I HAVE ADHD PODCAST - Episode #235
October 31, 2023
The ADHDers Guide to Being Proactive (Even With a Reactive Brain)
Fair warning: this episode brings the heat. This is a topic I’ve felt compelled to discuss a lot lately, and I’m not holding back.
As adults with ADHD, our brains are reactive. This means that when there’s a stimulus (aka phone notification, a child calling for you, etc.), our brains are naturally triggered to react. We lack impulse control, so our instinct is to respond immediately.
Someone who’s proactive, on the other hand, will slow down first. They’ll take a breath and decide when it’s in their best interest to react. They don’t act out of impulse, and they aren’t constantly putting out fires or managing other people’s issues at their own expense.
So, how do you morph into someone proactive as an ADHDer? First, you have to take care of your most basic needs. Be sure you’re medicating, staying hydrating, getting into nature, and moving your body in a way that feels good to you.
Secondly, you MUST decide what you want and be willing to fight for it. You cannot create or control a situation if you don’t know what you want. Give yourself the space and time to find out what you want. And remember: to live the life you want, you can’t keep pleasing other people.
In this episode, I’m breaking down everything I wish I’d known years ago about being a proactive human, including why it’s important to stop saying yes to everyone else’s request so I can start living in reactive mode.
If you want a safe space together where you can feel seen and heard as you go through this work, I invite you to check out FOCUSED, my group coaching program for adults with ADHD. Inside FOCUSED, I can take care of you and support you as we work through this together.
Come hand out with me on Instagram HERE.
AG1 by Athletic Greens
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE TOPICS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE
PRINTABLE ADHD SYMPTOM LIST
This totally free printable includes a psychologist-approved list of symptoms that adults with ADHD commonly experience. This could give you the answers you’ve been begging for your entire life.
Welcome to the I have ADHD podcast, where it’s all about education, encouragement and coaching for adults with ADHD. I’m your host, Kristen Carter and I have ADHD. Let’s chat about the frustrations, humor and challenges of adulting relationships working and achieving with this neurodevelopmental disorder. I’ll help you understand your unique brain. Unlock your potential and move from point A to point B.
Hey, what’s up? This is Kristen Carter and you’re listening to the I have ADHD podcast. I am medicated, and caffeinated. I am regulated and I am so ready to roll.
Glad to be here with you today. Welcome. Welcome to the show. Thanks for tuning in. This episode is going to be a goodie, I say that every week. And I do mean it every single week, I am standing at my desk today, because I’m gonna bring the fire and I need that extra support I need to be standing. Because I’m gonna bring it today. I’m so looking forward to talking to you about how to be proactive, rather than being reactive, which is I mean, this is like our life’s work as someone with ADHD. And it’s so so so important. Yeah, I’ve got a little fire in my belly today. And we’re going to bring it’s, it is just like the most gorgeous weather in Pennsylvania ish area. Right now it is fall, autumn, whatever you want to call it.
I went on a hike this morning, I have started carrying a stick with me when I go on hikes because some of y’all don’t leash your dogs. And not everyone in the world is comfortable with dogs that they don’t know. And so I have started. I’ve started to empower myself to just protect myself when I need to. And I don’t know how you feel about unleashed dogs. I like dogs. I like dogs, please let the record show love me. I love me a dog. But when I don’t know the dog, and it’s just off of a leash on a trail that is very concerning to me.
I grew up on an island where stray dogs roam free and they just bit children at will. And so I’ve got a little trauma there and whatever. Sometimes we just bring our childhood self onto our hikes in Pennsylvania. And I guess it’s what I do. And so as the adult 42 year old version of myself, I have just started when I hike to carry a little stick with me and it’s not to do any harm it is just to have a barrier between an unleashed dog that I don’t know. And myself and I have got to tell you, it has calmed my anxiety. So so so much. And it has allowed me to just kind of like create a little space between myself and an unleashed dog. And as far as I know, because I actually did do a quick Google on this like weeks ago. It’s against the law to have an unleashed dog like out in public, at least in Pennsylvania. So I’m not sure why not the point of the podcast, I think the point is that I went on a hike. It was wonderful. And I took care of myself in a way that I haven’t been empowered to do before. And so that felt really, really good.
