September 13, 2022

So, You Want to be an ADHD Coach...Part 3: Interview with 3 Focused ADHD Coaches

Today you’ll hear from 3 of the coaches that I trained this year. They tell you about their experience, why they decided to become coaches, and what they loved/hated about my program.

Interested in training with me? Go to ihaveadhd.com/coach for all of the information!



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Kristen Carder 0:05
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. He will what’s up this is Kristen Carter and you’re listening to the I have ADHD Podcast, episode number 176. I am medicated, I am caffeinated. And I am ready to roll. No live updates for you today, guys. This episode is long. And so we’re just gonna dive right in. This podcast episode is for those of you who want to become ADHD coaches or are interested in learning about coaching in general. I think there’s a lot of you listening who are really curious about coaching and what it all entails. And you know that I have lots of thoughts about the coaching industry. So this episode is part three in my series, so you want to be an ADHD coach. And after this week, don’t worry, we are back to our regular ADHD content. With next week’s episode being about how to set realistic ADHD friendly goals. It’s a goodie, so hang tight for that. But for today, if you’re a coach are curious about coaching or think maybe someday you would like to become a coach. This episode is specifically for you, my dear. parts one and two, were literally me just raging all of my thoughts, and some frustrations about the coaching industry. And if you haven’t listened to those, I really encourage you to press pause on this episode and go check out parts one and two first. But if you’ve made it this far, I’m excited to share all of the scoop with you on today’s pod. First, I want to let you know that we did create an info page for my focused ADHD coach training program. So if you want all the details about that head to I have adhd.com/coach. That’s I have adhd.com/coach. Keep in mind, it’s not a sales page. It’s just an info page. It’s a page with all the information, all of the questions that you guys have been sending in and asking, I really, I really resisted creating a page. But it turns out that there were so many people asking questions that it just didn’t make sense to send, like, so many emails. So now we have a beautiful informational page. Okay, so if you resonate with myself coaching, and you want to be trained in a high touch, high accountability, very ADHD friendly environment, I would love to invite you to apply for this training, but you must join focused First, use the tools and modalities that I teach and see if you love them, see how they work, see me use them on a weekly basis and listen to what others say about them. That’s how I want you to make an informed decision regarding my training program. And I understand this is unconventional, I get it. It’s unconventional, but I’m an unconventional kind of person. So it actually really makes sense with the way that I see the world and live my life. So as I said, in part two of this series, I’m not interested in creating a coach training factory. That’s not what this is about, this training will be very deep. And I will pour my heart and soul into it. And I expect the trainees to do the same. I cannot wait. Speaking of trainees, I want you to hear from a few people that I’ve trained to be coaches. And that’s what this podcast episode is all about. Now, if I could have interviewed everyone who went through the training, I totally would have it was really hard to choose who to ask to come on the podcast. And in thinking about ethics so much in the last, you know, six months to a year, I’ve learned that there is so much privilege in proximity to power. And that is one of the big flaws in the coaching industry. And one of the reasons why the coaching industry often just feels like a gigantic MLM, which we’re not going to get into today in this episode. But just know that like I see it, I see it. And just know that all of the coaches that I trained truly they were incredible. And just for the sake of logistics, I had to pick a couple to be interviewed here. So ultimately, I decided to have Anna Davis who is a former therapist, and now coach, Briony kid, a film creator who by the way lives in Australia, and recorded this podcast at 12am her time and then Dylan M, let her say her own last name for you, because oh my goodness. But Dylan M who is an artist and teacher and coach for artists, we talk about why they decided to become a coach and why they chose this training to go through. And we chat about what they loved and what that what was hard, the good and the bad. So if you have ADHD, and you’re interested in becoming a coach, I think that you will find all of this to be very interesting, and hopefully helpful. Please enjoy. Thank you so much for being here. I am thrilled that the three of you were willing to join me today. I cannot wait for everyone to hear just a little bit about your experience with the coach training program. And before we get rolling, I would just love for you to introduce yourselves and just tell us a tiny bit about who you are. So Dylan, why don’t you go first?

Dylan 5:57
Sure. My name is Dylan mierzwinski. I go by Dylan M for short. Because my last name is Mira Lewinsky, I own my own creative business. I’m an illustrator. So I make artwork that gets put on greeting cards and magazines and fabric and clothing. But I’m also a teacher, I make online creative classes on a platform called Skillshare. And I’m also a coach to fellow artists and creatives and a small little baby group similar to focused. I was diagnosed with ADHD in 2020, after 28 years of shameful procrastination, and I just I’m so grateful to have been diagnosed and define Kristen and her work in this group. And I also I guess, I love woowoo stuff. So astrology and human design and crystals and all that stuff that your grandma probably does not like. And I also love reading. So I think that’s a good little snapshot

Kristen Carder 6:51
of me. And he just adopted a dog. Oh,

Dylan 6:55
his name is Stevie. He’s a German Shepherd. He is a perfect dog.

Kristen Carder 7:03
It’s amazing. All right, Brian, you have a you go next.

Briony 7:06
Yeah, my name is Brian Kidd. I’m living in a place called Hobart in Tasmania, which is right down the bottom of Australia. I’m a film and theatre maker. So I trained in film, that’s my background. But I do many different things. Since I’ve been in the focus program and working with you sort of been trying to narrow that down a little bit. That’s still an ongoing struggle. But I am sort of getting a bit more clarity there. But so apart from being a creative with my own projects, I also teach screenwriting and script editor, run film festivals, program, film festivals, run events for writers, you know, start all sorts of initiatives and projects, and now a coach as well, which seems like a lot. But actually, it’s really interesting how coaching sort of fits in with all of it in a way and sort of adds on to the top of it rather than, you know, taking me in a whole different direction. We’ll probably talk about that a bit more later, perhaps. Yeah, I mean, I’m essentially working as a creativity coach, because I think creative people need all the help they can get with their brain issues. A lot of us. And some of us have ADHD, and some of us don’t, but there’s a whole lot going on with creative people that they they need to be supported in a lot more than they are. I think. I

