I’ve been coaching ADHD adults for five years. I’ve been married to an ADHDer for 26 years, and I raised a daughter with ADHD as well. However, you may have noticed that in my recent articles, I’ve begun to use “Creative Genius” rather than ADHD when I describe my clients. I’m even changing the name of my blog to “Unleash Your Creative Genius.”
I’m not changing my coaching clientele, so you might wonder why I would change the name of my blog. It was not an easy decision, but I feel it’s the right one. I’ve always preferred to define things by what’s right rather than by focusing on what’s wrong. As your coach, I must believe in your abilities. After all, there will be times, especially early in our relationship, when I’ll be the only one who does! Your family may doubt you, your boss may doubt you, your friends may doubt you… and you’ll almost certainly doubt yourself. You’ll appreciate having someone in your corner.
I have no problem being in your corner. When I work with my clients, I am constantly amazed by your positive characteristics – your ability to hyperfocus, your passion and excitement (for just about everything!), your astonishing creativity – and I choose to focus on those positive traits rather than on your occasional distractibility, your forgetfulness or your struggle to follow through on projects.
I am not minimizing the impact of ADHD on the adults who live with it or on their families. Nor am I trying to “pretend it doesn’t exist.” I speak from personal experience when I describe the devastating effects ADHD has had on my daughter and on my husband. I would never deny that without the right help and knowledge, life with ADHD is something to endure rather than enjoy.
However, what you focus on grows. If you focus on the problems of ADHD, you’ll have more problems. However, if you focus on developing your strengths and talents, forget about trying to fit in and throw yourself wholeheartedly into the pursuit of your passion, you’ll soon discover that, ADHD or not, you have many positive traits. Focus on those and guess what grows?!
Watching my husband transform from a struggling project manager to a successful vice-president was astounding, and the inspiration for me becoming an ADHD coach. Five years of working with ADHDers has confirmed that my husband’s story, while inspiring, was not unique. Many, if not most, adults “suffering from” ADHD are Creative Geniuses who simply have not yet tapped into their strengths. In a statement to the Royal College of Psychiatrists, Professor Michael Fitzgerald agreed, describing links between ADHD and creativity, risk-taking, and high levels of novelty seeking, the very characteristics that are the keys to success as an artist or entrepreneur!
I see the qualities of a Creative Genius every day in my clients, who yes, are ADHD adults, but who are also quite often artists, authors, inventors and/or entrepreneurs (as many as 50% of all entrepreneurs have ADHD, were diagnosed with ADHD as children or show many of the characteristics of ADHD adults). Your ability to hyperfocus on activities that truly interest you allows you to optimize learning, providing the perfect incubator for developing your Creative Genius. A quick look at some of the most creative people in almost any field today reveals that most share many ADHD traits, and more than a few have confirmed their diagnosis of ADHD.
Creative greats such as Oscar-winner Sir Anthony Hopkins, entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson (founder, Virgin Enterprises), entrepreneur David Neeleman (founder, Jet Blue Airlines and inventor of the electronic airline ticket), TV handyman Ty Pennington (Extreme Home Makeovers), TV host Donny Deutsch (Big Ideas TV show), writer, actor and TV producer Rick Green (The Red Green Show, ADD and Loving It), award-winning actor Patrick McKenna (Traders,The Red Green Show, and ADD and Loving It) and Howie Mandel (Who Wants to Be A Millionaire) all use their great passion, energy, propensity for risk taking, creativity and their ability to hyperfocus to develop their talents with amazing results.
I have changed the name of my blog because, while I still help adults with ADHD overcome the negative impact of ADHD in their lives, I’m not coaching an ADHDer; I coach the Creative Genius that is within you.
Tell me what you think of this new direction.
Sir Anthony Hopkins
Who Are You Not To Be Great?