Living with ADHD is a frustrating experience and it can often be discouraging. Things don’t happen as we plan them to. There is lots of disappointment. It can be as if we keep falling off the horse we are riding through life. This is true but it is not all. We do fall off the horse a lot. That is not failure in my mind, it is just fact. What is failure is not getting back on the horse after we have fallen off again and again.
I think one of the keys to living with ADHD is being resilient. Getting back up on that horse time after time. Like most things, the more you do it the easier it gets. Resiliency is developed. I see this all the time with my clients. When something goes wrong at first they feel like they are failing. They have two options – luxuriate in the failure or dust themselves off and get back to living, getting back on the horse as quickly as possible. The ones who luxuriate continue to feel like they are failing. The ones who try to get back to living feel hope and hope is energizing. Dwelling in failure is not.
We all fail in life from time to time. That is to be expected. But it is how we handle that failure that counts. We can use it as an excuse to give up or as an opportunity to try again or move on the something different. I am not saying this is easy. Resiliency can be hard to cultivate but it is a worthwhile skill to have. It simply makes life easier to live and less painful.
Often when I am working with an ADHD affected client, failure comes up a lot but they rarely mention resiliency. I know they are resilient because they wouldn’t have hired me as their coach if they weren’t resilient. Resiliency has to do with adapting to the situation you are in. People come to me because they are struggling living with ADHD and they need help adapting. Part of adapting is seeking help when you need it. Their presence in a coaching relationship is in and of itself proof that they are resilient. Instead of staying stuck they are taking action to improve their lives.
Unfortunately there is no magic spell that will make ADHD issues go away. But being resilient makes ADHD easier to live with. It allows you to keep moving forward rather than getting stuck or moving backwards. This is why it is important to cultivate a resilient mindset.
Googling “resiliency” I found this description:
“Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress — such as family and relationship problems, serious health problems or workplace and financial stressors. … Being resilient does not mean that a person doesn’t experience difficulty or distress.” (The road to resilience – American Psychological Association)
The key phrase is “adapting well.” It doesn’t negate what you are experiencing but it does mean that you begin to adapt to your situation well. Adapting means changing to fit successfully within your situation. I believe that people affected by ADHD are resilient because they are constantly having to adapt to a world around them that doesn’t necessarily always fit them.
I encourage you to look back on your life experiences and notice how resilient you have been in the past. You have the skill within you. Cultivate it. Use it.