Loading Downloads
135Episodes
Mental Health

We believe that success with ADHD is possible… with a little translation. Hosts Cameron Gott and Shelly Collins, both ADHD coaches who have plenty of insight to share navigating their own ADHD experiences, discuss how to live more authentically as an adult with ADHD and how to create real, sustained change to achieve greater success. If you are an adult with ADHD who wants more out of their business, career, and life, this is the podcast for you!

Episodes

Hosts Shelly and Cam explore green light planning this week. This is a very specific example where expectations can go awry. Green light planning is a fascinating phenomenon and is the result of several ADHD challenges. It is when we predict the most favored outcome for some future event like catching a plane with time to spare. Most people will point to challenges with time estimation. Look closer and you can see more going on here.

Cam shares the example of a client trying to get to the airport and more often than not missing the departure. The client struggled with time estimation but also perpetuated a belief that he could better his best time. Furthermore, he failed to anticipate any potential delays or obstacles. Those of us with ADHD struggle to sense and anticipate variations of an outcome we create in our brain, especially the periods between events - the time between the shower, packing and eating breakfast. Specifically, this is a challenge with planning for transitions - both planned and unplanned. Emotionally we can engage in a mini ‘Zig Ziglar’ positive thinking exercise with the belief that our positive energy will somehow open an express lane to our destination. This is actually more of an emotional auto-pilot move to lock out unsavory thoughts if we are not successful in our plan.

Shelly counters with her own example of ‘Red Light Planning’ and the idea of a time optimist or time pessimist. The hosts leave listeners with an exercise to have a different experience with green light planning.

Episode links + resources:

For more of the Translating ADHD podcast:

Play Now

The hosts continue exploring expectations, shifting to personal relationships this week. Cam takes the lead sharing dynamics that he sees from his Melissa Orlov coaching classes. The same habitual responses are in play in personal relationships as they were in last week’s episode on expectation and work. Add the dynamics of emotional investment and less defined roles, and the result is more contentious engagements with more emotional flooding by all parties. 

Cam and Shelly believe that many of the conflicts that come to a head in any romantic relationship often start with ill-defined expectations – that the partners at some point divert on their own picture of success. Shelly and Cam share multiple client examples to illustrate this point. They point to the opportunity to see expectation as a conversation starter, for partners to develop a shared language around feelings and expectations. It’s not about compliance or getting on the same page as much as appreciating the other’s perspective. Often ADHD is viewed as a convenient nemesis of a healthy relationship. ADHD is in play, but it never acts alone. All parties have their own work to do, and once everyone agrees to this principle then real change can occur. Cam and Shelly leave listeners with some steps to address expectations proactively.

Episode links + resources:

For more of the Translating ADHD podcast:

Play Now

Shelly and Cam do an abrupt right turn with expectations, from camping in the woods on Phish Tour with Shelly to the environment and demands of work. Wherever there are people there are expectations, and wherever there are expectations there are different interpretations of those expectations. Burnout is actually an indicator of mismanaged expectations. ADHD makes it really tough to distinguish the priority of competing demands, and we often falter when we sense conflicting expectations.

 

Shelly and Cam explore a few client examples of habitual responses (from last week) and what the clients did to have a different experience with expectations. Using a colorful metaphor from a previous episode of ‘too many tennis balls coming over the net’, Shelly’s client resources her new manager to take a look at all of the end-of-school-year incoming demands and to prioritize and make an action plan for a ‘successful return volley’. The common theme is noticing the expectation and your own response to it. Shifting expectations from an ‘immutable truth’ to actually what it is - a point of engagement for dialogue.

 

Episode links + resources:

 

For more of the Translating ADHD podcast:

Play Now

Shelly and Cam continue on the theme of habitual responses by looking at expectations. An expectation is basically a belief that something will happen at some future date. You can appreciate how expectations may be problematic for those of us with ADHD - the delivery of something at some future point in time. Time estimation and struggles with activation go hand in hand here. So it makes sense we can develop some not-so-helpful responses to expectation.

Cam shares three examples - ‘running the flag up the flagpole’, where we elevate our own expectations and ‘do whatever it takes’; ‘bristle and defy’ where we reject any expectation outright; and an emotional shame response where we go to our one-down position.  There are more responses, and Shelly and Cam invite listeners to think about their own responses to expectation. Shelly, fresh from a Phish tour weekend, adds the colorful examples for each scenario from setting up the campsite to challenges approaching our Discord server.

Through discussion, the hosts reveal a useful process of getting awareness and perspective on the expectation, identifying our own relationship and response to the expectation, stepping back and releasing any attachment to the expectation, and then using the experience as a point of discussion to clarify and reflect on the experience to build a better relationship going forward.

Episode links + resources:

For more of the Translating ADHD podcast:

Play Now

Last week Cam and Shelly talked about habitual emotional responses to the stories we tell ourselves. This week they explore habitual responses in the context of time. Those of us with ADHD can have a complicated relationship with time. We can be extremely reactive to it, and we can be highly avoidant of it.

