Podcast Episode #6: Living with Vision

Vision is the picture you have in your mind of what you want your life to be. It’s the destination. The end goal. Unfortunately those of us with ADHD pretty much suck at living with a vision. But don’t worry, I’ve got some tips for ya!

[00:00:00] 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 Carder 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.”

Hello and welcome to the I Have ADHD Podcast. My name is Kristen Carder and I am so excited to be here with you today. I have had two cups of coffee and my ADHD meds. I am super focused and ready to roll today. We’re going to be talking about vision, which has actually become one of my [00:01:00] favorite topics in the last couple years.

And I’m really excited to get rolling, but first I’m going to read the review of the week. These reviews are so amazingly kind. I am so thrilled to be able to read them my heart explodes with gratitude every single time. One of you takes the time to review the podcast. And so here is what mark has to say.

Mark says, as an adult with ADHD, it’s so helpful to have a podcast like this, which I can relate to. Kristen does a wonderful job in making me feel supported. As I listen on my commute to work. And even as a coach myself, I’d benefit from hearing other individuals share their journeys. This podcast is a must for adults with ADHD, mark.

Thank you so much. That is so, so kind. You guys, I chose. Obsessively every day, [00:02:00] probably five times a day to see how my ratings are going up and to see if anybody’s taken the time to write a review. And so if you would do me a favor, even if you are listening to this months from now, it would mean so much to me.

If you would take the time to rate the podcast, which is super easy in iTunes, you just scroll down a little bit and it says, rate this podcast and you just press five stars. It’s super easy or. And or if you would write a review, I’d be so happy. Okay. So it is February. We are officially into 2019 and we’re going to be talking about vision.

Now, vision is the mental picture that you have of what you want out of your life. It’s like setting the course. It’s like looking to the destination, it’s living your life on purpose and knowing where you want to go. Now, unfortunately, those of us with ADHD [00:03:00] generally do not live with much of a vision.

This is one of the reasons why we often bounce from job to job, relationship to relationship. We often don’t have the finances we wish we did. And generally I think most of us feel like we’re not living up to our potential. We’re not really sure why. We’re not really sure how to fix it, but maybe we just have this general gut feeling that like, I think there’s more out there.

I think there’s more I should be doing, but I’m not sure how to put my finger on it and how to make it happen. So this was 100% me until about five years ago. So I’m 37 now. I feel like I woke up from my slumber about five years ago. I’m actually selling. To, um, gentle and sweet of a word. It, I would maybe use the word pressure cooker.

I feel like the first 30 years of my life, where this ADHD [00:04:00] pressure cooker, where I was just constantly restless, constantly hyperactive, not necessarily physically all the time, but definitely mentally bouncing from thing to thing, person to person, dream, to dream idea, to idea. Really? No. Settling in being anchored and grounded and landing into the person that I was meant to be.

That caused me a lot of frustration. I was frustrated that we were in debt. I was frustrated that my company wasn’t growing, I was frustrated that I wasn’t singing as often as I wanted to side note. Yes. I love to say. And I had this general feeling that I just, I wasn’t measuring up and it wasn’t to anyone else’s standards.

It was just to who I knew I was meant to be. I just had this feeling of like, there is more for me, but I didn’t know what to do about. So enter in the concept of [00:05:00] vision. My husband started listening to a guy named Andy Stanley. He’s a pastor, and he’s all about vision. He wrote a book called visioneering, which Greg read, and we’ve been talking a lot about it over the last several years.

And I began to learn so much and implement the concept of vision into my life. As a 30 year old, I mean, that’s pretty late, but whatever, at least I started sometime. So a vision is a mental picture of what you want your life to look like. It’s the preferred future. It’s the destination that you want to go to, but vision is so difficult for those of us with ADHD.

Here are the four reasons why vision is so hard. For the ADHD brain. First of all, we really don’t think about the future. We are all about the, now [00:06:00] we have a hard time thinking past the current moment. We really do not naturally envision what the future is going to be like. We have. Time blindness as Dr.

Russell Barkley puts it. We don’t think through there was a past from which I can learn. There is a future that I have a lot of control over. We don’t think that through naturally. So, because we don’t naturally think about the future. It is this extra added effort that we have to put into our lives.

Intentionally, which many of us don’t. The second reason why having a vision is difficult for the ADHD or is because our memory specifically, our short term working memory is generally really poor. So because we can’t remember. We often don’t stick to a vision. We may make goals with really good [00:07:00] intentions, but then we forget about them.

They go by the wayside. We don’t take the time to write them out, to put them on the wall, to make sure that we’re looking at them and checking them repetitively, because really our memories are just really, really. The third reason why living with a vision is really difficult for someone with ADHD is because we suck at self-reflection.

Now this is really an annoying part of being an educated professional adult with ADHD. It’s hard for me to stop and think and really know what I want out of life. It took me 32 years to get to the point where I even recognized that I was not doing this. It’s hard for us to have an accurate picture of who we really are, what we’re really good at, what things we should pursue, what things we should leave behind.