Kristen Carder 8:30
love that so much. All right, Anna. Hi. Tell us a little bit about yourself. Hi,

Anna 8:34
thanks for having me. Kristen. This is so fun. I’m Anna Davis, I am trying to start my own business. Now. As a coach for people with ADHD, I’m so excited to be doing that. I am a mom, I guess that’s my I consider my most important job. I’m on this important role. I live in Montana. And I graduated in 2019 with a degree in clinical mental health counseling, and during that process, and that journey, I was kind of re diagnosed with ADHD for the second time in my life. And still didn’t believe really or know what it really meant. And it wasn’t until I found your podcast, Kristen, and a few other sources of information that I it finally dawned on me that I wasn’t alone in the way that I’ve been feeling and struggling in this journey and that my serial career changing and lifelong learning was just a part of this whole journey. And it kind of was transformational actually. And the more I got into listening to your podcast and listening to the, the way that you coached it so aligned with what I said Aiden, what I’ve known, and I just knew it was for me. And anyway, so that’s part of my, my journey. And I’m just really passionate about helping. I think people who are later in life diagnosed or just people who’ve just really starting to understand what it means to have ADHD.

Kristen Carder 10:22
Why did you decide that you wanted to become a coach, like what led you to that process of, you know, making that decision, but then not just making the decision, but like investing in that decision? I think it’s a really interesting thing, to have a desire to do something. But then it’s a whole different ballgame when you are willing to put 1000s of dollars down. And so I’m committing to this, and hours of your time and effort and energy. What led you to decide that you wanted to become a coach Dylan, we can start with you. I

Dylan 11:08
guess if I’m being honest, I didn’t. I was kind of resisting wanting to be a coach. I think what it was was I recognized I had some raw materials for being a coach, and interacting with people like teaching online and already teaching, trying to show people that it’s okay to open their sketchbook and make mistakes, like I already had practice, like, kind of getting in there with people and making space for them and not judging them there. And I had heard feedback from other people that I was a helpful person for that or a safe place for that. And so it wasn’t, it didn’t necessarily feel like one day, I was like, Oh, I like what Kristin does, I want to see if I could do that. It was like I felt like I had it in me. And I honestly didn’t necessarily want to I was kind of grossed out by coaching. And I didn’t really want to go down that I didn’t want to figure out like okay, well, do I get trained in this? Do I go to school for this? Like, do I become a therapy? Like, I just didn’t really want to ask or answer the question. And so when the invitation for the focused training came across, it was like, it was a no brainer, it was like, Oh, this is a person I trust. This is a person that has already proven themselves to me, they’ve got a great track record. And it felt correct in my intuition. And not only that, but I mean, I literally use the tools from focus to make the decision about the coaching program. And so like, literally, like I think there’s a worksheet that’s like, it’s like a one sheeter where you like, you have to clarify what are you deciding what are the options, and you go through each option? You’re like, Okay, well, I like this one, I like this one, you give yourself a time limit, and then you decide you trust yourself to decide. And so it’s like, I think that’s what it was I had these raw material or this idea in me that I know that like whether I like it or not my gift on this earth has something to do with me and other people. That’s what like, I didn’t choose it, it just is. And when the invitation came across, it was just like, oh, do I want to do something with it? Do I want to like turn that into a reliable skill, something that I can grow a muscle to be grown? Or is it just kind of a thing that I sometimes can do for people casually? And I think it just I really relied on my decision making skills and my intuition at that point that the timing was right. And it felt right to me. And for once I wasn’t scared of the financial investment. Like I wasn’t not scared. But I also wasn’t scared scared. I was like, no, if this is what it costs to do this, then I will pay that money. And so yeah, is like just unknowing in me. That doesn’t mean that I was like ultra confident and like, Oh, I’m going to be perfect at this. I was still terrified. But even with the fear, there was just this knowing of like, No, this is a little bit of my gift on this earth is like is something to do with these relationships.

Kristen Carder 13:58
I love that because you had to be a coach, for yourself. To decide to go through the training, that

Dylan 14:10
it was like to be able to decide to go for the training. It was almost like a test of everything we had learned in foot. Like it brought up all the drama, it hit on relationships, money, self worth all of it. And yeah, so it was like the ultimate test to be able to walk myself through that without a ton of like, it was a fun process. It wasn’t like this. If I had to go do that again. It was like no, if I had to do that again. I know what I would do to handle it like I can make that decision every year. I don’t care.

Kristen Carder 14:38
I love it. I love it. Love it. Love it. Alright, Briony, how about you? So as a film creator, what drew you into wanting to learn how to coach and wanting to use that with the creative people that you work with?

Briony 14:55
Yeah, I think initially it was a little bit. Almost a selfish thing. Have like I’m working in the focus program, and I’ve got all this support, I’m seeing things very differently in terms of my life and how I operate and how I would like to operate, you know, in a way that’s kinder to myself, and with more scaffolding and more support and all of that. As much as I was interested in the idea of learning coaching, I think it was a little bit almost, Oh, that’ll force me to really, really go deep into it, that will force me to really learn it, you know, some of the techniques and the tools and, and really, almost become obsessive about it, as we all know, that we’re capable of doing. So I think that was almost it initially. But then, as I thought about it more, I was thinking, well, I already support other people with their sort of brain challenges in various ways, because I was already working quite a bit as a script editor, which is helping screenwriters with sort of story and structure problems and things like that, and teaching screenwriters. And I also had run a writers group with some of my friends and colleagues for years and set up events for them to help them write actually things like a recall at the writers cave, where we would all just gather and write collectively in a room. And, obviously, that’s quite popular these days. And even in focused people do that online. So I had been without even really realizing it, doing a lot of work to support other creatives, you know, over the past decade or so. And so I just sort of started to think of coaching as another tool that I could have to help people. And I could see how that could really sort of draw it all together, in a way. And also, I started to see more and more how many creative people that I know, in my circles, or even, you know, reading about creative people, how many of them do have ADHD. And so they have all of this sort of these challenges that they don’t fully understand, often they might not be diagnosed, but they’re living in a world that’s telling him to just sort of buckle down and work harder and get some discipline and you know, just sit there from nine to five and write and it’s easy. And all you have to do is do it and, and all that advice that really just doesn’t work for us. So the more I went into sort of my own journey with understanding some of that, the more passionate I guess I’ve become about explaining it to other people, and supporting them to realize that there’s no point in continually trying to sort of push themselves into this framework, that’s, that’s never going to be right for them. And they’ve got to start accepting that the way that they want to work and the way that their mind works is actually okay. And sort of can lean into that and support that and be kind to themselves, as you’re always saying christen the working with other people has now become something I’m quite excited about doing because I can really say how to help them.

