In keeping with my word for 2015 – forward – one of my resolutions for 2015 is to try out this thing called “life coaching”, or, more specifically, “ADHD coaching”.
My lists are long, my aspirations and ideas many, but there never seems to be enough time to get any of them started, let alone get one done.
Case in point – I started this blog back in January 2011 on Blogger, and within six months I knew I should migrate to self-hosted WordPress. For the next two and a half years I talked about and researched migrating, but it wasn’t until January of last year (2014), when the frustration and embarrassment of still not having done it was too much to bear any longer, that I finally got to work. In order to keep the project going though, to actually, finally, get it done, I had to ignore everything else – writing blog posts, going on photography field trips, attending events, answering emails, following up on opportunities, grocery shopping, doing laundry, making meals, doing dishes, working out… Needless to say, this was not Chris & the boys favorite couple of months, but they stood by me, supported me and, I’m sure, prayed it would be over soon.
But shutting out everything, letting what I’ve already built wither from neglect and making my family suffer in the process isn’t acceptable or feasible. So, I leave my aspirations and big ideas languishing on my lists, while I watch (with admiration and wonder, and a bit of envy) as my friends and colleagues accomplish things I only dream of. It’s not for lack of ideas, intellect or talent, but because I cannot figure out how to squeeze in one more thing without everything and everyone suffering for it.
Then there are those days when the length of my lists and the number of new emails are overwhelming. I don’t know where to start. Heck, why bother starting at all when I know I don’t have time to get it all done. So, off I go, once again, searching for a rabbit hole to jump into and hide in, while I tell myself tomorrow will be a better day, tomorrow my ADD will behave, tomorrow might even be a hyper-focus day and I’ll get a bunch done.
I knew about this coaching thing. Who doesn’t? I’ve read articles, logged into webinars and listened to podcasts touting the benefits of coaching for ADDers, but I had questions, questions that needed concrete answers.
- What exactly is coaching? What does coaching do that therapy doesn’t?
- How exactly does this coaching thing work?
- How can someone make me do what I know I need to do but just can’t seem to get started, let alone get done? And, in some cases, get me to do it from many miles away.
- And, how much is this coaching going to cost me? Insurance doesn’t cover coaching. Coaching is a 100% out-of-pocket expense. People say coaching is worth the price, that it can actually pay for itself in improved productivity and quality of life, but I’m looking for proof, numbers that show the return on investment.
I had never met a coach before attending the ADDA conference last summer. During the three-day conference, I had the opportunity to chat with many coaches – at times it felt like the coaches outnumbered the ADDers. There was a wide variety of specialties (entrepreneurs, students, organization, interpersonal skills, time management, etc.) and approaches, and it seemed like each one was confident they could help this humble ADDer conquer her challenges.
Some overwhelmed me with their enthusiasm, sales pitch and confidence. How can you be so certain you can help me? You don’t know me or my struggles. Other coaches seemed downright put off by my coaching ignorance, pointed questions and skepticism. I assured them I wasn’t trying to be adversarial, I was trying to understand how they helped ADDers, how they could help me.
So many coaches, so many opinions and options – I quickly reached ADDer overload.
But, among the crowd of coaches, one in particular made a real impression. We kept crossing paths, chatted, but she never pitched me or shied away from my questions, and, after the conference, she was the only one that contacted me. Still no sales pitch, just a couple of friendly emails.
Once the cloud of grief started to break up a few weeks ago and I started assembling a plan for 2015, I looked at those long lists of mine and the piles of paper and projects and that familiar sense of drowning and pending disappointment quickly returned.
I don’t want to repeat my usual New Year’s pattern of carrying over the majority of items from last year’s list into another year.
I started to wonder – can I learn how to work smarter not harder, to keep juggling most of the balls (wife, mom, writer, photographer, blogger) while exploring, developing, creating and launching a new venture. On January 1, 2016 could I actually look back over 2015 and be pleased with what I accomplished?
It’s time to take a leap of faith. It’s time to explore new ways of getting things done. It’s time to invest in myself. It’s time to see just what I can accomplished, what goals and dreams I can achieve!
I picked up that business card that’s been sitting beside my computer since August and made the call. We chatted, talked about coaching, discussed how she works clients, what I’m hoping to gain from coaching, and agreed to take this leap together.
At the conference, and since then, I’ve met a number of ADDers that rave about their coaches, but many ADDers I’ve talked with are much like myself – curious and questioning – so as I venture down this coaching path, I’ll be sharing information, my insights and what I learning along the way.
In the meantime, have you worked with an ADHD coach? Was the experience helpful? What was the #1 thing you learned from your coach?