I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of seven, and as I take a look back at the things I have accomplished – despite the stereotypical label the world has placed on me – I cannot help but turn my head towards the sun and smile. Yes, it took a great deal of trial and error to figure out how to unlock my confidence, my strength and pave my own way – on my own terms. And 22 years later I’m still not the girl with the overly organized Kate Spade handbag who always remembers to reply to texts or the one sitting perfectly still during meetings, however I have achieved a great deal more than I could have ever imagined by actually embracing my ADHD rather than running from it. As I continue to grow and find myself mentoring others, I have found there are 6 truths all women with ADHD should remind themselves of daily.
6 Daily Reminders for Successful Women with ADHD
by Brookley Wofford
1. ADHD does not define me.
Being labeled as a women with ADHD can leave you with a lingering feeling that no matter what you do that somehow everyone else is and will always be ahead of you. As if everyone you meet must be closer to landing their dream job, painting the next Mona Lisa, inventing the hottest new app or writing the next bestseller. Over time these thoughts creep into your collective conscious and allow you feel defined by your ADHD. Successful ADHD women wake up determined to break the stereotypically boundaries and showcase the outstanding qualities of being #ADHDand so much more!
2. Perfection isn’t the key to my happiness.
We’re our own toughest critics, which makes it easy to feel as though we let ourselves down pretty frequently. Depending on the day and which sneaky ADHD symptom decides to show up, we could find ourselves having overslept, procrastinating seemingly daunting projects, impulsively spending that bonus check on yet another online shopping spree or cutting corners when it comes to relationships. Everyone messes up or plays their cards wrong at times. However being able to learn from mistakes, forgive ourselves and then have a good laugh to cool down will keep you on the path to success.
3. I might not get it all done today, but I won’t avoid doing it either.
As women with ADHD we may sometimes find ourselves procrastinating simply to avoid the possibility of failure, heartache or a major headache. However, you will never find peace by avoiding life. Instead of taking a detour, you should let go of expectations and begin to take every task and experience as a chance for personal growth. And rather than obsessing over the to-do list you’ve made and having the mindset of it’s “all or nothing,” give yourself a little wiggle room. Celebrate small accomplishments, delegate tasks and ask for help when needed. Acknowledging the fact that a peaceful life with ADHD does not mean there will be no noise and no challenges but that you will remain calm in the midst of those oppositions is a mantra successful ADHD women likely repeat throughout their day.
4. Women without ADHD are no different than me.
Most successful women with or without ADHD don’t succeed simply because they’re smarter, more talented or genetically gifted. However, using the fact that you have ADHD as a reason you cannot be just as successful could be your ultimate downfall. The one thing that sets all successful women apart from others is that they have unapologetically put their whole hearts into endeavors they are truly passionate about. And what others may view as their failures or shortcomings, they have turned into stepping stones for even greater success.
5. Making time for myself doesn’t make me selfish.
With the constant clutter of ideas, fleeting emotions and flickering distractions that ADHD can spring upon us throughout even given day, sometimes the best (and most difficult) thing to do is make time for yourself. In order to feel whole you must pencil in time to turn away from the busyness, find quiet solitude and refuel. For some this may be a trip to the spa with a good book, treating yourself to a lobster dinner for 1, turning your phone off and music up as you cover a blank canvas with the most gorgeous floral arrangement or just slipping on sweats and cuddling up to a good book. It’s not selfish, in fact it’s the furthest thing from selfishness. Taking time to reflect and just be will fuel success within your career and relationships.
6. I won’t be overwhelmed by change.
Living with ADHD can cause us to panic at the first sight of change, and as women we oftentimes push this to an even further extreme. We back ourselves into a corner and quietly slip away before we can ever even begin to witness the beauty of what comes after our faux panic attack. Taking ownership over our feelings and creating our own sense of stability is a huge factor when it comes to being successful in your career or in relationships. As women with ADHD we must each figure out a way to remain personally consistent throughout external changes so we are able to handle any change – a breakup, layoff, loss of a pet – with appreciation for what those changes taught us and a carry ourselves through gracefully. The future isn’t clear to anyone, however it’s always going to be brighter for those who choose to turn their heads to the sun and smile.
Now it’s your turn! Do you have any mantras that you feel have made you more successful? Leave them in the comments below!