Every now and then I receive an email asking me if I really have ADHD. It’s a funny question because I’ve fully revealed that I have ADHD in my memoir and I further write about my experiences here on ADDer World.
So why would anyone ask me if I really have ADHD?
The answer is a lot simpler than I expected.
Most people who have asked me this question have read so much about the negative consequences of having ADHD that they’ve come to believe it is impossible for someone with ADHD to accomplish anything.
People with ADHD will fail, they can’t show up, they are always unreliable and unsuccessful, most of them are in jail and basically, people with ADHD are a waste of food and water. Right?
If you read enough headlines you may come to the same conclusion.
Those who succeed.
What is less talked about is that some of the most successful people in society have ADHD. The person with the most gold medals in history, Michael Phelps has ADHD, the founder of Jet Blue has ADHD and well, hey you know what, I’ve got ADHD and maybe you do, too.
If anyone focuses on what can’t be done or who can’t do what long enough, well, nothing will get done.
It’s not people with ADHD who cannot succeed.
It’s people who are stuck believing they can’t succeed who do not succeed.
I have ADHD, that’s true, but I do not let the latest studies or headlines convince me I can’t do what I am doing, and that’s why I accomplish what I set out to accomplish.
I am aware of my weaknesses and I am aware of the areas where I am less likely to succeed, but I am also aware of what I can do and what my strengths are.
I don’t focus on what I can’t do (I never wanted to be an architect or be an astronomer anyway).
When I read a headline that reveals negative consequences of having ADHD I don’t suddenly tell myself that’s why I can’t succeed, because I just don’t. Some do. I don’t. Besides, not every symptom or circumstance applies to everyone.
My advice is to be aware of your situation with ADHD, what your weaknesses are and how you can work around them, over them or through them. But more importantly, be aware of what you can do by accepting that even if you have ADHD you have strengths and abilities that set you apart and give you the opportunity to be successful.
That’s how anyone succeeds whether they have ADHD or not.
Know your strengths – what you can do.
Once you know what your strengths are then you need to work ‘em. And by working them I mean you need to learn as much as you can in those areas.
I blog and ADDer World has become one of the most well known and most read blogs about life with ADHD. That didn’t happen by accident, it’s because I researched blogging and how to create a blog that is interesting and will attract an audience.
Building a blog isn’t only about the writing. Although writing interesting stuff that matters is important, there’s much more to it than that. So if you’re into blogging and want to build a blog that matters you would want to learn all you can about that area, so you would join a class like Tribe Writers. I did.
A blog only about ADHD wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to continue blogging and reach people from all walks of life so I created Positive Writer last year.
Writing and blogging are strengths of mine.
I also write and publish books. It just so happens that on my Positive Writer blog I have a guest post from Joe Bunting who is offering free writing and publishing lessons. This brings up another point. If you want to improve in anything then help others improve, too.
Yes. I have ADHD.
But I am not focused on how ADHD can hold me back. (I am aware, though. There’s a difference.)
I used to be focused on what I couldn’t do and all that did was keep from doing anything.
So now I focus on what I can do and strive to improve in those areas and that has made all the difference for me. If you want to be a blogger and succeed where thousands of others are competing for readers attention then consider joining Tribe Writers.
If you want to write and publish, then consider free lessons from my friend, Joe Bunting.
Maybe writing isn’t your thing. Whatever your thing is it is important to identify it and then find ways to learn, use and improve.
Focus on what you can do.
And if you’re up for the challenge, then I highly recommend checking out Alan Brown’s ADD Crusher site. You may find out that you are much better and more capable than you think you are.
So the question is:
Are you going to focus on how bad ADHD is or on what you are able to do? Maybe by focusing on the areas of your strengths people might ask you if you really have ADHD. Share in the comments.