what obstacle I faced that transformed my mindset. That’s what allowed me to push through instead of giving up.

Looking back now, I still ask that question. And I like the answers! This is good because…

  • I (finally!) realize I don’t have to do everything myself. I can rely on others to help me.
  • I discovered I’m a badass! I can persevere in the face of any adversity, as long as I adopt the right mindset.

How Can You Use This?

  1. Live full out. You have much to contribute to this world. The world works best when we all enjoy our lives, when we do what we love, when we are our true selves… masterpieces trying to shine through.
  2. Reaching your full potential will demand you get out of your comfort zone. It’ll be scary… ok, terrifying! But if you push through despite the struggles, know you are growing into a better version of yourself.
  3. When faced with adversity, finish this statement: “This is good because…

Top 3 Strategies to Conquer Overwhelm

“I was running around, jumping from one task to another… as soon as I started something, I’d realize I was forgetting another task, so I’d jump on it. I was frazzled and then I realized I was getting nowhere!”

This was how my client, Chris described the moments leading to his near-breakdown. He was suffering a massive case of overwhelm.

“I lost it. I completely zoned out, paralyzed by this overwhelming feeling that everything was out of control. The phone was ringing, emails kept coming in, proposals needed my attention and I just couldn’t move, I couldn’t think. I felt this sense of doom.

“What’s worse,” he continued, “is that I have been having more of these episodes lately and I have no idea what to do.”

What Chris was describing is known as overwhelm. It happens to many of my clients, and as Chris discovered, unless things change, it’ll keep happening. If you tackle your work and your life the same way, you’ll get the same results, day after day… after day.

In this video, discover the 3 top strategies for stopping the cycle of overwhelm, strategies you can implement right now.

Facebook Live Event: Top 3 Strategies for Stopping Overwhelm

What: Facebook Live Event

When: Tuesday, April 4th, 2017 at 8 pm EST (New York time).

Where: on Facebook Live Click here to get notification

“I was running around, jumping from one task to another… as soon as I started something, I’d realize I was forgetting another task, so I’d jump on it. I was frazzled and then I realized I was getting nowhere!”

This was how my client, Chris described the moments leading to his near-breakdown. He was suffering a massive case of overwhelm.

“I lost it. I completely zoned out, paralyzed by this overwhelming feeling that everything was out of control. The phone was ringing, emails kept coming in, proposals needed my attention and I just couldn’t move, I couldn’t think. I felt this sense of doom.

“What’s worse,” he continued, “is that I have been having more of these episodes lately and I have no idea what to do.”

What Chris was describing is known as overwhelm. It happens to many of my clients, and as Chris discovered, unless things change, it’ll keep happening. If you tackle your work and your life the same way, you’ll get the same results, day after day… after day.

In this Facebook Live session, discover the 3 top strategies for stopping the cycle of overwhelm, strategies you can implement right now.

Like the Event and the following Page: CreativeGeniusCoach Page

How to Succeed Without Willpower

Have you ever wondered if you were one of the few who doesn’t have any discipline or willpower? If so, how can you succeed when most goals worth accessing require a certain amount of persistence?

  • 27% of stressed out people state that a lack of willpower stopped a change they wanted to achieve
  • Studies show that people with more self-control, or willpower, do better in life
  • Creative Geniuses appear to have less willpower than most because of different brain wiring
  • The more you have to use willpower in the day, the more your “bank of willpower” gets depleted and you have less willpower – it leads to more decision fatigue
  • You deplete your willpower far less if you are in a positive mood, have a strong belief that persistence will lead to success and have a good overall attitude
  • Willpower can be strengthened through practice and using strategies such as avoiding
  • Use implementation intention if / then statements to manage persistence and obstacles to persistence,
    • for example, if you chose to write every morning at 6 am you can state and make arrangements to, as Mary did, “if it’s 6 am, then I’ll be writing”.
    • If you can anticipate obstacles you can state something like, “if my friends call when I had planned to write, then I will let them know I can’t talk to them right now, but will quickly schedule a time for me to call/ or I won’t answer the call”
  • Steady blood glucose increases motivation – avoid sugar rushes or starving yourself
  • Start with one small goal – break down a large goal into smaller tasks that can be done in the time you’ve set aside

