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Attention Deficit Disorder Association

It's Time to Unleash Your Creative Genius

By Dr. Jeffery Rapp

The end of summer signals the beginning of the back-to-school rush and for many of us, students or not, it's also a time when we make resolutions. ADHDers often see resolutions as an opportunity to "fix" productivity problems.

You resolve to buckle down and get a fresh start. You promise you'll get organized, do your paperwork on time, stay focused and stop procrastinating, even the stuff you hate. You vow you'll be so productive, people better just step aside and watch you go!
Unfortunately, it's very discouraging, not to mention counter-productive, only to look at what's wrong, even if it's with an eye to fixing it. Instead, I'd like you to consider a different approach. Use your out-of-the-box thinking for a moment.

Imagine yourself, not as a struggling ADHDer, but as a Creative Genius. Focus on the positive. No one is perfect, but you have a lot going for you. Consider the things you can do that no one else can, or the things only you can do in the way you do them. Pay attention to your strengths, talents, interests and passions.

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, on my husband and on our family. 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. You will succeed when you pursue your passions, doing things your own way and creating in the way only you can. And as for your weaknesses (yes, we all have them), if they're an obstacle to pursuing your passion, with this positive approach, you'll be better motivated to tackle them. What's more, in using your strengths to overcome your weaknesses, you'll be in a much better position to minimize their impact.

As a Creative Genius, your brilliance lies in your non-conformity. Your parents, your friends and your teachers have invested tremendous effort to mould you and make you conform, even though you're not like everyone else. Little wonder it can be hard to recognize your own Creative Genius if you've spent years ignoring it, tamping it down or covering it up to fit in with "normal" people.

ADHDers often work with me to improve their productivity, and that's important work, because if you want to explore and develop your talents but you find trying to keep up with what's "normal" takes everything you have, you'll have no time or energy left to pursue your passion or to explore and develop your strengths and talents. I'm all for being more productive, but I've found that traditional approaches to getting more done hinder rather than help.

If you find yourself working in a job you hate, doing things you aren't particularly good at and expending enormous effort to overcome your weaknesses, instead of trying to fix your ADHD problems (or running away!), look for ways to unleash your Creative Genius. You'll be much happier, and far more effective, when you are free to do what you really love and do it in a way that works for you, "acceptable" or not.

Back-to-school is the perfect time of year to make resolutions, even if you're not a student. But this year, I invite you to 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?!

Linda Walker is a professional ADHD Coach who helps entrepreneurs, artists, ADHD adults and other creative geniuses live their best life. Learn powerful, non-traditional strategies to boost your productivity instantly to free time and energy for you to unleash your Creative Genius: www.productivitymythsbusted.com

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