Kristen Carder 18:04
I have a question for you did, did going through the training force you to go deeper with the coaching tools, as planned? Yes,

Briony 18:12
it definitely did. I mean, you kind of have to, well, you have to, you have to do it yourself, in order to be able to coach someone, like you have to know what it’s like to be trying to manage your mind better on a daily level, to be able to help other people to do that. So it sort of goes hand in hand really like the more you sort of progress yourself, the more you’re able to help other people. And I think that’s really good for me, because I mean, that’s what focused itself does as a program anyways, constantly sort of reminding you of things that you want to be reminded of, you know, like I should, I want to think things through, I don’t want to just fall back into my old habits, I want to be more aware of, you know, what I’m thinking and what emotions that’s bringing up and what what that’s causing to happen. And so the more you’re sort of reminding yourself in whole, a whole lot of different ways, the better. So you’re working on your own mind drama, I guess. But then you’re working with other people. And it’s just incredible how so many people’s struggles and problems and stories resonate with your with your own issues. So it’s this constant sort of reinforcement, I suppose. And all of these lessons over and over again. But I’ve actually found that you need to learn the lessons over and over again, it’s not just a one time thing for any of this stuff. And I mean, it would be nice if it was if you just listened to one of your podcasts and like oh, okay, but I stopped being so nasty to myself. I’ve just got to stop that end of it. Okay, and tomorrow, everything’s great forever. Fortunately, it doesn’t work like that. You have to keep learning these things over and over and over. Hopefully eventually there’s sort of a shift. And so you’re becoming a slightly different version of yourself. But I just think, reinforcing that from all different sides is really effective. So working as a coach, being coached, listening to podcasts, having a psychologist or a psychiatrist, all of these different things, reading books, they all just sort of add up to this whole framework of support. That is really helpful, but also inspiring. All

Kristen Carder 20:28
right, Anna, you were already working as a mental health counselor. Yeah. Why did you decide to go into a coach training program?

Anna 20:42
I know weird, right? Yeah, in fact, I was already working as a mental health coach. And then I’ve been trained as a therapist. And so as we know, coaching and therapy are pretty similar, but also with some distinguishing differences. And I’ve kind of already made the decision that I was going to move away from the therapy and getting like the final stages of getting my licensure, and move into coaching. And I tried a few things. And it’s kind of ironic, yeah, we talked about the investment that we made, and I had just earlier in the year got done losing the exact same amount of money, enrolling in a program that was not made for ADHD people that was geared toward therapists who wanted to be coaches, and it was really kind of just not great, not what I expected to be what it, there was a lot of, you know, you need to kind of do it this way, and a little bit of like the consistency and like, that’s the name of the game. And like ashaming, kind of if you’re not putting yourself out there, and I was just kind of constantly, you know, kind of, I think just dying to be sort of understood and heard in this like entrepreneurial type of journey. But that’s just an example, I guess, of, of one of the paths of code to get into coaching that I took as someone who was trained in therapy. And then I was working as a mental health coach. And that platform was like an online platform. And so we were actually it was all text based chat based coaching. And while I liked some of that, that has some positives, you know, you can, it makes it, I think, pretty approachable for some people. And it’s pretty anonymous, I found that I really just couldn’t go into the depth that I wanted to go with people. And I didn’t have the time. Because oftentimes, we were required to talk to several people, at the same time, like sometimes up to three and five people at the same time. And, you know, that’s like stimulating for an ADHD brain. And I found moments of hyper focus with that. And, like, also, it was just not fulfilling to me. And so, you know, I was in the middle of that job when I decided to enroll and focus and go deeper with focus. And then when you announced the coach training program, I was just like, this is exactly what I’ve been looking for, I’d already been through, you know, this, like failed investment or like, in fact, the program that I was in, actually, I was supposed to be in it for a year. And she actually closed her doors six months in with like, not giving anybody their money back or anything. And so I had just gone through that and just knew I wanted to be a coach. And not only that knew I wanted to be an ADHD coach. And so and then just really admired the way that Kristin taught and coached others and just felt really strongly about her approach. So your approach?

Kristen Carder 24:12
Wow, it’s so brave of you to make another investment. I just want to honor that. Because I think for a lot of people, especially ADHD ears, like a lot of us have stories around things we’ve spent money on. And then we feel like we need to punish ourselves, you know, if it didn’t work out the way that we wanted it to, or maybe, and maybe that was because of the program itself, or maybe it was because of us and our ADHD. But either way, I think a lot of people would hold themselves back and you instead we’re just like, Okay, that wasn’t the thing. I need to go find the thing so I just I don’t know I’m really impressed. Yeah,

Anna 24:55
I I don’t know. I just kind of I didn’t have I have a ton of drama about it, I, I just use my intuition because I just, it was one of those things where it just like the timing kind of all aligned. And it came around at the exact right time in my life, like any earlier or any later. And I don’t know if I would have wound up here, honestly, like I was starting to look at other ADHD coach training programs, before you even announced that, and kind of looking into different avenues of getting like working specifically with ADHD folks. And so yeah, I think it was just a matter of like the right timing. I mean, I was sort of I knew that there was something out there that that would speak to me, and that would be right for me. Can

Kristen Carder 25:48
I ask you a question about that? Why did you choose this program over one of those other ADHD training programs?

