The challenging part about being diagnosed with ADHD later in life is having to unlearn and undo a lifetime of shame and damaged self esteem. If you have been reeling after your diagnosis, it’s time to start rebuilding your confidence. Rename yourself. You are not broken and you never were. It’s time to find out what are the processes that work specifically for you so that you can be successful in what you were put here to do. Below are six things you can do to rebuild your confidence after your ADHD diagnosis. You got this!
1. Be patient with yourself
Recently I booked my first commercial, and you know what my proudest moment was? Getting around in New York City by myself without getting lost.
Before my official ADHD diagnosis, understanding directions was darn near impossible. There were times where I have asked for directions repeatedly, only to still wind up going in the wrong direction because I just could not remember or process them. This is why impostor syndrome is so real. I’ve had the hardest time in life accepting compliments for some of my accomplishments because deep down inside I feared people would discover a lie that I secretly believed: that I was mentally dysfunctional and broken because I had a hard time doing certain things that to everyone else but me seemed very simple.
But on this recent trip, when I stood in the rain with my smartphone in hand, I kept repeating the directions to myself, making sure that whatever thoughts that wandered into my head didn’t keep me from missing a turn or a subway stop. And all the way there I kept telling myself, “Toya, you are doing such a great job.”
You owe it to yourself and your psyche to constantly affirm yourself when you are doing the hard stuff.
2. Take up a hobby
I recently took up cooking and it has done wonders for my self esteem and learning process. It’s helped me to learn patience and how to do things efficiently and in order. Also, experiencing a delicious outcome is great for the dopamine levels.
3. Accept yourself where you are
Now don’t settle for where you are but accept it. It is what it is and eventually what it is will get better. There will be progress in some things and setbacks in other things but as long as you don’t give up, you’re golden.
4. Cut out the outside noise
Focus is the name of the game. Be present. Recognize when you have been wandering on social media, television, or just daydreaming. Make your time count.
5. Join an online group that celebrates successes
The phrase that pays here is “that celebrates successes”. The last thing you want to be a part of is an online group that constantly complains about the challenges of having ADHD. That’s part of the outside noise that needs to be cut out of your life. But an online group where people are being encouraged during their challenges as well as celebrated for their successes is very important.
6. Discover other ADHD brains for inspiration
I am not sure I can accurately put into words what it did for me as an aspiring reporter to find out that Lisa Ling also has ADHD. She was diagnosed at 40 years old after doing a show about it and was already killing it in her career prior to her diagnosis. That was huge for me! If she could do that then there was no reason that I can’t be successful too. There are plenty of Ted Talks and interviews of other women with ADHD that are rockin’ it. Let them inspire you to rock too.
About the Author
Toya Haynes is a freelance writer, reporter and events coordinator. She loves motivating, encouraging and celebrating hard working individuals and their accomplishments. Toya was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 41. Learn more about her diagnosis experience and ADHD story here.
How did you rebuild your confidence after your ADHD diagnosis? Share your comments below or join the conversation on our Instagram Page!