Another thing that I’m doing to empower myself and to take care of myself is I have been hella consistent, not even persistent, consistent with AG1. This summer I started noticing that I would wake up feeling groggy, almost every morning like pretty trashy, and I’ve been wondering, what is something pretty easy that I can do to change that. Now if you’re a longtime listener, you might know that I’ve been drinking AG1 for over a year. I love AG1. But what I haven’t been doing is doing it per the recommendation in the morning on an empty stomach and so I decided to experiment and see if it would make a difference for me to drink AG1 in the morning on an empty stomach as recommended. And over the last probably six weeks I have done it consistently not even persistently, consistently. I’ve gotten up out of bed and instead of going straight to the coffee pot. I have made AG1 but just super easy. A scoop of powder in eight to 10 ounces of water. Shake it up. Good to go drink it down. It literally takes me 20 seconds. It’s so easy and I’ve got to tell you I have felt a massive difference to the point that now my coffee is an afterthought. Do I still drink coffee? You better believe I do. But it’s not because I have to. It’s not because it is like the thing I need to wake me up because I’ve got to tell you, I feel so much better drinking AG1 daily as recommended, which you know, shocking. Following the directions might make a little bit of difference. I felt a massive difference in my daily health and my energy. That’s because AG1 is a foundational nutrition supplement that supports your body’s universal needs like gut optimization, stress management and immune support.
Since 2010, AG1 has a lead the future of foundational nutrition, continuously refining their formula to create a smarter, better way to elevate your baseline health. Now, I will go on record and raise my hand saying that Kristen Carter needs to elevate her baseline health because cooking, eating planning consistently following dietary recommendations, not something I’m good at. That’s not something I care very much about. And so I was noticing that my health was waning because of it. And AG1 has made such a difference. Now I have gotten my team hooked on AG1 and my executive assistant Heather. She has joked that she thinks that I am doing this strategically so that she gets more work done because she notices such a big difference in her energy that she thinks that I’m strategic about encouraging her to take AG1 as well because she is more productive, and she feels more energetic when she drinks it. So if you’re like me and you are feeling groggy, and maybe a little less energetic than you want to, you are going to need to check this out. And if you want to take ownership of your health, it starts with AG1, try AG1 and get a free one year supply of vitamin d3. K two and five free AG1 travel packs with your first purchase. This is a great deal. Go to drink AG1.com/i have ADHD. That’s drink AG1.com/i have ADHD. Check it out.
All right, all right. All right. proactive versus reactive. And again, let me just circle back. Carrying a stick while I am hiking is a way that I have become proactive in my life. Okay, rather than reacting to dogs on the trail, in a flurry of anxiety and panic, I now am proactive, and I carry a stick with me. Additionally, drinking AG1 every morning is a way that I am being proactive in my life. I feel as though I am truly taking charge of my health. That is something that I am deciding to do. Proactively. It feels so good to be empowered in that way. These are the things that we’re talking about today how to be proactive, rather than reactive. How can we do it? All right here is how first, we have to define what does it mean to be reactive.
Now if you have ADHD and if you’re listening to this podcast, I am guessing you have ADHD. If you have ADHD, you have a very reactive brain that is just the brain that you were given on chi. And so that means that when there is a stimulus, your brain is going to respond, stimulus response stimulus response, you are going to be reactive, okay? The definition of reactive is acting in response to a situation rather than creating or controlling it. Acting in response to a situation rather than creating or controlling it. The ADHD brain is highly reactive. We are going to notice everything around us we are going to hear everything around us we are going to be activated by everything around us. And our brains are naturally going to respond and react that is the natural way that the ADHD brain works.