Anna 25:57
I think similar to Dylan, like, I trusted you. Like, I’ve been in focused long enough and listened to so many of your podcasts, I just really felt like I knew you and that you were genuine. And that, that I would learn a ton from you. And I just, I think, though, it’s just again, I think your approach in the style and the way you coach just really resonated with me. And I kind of felt like other ADHD training coach training programs might be more of a little bit more of that academic II kind of thing. Like, this is what it means to be a coach and like maybe even some of that tips and tricks and problem solving and the accountability. And like, I’d already kind of done that, like I that’s kind of what I did. And my other job like as a coach is like, okay, let’s make some goals. And let’s make some action steps. And let’s talk about it next week. And like, I just knew that that wasn’t really getting to the meat of why people weren’t taking action. Mm

Kristen Carder 27:05
hmm. That’s like, so soothing for my soul to hear. Just love it so much. I’m curious if Dylan or Briony if you have any additional thoughts on like, why this program? Because there are coach training programs out there like why did did you feel drawn to invest your your time and your effort and your you know, your money into this program.

Dylan 27:32
I did like the way that this program sort of presented itself as sort of like, not fluffy. So, for instance, I think that and not necessarily it’s not black and white, it’s not always a bad thing. But in general, I think with high dollar courses that you invest in, they sometimes try to make you feel better about your investment by adding in all this stuff, all these workbooks, all these extras, there’s a Facebook group, there’s a this, and it doesn’t make me feel closer to the content, it just adds distance between me and getting what I needed out of it. And I felt like Kristin your confidence in what you were offering and knowing that you could offer just that. And not all this other stuff really helped me clarify that this was for me, because I don’t care about you know, like a Facebook group. And like I don’t care about all those things are extra workbooks or extra worksheets or extra bonuses. I needed someone who was going to show up with me and make me practice coaching and which is terrifying and awful, in some way. But that’s what I needed. Like, that’s what I didn’t need, like cute workbooks or cute PDFs I needed like you to show up and help me and so I think you also it was just really clear how you put it out. Like I didn’t need a whole long webpage that I had to scroll 1000 feet to the bottom of it was just like, This is what we’re going to do. There’s going to be a set schedule, which is a big thing. You know, for eight like it seemed like it worked really well with my lack of executive functioning, like and so it was just like, it was made for me. It wasn’t made with the idea of ADHD people it was made by a person with ADHD who like has shown us how she coaches and is like, I’ll show you how to do this. So it was just the clarity of it. I think that really helps me trust it as well.

Kristen Carder 29:18
That makes me laugh so hard, because in preparation for this next round, Felicia was like, wait, wait, we sold? We sold this without a webpage? And I was like, yeah, just throw some emails. She was like, wait, what? I don’t understand why we didn’t have like a web page for it. And I was like, I just I just wrote a couple emails and then like 35 people applied, it’s totally fine.

Dylan 29:48
If there had been a webpage that I would have had to click on from the email, I never would have clicked on it. Like I just it would have been another thing and so that’s the end it’s like that’s the The mechanics of the ADHD like make it simple for it don’t make me go to another place where I have to read kind of similar information. But extra info like that isn’t helpful for me. Just tell me what I need to know. Perfect. Thank you got the info. I’m interested, what do I need to do next?

Kristen Carder 30:14
Oh, it’s so funny. Any additional thoughts? briny?

Briony 30:18
Yeah, I mean, I feel kind of similar to Dylan. But also, the way it was put forward was was not really super salesy in a really slick way, like, not to say that it wasn’t very professional, obviously. But like, I think it’s the same as what Dylan was saying, like, and I think Anna said this too, like, I sort of trust you. And I trust the way that you coach, because I’ve seen you do it so much. And your approach is quite specific and unique. And that’s what I’m interested in. And so then when you said, Oh, I’m going to be training, some people are like, well, that’s, that’s great, because she’s going to be doing that directly. This is not some sort of big scheme that you have to buy into, and you don’t know who’s going to be coaching you and who’s going to be training you and what’s going to be happening. It’s just very simple, it’s going to be Kristin, and she’s going to be, you know, sharing some of her knowledge with us. So it’s just had that really authentic feeling in a way, which probably sounds weird to people, because they can see from the outside that your business is highly professional, obviously, the marketing is, you know, top notch, and it’s all in place, and all of that. And I’m not saying that it’s not, you know, a great business, because the reason I got into focused in the first place was actually the inconsistent entrepreneur training that you do, which was fantastic, and really resonated with me particularly. And that’s all about, you know, business and making money and all that. So it’s not that you’re not slick in and as an operation, you’re not wanting to make money, and you’re not teaching people how to make money. But within that there’s something authentic, that’s going on, I think, and I think that’s really easy to, to feel and see that is a real thing.

Kristen Carder 32:07
I love it. I love it so much. I totally agree. And this is a huge reason why I’m only offering this training to focused members is because what I want is to train people who already have a relationship with me, and already have a relationship with my coaching, there are coach training programs out there, you can sign up, and you know, you may or may not get the main person, whatever. But what I want is definitely a more curated like boutique feel, rather than like a factory feel. It’s like this is very small. It’s very curated just for people who already are in the sphere of coaching, and have already used these tools that I teach to change their lives. Like, I want you to be confident in. Like, I’ve, I’ve used this to change my life. So I believe that it works. And so I’m gonna go out and help other people, like learn how to help other people do that as well. And I just, I love the idea of keeping it small. And for me to get to know you and your coaching and your specific things that are like difficult for you. And for you to be able to get to know me and build a trust with me so that I can kind of be like, wait, wait, stop, like, let’s talk about this. Why did you say that? What and to build that trust, it takes, it takes time, it takes a smaller group, it takes being held very, very carefully. And I was just really, that is something that I loved about our group and let’s just chat about that really quick. So um, I would teach classes where you guys would learn, but then also I would have you coach your peers in the class and I would essentially interrupt you in the middle of your coaching and say, Okay, I’m curious why you asked that question or let’s go in this direction. And uh, what was that experience like for you having to coach in front of other people and then having me kind of give you that feedback in real time?

