I HAVE ADHD PODCAST
May 16, 2023
How to Cut Down on Chaos
I’m going back to ADHD basics today by addressing how to cut down on the chaos of our everyday lives. As adults with ADHD, we know this is a regular problem for us. We may have an epiphany and simplify for a while, but inevitably, things pile up again and again and again.
Why do we find ourselves in this cycle? Shouldn’t we know the answer by now to avoid so much stress? In this podcast episode, I dive into the neurodivergent struggles that influence us to say ‘yes’ too often. Unsurprisingly, it’s a long list! But hopefully it helps you feel seen and understood, instead of causing you to feel shame and guilt that the neurotypical world has often tried to place on us.
Then comes the hard part – taking action to address and reduce the chaos. It may bring some pain, grief and a lot of FOMO, but I promise you’ll also finally be able to experience peace, rest, clarity and purpose.
You don’t have to do this alone, though. If you join my group coaching program FOCUSED, you’ll receive support from peers going through the same thing and the training to get better at setting good boundaries.
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. I’m caffeinated. I am regulated A F and I am ready to roll.
I’m excited to be here with you today, I cannot wait to get started. This is an episode that we all need. This is an episode that we all need. I just taught a class on this topic how to cut down on chaos. In my coaching program focused as you know, I have an ADHD group coaching program. It’s incredible. If you’re not in it, get your butt in it because it is so good. And I get to support adults with ADHD from around the world. It is my joy it is my privilege. And a couple of weeks ago, we had a class on how to cut down on chaos. And it was such an important class that I went searching on my public podcast that you’re listening to right now. I was like Do Do I have an episode on this topic? You know, I have ADHD as well. So I forget the episodes that I put out. And when I realized that I didn’t have an episode on how to cut down on chaos, it was obvious that that was the topic we needed to cover today. Because the life of the ADHD ear is characterized by chaos.
Oftentimes, we are living very, very chaotic lives. And this can be adorable sometimes. But it can also be debilitating. And so today what we’re going to talk about is why are our lives so chaotic? Why is the life of someone with ADHD? So Gosh, darn chaotic. And then in the second half of the episode, we’re going to be talking about how how do we cut down on chaos? What can I do about it? And so I’m really pumped for you to hear this episode, I think it’s gonna be really, really good.
So first, why is life chaotic? Why is it that most ADHD errs are living very chaotic lives? First, we must take it back to the way that our brain works and how our executive functions are so deficient, they are so deficient, of course on the spectrum, and some ADHD are struggle, you know, more with certain executive functions, and others struggle with other executive functions. But suffice it to say, in general, the executive brain, the prefrontal cortex of someone with ADHD is not fully developed, it’s not working at 100% capacity. And that means that there are a couple executive functions that are not showing up for us and they’re not being helpful. They’re not helping us at all, in order to allow us to live calm and grounded lives. Oh my gosh, just even saying calm and grounded. How much would you love to live a calm and grounded life? Am I right? Am I right?
So here are the executive functions that exist that are deficient for those of us with ADHD. So first of all, we are quite impulsive. So we don’t have the impulse control that someone with a neurotypical brain has. And so we often say yes to things very impulsively. We make decisions impulsively, we don’t think about the future before we decide what we do and do not want to do. Additionally, we really struggle with time.
Now, this is related to the executive function of nonverbal working memory. And what that impairs is our ability to conceptualize time, which means time really isn’t a thing. We don’t really understand it. We don’t really understand that time is a limited resource. Like I mean, we know it logically, obviously, you’re listening to this, you’re like, Duh, I know that logically. But when we’re making decisions about our time, when we are deciding whether or not to do something, we do not remember that time is limited. That, you know if like, I just did this the other day where I was like, I know I have a meeting today at 3pm and I know I have a doctor’s appointment today at 3pm. But I didn’t realize that that was the same time I can I don’t understand it.
I don’t think anybody neurotypical would ever really understand that. But that is what it’s like to have ADHD where you’re just like, Yeah, I know that I have a doctor’s appointment on Tuesday at 3pm. And yeah, I know that I have like a standing meeting with my team on Tuesdays at 3pm. But do I realize that that’s the same time and then I’m going to have to make adjustments and like, not go to one of those things? No, my brain does not process that information. So if you are like me, and you struggle with time blindness, that’s really going to impact the chaos in your life, because all of the sudden you’ve got overbooked sessions.
