Are You Living Up To Your Potential?

by Sandra on March 7

Are you living up to your potential-

When we fail to reach our goals and the results we are looking for seem out of reach, it is easy to get down on ourselves. We will blame ourselves for not doing what we know we should be doing and forgetting things, even when they matter a lot to us. Sometimes especially when they matter a lot to us.

And if we are not the ones down on ourselves, it will be those close to us. They will be telling us that we just don’t care enough, or that if we loved them, we would pay more attention. They will continue telling us what our parents have told us our entire lives. That we are lazy, and that we don’t care.

Try harder. Do better. Find your Motivationtm. The internet is filled with people willing to take our money in exchange for promises of wealth, happiness, and above all, productivity. We will try again, lured in by a pretty sales page, blinded by the promise that we too can make thousands, if not millions if we just stick to their program.

And when we, again and again, fail to reach our potential, we cannot help but take it personally. After all, we are the ones who are not doing what we should be doing. If depression isn’t already a fact, at the very least it looms around the corner every single day. Brave we soldier on though, because the only alternative is giving up, and that is not an option.

If this all sounds familiar to you, either for yourself or someone you care about, you might want to consider that you have Adult ADHD/ADD.

ADHD is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed, especially in girls and adults. With this article I hope to give you some idea on what it is and help your loved ones understand as well. And mostly, help you realize that you are not hopeless. There is light at the end of the tunnel and you CAN do what you want to do. You just have to find the right way for you, whether that is medication or rigorous scheduling and routines or a combination of things.

But most importantly:

There can be a multitude of reasons why you are not succeeding, and none of them is “not trying hard enough”.

It is not your fault. You are not lazy. You are not dumb or stupid. There is literally something wired differently in your brain that makes it impossible for us to do the things “normal” people can do with just willpower. We forget things because our brain makes us forget things, not because we don’t care.

After getting diagnosed and reading more about ADHD/ADD I understood so much about my past.

My parents would tell me to clean up my room, which was always a mess, and according to me I did, and yet when they would walk in it was never good enough. Not because they were so strict, but because I couldn’t see what they saw, that there was still a sock in the corner, or that my desk was still unorganized.

My teachers often commented, “She is smart enough, if she would just apply herself,” or “she can do this, it is just that she is lazy.”

As an adult, I have lived in 3 different countries, and several different cities. Most of the time, I made the decision to move within days or hours. I have never been able to hold onto a real job for a longer period of time. Being self-employed seemed like the answer, until I realized that it also meant I had to self-motivate and be able to actually do the things I needed to do, and not get lost in the internet for hours and hours at a time.

For me getting the ADD diagnosis felt life-changing. Finally, there was a real answer to so many of the things I didn’t know why I was doing or not doing. I am not lazy. I am not unmotivated. I do care. It is just that my brain is wired differently than most people, and therefore things that come naturally to most people are close to impossible for me.

The main difference I notice now that I am on medication is the difference in energy and anxiety. Just living a normal day would take so much energy out of me that by the time it was 8 pm, I would be exhausted. Being around other people, paying attention to their conversations, and having to participate in the appropriate amount would drain my energy to the point where I needed to schedule days off after being social, just to recuperate a bit.

I never even realized I had so much physical anxiety and tension in my chest area, until I took my first pill, and it was just gone. It was amazing, and still is.

I have so much more energy during the day now, because life isn’t draining me by just trying to stay on top of basic things.

I still need to find the right combination of medicines for me, and the right doses. I will probably always need to stay more aware and have a more rigorous schedule and routine than most people.

Everything is not perfect and life isn’t all rainbow unicorn farts and happy monkeys dancing yet.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel now and I feel that all kinds of doors and options have opened up again.

I am 34, and feel I actually can reach my goals and lead my dream life. Better late than never.

ADHD In Adults: General Information

At the end of this article I will give you some external links to continue reading and researching about ADD and ADHD, but below I have summarized the most important and basic information that has helped me the most.