Anna 34:30
Wow, that was really awesome. In a unexpected way, I guess I It was terrifying. A bit just you know, being on the spotlight with you know, nine other peers and you and kind of knowing in my head a bit like how it was supposed to go and like what to do kind of but then actually in practice it’s sometimes go so different than But then what you imagined it might go like, and it just found that feedback in real time. really eye opening, and, like, almost critical, just the timing of when you could catch. You know, like, when someone would miss something, I really also liked it, when I watched it happen to my peers, I learned so much, because oftentimes, I was like thinking the same thing as up here, or, you know, and it was just it, the whole process, whether or not I was the coach or not, like just seeing all the different kind of little, I guess, course corrections a bit that you could make during the coaching session, I really think helped kinda like, it’s like, we can watch you and learn a lot. But then when we were actually doing it, there’s so many nuances in the way that you do it. And I think kind of like the way you could stop, just and make those little corrections along the way really kind of lead us closer to not only the overall approach, but the specific way where your magic is like where that where your style of coaching really kind of shines and hits home for the client, and really makes that impact that can help them see exactly how they are their thoughts are creating their reality.

Kristen Carder 36:42
Yeah. Love it. Dylan, do you have thoughts? I can see your head is nodding very vigorously right now.

Dylan 36:50
Oh, my gosh, where are the are these the practicums? Is that what the practicum was was okay. So in my ADHD riddled brain and unreliable memory, when I look back at the program, for me, it’s like 95% of the program was the practicum. And like, I know, we had other classes, I know we did other things. And like, I know you taught us, but it was the practicum man like those like, it was absolutely the thing I dreaded the most, I have never felt more dread than the mornings when we had practicums coming up. But luckily for me, the calls were super early. So I didn’t have a ton of time to dread it. I just had to show up. And it was just but once it started, it was like, if you got yourself to get there, it was so good. Like whether you were in the fire as a coach or a client or just watch it like, it didn’t matter if you were in there. It was like, I just picture us as little sunflowers like you see us visibly growing after those practicums like they were so hard, and so good. And it’s exactly what Anna said about it’s one thing to watch and learn. Like we I think a lot of us have learned a lot just from watching you and also self coaching ourselves. But it’s so funny to get in a practicum and have Kristen go okay, Dylan, now ask her how can I help you today? And I’d go, so how you feel and what’s going on? And she’s like, No, no, not and it’s like it is it’s like these little like mechanics of it’s like, coaching isn’t that hard? And yet it is. And it’s just, it’s these little things. And so yeah, just having these micro corrections. And like when questions come in of like, why what made you ask that or Where were you going with that was so so incredibly enlightening in the whole thing. Like, it, it I don’t want to do it ever again. And I would do it again because it was so good. And also I would add on to that like the coaching with the focus members and like having to show up okay, so not only do you have practicums Kristin then sends you out and makes you go meet one on one on zoom with fellow people in the program or focus members. And it’s just like, it’s a whole new ballgame. Like just having to go in the call and wait for them and let them in and like be the one running the call like they’re you I learned a lot through embodiment so much more just from knowledge. And this was what it was it was embodiment every week over and over in this really uncomfortable way. And now, I’m not uncomfortable waiting for those calls. So I’m, I can sit down with the most rambley ADHD or that’s like in the biggest funk in the biggest overwhelm backed into a corner. And I’m ready. I’m just so ready to sit down and be like, Okay, how can I help you today and get going so I can’t speak highly enough. I know if when I was deciding to join this, it was the thing I was most scared of, and I didn’t want to do it and it’s absolutely the most valuable part of the program. One

Kristen Carder 39:43
thing that I just keep saying over and over is you can’t learn to coach unless you coach and in this training program coaching is 100% mandatory there is no way to go through this program and succeed without consenting to coach. And so I set you up to coach your peers weekly starting week one, which is really weird, because you don’t know that much week one. So like, it’s super weird. So you have to coach your peers. And then once you pass an evaluation, where myself or one of the other coaches are observing your coaching and kind of making sure that you can go through the whole process, once you pass an evaluation, then you are released to meet with focus members and not just released. But it’s a again, it’s a requirement. What I have found, in my experience, just being in the coaching industry is that a lot of people go through coach training programs. And they come out on the other side, quote, unquote, certified, having not coached having zero coaching hours under their belt, or maybe like five coaching hours under their belts. And in this program, that’s just not a thing, you will come out of this with, like 50 coaching hours under your belt, highly experienced, not just trained, but experience. And I think that the leaders in the coaching industry are doing the industry and just individuals a disservice by training without making people coach. And I think it’s because it’s uncomfortable. It’s really uncomfortable. And I have to tolerate your discomfort in order to just make you do it. It’s so interesting to know how uncomfortable you feel Dylan? And to be like, Okay, well, let’s go ahead, let’s do it anyway. Like it, it is an interesting thing. Because while I am the leader, I’m still a part of the herd, right, I still want you guys to like me, I still want to be included, I still want everything to be okay. And so when you are feeling uncomfortable, that can set my body into this, like, oh shoot, people are uncomfortable. But to tolerate that and be like, Yeah, this is some really important part of it, like your discomfort is super important to just like navigate. Love it. Anybody else have other thoughts about that, before we move on,