The key to healing and kind of overcoming ADHD is transitioning from someone who is constantly reactive, constantly putting out fires, constantly having to manage other people’s stuff, at the expense of your own life. To someone who is proactive, which means the definition is creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after it has happened. to be proactive means that we slow down, and we take a breath, and we decide when there is a stimulus, we decide, is it in my best interest to react? How do I want to react? What would serve my end goal the most? What is the most important thing here? What do I want? And how can I move forward? prioritizing what I want? That, my friend, is the definition of being proactive. And yet, for someone with ADHD, this is extremely difficult because we do not naturally have impulse control. Impulse control are the brakes that allow us to pause after a stimulus.
So something stimulating happens, maybe your phone dings, maybe an email comes through, maybe your child calls to you, maybe your partner asks for something. Okay, so there’s a stimulus, we do not naturally have the brakes that allow us to pause, think consider, and kind of map out the future of like, what would happen if I say yes, what would happen if I say no? What’s in my best interest? What’s going to serve my end goal the most? Right? And so the process of morphing, evolving into someone who is proactive, rather than reactive? It’s a long process unkind This is a slow and long process. One adorable, entertaining fun podcast episode and get a cut it I’m so sorry. I would love to tell you that all you got to do is listen to this podcast and your life is going to be changed. Well, I mean, yes, maybe. But also, the process of becoming someone who transforms from reactive to proactive, is a slow process. And I know we want things fast. And I know we want it yesterday. And I know that sometimes when we hear the words, hey, this is going to take time, our brains might naturally say forget it, not worth it, not doing it. But I encourage you to make this something that you consider and that you care about and that maybe you bring to the forefront of your mind because it will change your life.
The ADHD brain is naturally reactive. That is it’s like natural, normal state. So one of the best ways to help yourself ditch reactivity is to just make sure you are properly handling your very basic needs, properly medicated or treating your ADHD in the best way that works for you. Making sure that you’re eating that you’re drinking water, you’re staying hydrated, you’re sleeping, you’re moving your body in whatever way feels good to you. And you’re spending time in nature, you’re incorporating mindfulness practices, like all of those basic ways that we treat and heal our ADHD are the foundation that we need.
If we are going to morph or evolve into someone who is proactive rather than reactive. It is very unlikely if you’re not taking care of your basic needs, that you will be able to become someone who is proactive. The basic needs are the foundation for all change. Let me say it again, the basic needs treating your ADHD in the best way that works for you. Eating staying hydrated, sleeping, moving your body getting out into nature, journaling, mindfulness practices, those basic basic basic things are the foundation for true change. Okay, first, we got to take care of those basic needs and making sure that they are met. And then after that we have the luxury of thinking about other things.
So many of you are not able to make changes in your life because you haven’t yet mastered the skill of taking care of your basic needs. And I want to validate that. I want to say that like that’s okay. I want you to just focus on those basic needs. Let’s just go back to basics and make sure that we can be diagnosed treated for ADHD like baseline basics, eating staying hydrated, sleeping, resting, moving your body, mindfulness practices like journaling and breath work and spending time in nature. All of those things are going to be the catalyst for change, okay, and you probably won’t be able to make big huge changes. If that like basic foundation isn’t pretty secure. Not that it’s perfect but persistently secure. After that foundation has been laid after you’re like a Okay, yes, I’m getting the basics covered. Being proactive, it only takes two steps. Now they’re the two hardest steps ever, but it really is only two steps. Number one, you need to know what you want. And number two, you need to be willing to fight for what you want.
I said, you got to know what you want, and you got to be willing to fight for it. Of course, those two things are like the hardest things ever, but at least it’s not complicated, at least it is to clear concise steps. Number one, know what you want. Number two, be willing to fight for what you want. Okay, so let’s let’s dissect, you can’t be proactive, if you don’t know what you want. Remember, being proactive means creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen, rather than responding to it after it’s happened.
