We all want to minimize our challenges, right? I mean life would be better, if there was fewer rocks and less turbulence in the river.
My work is all about helping adults with ADHD create a better flow in their life. So, I usually write about strategies, skill building and other ways to minimize what we perceive to be challenges of ADHD.
What if we looked at our ADHD related symptoms as strengths, rather than challenges?
Would you still want to banish those traits entirely? I know I wouldn’t.
Consider The Context
Now I am not a “Pollyana.” I am not going to tell you that because you have ADHD you are gifted. I don’t believe that.
But I do believe our ADHD symptoms can be gifts and provide us with strengths. Depending on the context and our perspective.
As Thom Hartmann, author of ADD Success Stories, notes, ADHD is considered a “context disorder.”
Consider, for a moment, some of the notable people who have ADHD.
Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps found his place in part because of his tenaciousness. Sometimes we refer to this as the ability to hyperfocus. As he told Sports Illustrated, “I’m just different in the water. I just feel at home in it.”
Ty Pennington of ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition said he was “uncontrollable” as a child unless he had a crayon and piece of paper in hand. Now his creativity and high energy, hallmark symptoms of ADHD, work well for him in his role on the show.
How About The Rest of Us?!
We don’t need to be Olympic medalists or famous TV personalities to harness the positive aspects of our ADHD.
I credit my willingness to take risks, persistence, creativity and energy for my business success.
I see clients all the time who succeed because of their ADHD traits, not despite it!
ADDed Perspectives Bottom Line
It is a double edged sword, to be sure. A strength can be a weakness and vice versa.
The same trait that helps me to persist when others may give up can hinder me in other areas, if I let it.
Yes, it is important to your success to manage your ADHD symptoms, when they get in your way.
But you may be missing opportunities to use your these symptoms to your advantage, unless you identify them. So, take a moment to consider the contexts where you could harness your ADHD traits to help you succeed.
What are they?