We really struggle with looking at the past and learning from our mistakes so that we can have a different future. [00:08:00] And lastly, and maybe most importantly, the reasons why we stink at having a vision is we are impulsive and distractible, which means that the direction of our lives changes often. If we don’t have a clear plan or someone to keep us on track, we can bounce around from dream to dream job, to job, passion, to passion, relationship, to relationship without ever being grounded or anchored.

Impulsivity. And distractability really keep the ADHD brain from focusing on a clear vision, a clear destination, a clear and goal. Hey, I know you have ADHD. And so I know how much you hate interruptions, but listen, sisters got to pay the bills. So just bear with me for one minute. I want to let you know about my brand new website.

I have adhd.com on it. You’ll find a [00:09:00] psychologist approved list of symptoms and lots and lots of helpful resources for you or the adult that you love with ADHD. So make sure that you take a minute and visit. Adhd.com. See that wasn’t so bad. Now back to our episode on vision.

Okay. Friends. So if those of us with ADHD really struggled to live intentionally with vision and with purpose, what can be done? What can we do to improve? So I told you that around age 30, I began to wake up. I began to hop out of the pressure cooker life of ADHD that I was living, and I began to take steps to live intentionally.

And yes, I do have my husband and Andy Stanley to thank, but I also have someone else to think. I would like to think LL cool. J. That’s right. This [00:10:00] skinny white girl is going to think LL cool J for changing her life. And here is why I will never forget the day that Greg and I were watching the Ellen show.

An LL cool J was on. Now at this time, my life, I was waiting for good things to happen. I was waiting for us to be financially free. I was waiting for us to have money, to pay our bills and money, to get the things that we wanted. I was waiting for my business to grow. I was waiting to be in a place where I was able to sing out places that I wanted to sing.

I was. Waiting for those good things to happen. And I was frustrated that they weren’t happening. So Alan had LL cool J on, I don’t know what he was there promoting, but he said something that changed my life forever. And Greg and I laugh about it to this day because thanks to LL cool J I am a completely different person.

So here’s what he said. He said, if you want to be somebody go beat. It was so simple. [00:11:00] If you want to do something, go do it. If you want a certain life, go get it. And all of the sudden, all of these things in my brain just clicked. If I want a certain future, I’m going to have to go and make that happen.

It’s not going to happen to me. It’s not Joyce going to magically fall into my lap. It’s not just going to be this mystical. Wonderful. I’m going to pray for it. And so then it’s going to happen or I’m going to just wait around and be a good person, and then it’s going to happen kind of thing LL. Cool. J said, if you want to be somebody.

Go be it. And I was like, oh, my word, that changed my life. And I told Greg in that moment, I mean, we had one kid in school and two kids napping and I was like, oh, my word he’s so right. And I just, everything clicked. Everything changed for me in that moment. I mean, [00:12:00] of all the people in the whole world to change my life.

Thank you. L L. Have a mental picture of what you want the various areas of your life to look like, think about what could be and be fueled by the conviction that it should be. Vision is a preferred destination. It’s a preferred future. It’s where you want to end up. And unless you are intentional.

Methodical systematic reflective. You will not live with vision and purpose. And if you don’t live with vision and purpose, I can tell you from personal experience, you will be frustrated. You will be living a life where you feel like you’re not getting the most out of it, and you’re not giving the most to it.

And you’re not living. Up to your [00:13:00] potential. So if you have that gut feeling of, I’m not quite who I meant to be yet, then that is an indicator that it’s time to assess your vision. Now vision applies to many areas of life. So yes, we can have an overall picture of where we want to go, but really we need to think through the different areas personally, are you who you want to be?

Are you as healthy as you want to be? Are you as kind and compassionate as you want to be professionally? Are you in the job that you want? Are you, do you love. Your profession, do you love your career or do you want to start to envision something different for yourself? Relationally? Do you have the relationships around you that you want to have?

Do you feel supported? Do you feel connected and spiritually? Are you in the place that you want to be spiritual? [00:14:00] Now don’t get discouraged if you answer no to many of those questions, that’s okay. There’s always time to start. There’s always time to readjust. Now is the perfect time to start taking stock of your life and wondering and asking yourself the hard questions am I who I am meant to be, or do I have some work to do.

Am I living with a vision or do I need to be more intentional? So don’t be discouraged if your answer is, oh, no, I’ve no idea what I’m doing. I have no idea what I want. That’s okay. It is completely okay. There’s always time to start. So for me professionally, I have a vision of owning a thriving local business.

Now. That vision has become more and more and more clear. The longer that I [00:15:00] have spent thinking about it, researching it, reading books about it, listening to podcasts on business, talking to other business owners. My vision was very fuzzy. 10 years ago and even five years ago when LL cool. J told me, go get it, girl.

I still had a very fuzzy picture of what I wanted my business to be, but every day it’s become a little bit more. Now about a year ago, I got a vision of what it would be like to be a resource for educated professional adults with ADHD. And I started to dream and I started to think it through. And eventually I bought a web domain.

