Head's up, there could be affiliate links ahead!
We all love a good ADHD success story, right?
Well, today I’m sharing my own stories of success, and more specifically, how I’m measuring success differently, in light of my diagnosis, which is still not even two years old yet.
The post-diagnosis “me”, measures success so much differently than I used to. And I know that some of this is maturity, and some of it is personal growth, but a lot of it has come from the ADHD coaching education that I’ve been immersed in. And the coaching practice that has come out of that.
You see, as you coach others with ADHD, you start to learn what other people struggle with, you’re able to look at things more objectively because you’re hearing the same struggle that you deal with from someone else’s perspective. But because you’re not in their shoes, you are able to understand what they’re saying, empathize with their feelings, but know that the struggle is very often…. self created.
From this new vantage point, I have been able to define my own ADHD success stories from what previously used to weigh me down.
My ADHD Health Success Story
I used to measure success of my health by the number on the scale. As someone who coached in fitness for almost 10 years before starting my current ADHD business, my fitness story is a big part of my success. I went from 210 lbs at my heaviest, to my current weight of 135 lbs.
A big part of that transformation was how it impacted my mental and emotional health, but I’ll be honest, it was 100% inspired by how I looked.
Today, I measure the success of my health by how I feel. It has nothing to do with a number on the scale or the size I wear. Instead I reflect on how much I was able to move, whether or not I got outside, or dedicated time to building strength and mobility. I look at the quality of my sleep and food, and how much water I’m drinking. All of these behaviors support my heath far more than fitting into a smaller size.
Here’s the thing – my weight can go down on the scale, and so can my energy and mood. What good is it to be “skinny” if you feel down, depressed, tired and low energy? But when I measure how well I’m taking care of myself, I’m empowering myself to show up as my best – both energetically, emotionally and cognatively.
My ADHD Money Success Story
The other really significant measure that has changed since my diagnosis is my financial situation – basically the number in the bank.
Pre-diagnosis. I was in line of work that I didn’t enjoy. As a result, I really struggled because the work was not something I was interested in. And the way I was working was draining my energy. And just the whole idea of being in a corporate environment was really hard for me.
I never fit into a corporate job. It felt so uncomfortable and unnatural…. like wearing like pants that were too tight all day long. So for me, the most important thing was to save as much money as I could to hit my FIRE number.
That once I learned about it, I became OBSESSED with making enough money so that I could retire because I hated work that much. Now, because of my diagnosis, I have a career that is so intrinsically aligned to who I am that I couldn’t imagine ever stepping away from this work.
That number in my bank account doesn’t even matter anymore. I have no desire to retire (ever) because I’m finally doing something I am passionate about. It’s my Dharma. And I don’t ever see a changing.
My ADHD Emotional Success Story
The last thing that has changed for me in terms of how I measure success, pre-diagnosis versus post-diagnosis is the way other people perceive me. And this one hurts my heart to share.
I spent so many years masking. Trying to be a “normal” vanilla version of myself. I had a work mask, a hanging out with my girlfriends mask and a mask that I wore when I went out on dates with men. I had masks for every conceivable situation where I felt that it was necessary.
Because we never know how our impulsive, “extra” energy going to be received. And because we’re just so concerned about being “too much”, we tighten up. It gets really hard to be who you really are and let people see who you really are when you don’t feel safe enough to do that.
Pre-diagnosis, I spent a lot of time and effort and energy on worrying of what people thought. Does this person like me? Does this boy like me? Does that chick hate me? Why are they not talking to me? How come they haven’t called me back yet? This thought spiral could take over my brain for days or weeks.
Now that I’m aware of the ADHD challenges we face in relationships, and our propensity to feel rejected even when it’s not really happening, it is so important for me, it’s around myself with people that I feel safe with.
I’m also a lot more comfortable with who I am, and I embrace my uniqueness now, rather than trying to mask it, so I no longer waste time and energy worrying about what people think. I am far more focused on what I think of myself, and how I’m showing up for the people in my life who matter.
The ADHD Success Story I Want for All of Us
If I were to boil everything I just shared with you down to a single thought, or success principe, it would be this…
Personally, my self-awareness was really poor until I got my diagnosis and I started down this coaching journey. It really opened my eyes to what is truly wonderful about me and my neuro-diverse brain. I also made no investment in tending to my unquie needs. In fact, I didn’t even know what they were until the last two years.
Now that I do know what I need to bring my best to every day, I have the agency to make sure those needs are met.
Are you ready to create your own ADHD success story?
So I’m curious, what is your level of self-awareness? Are you being who you are around the people that you love? Are you wearing masks? Where are you wearing masks?
Are you doing work that you love? Is there work out there that you would love to do? Or have you not had that exploration and discovery yet? Because there’s something out there for all of us. We all have our own unique gifts to bring to this world. And I know you have genius within you. It’s just a matter of finding it.
And finally, are you honoring your own unique needs? No matter what. Do you even know what those needs are?
And to the answer to those two questions is NO, then I invite you to consider working with me. That is exactly what I help women with ADHD and Multipotentialites figure out for themselves – their own path forward.
Leave a Comment