Rather than putting out fires everywhere, rather than running around with like a chicken with its head cut off. I don’t know what that means. But my mom used to say it all the time, rather than bouncing from thing to thing to thing to thing at the mercy of other people’s desires and wants. Okay, so creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen, all right. So you cannot be proactive, you cannot create or control the situation. If you don’t know what you want. My friend, you need to know what you want. Now, this when I was teaching this class and focused this week, there was a lot of chatter around, wait, I’m not sure what I want. I don’t know what I want. What if I want 100 things, this is too hard, just the basic, knowing what I want, that feels overwhelming. And so if you are receiving this information and then panicking, that’s okay, I understand. You’re just take a breath with me here. And here’s what I want to offer to you. I believe that you do know what you want. And you might want a lot of things. That’s totally fair. But I believe you do know what you want. I think a lot of times when we tell ourselves, I don’t know what I want, that’s actually a cover up. Because we’re afraid to really be honest about what we want. We’re afraid to tune in to our true authentic desires, because we’re afraid of what people will say what people will think, will have thoughts like I don’t deserve it, or I’m not allowed to do this, I don’t want to spend the money on it.
So the I don’t know, what I want is sometimes sometimes a protection, because we’re actually just scared, actually just scared to be honest with ourselves. And we’re scared to be honest with other people. And so I am curious. If you could just get still with me here and think about what do I want. And give yourself some space to really listen to you What do I want. Let yourself tell you what you want. You know, you know what you want? You do? I believe you do. And if you’re truly like I have no idea, then give yourself the space to find out, it would be extremely appropriate for you to give yourself time, space, maybe even investment in therapy or coaching to figure out what you want. Because if you don’t know what you want, you will constantly be reactive. Instead of proactive. You will constantly be at the mercy of someone else’s desires. Because you’re not really sure what you want. So you’ll give your time and energy away to people who do know what they want.
Hear it again. If you don’t know what you want, you will give your time and energy, your effort, your soul, your your desires, you’ll give them away to people who do know what they want. And so people will come to you and they’ll say Hey, can you do this thing? And because you don’t know what you want, you’ll probably say yes, sure I can do that thing. And so you will be in service of someone else’s dream instead of in service of your own.
Who Am I preaching to? Free to do today so good. All right. So a lot of us are scared of what the People in our life will do or say or think when we are authentic and truly express what we want. And so a lot of us hide, cover up, dampen, push down what we want, because we don’t want to face other people’s reactions. If you want to please other people and make everyone happy, you will not be able to live in what you want. That is just the truth. Because as a human adult, what you want is inevitably going to conflict with what someone else wants from you, or for you, what you want, is inevitably going to conflict with what someone else wants for you or from you. When you start expressing your authentic self, it may be inconvenient for the people around, you know, it may not be so great, good for you, that would be amazing. But for most of us, when we start expressing our true authentic desires, and what we want, it is inconvenient for the people around us. And then some of us have to decide between authenticity, or attachment. And that’s a decision that no one should ever have to make.
But unfortunately, that is the case for some of you listening here. And so I understand the cost. Hear me when I say deeply, I understand the cost of expressing your authentic desires, it’s expensive, the price tag is high, I get it and the more relational trauma that you’ve experienced in your life, the longer it may take you to go through this process. So I will raise my hand and say it has been a three year process for Kristen Carter, to really understand what she wants, and be willing to fight for it. That’s, that’s step number two, it’s been a three year process of intense therapy, and lots of coaching, I don’t think it’s going to be as hard for everyone. But for me personally coming from the family of origin that I did, and the systems that I’ve been in for a long time, it took me three years of intense work, I don’t really think it’s going to take you that long. But if it does take you that long. Let me be the example to say it’s worth it, it is worth it, to step into acknowledging what you want, you’re just never going to be a proactive person if you don’t know what you want. And if you have a lot of relational trauma, if you are a people pleaser, if you are highly sensitive to rejection, if you’re hyper vigilant, and you’re always reacting to the people around you to try to keep them happy, so that you can feel safe, this probably will be difficult. And you probably will want to reach out for support.
If you’re listening to this today. And you were like I want to be proactive, I want to be in charge of my life, I am sick of putting out fires everywhere, and being at the mercy of everyone else’s desires. And yet you identify as someone who is pretty hyper vigilant, pretty people pleasing, pretty reactive to everyone around you, you’re probably going to want to elicit some help, you’re probably gonna want some support with this, okay, so I’m just letting you know. So knowing what you want now what if you want 10 things that’s normal, that’s okay. You have an ADHD brain, you want a lot of things, it’s no big deal. What I encourage you to do is to kind of have like, the top things that you want. So for example, for myself, I really want a healthy marriage. I really want to spend time with my kids while they’re still in my house.
