Tag Archives: Gratitude

Adult ADHD and Imposter Syndrome

People who aren’t familiar with ADHD sometimes mistakenly believe that people with this disorder have some sort of advantage; whether it might be the supposed super powers of prescription stimulants, being given special needs status, receiving inclusion education status in college, or some sort of magical mental ability to learn things quickly and exhaustively.

When it comes to getting a head in life, being successful, and achieving personal goals, ADHD provides no advantages. None. Those with ADHD, like everyone else have to put in effort, discipline, determination, and consistency in order to accomplish achievements. What having ADHD does mean, is that for some persons with this disorder it takes a lot more effort to accomplish end goals due to this neurodevelopmental disorder.

When anxiety and ADHD decide to work together in your mind it usually means personal disaster for many individuals. Accomplishments are quickly disregarded and downplayed by anxiety that manifests itself as Imposter Syndrome.

First described by psychologists Suzanne Imes, PhD, and Pauline Rose Clance, PhD, in the 1970s, impostor phenomenon occurs among high achievers who are unable to internalize and accept their success. They often attribute their accomplishments to luck rather than to ability, and fear that others will eventually unmask them as a fraud. Though the impostor phenomenon isn’t an official diagnosis listed in the DSM, psychologists and others acknowledge that it is a very real and specific form of intellectual self-doubt. Impostor feelings are generally accompanied by anxiety and, often, depression.” American Psychological Association

Be careful not to let anxiety and Imposter Syndrome rob you of the joy of what you have achieved. You worked for what you have, enjoy it. Humbleness is important, but low self-esteem, imposter syndrome, and depression are not the same as having a humble spirit.

If your achievements were earned without stepping on others, dishonest means, or blatant injustice then you have no reason to embrace your accomplishments.

But now you must get rid of all such things—anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive language from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have stripped off the old self with its practices and have clothed yourselves with the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge according to the image of its creator.” Colossians 3: 8-10

Give thanks to God for what you accomplish and thank those who helped you along the way. Gratitude is a great way to chip away at imposter syndrome.

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17

If you’d like to learn more about Imposter Syndrome and how to overcome it, below are a few links to articles on the topic.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/margiewarrell/2014/04/03/impostor-syndrome/#61d2b31648a9

https://www.verywell.com/adhd-and-imposter-syndrome-3888166

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/26/your-money/learning-to-deal-with-the-impostor-syndrome.html

 

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ADHD – Gratitude and Resiliency

Give God Thanks

It’s November, the month of Thanksgiving, and we will likely be hearing a lot about being thankful and having a spirit or sense of gratitude. I love reading the different gratitude challenges posted on social media and blogs during November. It’s a great reminder to take note of the many things you have to be grateful for. It can be easy to miss the good and positive things and experiences that we have in our life until we actually take time to sit down and think about it.

I’m learning that there is a strong connection between gratitude and resiliency.

Gratitude: a feeling of appreciation or thanks; b) the state of being thankful

Resilient: tending to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change; b) able to return to an original shape after being pulled, stretched; pressed, bent, etc.

Qualities of Resiliency

Managing the struggles and challenges that accompany having ADHD make us resilient, but it doesn’t necessarily lead to us being grateful. Here’s what I’m learning about being simultaneously grateful and resilient:

Mistakes: When I make a mistake, forgive myself. Don’t let bitterness or anger get a hold of my emotions. If I stop and reflect on why I made the mistake and how I can avoid repeating this mistake in the future, I develop a stronger character. I take the time to thank God for bringing my mistakes to my attention and I give thanks for the opportunity to carry on.

Sense of Humour: I have no problems laughing at myself. This was not something that came naturally, but over time I learned that if you have adult ADHD you need to be able to laugh at yourself. I used to become easily angry with myself for doing things that seemed “stupid”, but now I’ve accepted that certain odd behaviour is part of the disorder. Yes, I am that person with ADHD who has placed dinner in the microwave, forgotten about it, only to discover the plate of food two days later when I went to heat up another dish.

I am that woman with ADHD who has had to leave the house with only half of her curly hair straightened because my morning time management skills were well off. I eventually learned that the half curly, half straight look is not likely to be in style at any time and it’s better to leave the early morning hair straitening sessions for weekend.

I’ve known other adults with ADHD who rarely wear a matching pair of socks. They could easily let that get to them, but instead, they’ve learned to accept it. Who cares if one sock is white and the other is black? If it doesn’t bother you, let it bother the others; it’s their problem not yours.

Self-knowledge/Self-acceptance: Once an adult accepts that they have ADHD, life changes for the positive. We don’t get to choose our disorders and disabilities, but we do get to choose how we perceive affects our life. I remember the years when I had not yet been diagnosed with ADHD. Because I didn’t know that I had ADHD I spent a lot of time wondering “What is wrong with me?”. I couldn’t understand why I was so forgetful, had poor time management skills, was always fidgeting, had a short attention span for certain activities, and was always moving from one project to the other. Finally being diagnosed allowed me to develop an understanding of what ADHD is, the symptoms, and how to manage them as best as I could.

Thanksgiving Blessing

I am thankful that we live in a country where we can be diagnosed and provided with much needed help and assistance in order to live a more productive life. For me, resiliency means silencing the internal voice that sometimes still asks the question, “What is wrong with me?”; the difference is that I know what’s “wrong” with me, there is nothing “wrong” with me or anyone else with ADHD, we have a disorder and we diligently work to increase our strengths and decrease our weaknesses.

I’m thankful those who have forgive me for my past habits of being chronically late; disorganized, frazzled with anxiety, forgetful, being the loudest in the room, and sometimes blurting out things that are cringe worthy. Resiliency means looking in the mirror and seeing an adult with ADHD and knowing that we are more than a diagnosis.

Gratitude is being thankful for our quirks; resiliency is not hiding them, but instead living with them and saying, “Hey, this is part of who I am!

We all have a variety of things to be thankful for and different ways resiliency is experienced in our lives. I encourage you to take some time during this month of thanksgiving to take an inventory of the things in life you are thankful for and how having ADHD has helped to make you a more resilient person.