You’ve got overbooked meetings, you are overbooking yourself, and you’re doing more than you actually have time and capacity to do. Additionally, we struggle with working memory, which means that once we’ve committed to something we often forget, we’re going to do it. Once we say we’re going to do something we often forget to follow through. And this adds to so much chaos in our lives. We say yes to things that we don’t remember. And then people send us a reminder texts, and we’re like, oh my gosh, I forgot to do that. We say that we’re going to do something and then it just leaves our brain and sometimes even when we write it down, it leaves our brain.
This happened to me this weekend when I my church was serving at a homeless shelter. So fun. So excited to do that. And my friend Jamie asked me to bring a plant. Hey, can you bring a plant for the director? I want to give her like a gift basket and would you mind contributing a plant? I love plants? She knows I love plants. It’s easy for me. I was like, yeah, that’s an easy yes, of course, I’ll do that I set a reminder in my phone, I put it on my calendar. I bought the plant. It was sitting on my counter. Literally, I had to pass the plant on my way out the door. Did I remember the plant?
I’m gonna leave you in suspense here. Did I remember the plant? Okay, I’ll tell you I got into the car. We started pulling out the driveway. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I was supposed to bring a plant like screeching to a halt, run inside grab the plant. I remembered as I was leaving the driveway, thank the good Lord. Okay, because like, that would have been so sad if I’d forgotten it. But it feels very chaotic. When you say you’re going to do something, you set a reminder for yourself, you do the thing. But then like following through, like I walked right past the plant, I looked at the plant on my way out the door, and I forgot to actually pick it up and bring it with me, life is so chaotic for someone with ADHD, another executive function that really affects us when we’re talking about like chaos and why our lives are so chaotic. And this is a very, very big one. So I want you to turn up the volume. And really lean in this is so important.
We struggle to prioritize the ADHD brain struggles to prioritize. You’ve heard me talk about this 100 times. But I really want you to think about it in the context of chaos, because we struggled to prioritize, because we struggled to know what’s most important. And what is of lesser importance, we will often say yes to things that are not that important. We will often say yes to things that we don’t really want to do, we will often say yes to things that don’t really matter. We often fill up our lives and our schedules with things that are not actually values aligned priorities for us. And so what that means, here’s what that means is we are often just kind of running around chaotically doing things that don’t even matter to us doing things that we wish we weren’t doing, doing things, accomplishing tasks, you know, participating in programs or whatever the case may be, that don’t actually matter. And so not only is there chaos, but there’s like frustration and resentment and just like why am I living this way? Why am I doing this? I don’t even want to do this. The reason why is because you struggle to prioritize you struggle to really know what’s most important to you. I mean, of course also your impulsive.
Also your working memory sucks also your timeline. So like all of it is working against us. Oh, I feel so bad. I just feel really bad for the ADHD or I feel badly for this community because we are good people we are good and well meaning people who are just really struggling with having a grounded and calm and purposeful life and if that is something you want, gotta keep listening. Okay. Another reason why our lives are so chaotic as people with ADHD is because we are lacking in dopamine. The ADHD brain has less dopamine than the neurotypical brain and going into the brain science around this is really not real live in, what’s important for you to know is that you have less dopamine in your brain because you have fewer dopamine receptors. I mean, just knowing that you have less dopamine matters, because here’s why. You have less dopamine, which means you’re you’re constantly chasing dopamine, whether you know it or not, because your brain literally needs it, it craves it, it wants it. It’s just like, give me the dopamine. And so what’s happening is that you’re often saying yes to things, because you want that dopamine hit. You’re often saying yes to things because it sounds fun, not because it’s a priority, not because you actually like, see yourself doing it long term or whatever, but it because it sounds like fun and you want that dopamine hit. I do not want you to judge yourself for this. This makes sense. It makes so much sense, doesn’t it because you have less dopamine than the average brain. And so when something sounds like a lot of fun, you’re gonna want to say yes to it.