Like I want to enjoy them and invest in them. They’re 15, 13, and nine, and I’m feeling the time crunch, like you know, they’re gonna go off into the world, they’re gonna go do their thing. And this time of having all three of them under my roof. It’s it’s a short time. And so I really want to be able to invest in them. So one of the things that I know that I want, this is so silly, but maybe it’s not silly. Maybe it’s amazing. I love Uber bring my kids around after school. I’ve already shared this with y’all. I love it. I think it’s so fun. I love that time period between four and seven, where we’re rushing dinner and like grabbing food and everybody’s going off to band practice or water polo or soccer or basketball like and we’re just kind of like running every run around to the different things and we’re in the car and We have this rule in the car, for great rule that if the car ride is under 10 minutes, they’re not allowed to use their phones, like totally fine with screen time in the car, no big deal at all. But what we were noticing was happening is we would get in the car, they would be on their phones the whole time, we there’d be zero connection. And so we made this roll was like the first 10 minutes of a car ride. You’re not allowed to touch your phone after 10 minutes have at it. Enjoy.
Luckily, like everything that I’m driving them to after school is under 10 minutes, which means that they’re not touching their phones for the time in the car. Is it annoying to them? Yes, they hate that rule. Do I constantly remind them of it? Yes. Do I get upset when they’re annoyed? Not at all. They’re supposed to be annoyed about that rule. Like they’re supposed to be like, Mom, this is so dumb. And I’m like, yeah, no, but it’s the rule like this is the boundary. And so what that means is, we get to connect in the car, or at least be in silence together in each other’s presence. And I love this time. So I have identified something that I want. I want to be the one running them around obering them to all of their different activities. I want that. That means when somebody asks something of me in that four to seven time period, I say no. I say no, even if it’s something delicious, even if it’s something really fun. Even if it’s, you know, like, hey, let’s do this book club once a week, like that would be really fun.
But no, I want to be available to Uber, my kids around between four and seven. Is their loss with that. Yeah. Because when I say yes to my kids, and to like busing them everywhere, I’m saying no to other things. But it’s a loss that I’m willing to feel and just take like, yeah, that’s kind of sad. I can’t do everything, it sucks. We have to mourn the fact that we can’t do everything, right. Ah, so annoying. Okay. So identifying what you want, it’s okay to identify many things that you want, it’s okay. But kind of putting them in, like, what do I want for today? What do I want for this week, what do I want for this season of my life is so helpful, and then be willing to fight for it, that’s step number two, you’ve got to be willing to have some grit. And to say no to other things. And this is what I was just talking about, when I know that I want to be with my kids from the time between four and seven, just like waiting my car for them all the time, which I don’t resent, I think it’s so great. When I know that, then I’m able to fight for it and say no to other things. And I’m able to pull my attention back to what I want. And that is the point here you have a reactive brain, your brain is naturally reactive. That’s the way it was created. That’s the way it is. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. But as you are healing your ADHD and as you’re evolving, and as you’re growing as a person, the point here is to develop the ability to notice the reactivity, and take a breath and say, Wait, what do I want here? What do I want? And am I willing to fight for it? Or am I going to give my time and effort and energy away to someone else’s desires. And so this means pulling yourself back to what you want.
When you find yourself getting off course, being proactive means being willing to course correct. Now hear this part without shaming yourself. So let’s say you go like two months, let’s say I start booking up that time period, between four and seven. With all these fun things that people are asking me to do. Maybe it’s a speaking engagement, maybe it is dinner with a friend, maybe it’s like I said before, like a book club. Maybe I’m filling up that time and all of a sudden, I wake up and I say wait a second. I thought I wanted to be with my kids. I thought I wanted to be the mama Uber, driving my kids around to all the different things. I thought that I wanted to preserve this season of my life to just like connecting in the car with my kiddos. I think I’m off course here. And so what that looks like is pulling myself back and then saying no, hey, I know I committed to this thing.
