Often the best things in life come after many false starts—and this is particularly the case for people with ADHD. As an ADHD coach at Lynda Hoffman Life Coaching in Montreal, the stories I hear about what eventually leads my clients to choose coaching as a way to help manage their ADHD symptoms are remarkably similar. They often go something like this: “I got the diagnosis and then worked with someone to help me follow through, but they told me it wasn’t working because I couldn’t follow through.”
It can be a torturous process, including years of trial and error with various professionals, to learn efficient self-management skills. The word I hear most is despair with what clients perceive as their lack of effort: “I failed because of me”; “I want something more from my life”; “I want to be in charge of my own life”.
The good news is that these experiences, while not immediately providing the change clients seek, form a rich body of learning about what does and does not work for them. This self-knowledge is key the success of ADHD coaching.
When clients arrive at a coaching session with a pre-established diagnosis and a history of trying many different ways to change things for themselves, they are ready—truly and fully ready— to embark on a productive, life-changing experience. Their desire for change is at an all-time high, while their despair is often at an all-time low. Paradoxically, these are the conditions that sustain clients when they might otherwise avoid sessions or tasks that feel challenging. These form the motivational foundation from which clients can take risks, tolerate uncertainty and experiment with how to live their lives differently.
The best news of all, of course, is that these experiences are merely one aspect of the whole person—and this is what sets coaching apart from other modalities. Coaches assume that all of us are whole, just as we are. Coaching—even ADHD Coaching —is about growing, learning and becoming. The purpose is to empower and illuminate the essential health of the client, and help them embrace all parts of themselves. As Carl R. Rogers said, “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”