And we, as ADHD ears often struggle with FOMO the fear of missing out, we don’t want to miss out on any fun because our our dopamine depleted brains are craving fun. And so FOMO often leads us to living chaotic lives, because we’re saying yes to things not because they’re a priority, not because their values aligned. But because it sounds like fun, because I don’t want my friends doing that without me. Because I don’t want my colleagues doing that without me, because I don’t want my kids doing that without me because I got major FOMO.
And so understanding that you have less dopamine in your brain, and that’s going to affect the way you make decisions is very important. I’m still going on why we live chaotic lives. So here’s another reason why is that we often as people with ADHD, indulge in what I like to call problematic positive thinking. And what that sounds like is, yeah, of course I can do that I can make it work. It’s no big deal. It’ll be fine. And so we say yes to things. Because we tell ourselves this fine. It’s no big deal. I’ll make it work. I’ll make it work. Please stop telling yourself you’ll make it work. Could you could you not? Could you not tell yourself that because that is a recipe for chaos. It is a recipe for a chaotic life, I promise you stop telling yourself, it’s going to be fine. It’s not going to be fine. It’s going to be chaotic. Okay, so stop telling yourself, it’ll be fine. I’ll make it work. We can do it. Yeah, let’s just let’s just add it in. You’re over packing your schedule. You’re overextending your capacity, you’re adding chaos to your life. Cut it out.
Okay, we’re gonna talk a lot more about that later. One of the things that I used to tell myself is like, it won’t be that bad. I’ll say yes to it now, because it won’t be that bad. Really what was happening is I didn’t want to say no, because I was afraid of rejection. I was afraid of like feeling the FOMO I was afraid of what the person would say to my No. And so I would just be like future me can handle it. It won’t be that bad. She’ll be fine. I’m a lot nicer to future me. Now. I do not over schedule her. Usually, usually, usually. Okay, last reason why I think that adults with ADHD really struggle with chaos. And that is because of our sensitivity to rejection. I just did a four part series on this podcast about rejection sensitivity, so I’m not going to go into it a lot. But here’s what I think really matters. Some of you are living chaotic lives, because you’re trying to make everyone happy. I’m gonna say it again. I’m gonna say it several times on this on this episode. Some of you are living chaotic lives, because you’re trying to make everyone happy. So that you don’t get rejected. So if I say yes to you, then that will make you happy. And I will not suffer rejection. If I say no to you. Because I don’t have the time and I don’t have the capacity. If I say no to you, you might reject me. And then that’s gonna feel really, really bad for me. And I don’t like to feel bad. So I would rather say yes to you and live a life of chaos, then say no to you, and suffer that feeling of rejection. Now, I want to insert here like, of course, that makes so much sense.
Rejection is the worst feeling one of the worst feelings in the whole world. And as someone with ADHD, we are highly, highly, highly sensitive to it. So I do not blame you one bit, but you must understand that feeling badly about like that rejection is terrible, but feeling badly because you’re living a chaotic life is also terrible. So if we’re going to cut down on the chaos, we might have to tolerate a little bit of that feeling of rejection. Now some of you are like, I’m out. I’d rather live a chaotic life than feel rejection and I understand that but I want you to be making that choice consciously. I want you to be saying I consciously okay, I’m choosing chaos, over the feeling of rejection. And that is a valid choice, you get to decide whatever you want to decide. But if you truly want to cut down on chaos, you’re going to have to say no more often, and potentially risk some rejection.
All right, so let’s get to it. How do we cut down on chaos? How does someone with ADHD? Who has a neurodivergent brain who has less dopamine who struggles with time blindness and self awareness and impulsivity, how do we cut down on KS? KS K OS, that’s a weird word, I’m not gonna lie to you, okay? You’re going to hate these suggestions. So let’s just start with that. You’re going to hate them, you’re gonna hate every single suggestion that I make. So I really want you to notice what’s happening in your body. Right?
When you feel resistance, just notice it. When you feel anger, or you hate me, just notice it. Okay? Because that’s going to give you some really useful information. The first way to cut down on chaos, are you ready? Is to do less, you’re going to have to do less, you cannot continue to say yes to as much as you’re saying yes to, you cannot continue to do as much as you’re doing. If you want to cut down on chaos. If you are serious about living a calm and grounded life, you’re gonna have to do less.
