Sunday, May 18, 2014

The 4 Steps of Personal Change For Adults With ADHD

Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (AD/HD) offers many gifts. I've never met an adult with AD/HD who wasn't creative, compassionate, and driven, in one form or another. We hold in abundance many qualities that the rest of world sometimes seems to lack. But while AD/HD has its upside, there is no denying that many of us often find ourselves out of sync with the rest of the world. Our time management skills are usually poor. Our abilities to prioritize and organize often need work. And a host of other challenges present themselves when an adult with AD/HD tries to thrive in a world full of non-AD/HDers. 

 Like everyone else, there are things about ourselves that we find we need to change. If it were easy to change old habits and thought patterns, there would be no need for therapists, coaches, or self-help books. Life would be simple. And it would be boring. When positive, personal changes are adapted, like sharpening time management skills or adapting techniques for better focus, the result is a renewed sense of confidence and an increase in the options that are available to us. I've always thought of change as a 4-part process: 

1.Education It's information that inspires change. Becoming educated about AD/HD and the way it can affect adults is the first step to identifying changes that need to be made. This stage can last quite a long time before the next step is undertaken. Knowledge is like a seed and the mind, all by itself, is a fertile garden. 

2. Awareness Self-awareness is key when making personal change. It's impossible to change that which we are not aware of. An adult with AD/HD must practice self awareness in all areas of life to determine what's working, and what isn't. This is a time when one begins to realize that certain behaviors and actions have propelled you forward, and others have held you back. 

3. Reframing It's important to realize that every person always does the best they can. No one purposefully under-performs, under-achieves, or disappoints. When you give yourself enough credit to explore why you might do certain things the way you do, you can reframe your behaviors and actions with the understanding that they are there for a reason, and not because you are inadequate. 

4. Action The action step often happens on its own. When an adult with AD/HD gains knowledge, practices awareness, and realizes the positive reasons that change needs to take place, action will unconsciously follow.

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