by Lisa Wills
I attended the ADDA Conference in Detroit in July 2013 and I
continue to marinate in the afterglow.
Being in the presence of, in my opinion, some of the coolest people you
could ever meet, we felt power in the gathering of like-minded (pun intended)
people so full of vibrant energy and great talent as we witnessed from the
Talent Show put on by attendees (Note to self: Enter ADDA Talent Show next year!)
I want to talk to you about excuses and what to do with them. As common traits of ADHD, rumination and
procrastination can take hold in such a way that we often believe the excuses
we keep giving ourselves, and those we love.
How’s that working for you? Have
your excuses ever really worked?
I’m not pointing fingers.
I’ve got excuses up my sleeve too.
When all else fails, we can always blame it on Jack. Who’s Jack? Think of Jack as the guy you’re waiting for
to do the things you aren’t willing to do for yourself.
Perfect example. The children will soon be back in
school. But you were probably waiting for that to happen, right? This time of year, everyone’s waiting for the
children to go back to school. We’re
putting off projects, delaying decisions… Even if you’re an empty nester, or
retired, even if you have no children… you’ve been waiting to dive into this next season of your life.
Or perhaps you’ve been waiting
for an act of God, listening for an all-powerful, Charleton-Heston-like voice
(not a bad visual, right?) to speak from the heavens while you sip your morning
coffee. I’ve got good news and bad news
– Jack is sitting at Starbucks
sipping an overpriced cup of coffee, doing his own thing – probably waiting for
Jill to come down that hill with her own excuses as to why she’s late. Sounds ridiculous, right? It kinda is, the more you think about
it. Excuses are just that, excuses. Even the creative ones.
There is a difference between excuses and explanations. We advocate for ourselves when we explain
what’s happening. We are not advocating
when we are making excuses for why things are happening. You’ve heard the experts say, "There are only two times for an ADHDer, NOW
and NOT NOW.” If you’ve been waiting
for a better time, that mythical "Not Now,” it’s not coming. It’s time to choose "NOW.”
So where do you start?
- ADDA’s Web site provides abundant resources
to get you started.
- Connection is essential.
Between conferences, if you don’t have a local support, start one.
ADDA offers instructions
and Meetup.com provides all the
- Your foundation is
important: If medication is part of your treatment plan, fine-tune
it. And since pills don’t teach
skills, learn to manage your ADHD too.
- Exchange excuses for
explanations as to why you are who you are. It’s time to tell your story, the story
of how you discovered the hidden treasures in your ADHD.
I was so inspired by one of the keynote speakers at the ADDA
Conference, Rick Green, as he explained, "The Power of the Story.” As you take charge of your life and set a new
course, you’ll begin to write the brand new story of your life. Next month, I’ll share with you how you can
change people’s lives just by the way you tell your story.
Lisa Wills is an ADHD coach in Denver,
Colorado where she
runs ADHD Support Groups and Workshops.
She’s passionate about bringing out the strengths and talents of people
struggling with ADHD. ADHD herself, she
has three children diagnosed with ADHD and co-existing conditions.
can be reached at www.adhdlifecoach4U.com.