I’ve mentioned this before, but Trey Kennedy couldn’t find them on. I don’t know all the socials. But he’s a comedian. And he’s got this merch that says do less God bless. Like, just do less. And he’s talking about people who are like extra. But I mean, what person with ADHD is not extra? In some ways. Do you know what I’m saying. So do less, do less, the only way to do less is to figure out what’s most important. And remember, we have to bring in the executive function of prioritizing and acknowledge that this is a deficiency. As someone with ADHD, we struggle to prioritize. And so it’s really hard to figure out what is most important, it’s really hard for us to figure out what is essential, it’s hard for us to figure out what to say yes to and what to say no to. And so what we often do is just say yes to everything. Because we don’t want to make a choice, because we don’t want to decide because we don’t trust ourselves.
I want to recommend a book, I recommend on this podcast like 700 times when I say it again, if you struggle to prioritize, and if you struggle to know what’s most important in your life. And if you struggle to say no and cut things out, you have to read the book essentialism, it is so good. It is so good. The paper copy delicious, the audio version delicious. It’s such a good book. And what it taught me to do was to define what was most essential in my life, what is most important in in my life, but also in my company. And then to say no to everything else. And Greg McEwan, the author of essentialism talks about ruthlessly saying no, like you’re going to say no to almost everything. And that’s perfect. You absolutely should. If you want to live a life that is not chaotic, you’re going to have to say no more often than you say yes. I’m gonna say that again. Because it’s really important. If you want to live a life that is not chaotic, that is calm and grounded. You’re going to have to say no, more often than you say, yes.
Now, for those of you who were groomed to say yes, because you grew up in a family where the family system wanted you to be a people pleaser. It worked out really well. For you to be a people pleaser. It worked out for the family that you were a yes person. And perhaps your family made your love ability connected to your productivity, your love ability connected to whether or not you say yes, your lovability connected to how compliant you are. This is going to be really hard for you. And if you’re if you’re resonating with what I’m saying I highly recommend a trauma informed therapist to work through that family stuff, okay, because it is very likely that you will struggle to say no for the rest of your life, unless you kind of unpack why you were groomed to say yes.
Ooh, that was a strong word. I hope I Hope you’re still okay. All right, let’s move on. In the do less category, I also want you to understand that sometimes you might say yes to avoid rejection. And again, that goes back to, if you grew up in a family who made your Yes. attached to your love ability, then you are going to fear rejection when you say no. All right. So be aware that rejection sensitivity is a whole thing. For adults with ADHD, be aware that it might be a thing for you be aware that you might say yes, because you don’t want to risk rejection. Be aware. Listen, listen, listen, listen, I want you to come close. Once you turn the volume up, I want you to really hear me. If you are in relationship with people who reject you, when you say no, you need new people.
If you’re in a relationship with people, even if it’s just like, you know, the other PTO moms at your kids school, or the volunteer moms at your community pool or whatever the case may be the your colleagues at work. If you suffer rejection, when you set limits with people, if they yell at you, if they Stonewall you, if they ignore you, if they give you the silent treatment, if they tell you that you’re doing the wrong thing, because you set a limit and say no, you’re gonna need some new people. Okay, let’s Should we move on? Is everybody okay? Are you still with me? Are you breathing? Maybe you should take a breath. All right, let’s, let’s move on. So step one is do less. And I know you hate hearing that. I’m so sorry. I love you. I love you. I’m so sorry. Let’s move on to number two.
If you want to live a less chaotic life, you are going to have to tolerate loss. Here’s what I mean by that. There’s going to be pain in really living in the reality that you can’t do everything. Because what’s happening right now for a lot of you is that you are living in the fantasy of like, sure, that’s fine. I can do it. Sure. It won’t be that bad. I’ll just say yes, it’s no problem. I’ll just overbook. I can say yes to that person, and that person and this work project and that work project and it’ll be fine. And I’m telling you, that’s a fantasy. That’s not reality. And once we start acknowledging that it’s not realistic for us to do everything. And once we start acknowledging that it’s not realistic for us to say yes to everyone and everything, we start to feel pain. And that pain is loss, it’s the loss of not being able to do at all it’s the it’s the loss of having to miss out on some things.