Briony 42:22
I think it was a really nice blend of sort of pushing us in in the deep end, so to speak. So it was fairly challenging, which I actually liked, because I think I probably would have lost a bit of interest in it if it had been really easy. But also is a very supportive environment, the cohort of people involved were really lovely, kind and open people, which helps, but also the atmosphere had that supportive thing that I guess the whole focus program has of sort of letting people come to each session sort of where they are. So you might not always be totally on the ball, you might not always be able to be as professional as everyone else is on that particular day or whatever. But it’s sort of you felt accepted, I think. And so even though you’re being pushed and challenged, it’s not like one of those coaching programs that I think Anna was talking about before, where you sort of being put on the spot in a sort of unpleasant way, and sort of judged and told that, you know, you should do this, you should be able to do this by now. And all those sorts of quite harsh ways of speaking to it to people that a lot of programs used to motivate and that I don’t actually find very motivating. So this had a really nice balance of pushing us to, to sort of do more than we thought we were ready for perhaps pushing us to, you know, jump in before he felt totally comfortable. But at the same time, if we did that we weren’t going to be kind of hung out to dry in front of everyone. We weren’t going to be you know, left feeling embarrassed or ashamed. And if we asked a stupid question, we weren’t going to be made fun of or, you know, no one was going to say, well, we covered that last week. Didn’t you know that what you haven’t you read the material or you know, there’s none of that kind of stuff. It’s just a very kind atmosphere. And I think that was really one of the standout things for me.

Kristen Carder 44:25
I love that. I love that. And did you have something?

Anna 44:29
Yeah, I think we all understood each other. And we all were because we all had we all have ADHD and we’re all training to be ADHD coaches and other programs, but you might not like I think many of them may may, but some of them may not. And I just think the way it’s tailored to the ADHD brain is just key with that cohort feeling that Bernie was talking about because we just all kind of have I think we all just understood each other and that that lead to that support that we received from one another. And I felt, I think we all kind of felt like we were in the same boat with a lot of this stuff. And last year, and I also have to say that Kristen has set in such a way of being mean and nice at the same time. I mean, mean, because like, you’re like, you’re giving us the raw truth, like what we need to actually hear, which I think is a, it’s, it’s hard to hear, like, I mean, it’s like our growth areas, it’s, it’s the stuff that, that no one really tells us, you know, like, and you do it, and I don’t know, I just, you’re not mean, don’t get me wrong, it’s, but it’s, you deliver that hard truth in a very kind of, really just like holding that space. And so you’ve, you’ve got that you’ve made that container, and then all the people that you kind of fill it with are also supporting you. So it is pretty scary to be on the spot and coach in front of everybody else, and then to be kind of, you know, have the evaluation and be like, judged on that, you know, or like, you know, evaluated and, and then these, you know, ready to get to go out there to the focus members in that community and, and do your thing with them. That’s just all lots of growth. And

Kristen Carder 46:24
did you pass your evaluation the first time? No, I didn’t, what was that I

Anna 46:28
didn’t get through a steer map. That was,

Kristen Carder 46:32
I think that’s really important. Yeah, it’s important to talk about because how you handle that, quote, unquote, failure really sets you up for whether you are going to continue to grow, or whether you’re going to shut down. So tell me how you processed, you know, kind of getting that feedback of like, this was a great start, but you’re gonna have to, like redo it.

Anna 47:01
For me, yeah. Okay.

Kristen Carder 47:05
Are you who are we talking to?

Anna 47:09
Oh, gosh, well, at first, it was a little, it was very surprising, I have to say, because, like, I already, like, there were a lot of similarities between, like, this coach training program. And, like, the training that I did as a therapist, in other words, there was pure therapy happening, you know, and it’s, it’s just a lot of skills practice. And there was recording of that, and then evaluation in front of like, a small group. And so it was kind of similar. And I had grown, like, comfortable in like, a lot of skills, basic skills of like, holding space for people and, and I kind of had to change, I think, and it’s, so it was surprising to me to kind of see, okay, like, this is where I need to constrain, and to really just be a bit more confident in my delivery of a result. And just kind of getting there and getting that confidence. And it’s like, it’s weird, because, like, I had this confidence, but then I didn’t, I didn’t in session, or while I was coaching somebody, like somehow that got diluted a bit. And so it was hard to kind of be called out on that out in a way or, like, have that shown back to me. And, and I think had it been earlier for me in my like growth and development, I would have probably been really setback by it. But because I’ve kind of already been used to like taking that type of feedback and like using it in a really constructive and helpful way. I was able to still take that feedback that I’ve gotten and and really use it as constructively as possible to keep going. And so yeah, I had to keep practicing. I had to keep doing the peer coaching. You know, I had to really think about just saying that, that clean result. That was going to be really impactful for the person hearing it and not being afraid that it was just too easy. You know, like I was trying to make it too hard. I think all the time. Yes.

Kristen Carder 49:35
I love it. Okay, so because I am this kind of person. I can’t not ask you. Was there anything you didn’t like or anything that was really hard or anything that you feel like I don’t know, I just I really hate it when people advertise their programs and they pretend like everything is perfect about their program. That’s just not the kind of like person that I want to be. And I really do want people who decide to apply and invest in this program to, to have, you know, an openness to like, yeah, not everything is perfect. And not everything goes exactly as planned every single time. So I’m just curious if there was anything that you felt that you didn’t particularly like or was kind of hard, or if you have any thoughts about that.

Anna 50:26
Anybody think logistically, when we got to the do the peer coaching, and we were assigned peer coaches, sometimes that got to be a challenge to connect with the coach that week and, and actually have an appointment stick, that ended up taking a bit more time than I expected. And when it did work out, it was fantastic. But there were some, I think, unexpected sort of challenges with just trying to coordinate schedules and peer coaching with one another.

Kristen Carder 51:03
That makes sense. Yeah, I heard that from a couple of people that peer coaching was magical when it happened. And sometimes schedules just got mixed up. And like as an ADHD are taking that into consideration is important like that, scheduling is not easy for us. And so the responsibility of having to schedule that weekly, I think people should know about, for sure. Anybody else.