If you have doubts or think you might have ADD or ADHD as well, please do go see a doctor or psychiatrist. It might just change your life.

If that is not an option, do keep on reading anyway. Just understanding the symptoms and knowing you are not alone can feel freeing. Reading about how others deal with their symptoms can give you some good ideas on how to deal with yours.

3 Types of ADHD/ADD

Hyperactivity is not the only, or even the most important sign of ADHD/ADD. It is the one most diagnosed in children because it is the symptom that causes most disruption in class, and therefore calls the attention of the teachers. There are 3 types of ADHD/ADD:

Predominantly inattentive type

This one is mostly seen as daydreaming. If you have trouble keeping track of conversations, forget names the second people introduce themselves to you, put your keys somewhere and lose them at the same time . . . It is all because you are not paying attention. The difference with people with ADHD/ADD not paying attention and neuro-typical people not paying attention is that we literally cannot help it. Brain scans show us that we do not have the capacity of being attentive just using willpower.

Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type

This is the “classic” ADHD symptom. Impulsiveness and a lack of thinking about consequences for your actions in adults often manifest in moving around a lot, changing jobs and even careers, starting an online company, and changing the focus constantly. The inability to sit still and to constantly be fidgeting and moving is the most recognizable one, but interrupting people and a constant need to be talking are also part of it.

Combination type

Of course, life wouldn’t be the huge big screw up it is, if a combination of both wouldn’t also be possible. You can have hyperactivity, without the impulsiveness, or inattentiveness with the impulsiveness and any other combination you care to imagine.

Common Symptoms of ADHD/ADD in Adults

Disclaimer. Everyone will have some of these symptoms in their lives, some of the time. That alone doesn’t mean that you have ADHD/ADD. However, if you have most of these symptoms, most of your life and they interferes with being able to live the life you want to live, a visit to your GP or Psychiatrist might be helpful.

  • Lack of Focus
  • Hyper Focus
  • Disorganization
  • Time Management Difficulties
  • Keeping Track of Tasks
  • Prioritizing in a Logical Manner
  • Timeliness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Impulsiveness

The next few are more results of the symptoms than symptoms themselves, but they are still important to be aware of:

  • Emotional Problems
  • Poor self-image
  • Lack of motivation
  • Restlessness and Anxiety
  • Health Issues
  • Relationship Issues
  • Addictions

Common Myths of ADHD/ADD

Only children have ADHD/ADD

It used to be common knowledge that children would outgrow ADHD by the time they were adolescents. We now know that this isn’t usually true and that the ADHD just changes shape. As adults we learn to control our impulsiveness a bit better, and we apply strategies to increase success in our lives.
Mostly though, we notice that the ADHD shifts from hyper-activeness to inattentiveness.

Girls don’t have ADHD/ADD

Girls are heavily under-diagnosed because their symptoms manifest differently and usually without the hyper-activeness. The typical girl who is just daydreaming in class, or is very forgetful and does not pay attention to conversations? There is a chance that she has the inattentiveness type of ADHD/ADD.

ADHD/ADD isn’t real and just an excuse for lazy parenting

ADHD/ADD is a real neurological condition that can be shown on brain scans. Seriously, I wish it weren’t real, because that would mean it would be within my control to change myself and do the things I want do to. Unfortunately, it is real, and I am stuck with it.

Links for further reading:

http://www.russellbarkley.org/
http://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/adult-adhd#Other3
http://www.healthline.com/health/adhd/three-types-adhd#Impulsivity5
www.reddit.com/r/adhd

Do you think you, or someone you know might have ADHD? Do you have ADHD and are living with it? Let me know what resources you think are missing here, and how you create a lifestyle that helps you be the best you can be.

 

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Sandra

Sandra is a 33 year old mother, wife, life coach. As a Dutch national living in Mexico she is trying to find ways to make most out of life. She’s passionate about simplifying life, yet loves her luxuries and non-minimalistic lifestyle.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

lyaferrer March 8, 2016 at 10:08 pm

very interesting, a subject which gets a bit complicated when trying to understand everything about it.

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