I have adhd.com and then I started to blog and then I started this podcast and now I have an Instagram account. So the picture of what I thought maybe could be, is actually being played at. But it all started with the initial picture. It all started with a vision. [00:16:00] Financially, I have a picture or a vision of my family being totally out of consumer debt.

I have this vision for the future that my business will bring in a million dollars, which I know is super crazy, but I don’t really care because it’s just a vision. It’s just a, it’s a picture. It’s a preferred destination. And I am trying to figure out how to get to that place. And I’m totally fine with that journey.

I know, it’s crazy. Talk to say, I want my business to bring in a million dollars when right now we’re nowhere close to that. But I also know that if I don’t set that picture, if I don’t set that vision, I definitely will never get to that million dollar mark. So at least I’m going to think about it. At least I’m going to dream about it.

At least I’m going to set that as my destination. Personally, I see a picture of my husband and I enjoying each other and having fun together, pushing each other to grow and supporting each other’s dreams. And the hardest [00:17:00] part for me to have a vision is bumper to bumper bumper. As a mom, this is the hardest area of my life to live with a vision.

Being a mom who has ADHD to three boys is just so chaotic and so draining and so distracting that I don’t feel like I’ve established a good vision in this area. I will say that I have thought through some goals and my goals are to go after my boys hearts and to know them really, really well, and to allow them and encourage and inspire them to become the people that they’re meant to be, to never let them make excuses, to never let them play the victim, but to always empower them to be strong and brave, to be kind, and to just go after what God has for them.

But I’m not really great about being intentional every day with a vision. As a mom. And so I’m telling you friend that this is an [00:18:00] area of my life that I’m going to be working on because I have a really clear vision of what I want my relationships, my finances, my business to be, but I don’t really have a clear picture of what I want my vision as a mom to be.

So let’s talk about how does someone with ADHD even begin to get a vision for who they’re meant to become. Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any other pathway to a vision other than slowing down, reflecting journaling. Asking the hard questions now, because we are not naturally good at this at all. I would really encourage you to enlist the help of a therapist or a counselor or a life coach or an ADHD coach or a mentor or a friend who’s really, [00:19:00] really good at it.

I highly encourage you not to go at it alone, at least if you’re just starting out, if you feel like you’re in a place where like, I have no idea what I want and I feel so scattered and I’m just looking to the future and it’s just a blur. Enlist the help of someone who can be your anchor of someone who can steady.

You have someone who can ask you really good questions and hold you accountable to your answers. Don’t go at this alone. Once you begin to develop a clear picture of what you want your life to look like, do yourself a favor and write those visions down, put them on the wall where you can see them every single day.

My husband and I literally print out our budget and hang it on our bedroom wall. And I have our goals written on there. Get out of debt, pay off the car, save X amount of [00:20:00] money, because if it’s not right in front of my face, I am going to forget about it. And if I forget about it, then I’m going to spend my money on things that are not as important as my vision goals, because I’m controlled by the now I’m controlled by the thing that’s right in front of me.

I’m controlled by the thing that seems fun in the moment. And let’s be honest budgeting. Isn’t fun. My brain is automatically impulsive and distractible and it resists hard things so that budget’s gotta be right there on the wall in front of my face for me to see every single day, if it’s going to be followed.

And my guess is your vision is the same. Now, one thing I’ve started to do is write out daily affirmations. This is a brand new practice that I’m starting in 2019. Obviously I’m not doing it every day, but I’m trying to do it at least several times a week. Affirmations are a reminder of who I am and who I want to [00:21:00] be.

Now I’m a little embarrassed to tell you that my affirmations, that I’ve been writing out. Are only having to do with my business. I have not. Even thought about writing out affirmations as far as my vision for being a mom. And so I want to tell you friends that I’m going to start doing that. Um, I’m going to implement that today.

When I am done recording this podcast, I’m going to think through my vision of who I want to be as a mom. And I’m going to develop five affirmations that will help me to remember. To be the person that I want to be as a mom. I don’t do this naturally. And I’m going to assume that you don’t do it naturally either.

It has to be intentional. Your vision is the mental picture that you have of what you want out of your life. [00:22:00] It’s like setting the course. It’s the destination. It’s living your life on purpose and knowing where you want to go. You have what it takes to live with vision. You have what it takes to try and fail and try and fail until you succeed.

Make sure you reach out for help. From a psychologist or a counselor or a therapist or a life coach or an ADHD coach or a mentor or a friend, make sure you write things down and you keep them in front of your face. Make sure that if you want to write out affirmations that you don’t just target one area of your life like I did, but you target different areas of your life, the important areas of your life, where you want to grow and live with.

I am really trying to be more intentional, more purposeful in this area of my life. And I want to encourage you that you can do it too, because we can do [00:23:00] hard things. That’s it for today. Thank you so much for joining me. I really appreciate you listening. I really appreciate you reviewing and rating this podcast.

Thank you for being here. I can’t wait to talk to you next week.

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