Briony 51:27
So my my biggest frustration with it was just not having as much time to focus on as I had hoped that I would. And when I signed up, obviously, having my own sort of schedule fantasies, and thinking, you know, next year is going to be so different to this year, and I’m going to have all this time to do all these things. In actual fact, I had a very intense sort of first six months of the year, trying to do all sorts of things in business, and my personal life is quite complicated. And I have a two year old. And so and I’m also in the southern hemisphere, as well. So when I was logging on to the calls, it was often, you know, the middle of the night for me, which, you know, may or may not be a fixable problem, I don’t know, but like, I was happy to do that. But then I, you know, in the reality of of being focused and working at, you know, 12 o’clock at night or one in the morning or something, sometimes can be great and fine. And sometimes it’s just not possible, it’s just not gonna work out. So I had my two year old, they’re asleep, and I’d be sort of involved in the classes to an extent, and then she’d wake up and, and just sort of have to give up sometimes or just couldn’t, couldn’t do it at all. But the great thing about that was, there was that flexibility and that understanding, again, that people are going to be coming to this in all sorts of different ways. And there was an ability to catch up later, you know, I might not be able to do too much of the peer coaching this week. But next week, I produce more and then jump into it when I’m ready. So it had that beautiful thing that focused has as a community as well, where you can jump into it and really get passionately involved in it when you’ve got the headspace. And then other times, he sort of dropped back. So I found that actually, really, really good. And so yeah, it’s frustrating if you don’t have as much time to commit to it as you would like, because I think the more you commit to it, the better like you can actually, you know, think about this stuff, heaps and practice coaching a lot during the program, but it will still work, and you will still get get the training and do it. Even if you’re you know, an imperfect human who’s only able to sort of commit to it as possible, you know, so I think that was both both a negative and a positive in a way.

Dylan 53:50
What are you doing there? There wasn’t anything logistical or technical that I like hated, or that I would, you know, complain to my husband about and be like, Why did she do it this way? You know, there’s nothing that I would revise, but just the hardest part for me was just the good old fashioned drama that would come with, I mean, the pressure to be good. And the fear that you won’t be not only as a coach, but just like in the calls like I felt my brain was like back in high school, I was suddenly like, Well, Kristen doesn’t like me. Kristen wishes I was talking less. Jenny, everyone likes Jenny more. Everyone likes this like, and like and then to have to have to say that out loud and fess up to it and then talk about it because it was something that was coming to the group like, that’s really hard. It’s really uncomfortable to be like, hey, well, while all of this is happening, I’m just sitting over here worrying about myself. And I’m really upset and like, even an example for the peer coaching. There was a call where one of my I was paired up with someone and she had felt like I didn’t work hard enough to like connect with her throughout the week and she brought it up on the call, but not to me. She brought it up speaking to you Kristen and I was like sitting right there. And I was just like, Okay, I guess we’re gonna talk about this and it’s like, but those are the like the skill, the like being able to face that. And those are the skills that I think it really takes to be a good coach and why Kristen, you’re such a great leader, because you had to do that too, like you talked about when you’d have to speak up and say something uncomfortable, it’s like, for all of us to succeed, we had to be honest through it. And that’s that was really hard to be faced with some of the old stuff that comes up your old self worth issues, your old you know, like all of that stuff. But now there is no part of the program that I thought was like dumb or could have like it worked for me, I was in a fine timezone.

Kristen Carder 55:42
I totally agree that all of the drama comes up in a program like this, because it is designed for you not to be able to hide, right, this is not a passive learning program, I have not designed it so that you can come in and just be a passive learner and kind of hide and not really participate like it is a program designed for you to be in the spotlight every once in a while and for you to get to know the people in the group and for you to bring all of your drama and so to not be able to hide, which I think is so interesting. Like, I think that so much of our culture, at least in America, it it has design had been designed around like our anonymity. So we can just show up and not really participate and kind of like reason breeze out, I’m just going to go pick up like a mobile order, I don’t even have to talk to anybody. I’m going to go to church, I’m just going to like, sit there and listen, but I’m not going to talk to anybody. It’s like everything is designed around our anonymity. And in this program, it was very much about being exposed in a way that allows you to develop your skills, not only coaching other people, but coaching yourself on your own brain trauma and coaching yourself on like all of those teenagers, the feelings that come up and being able to say the truth to people in love, right. And that, that is not something that as adults, we’ve really developed, we really haven’t we’ve gotten away with a lot. We’ve gotten away with not telling people our honest truth. And I think that for those of you who are up to this challenge, this is one of those programs that allows you to develop that skill, because what I am dying for is a group of people who are willing to just show up and be themselves and tell the truth about who they are, and then be able to see the truth in other people. And that’s what I think is the most amazing thing about coaching is being able to see the truth in other people like I know that this thing over here is what you believe about yourself. But let me tell you, what I see is the truth, you’re actually worthy, you’re actually lovable, you’re actually acceptable. You’re actually somebody that can make progress and change and grow. But not until we start to see how your mind is keeping you from moving forward. And in order to be a coach who is willing to tell the truth. You don’t get to separate that from your humanity. And so you have to, like evolve into a human who’s willing to tell the truth. And that I think is the work of our lives as coaches is evolving into that person who is really willing to hold the fragility of their truth very carefully and put it out there into the world, and then manage their mind around how people receive it. I didn’t mean to preach today.

Anna 58:49
Absolutely, that just hit home so hard. That’s totally my work right now. And you lead with example in that. So I just woke up in the middle of the night last night and

I had so many thoughts ran through my mind, I had to do some self coaching and writing and thought downloading and it was all about not realizing all the ways in which not living my truth. My true truth has really kind of not served me and kind of gotten me to the point I’m at and how I’ve really started to have these light bulb moments through my coaching like the more in touch with that truth I get, the more willing I am to ask other people to also look at their own truth and to really hold that space for them in like such a powerful way and detach myself from being also like responsible for their growth and change and just giving them That confidence like that, that that feeling of they are empowered, and they have the power to change. And all I need to do is just stand by their side and hold that space, ask those tough questions, bring those things to light.

