Self Coaching

Affirmation: By becoming aware of my thoughts and controlling my mind, I can work toward internal peace. I can nurture ideas that reflect my talents and limitless potential. In turn, I will peacefully present the world with the gifts I am eager to give as an exercise in compassion and generosity.

My ADD coaching session was cancelled today so I will not be able to share a coaching tip this week. However, I do have a job interview tomorrow and I have done a bit of self-coaching to prepare.

First, I printed copies of my resume, references, writing sample, and all other requested documents two days in advance. As I got everything together, I reminded myself how great it was to be proactive. I knew I was avoiding a lot of headache by not waiting until the night before to get myself organized. In the past I would have planned to print before I left the house. I also would have misjudged the time it takes to get 50 pages sorted and stapled  – arriving only half prepared for the big day.

Second, I prepared the clothes I would wear for the interview two days in advance. I will be meeting with two attorneys from a law firm in D.C. My appearance is important because attorneys must present in a courtroom, often to older and more conservatives judges. More then that, because of my ADD, my executive functioning suffers when I am stressed. Then that inner voice kicks in and tells me lies – either that I can wing it or that I have already failed. I will not be stressing about my attire tomorrow.

Knowing that I struggle with planning, I asked someone from the school’s professional development office to do a mock interview with me. My heart raced even during this practice run. I had to stop several times because I forgot what the question was and rambled on about something irrelevant. Times like these really bring home the affect of had ADHD. Most people lose their train of thought sometimes. I, on the other hand, once spent three hours writing an exam answer that had nothing to do with the question on the exam. The mock interview was a great reminder of how successful I am when I acknowledge my ADD and start using my brain to my own advantage.

I am sitting in front of the computer with my suit on. Although I will not be sleeping in it, I will spend some time meditating before I take it off. One thing I learned when I ran track was that you’ve got to break in all of your gear before the race. Run suicides in your track shoes, let your fingers feel the gravel as you hold on the start line, see how your suit responds when you clear a hurdle, and get to the point where you beg for that gun to announce it’s your time to shine.

I want to feel confident and peaceful in the interview. The most difficult task, from an ADD standpoint, will be to take verbal directions. All the more reason I need my mind to be still. I want my mind to remain clear so I can focus on the questions I need to answer. Inattentiveness will only cause me to feel self doubt, which in turn will instigate defensiveness.

When I put this suit on tomorrow, I want to feel like I have already won this race.

Affirmation: By becoming aware of my thoughts and controlling my mind, I can work toward internal peace. I can nurture ideas that reflect my talents and limitless potential. In turn, I will peacefully present the world with the gifts I am eager to give as an exercise in compassion and generosity.

Negative thinking

Affirmation: By being aware of my mindset and my emotions, I can direct by beliefs and attitudes toward hope, happiness, and accomplishment.

Negative thinking is probably my biggest struggle. For one, it is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. My thoughts suggest I will be free from criticism or disappointment, or even accountability, if I just accept in the “now” what is not possible, then I will be repaid at some point in the “not now.” The thoughts parade through my head like a knight in armor, ready to slay any painful experience that threatens me.

Good thing I now know this is straight bullsh*t.

Because I strive to act in ways that reflect my values, my feet will follow what I believe about myself. If the messages in my head scream shame and disappointment, I scream right back – “Bold and confidant.” Sure, this thing I pursue could lead to some unpleasant end, but that will not alter the character of my actions.

Negative thoughts come at me in the form of “you can’t”, “you won’t”, “because you can’t, you won’t”, and, my most common, “you can’t, never could, and won’t ever.” Would I keep going on a dates with someone who said this on repeat?? Of course not. So why have I allowed these worthless thoughts to live rent free in my brain? The answer is that I have not found a way to feel I am, have always been, and will always be able, whatever that “able” may look like (if you are confused by the notion that I would try to accommodate for this vast expanse of possibility, please read How This ADHD Thing Works)

This is the point where I start putting my ADHD to work:

What I will feel in another time or place is for the “not now.”

In the “now” – I am bold and I am confident. In this moment, it is enough to know I am, I can, and I will.

Teaser for next weeks post:

It is my previously stated belief that although a painting can never stop a bullet, a painting can stop a bullet from being fired.

William Kelly, a community-arts practitioner from Australia.

Programming Note


Just a quick programming note: I’m going to spend a couple of days messing around with my blog template. So please excuse any wonky stuff that goes on in the meantime. Knowing me, I’ll probably end up keeping the same design, but if I change it please feel free to leave comments/feedback!

Lier, Lier

Being on notice about my ADHD, I try to accommodate the possibility of error. My responses are rarely unequivocal. Words like “maybe”, “I think”, “perhaps”, and “I don’t know” run through my conversations like back-up music, and I stopped hearing them come out of my mouth a long time ago.

I just learned that people might perceive these ambiguities as lying.

Sometimes, I am lying. Sometimes, I am trying to remember. Sometimes, I am not the person who is responsible for the information. And, sometimes I remember but I am afraid to make a conclusive statement, having failed this test before.

Fortunately, I can work on this.

1. There is no use in beating myself up for missing information in the past. That would be like getting upset because I couldn’t master the typewriter (true story, I kept pressing buttons to fast and got a big gloopy glob of black ink on the page).

2. Instead of resorting to ambiguity, I can just state the facts. I can say with 100% confidence “Here is what I wrote down in the meeting.”

3. If I feel the urge to lie in order to cover up any information I missed, I will say instead what my plan is to remedy my uncertainty (and put my promise in writing, preferably in a calendar item with a deadline).

4. I can put blame where blame is due. I can stop blaming my ADHD or myself for other people’s inattention. Especially out loud and, with practice, in my own mind.

When I am confident in the accuracy of my information, I will speak confidently. In other words, I will be confident about the accuracy of the information I share and the listener will be confident that they can trust the information.

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