It’s the loss of maybe not being able to spend time with people that you really enjoy if there is a loss. And I want you to understand that I want you to honor that. I am not saying just do less, it’s no big deal. What are you crying about? What I’m saying is do less and feel the pain of loss? Because it is painful? It really, it really is. But guess what else is painful. Living a chaotic life, living a chaotic life is so painful. I know. I did it for 35 years. And I support clients every day who are trying to make that transition out of chaos and into groundedness. So I want you to start thinking about like, there’s a lot of loss when I say no, and that feels terrible.
But there’s a lot of pain and frustration when my life is chaotic. And that feels terrible. So which terrible do I want to choose? Because you’re gonna have to choose between terrible and terrible. I wish I could say, Hey, cut down on chaos and do less and you’re gonna feel amazing all the time. That’s not true. You’re going to feel a little left out when you say no to that thing that other people go to. I often do this to myself where I’m invited to something I say, I would love to but it just is too much for me. So no thank you. And then I feel left out.
Even though I was invited, and I chose not to go and what I have to do is just really honor that feeling of being left out like Yeah, it sucks to not be able to do that thing. And kind of like Sue that but then enjoy my grounded and calm life. So I just really want you to think through like you might have to grieve the loss of not being able to do everything. Now, it is reality that you can’t do everything. But you might be in the fantasy right now that you that you can do everything. And what I want to tell you is like, there’s grief there. When we step into reality, and I mean, wow, this is this is layered, because isn’t that the truth in every area of our lives?
When we step out of fantasy and into reality, there’s a lot of loss and grief to tolerate. However, there’s also calm, there’s self trust, there’s groundedness, and there’s moving forward with purpose. That was a word, okay? The next way to cut down on chaos in your life, is to begin to establish a healthy sense of self. Here’s what I mean by that. I want you to begin to get to know you. What do you like? What do you want to do? What are your priorities? What is essential to you, many adults with ADHD do not have a healthy sense of themselves. We could go into a lot of reasons why. But we’re not going to do that on this podcast. But suffice it to say that, if this is you, if you’re like, I don’t have a healthy sense of self, I don’t know who I am, I don’t know what I want. I’m just kind of living reactively based on what other people want from me, I want you to know that you’re not alone.
And I want you to know that you don’t have to live like this for the rest of your life, that you can begin to establish a hill a healthy sense of self. Who am I? What do I want? What do I What do I care about what’s essential to me? What are my priorities? Listen, you’re a grown ass adult. You are a grown ass adult. So start acting like one and here is what I mean. You get to decide what you want. Nobody else gets to decide that for you. That is that’s a you job, you get to decide what’s important to you, you get to decide what you do, you get to decide what you don’t do. Okay?
When I taught this class and focused, there were so many people saying, I love what you’re saying about doing less, but there’s no way that I could do less, I have so many obligations. And I want to challenge that. You don’t have to do anything. You are a grown adult, you have agency, you have autonomy, you have authority in your own life to decide what you want, what you’re going to spend your time on who you’re going to be with, who you don’t want to be with, who you feel amazing around, and who makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe. You get to decide, nobody gets to decide that for you. I don’t care who the person is in your life. You don’t have to do anything for anybody.
And I like to think about it like this. I do not have to parent my kids. I am a grown adult with agency and a credit card. I could fly to Paris today. I could fly to Paris, like literally, I could put down this microphone, I could take my credit card, I could go to the airport. And I could fly to Paris today. And I could never come back. I tell myself that a lot. Because that feels empowering.
When I started to think about that, then I start to think what I don’t want to do that. Because I want to pick up my kid from track at 430. Because I love my kid, he’s the best. And I want to be able to go see my other kid play soccer tomorrow. Because I love my kid. He’s the best and I want to have dinner with Greg tonight because he’s my favorite person in the whole world. I want to I want to show up for my coaching call that I’m supposed to lead today at two o’clock. I want to I don’t want to leave my clients hanging, that would not feel good to me. I want to show up for them. And so when I start understanding that I actually can get up, walk out the door and never come back. Then I start thinking through what’s really important to me. Some of you are telling yourself that you have to I have to do this. I have to be with this person. I have to call this person I have to pick up the phone I have to say yes to this. Cut it out. You don’t have to you are an adult. You get to do what you want. You get to say what you want. You get to schedule what you want. You do not have to do anything. So start figuring out what you want to do.