Unfortunately, I’m not going to be able to follow through on this commitment. I am so sorry. It means saying no to the fun things. Sometimes it’s saying no to myself, I’m sorry, self. But we’ve decided that this thing over here is what we want and so we’re going to say no to this other really fun thing and there will be loss and there will be sadness And that’s okay, I can bear the loss and sadness, of saying no to this other thing over here, I choose that over the potential regret of like giving up my time with my kids, I’m speaking for myself personally, like, exclusively, okay? But being proactive is all about being able to course correct, being able to course correct without shaming yourself. And if you shame yourself, you’re just gonna hide and shut down and not do anything and just kind of flounder and again, be at the mercy of someone else’s request. But if you’re willing to course correct without shame, you can bring yourself back to the path. Now, I don’t know if you remember this interview that I did. Like years ago, it was actually my first interview with an expert. And I was so nervous. I felt like I did a terrible job afterward. But I think it was a very important show, and it was paying attention to your attention with Dr. Ameche jaw. And she’s an incredible woman, absolutely brilliant neuroscientist, and she talked about shining our attention, like a flashlight on to something that we want, and noticing when that flashlight gets pulled on to something else. And just being willing to turn the flashlight back in the direction of the thing that we want.
That’s all I’m talking about here is having the grit, having the persistence to just constantly pull your flashlight, pull your attention back to the thing that you want, because this is how we become people who are pro active, rather than reactive. Someone who is reactive is constantly having their flashlight pulled in 100 different directions of requests, and, quote, unquote, needs and other people’s issues and problems and things at work that really aren’t your job to do that you’re solving for people because you feel compelled or because you feel guilty or because you feel like, well, I don’t really know what I would do with my time anyway, because I don’t know what I want. So I might as well just take care of someone else’s business. And I am telling you, that has no way to live. And if that is the way that you’re living right now, I invite you to stop and to course correct and to decide, what do I want. And then to constantly pull your flashlight back, pull your attention back to the thing that you want and be willing to fight for it. Be willing to say no, be willing to feel guilty. Here, here’s a big thing. I mean, this is huge. So if you have tuned out, I want you to tune back in, please be willing to feel guilty about saying no. Now, there are different types of guilt. There’s healthy guilt, that shows me when I’ve crossed an ethical line, when I’ve hurt someone, when I have done something outside of my values. When I’ve crossed a boundary, there is healthy guilt, and I want to feel guilty in those situations. I want to be kind of nudged on the inside, in a way that’s like, Hey, I messed up, and I want to go fix it. Okay, that’s healthy guilt. And healthy guilt. Most of the time is moral. Meaning, I crossed an ethical line, I crossed a values based boundary, I hurt someone there is like intentionally I intentionally hurt someone I caused pain.
Okay. Toxic guilts, my friend, is the guilt that has been used against you to get you to comply with someone else’s wishes. Toxic guilt, is the guilt that now lives in your brain and body. When someone asks you to do something that’s outside of your capacity or desire. And as a grown ass adult, you are allowed to say no, thank you, I don’t want to do that. But toxic guilt keeps you bound to their request. And so you say yes. When you want to say no. You say yes. When you’re really not able to do it. You say yes. When you’re yes is a lie. Because what your whole body is saying is no, but the words coming out of your mouth are sure I can do that. Okay, so toxic guilt is what keeps you in compliance with the people around you. I’m sorry, to bring a little fire today. That’s what toxic guilt is. It’s the guilt that was passed down to you to keep you in line with someone else’s wishes. And so when someone makes a request of you, and you don’t want to or can’t do it and you feel so guilty, I want you to choose to feel guilty, okay? I’m going to feel guilty and say no, so that I can avoid resentment, exhaustion and overwhelm because when I’m saying you As to everyone else’s request on account of the toxic guilt that I feel, I will inevitably, I will feel resentful, I will feel exhausted and I will feel overwhelmed. And I will be living in reactive mode rather than deciding what I want and being proactive. So being proactive means tolerating guilt, and not making it mean that you’re bad, not making it mean that you’ve done something wrong. But making it mean like, oh, yeah, I am kind of programmed to take care of other people’s needs. But this adult can be responsible for their own needs, I don’t have to solve this problem for them.
