Stop Trying to Do What You Can’t

Often, someone else says something you wish you’d said, or (as in this case) you’ve been saying for a long time, but they say it in a way you wish you’d said it.

This happened to me today. I was reading yesterday’s CopyBlogger issue, “how 2 blog if u suk at writin.”  It’s an excellent article for you entrepreneurs out there who have been hesitant about blogging even though you know it would be enormously beneficial for your marketing efforts, but….

This tip really jumped off the page (screen) for me! I hope the message comes through loud and clear for you too! As an adult with ADHD, your life will be so much better if you take this message to heart:

“Attempting to do what you can’t will only frustrate you. I speak from experience. When I was a child, I wanted nothing more than to be the next Bruce Lee. I read every book I could find on every style of martial arts. I attended every school within a 50 mile radius. I went to expensive seminars from renowned fighters. I was bound and determined to be able to kick anyone’s ass.

But I was in a wheelchair. Worse, I had (and still have) a disease that caused me to become progressively weaker, eventually losing the use of my arms altogether. Pursuing martial arts was the sort of hopeful foolishness that only a child can muster, and it led me to oceans of frustration. No matter how hard I tried, no matter how much I wanted it, I would never become the next Bruce Lee.

Eventually, I wised up and put all of that energy into mastering the use of words instead, and after about 10 years of studying every aspect of writing and practicing it on a daily basis, I’m finally getting pretty good it. I still can’t kick your ass, but I can probably persuade someone to kick your ass for me. Not quite as satisfying, maybe, but it’ll do.”

Thanks to Jon Morrow, the Associate Editor of Copyblogger and co-founder of Partnering Profits.

ADHDers can kick butt!  If you do it in a round about way, you’re still kicking butt. So stop worrying about what you can’t do, and stop worrying about the things you can do but not exactly like everyone else, and focus all your energy into making the most of YOUR superpower. Yeah, you’ve got one, If you think you don’t, some more exploring is in order.

Linda Walker empowers entrepreneurs, artists, authors, adults with ADHD and other creative geniuses to unleash their superpowers.  You’ll really kick butt once you break free of everyone else’s rules. Discover 10 misconceptions that are putting the brakes on your performance at www.productivitymythsbusted.com.

ADHD May be Helpful

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hunter, adhd, hunter-farmer

I just read this morning an article that described a study about the effect of ADHD in nomadic tribes in Kenya compared to Kenyans who are settled. One of the genes thought to be responsbile for ADHD, the DRD4, was found to have a positive effect in nomadic tribes such as the ability to find nourishment compared to farmers with the DRD4 gene. This suggests as I’ve always thought that ADHD creates problems in certain contexts but not in others. Our current work environment though resembles the “farmer model”, which is very sedentary and linear.

In nomadic herders, ADHD may be a strength because of ADHDers’ tendency to be easily distracted and notice stimuli in their environment, making them more likely to notice preditors and their impulsivity allows them to act quickly to protect the herd. In his book, Attention Deficit Disorder: A Different Perception (published in 1997), Thom Hartman wrote, he advanced the hypothesis that ADHD may be the product of evolution where the ability to hunt was necessary for the survival of the tribe. The ability to notice everything in your environment allowed people to find their prey while avoiding becoming prey themselves.

We saw first hand the validity of this hypothesis when a few years ago my husband, Duane, and a group of guys went into the forest in Banff to take pictures. Duane who has ADHD noticed all the animals in the forest, which lead one of the guys to ask Duane if he hunts. He doesn’t.

The effects of ADHD seem to be based on the context. In some situations it can be an asset like for herders and hunters while in others can be negative like in farming and in most of today’s work environment. The career you choose can have an impact on whether or not you succeed. Entrepreneurship is a career choice that resembles the hunter setting the most. This may explain why so many ADHDers tend to choose to become entrepreneurs.

Of course, other factors are also important in choosing a career such as level of interest, and many work conditions have to be taken into considerations. Each person is different and these differences mean you don’t have to become a Kenyan sheep herder to have success. You need to understand your ADHD and yourself enough and put in place strategies at work that will allow you to succeed, like improving your self-management, and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

Adult ADHD: Beyond ADHD Medication and Diagnosis

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When adults suspect that adult ADHD has been holding them back some will get diagnosed if they can find the resources, financial and clinical, to do so. Many ask me what the diagnosis can accomplish. There are many other problems that resemble ADHD symptoms and require a different way to manage them. I caution those who call me to make sure that they seek help from someone who is trained in assessing ADHD. Once it’s official some will feel relief and realize that they’re not crazy or “bad”. Eventually a certain number decide to turn to ADHD medications with the hope that this will cure them. While medications do make a difference by improving your ability to pay attention, and thus reducing the barriers to learning, it doesn’t solve your adult ADHD problem.

I believe that all adults with ADHD can achieve their full potential by empowering themselves with effective self-management and supportive systems and habits. Do achieve this you need to learn life skills that allow you to identify and develop your strengths and overcome your weaknesses well enough to function. For the next few posts I will be providing you with the steps to help you better manage your adult ADHD.

Fewer Than 10% of ADHD Adults Diagnosed and Treated

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 Dr. Annick Vincent, psychiatrist and ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder) expert in adults, presented on the portrait of ADHD from childhood to adult life during the LDAQ’s conference. I attended her 2 conferences on April 4th, one was for health professional and the other to the public.

An interesting statistic she mentioned was that 3 to 4% of adults have ADHD (some experts think the figure is closer to 10%). What was the most surprising what the fewer than 10% of adults with ADHD are diagnosed and treated! Imagine! 90% of ADHD adults are not diagnosted nor treated.

ADHD adults suffer many problems at work, in their interpersonal relationships, in their home lives, and their finances. They’re more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, cigarette and drug addictions, car accidents, bankrupcies, etc. Without knowing why they have so many problems, they tend to think that it’s their fault and that despite strong efforts, donc seem to be able to overcome them. Treatment with medications help 70% of ADHD adults; however, these adults alos need to learn about ADHD and create, often with the help of an ADHD Coach, strategies that will allow them to improve their life. At times, psychotherapy is necessary. Dr. Vincent also mentioned that it is one of the easiest disorders to treat.

What do you think? Why are so few adults with ADHD treated? What could be done to improve on this?