Start figuring out what You want to do? start understanding what your priorities are? start understanding what matters to you. Do you want to leave today and just like peace out? Or do you want to be there with your kids? Do you want to be there with your partner? Do you want to show up to work? Okay? Establishing a healthy sense of self, will also help you to understand what you can reasonably do. And here is what we need to think about how much capacity Do you have? Everyone’s capacity is different. And I don’t think we take enough time to acknowledge that you and I have differing levels of capacity, it’s going to depend on what season of life we’re in whether or not we’re working full time, whether or not we have kids at home, or kids in college or grown kids, like, everybody’s capacity is different. And I want you as you begin to establish a healthy sense of self to get to know your own capacity. What do you have capacity for? How do you know when you have overscheduled? yourself? What are the signs? What what happens in your body? What happens in your brain? What happened? Like what is chaos look like? I’m telling you that if your life is chaotic, that is an indicator that you are overscheduled.
So begin to see and notice your own capacity. So I’m getting ICF certified as a trauma informed coach, I am also holding evaluations for the coaches that I’m training, which is something extra in my schedule, and I’m getting ready to go on vacation in June, and I’m getting ready for my business manager to go on maternity leave. And it just so happened that all of that kind of came to a head in May.
And all of a sudden, I am beyond my capacity. I don’t love it. It’s not great. It’s not great. I didn’t mean to over schedule myself, I didn’t realize I was saying yes, I didn’t really understand that all of this was going to happen at the same time. And yet, here we are. I know I’ve reached the limits the edges of my own capacity. And so one of the things I did last week was call a meeting with my business manager, Felicia and I was like, Listen, please, we’ve got to cut some things from my calendar, I am too busy. I also cut some things out of my like family life calendar, I just knew I needed more space, I knew I needed more downtime, and I was going to have to say no to some things. I understood that I was beyond the limits of my capacity.
Now, I haven’t done this in a couple years, I was talking to Hillary about it this morning. And she was like, Well, you haven’t been in this place in a long time. And I was like, I know. So I’m proud of that. But I’m here again, I’m not judging myself for it. But I know I’m beyond the limit of my capacity, I’m going a little bit crazy, and things are getting chaotic. So I’m cutting back as you get to know yourself, you will be able to begin to understand how much you can reasonably handle.
And this leads us to my next point, which is begin to establish your own borders, edges and limits. And essentially, we’re talking about boundaries here. Some of you are living a life without limits. Some of you are saying yes to weigh more than you want to say yes to, you’re not acknowledging the reality of your own capacity, you’re afraid to say no, you’re trying to people, please everyone and make them happy. And this is causing your life to be chaotic. Because you’re not sure of where your edges are. Where are the limits? Where are my limits, I want you to know that every human has limits that it’s very healthy for people to have limits. And if you don’t have limits, you’re going to be very chaotic. And you’re going to also most likely feel a lot of resentment.
So I want to encourage you to begin to notice where your limits are. So taking it back to a healthy sense of self. You just have to test those limits like I don’t I’m not sure how much I can handle. Let’s try this much. Right and kind of try that on and don’t judge it. But just notice it. Am I able to be grounded? Am I able to be calm? Am I able to go to from one thing to the next without kind of like running around in circles and spinning out? And if the answer’s no, then it’s too much. And so then you you cut back.
So I would really encourage you over the next couple of weeks and couple months to kind of test this out. Begin to test the limits of your capacity and begin to reflect on where your borders need to be. Everyone needs borders where we separate I am a grown, autonomous adult and these are also grown at all autonomous adults in my life, and I’m going to make sure that I’m managing my own self and my own capacity. And they can manage themselves and their own capacity, and I don’t need to rescue them from their feelings. And I don’t need to rescue them from the realities of their own life, because they can, they can manage.
Now I’m talking about adults. So I’m talking about maybe friendships, adult family relationships, maybe colleagues at work, like that kind of thing. Of course, it’s different when it comes to kids. And whatever phase of life your kids are in, it’s going to vary, right? So if you have little kids, it’s real hard to set limits, because like, they’re literally going to not survive if you don’t feed them and take care of them. So I get it, I think that if you are someone with teeny tiny humans, that you have to take care of this conversation might be better suited for like, in a couple years, when things have settled down.
