I have heard it many times but this week it particularly struck me. Many of my ADHD coaching clients refer to what they do versus what “normal” people do. I cringe each time I hear this. I no longer believe there is a “normal” person around. We all have our problems and issues. For some it is ADHD. 

What I worry about is when they are comparing themselves to “normal” people that they are wrong and “normal” people are right which I believe is the wrong paradigm. Instead it is about difference not right or wrong ways of doing. For example, when I work with couples the non-ADHD partner will discuss how the ADHD partner isn’t efficient in how they do something around the house and therefore they are doing it wrong. It may be not as an efficient way as the non-ADHD partner does it but as long as it gets done it is not wrong just different.

Usually there is more than one way to do something. I believe as long as it gets done in a reasonable amount of time, efficiency is in the eye of the beholder. We never know the interior of another person’s life so I believe it is a waste of time comparing ourselves to others. The comparison will be faulty because we simply know way more about ourselves than we do about others.

Often with my clients we collect data. Objective information. Like the time it takes to do something not the amount of time it should take to do something. Once we have the data we can take informed action. It is a waste of time to think how long does it take a “normal” person to do it. What matters is how long it takes you. That is your reality. What someone else does is their business. A boss may say to do it faster. If that is the case all we can do is make the effort to do it faster or maybe get some support on how to improve our ability to do the task. There may be some things we don’t know or we may need to simply practice doing the task to improve our time in accomplishing it.

I wrote a book called “Forget Perfect: How to Succeed in Your Profession and Personal Life Even if You Have ADHD” now I am saying “forget normal.” Just like perfection, it doesn’t exist. We are who we are each of us different.