Kristen Carder 1:00:17
And then trust them, just trust them. Yeah, just trust them that they’re going to do it in their time. Yeah,

Anna 1:00:24
I think, you know, we’re such people pleasers as ADHD, people. And so that can get problematic when it comes to coaching. Because we want people to like us and do the things and say that we’re amazing. And, and feel good when they get off a call with us or a coaching session. And, you know, I had to kind of let go with that, like, you know, this might be hard for people to kind of, to process through and to, to kind of like, and it might come in just little layers of insight over time. It’s not going to all come at once. Like

Dylan 1:01:08
Christine, you’ve told us like all through like, we can only take people as far as we’ve gone ourselves. And I think that’s what’s kind of exciting when you’re waiting for a focus session to start or appear session to start in. Like, you’re kind of all in your head. And I’m like, oh, what’s it going to be about? What if they, what if they bring this monster of a problem to me, and I don’t know what to do. And then they start talking, you’re like, Oh, I know. That was me yesterday, okay, I know this. And like, and then when you deliver a result, and someone’s like, how did you it’s like you see into my brain. And it’s like, because I you I’m seeing into my brain like this is going to I’m going to need this same thing tomorrow, like you are me. And I think that’s what’s so wonderful about is we really, we know that like, dark, gross depths of this shame. And like, we know, we’ve we’ve walked ourselves through those, and so we’re not scared of it when someone else is dripping and shame. It’s like, come on over. I’m not scared of your shame. I’m not scared of your fear. I’m not scared of any of these feelings. You’re feeling like you’re okay with me right here. And that’s a gift.

Kristen Carder 1:02:13
I do truly believe that we can’t take people to a place where we haven’t been. And I think that is one of the reasons why so many coaches are out of alignment with their authenticity, where where you’re hearing what they’re saying, but you’re like, I don’t really I don’t know, like there’s something off here. And I think that it’s they know logically what they want to put out there in the world. But they haven’t personally internalized connected with it, use it to change their own life. And that was a really important part of this program for me was helping you guys to see that like, it’s your transformation, like, yes, you’re going to learn how to coach, but it’s your transformation that’s going to allow you to help, like lead others to transformation.

Briony 1:03:06
And I think you also have to let that take, let that take as long as it needs to take it doesn’t have to happen super quickly. Because I’ve been offered. You hear about coaching programs where you just learn something and then you’ve got a million clients straightaway, but because it is part of your, your journey, it’s going to take a while to feel what you need to feel.

Dylan 1:03:30
Hmm, can I just add one thing that I got from this program that was really like as a skill, a way that I grew was not only confidence in myself, but this ability to listen, which for people with ADHD, and a lifetime of feeling like you don’t know how to direct your focus or attention to suddenly feel like I’m a good listener and to know that and it’s a skill that like I’m growing is it’s incredibly empowering and just what a skill to be able to bring to the world. Even if I never consensually coached someone from this moment on. The fact that I can sit down and listen to another person is such a such a huge skill to have in my back pocket that I didn’t necessarily kind of see coming out of it.

Kristen Carder 1:04:18
I love that. Yeah, ADHD ears are notoriously terrible listeners. And so to develop that skill, really holding space for someone and listening with intention, you know, and an active listening stance that that is such a beautiful thing to bring out. I love that.

Anna 1:04:40
I think just the notion of constraint. I mean, I went to this before, but we can take a situation or a problem and have so many thoughts and ideas all at one time. And you know, that’s still a work in progress, but really kind of trying to tune in and listen to our intuition. And also I think it’s really key what Dylan said about we can’t take any Ready someplace, we’ve not caught ourselves. And as I’ve been doing my own work alongside of the coaching, it’s just kind of exponentiated I feel like the way I’m able to grow and help other people because you know, we’re our own first clients, that’s true. And, and it just gives me so much more direction and ability to kind of it’s constrained will always be a work in progress. For me, I always want to make things more difficult, but I kind of can keep hearing in the back of my head, Kristen, saying, you know, just, it’s enough, you know, like, what you have to say, and what your thought, you know, like, just pick something and just go with that. And I think that was just really powerful to, to just have that permission to, to not have to choose the best thing, or that that exact perfect thing all the time. Just commit to one thing and go with that and deliver that because there’s so many possibilities in every situation. And I think that will always be my struggle with just as somebody with ADHD is, is trying to choose. But I can now go forward with so much more confidence and just knowing that anything I choose will be powerful. Yeah. Yeah.

Kristen Carder 1:06:28
All right. So if people are listening to this, and they’re resonating with you, with your message with just like the the type of energy that you’re bringing, and kind of a little bit of your story and they might want to reach out to you to see if coaching with with you would be a good fit. How can they find you Dylan? How can people connect with you?

Dylan 1:06:50
If people are interested in learning more or connecting with me, they can go to ADHD artists.com So that’s plural artists, AR t i s t s.com.

Kristen Carder 1:07:01
I love that.

Dylan 1:07:03
I know I got the domain and everything.

Kristen Carder 1:07:07
Else. How about you Anna?

Anna 1:07:10
Yeah, if people are interested, I can be found at Anna Davis coaching.com. Or on Instagram, Anna Davis coaching, Briony?

Kristen Carder 1:07:20
If people want to reach out to work with you. How can they find you?

Briony 1:07:24
So I’m on social media at brainy kid on Twitter, briny kid, news on Facebook brand kid on Instagram. So all sorts of places, and I have a website as well. And I’m very, very interested to work with, with anyone really, but especially creative people, because I know what you’re going through. And I know that it’s really hard sometimes, and you need someone in your corner in your corner. Who gets it because often we go and see people who just can’t understand what we’re going through. And it’s really difficult sometimes, I’m

Kristen Carder 1:08:00
so proud of you guys, this has been such a joy. I really appreciate just the investment that you’ve made in yourselves and the investment that you’re making in the ADHD community. And even just like your time and effort here today just to tell people about your experience because I think the ripple effect of this, you know, you sharing your story is going to be really, really important. So thank you, thank you so much for being here. Thank you. Thank you for having us. 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. It 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 details

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