Best Strategy to Avoid Having to Deal with Willpower: Create Habits

  • They reduce decisions so they keep decision fatigue at bay
  • They free up limited brain energy for more important and creative tasks
  • Start with the one-pound (or half-kilogram) habit and build your habit muscle to avoid having to rely solely on willpower

Goal Setting for Creative Geniuses: Reaching Goals Without Willpower

This is the third part of my three-part series on Goal Setting for Creative Geniuses. In the first lesson of the series, we discussed the importance of the big WHY, your reason for wanting to achieve this goal. In the second lesson, we looked at how you can improve your chances of making progress by taking consistent actions that lead to results. In this lesson, I’ll share a model you can use to turn results-driven routines into habits so powerful you’ll practically be able to achieve your goals in your sleep! (Well, almost.)

As we’ve seen, it’s much easier to reach goals using small consistent actions than it is to try to do everything at once. If you were able to make those small consistent actions without thinking about them, you wouldn’t need willpower to reach your goal. The way to do this is to turn those routines, the small consistent actions that move you toward your goal into a habit.

Let’s look at how to do that. Turning those actions into a habit requires three components: a trigger, a routine and a reward. Let’s dive into each of these elements. A trigger is an event that occurs in your environment that tells you it’s time to start the routine. A routine is simply a series of steps that when completed in the same order allow you to reach a consistent result. The reward, of course, is a motivator – it can be external to the routine or integral to it.

So let’s look at an example of the “habit loop.” When you are hungry, your stomach growls (the trigger), you raid your pantry or the staffroom refrigerator for food, heat it up and eat it (all these steps are the routine) and your hunger is abated (the reward).

Let’s apply this same model to a goal you might want to reach: Getting in shape.

As we mentioned earlier, it’s much easier to reach this goal through a series of consistent actions, such as exercising every day, than it is to do it all at once. You can’t get to the Olympics by being a couch potato for three years and then working non-stop for the last year!

Step 1: Consider the routine first. When you apply this strategy to reach goals such as getting in shape by exercising every day, you’ll always want to look at the routine first. In this case, let’s say you decide you want to run for 30 minutes every morning before work. If you haven’t run in a while, you might need to start with running 5 minutes a day.

Step 2: Identify a trigger that will remind you it’s time to put on your runners and pound the pavement. Triggers can be auditory cues such as reminders or alerts on your phone, visual cues such as keeping your runners next to your bed so your feet hit your shoes first when you wake up. A trigger can also be an event such as waking up or eating breakfast. Choose one or more triggers to see what works best for you. You decide to set your alarm an hour before you usually wake up and to put your shoes next to your bed.

Step 3: Determine how you will stay motivated to continue. ”Ideally the reward comes naturally as a result of the routine. In this case, feeling healthy is its own reward, but you may need to spice things up, at least until you start feeling the health benefits of running. You may decide to reward yourself with a small piece of dark chocolate (my favorite!), read a magazine you enjoy, watch a couple of cat videos on YouTube, spend time with friends, etc. The key is that the reward must be motivating for you. Eventually, these three elements will be linked in your mind so that the trigger will not only remind you of the routine but also of the promise of the reward you’ll get from completing the routine.

One client who works in real estate wanted to increase his listings. He decided to use the Habit Loop to help make it happen. He chose his trigger as an appointment he had twice a week with a junior real estate agent he wanted to mentor to make calls.

The routine that would lead to more listings was to call more prospects, among other things. However, he struggled to get this done, so he looked at a reward that might help motivate him.
His reward initially was to have several prospective listings to visit. His ultimate reward was to increase his standing in the real estate brokerage firm he was associated with.

The Habit Loop works for everyone, but as a creative genius, just remember that your rewards need to occur relatively quickly after completion of the routine.

How You Can Use This

So now your it’s your turn. What results are you looking for?

Step 1: What is a routine that will help you progress toward that result?

Step 2: What trigger can you use to set the routine in motion?

Step 3: What reward will you get?
Will it be intrinsic to the routine or will you create an artificial one while you wait for your desired results? (To play it safe, use both!)

Once you’ve established a strong Habit Loop, you can count on reaching your goal automatically. You won’t need to think about it, and it really will feel like you could succeed in your sleep! Master the power of the Habit Loop and you’ll be able to easily achieve goals you once thought were out of your reach.