I just don’t know how you’re handling this, I wish that I could see your face, I wish that I could read your body language, I wish that we were having a face to face conversation. In my focus program. That’s what we’re able to do. And so if you want help with this, come join focused, like just calm, join focus. Because when we are in that space together, I get to see what your what your body languages, I get to really take care of you in a way where I hope that you feel safe and seen and heard. But in this space of the podcast, that’s not as easy, it’s not as possible. So I just want you to know, if you’re feeling all the feelings right now, I understand. But it’s important for you to know who you’re responsible for. You’re responsible for yourself first. And then after that you’re responsible for your dependents, for any children that you might have. And after that, you might be responsible to a partner, but you’re not responsible for your partner. You might be responsible to your employer, but you’re not responsible for them. I’m responsible to my husband, meaning like, I vowed to be in a monogamous relationship with him. That’s a responsibility that I have. But I’m not responsible for him for his actions for what he does for his happiness. I’m not responsible for him. I’m responsible to my clients, I have engaged in a relationship with my clients where they pay me money, and I give them a service.
And so I’m responsible to show up and perform that service, I’m responsible to coach and responsible to hold space, I’m responsible to provide a lot of resources, I’m responsible for that, but I am not responsible for my clients. If I took on the responsibility of everyone in focus, I would be a broken woman laying in bed and not being able to get up, I cannot be responsible for my clients, I am responsible to fulfill my obligations to them, but I’m not responsible for them. And here’s something really important that I want to say, You are not responsible for your parents, your parents do not go in the category, or under the umbrella of the things that you’re responsible for. So if you find yourself being extremely reactive, extremely people pleasing, and extremely like, if this is an area of your life, where you are not proactive, or is that is hindering you from being a proactive person, I want you to take a look at it.
That’s all I’m gonna say here, I want you to, I really want you to take a look at it. Now, something really hilarious that somebody in focus said the other day when I was teaching this class was back to the flashlight analogy. I don’t have a flashlight, I have a disco ball. And my light is reflected in all different directions. And I think some of you are really going to relate to that. And what I want to say to you is okay, when we’re on this journey, we may notice at the beginning that our attention, our reactivity, it’s a disco ball, it’s reflected everywhere. And what I just would encourage you to do is constrained down and really begin to understand what you want. Being a proactive person being in control, being the one to set the tone by causing something to happen rather than constantly just respond, respond, respond, React, React, React, that’s going to require you to be less of a disco ball, and more of a flashlight. Now the disco ball can still turn and reflect light everywhere and you can notice everything and appreciate everything and experience the loss of not being able to do everything like experience the confronting your humanity really of like, okay, I’ve limited capacity, I can’t do everything. But let that disco ball turn and have your flashlight on the thing that you want. That will allow you to be someone who is proactive. Someone who is in charge of their life, someone who is setting themselves up to live their own life rather than living someone else’s dream rather than perpetuating someone. As desires rather than being someone who is just constantly meeting someone else’s needs, remember you are responsible for yourself, you are responsible for your children, you are responsible to your partner and to your employer. And maybe you want to make a list of the things are the people that you are not responsible for. That doesn’t mean you’re not kind.
That doesn’t mean you’re not loving and giving, but you are loving and giving, not at your own expense you are serving and you are helping, sure, but not at your own expense here. All right, let’s all do the work of evolving into people who are proactive, rather than reactive. If you want help with this, I invite you to come join focused. You can get all the info at I have adhd.com/focus. I would love to coach you specifically on this topic. Come on in. We’ll take care of you. All right, talk to you next week. Bye. If you’re being treated for your ADHD, but you still don’t feel like you’re reaching your potential you’ve got to join focus. It’s my monthly coaching membership where I teach you how to tame your wild thoughts and create the life that you’ve always wanted. No matter what season of life you’re in, or where you are in the world focused is for you. All materials and call recordings are stored in the site for you to access at your convenience. Go to Ihaveadhd.com/focused for all the info