Another solid piece of advice that I can give you is try, try, try try to have one safe, kind neurotypical human in your life. Who understands you, who can really understand you that you can bounce ideas off of and here’s what I mean, I want you to be able to say, Hey, I’m thinking of doing this thing, do you think that would be too much? Hey, I’m thinking of like, adding in this program or taking on this book club, or whatever the case may be? Do you think that’d be too much for me? Or do you think I have the space for it?
This is something that in the last couple years, I’ve really incorporated into my life with my husband, Greg, and my BFF. Hillary, they really help me to maintain my own borders and boundaries, because they know me, well. They know that I’ve, you know, like, I’ve got a lot of energy. And I can, I can give a lot. But also I need a lot of downtime and recuperation.
A great example of this is I don’t know if you remember this, but I took a week off in February. And when I texted Hillary to let her know that I was going to do that maybe like in January. It was like I’m planning a week off in February. I’m so excited about it.
And the first thing that she texted back was great, do not schedule anything. I’m like, wait, what she was like, don’t schedule anything, do not fill up that week. So here’s someone that knows me. Well, that knows that when I have a free day, I’m gonna try to book it. I’m gonna try to me like, where Who should I go to lunch with and like, oh, this person reached out a couple weeks ago, and I wasn’t able to hang out with them. So maybe I could see them now. And she was protecting my capacity. And I really encourage you to try to invite the people in your life, to help you to protect your capacity to help you to cut down on the chaos to help you to say no to things that you want to say no to.
Not everyone listening to this podcast has safe kind people in their lives. And again, you might need to find some new people. But I really encourage you to include the people in your life. Maybe one person or two people and and bounce the ideas off of them phone a friends remember how to be a millionaire with Regis? Rip Regis and and you’d have that option to phone a friend, I want you to begin to phone a friend, hey, do you think that this would be too much? Or do you think I can handle it? And can you help me figure out how to say no to this person, because I’m not really sure how to do it phone a friend.
The last thing I’m gonna say here is a lot of you are living with the constant feeling of urgency. And that emotion is a very interesting emotion. Because what it does is it makes us feel chaotic, and makes us feel like overwhelmed and spinning. And what we often will do is kind of run around in a very reactive way. And I want to encourage you to try to drop into groundedness. And so I want to take you through an exercise right now. Can you breathe? Maybe wiggle your toes a little bit and find the feeling of groundedness in your body? Can you remember that you are a grown adults. And you get to decide what you’re going to do when you’re going to do it, who you want to interact with? What choices you’re going to make. Can you please remind yourself that every adult gets to decide what they want, what’s important to them, what matters to them.
And if people are unkind and rejecting and And ignoring you, because you say no, that’s a very good BS filter. Do you know what I mean by that? A BS filter is it just it shows you where the Bs is. And so someone yelling at you because you said No, someone not being your friend because you say no, someone making fun of you because you say no, that’s a really good BS filter. So drop into groundedness. I want to encourage you that every time you notice that you’re feeling urgent and chaotic, to stop, take a breath, wiggle your toes, remind yourself that you are a grown adult with agency autonomy and authority to make decisions for yourself that you get to say no to whatever you want to say no to and you don’t actually have to do anything you could leave today. Go Far, far away.
But if that sounds like makes you decide, like, wait, no, I actually want to do this thing. I actually want to be there for this person. I actually want to give my energy and capacity to this endeavor, then do that. Alright, I hope this was really, really helpful. I hope you feel empowered to make grounded decisions. And I hope that you are able to cut down on the chaos and live a calm life. I can’t wait to talk to you next week. A few years ago, I went looking for help. I wanted to find someone to teach me how to feel better about myself and to help me improve my organization productivity time management, emotional regulation.
You know, all the things that we adults with ADHD struggle with, couldn’t find anything. So I researched and I studied and I hired coaches and I figured it out. Then I created focused for you. Focus is my monthly coaching membership where I teach educated professional adults how to accept their ADHD brain and hijack their ability to get stuff done. Hundreds of people from all over the world are already benefiting from this program and I’m confident that you will to go to ihaveadhd.com/focused for all the details.