How to Embrace your ADHD Strengths in Adulthood

Each of our brains contains unimaginable strength and complexity. There are as many connections in a single cubic centimeter of brain tissue as there are stars in the Milky Way galaxy. It’s no surprise that adapting to how our specific brain works is a process that requires time, trial and error, and constant lifestyle adjustments.

For those adults living with ADHD this process can be frustrating, and it can be easy to focus on what is going wrong while losing sight of the strengths and neurodiverse gifts it can bring.

 Here’s how to embrace your strengths to minimize challenges and set yourself up for success!

Identify your Strengths

Think about what activities fill you with the most energy and motivation. This will provide you with some insight. If this proves difficult, ask the people closest to you what they observe to be your strengths. In addition, practice reframing perceived negative traits into positive qualities.

Impulsive → Creative

Hyperactive → Full of energy

Forgetful → Present-minded

Easily distracted → Rich, stimulating inner world

Put Strengths into Practice

Once you have identified your personal strengths you can then use them to minimize challenges that may come up in work tasks and projects, family scheduling and planning, or completing college courses.

 For adults that get easily distracted, use your creativity to release your thoughts so you can regain focus.

Task switching, or transitioning from one task to another, is more common than ever with smartphones, streaming, and internet rabbit holes. Start becoming conscious of when you are switching tasks and make a written note to come back to the original task. Be patient and gentle with yourself as you get used to this process.

-Use a distraction log or bullet journal to take advantage of your active mind and get your creative ideas down onto paper to give yourself the chance to implement them.

For adults that have trouble getting started, use your problem-solving skills to plan ahead and prioritize each task.

Because of the desire to seek novelty in every moment, day to day tasks may seem more tedious and mundane. Accept this unique quality, use your strong persistence to problem solve, and plan ahead by prioritizing each task- starting with the most important.

 -Set up a pre-work routine and create a list of rewards to choose from after completing each unmotivating task. This can help you stick to your plan.

 For adults that struggle to meet deadlines, use your ability to hyperfocus to get ahead on tasks.

Hyperfocus, or the ability to zero in and focus 100% on something for an extended period of time, can be harnessed as a powerful tool for productivity. When in a hyper-focused state, recognize the opportunity and try to get as much done as possible to get ahead for times when you are not as motivated.

 Set a timer and predetermine a milestone to achieve by the end of each work session. Plan for what you will transition to and why it’s important in order to maintain a well-balanced life.

Once we accept that there is more right with us than wrong with us we can start recognizing challenges as opportunities to use our strengths and begin living our lives with confidence and authenticity.

 

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