Today the hosts share client examples of some classic habitual responses to time. Shelly and Cam reference the Eisenhower Decision Matrix tool that distinguishes importance and urgency in a task, especially Quadrant I items that are important and urgent and the ever-challenging Quadrant II items that are important and not urgent. With ADHD just ‘scheduling’ our important items in the future is not enough. We have to first address the propensity to be drawn to the biggest signals - lit up by urgency and our level of interest.

Shelly leads off with her own client example where her client struggled with scheduling the all-important case notes in her role as a special education teacher. As Shelly and her client start to look for the “big chunks” of time the client starts to shift her perspective, not only seeing the time but how the time would be valuable to address much more relevant tasks. In doing so, Shelly’s client noticed and shifted away from her habit of thinking she needed big chunks to finish her notes. Cam follows with an example where the client’s habitual response is to avoid undefined but less urgent tasks, pushing them to the next day on his calendar. These self-described “black boxes” were a source of underlying anxiety for Cam’s client. But when the client let go of not knowing and embracing a narrow role of just assessing and defining the task, he could overcome his avoidant behavior. In both examples, the clients got curious and present to the opportunity at hand. Cam and Shelly leave listeners with some simple practices to start identifying and shifting habitual responses to time.

Episode links + resources:

For more of the Translating ADHD podcast:

Play Now

As a part of our trusting my brain theme, Shelly and Cam explore two client scenarios to illustrate the difference between the stories we tell ourselves and our emotional responses to those stories. The emotions we feel at any time are very real and dictate how we move forward in both thought and action. Stories that we tell ourselves are both real and not necessarily real. They can be informed by a past traumatic event as illustrated in our first client scenario or they can be based in a false belief as illustrated in the second one.

ADHD makes it very difficult to distinguish what is real and what is conjecture. They share how the mindfulness practice of getting present and curious introduced in episode 129 can be used to explore stories aided by ADHD that can elevate or ratchet up the meaning of an event or belief and conversely stories that can downplay or dismiss a specific need. Developing a sense of agency in the face of strong emotions and the compelling stories we tell ourselves is possible with the right support.

Episode links + resources:

For more of the Translating ADHD podcast:

Play Now

There is a plethora of scientific data to support the effectiveness of mindfulness in managing one’s ADHD. Lydia Zylowska M.D. has done some excellent research to prove this. Yet many people with ADHD have mixed feelings about the practice, especially the frustration of not being able to do it ‘the right way’.

Cam and Shelly explore mindfulness in the context of orienting to the full impact of one’s experience. They discuss how mindfulness can be packaged like any other prescriptive offering with the off-putting instruction to  “just start by sitting still and focusing on one thing…”  Cam and Shelly break mindfulness down into its essential components of presence and curiosity and how both can be difficult to achieve with ADHD yet valuable in the process of overcoming the first barrier of awareness.

They discuss the benefits of informal practices of getting present and curious using body awareness techniques and exercises that provide beneficial context. Shelly shares how listeners can utilize our Pause, Disrupt, Pivot process to create space in the gap between stimulus and response. Finally, Cam shares how mindfulness can be helpful to reflect on a challenging experience to extract the learning to apply at some future time.

Episode links + resources:

For more of the Translating ADHD podcast:

Play Now

Inspired by the client story from episode 127, Shelly and Cam dig deeper into the common elements the client engaged with, in part through her coaching with Shelly, to create more space, start trusting her brain and regain her own power in a difficult relationship dynamic. Cam and Shelly discuss the concept of ‘full impact’ and how those of us with ADHD can struggle to see all that is happening in our experience. This echoes First Barrier dilemmas (Barrier to Awareness.) Cam draws in the four elements of emotional intelligence and how getting to awareness and then management with self (introspection/reflection) and our social environment (perception) can be fraught with misinformation and stories that make seeking the truth challenging. Distinguishing what is real and what is not real is an early step to creating the space for informed and empowered change.

Both Shelly and Cam discuss the power of one’s own context and how it relates to activating curiosity and creativity (Cam’s boat in a lake metaphor) and journey thinking (Shelly’s pond metaphor). They also discuss how detaching from outcome and discerning ‘Mine’ from ‘Ours’ can create a context or frame for a place to start seeing the full impact of our experience.

Episode links + resources:

For more of the Translating ADHD podcast:

Play Now
Shelly and Cam continue with the relationship thread and when we have to travel the ADHD path of discovery without the support of our partners. Today Shelly relays a client story where the real challenge was not related to ADHD at all, but how ADHD can make it difficult to trust our own brains. ADHD can distort our own sense of reality, our perception of time and our recollection of events. Add to that a toxic partnership, and getting clear on what is actually happening can be extremely challenging.
 

Shelly shares how she first reframed the coaching work to help the client ‘strengthen my position’ so she could trust her brain and get a better read on the situation - to buy time and work on her own stuff so she could make an informed decision about the larger relational problems. Client and coach worked to gather more accurate data, distinguish the challenges from the greater challenges of the relationship and establish some consistencies in self-care practice. Listen as the client moves from making excuses for her partner’s behavior and blaming herself to a stance of choice and agency. A fascinating story of reclaiming one’s power and trusting one’s brain.

Episode links + resources:

For more of the Translating ADHD podcast:

Play Now

It’s a very human behavior to look for an easy and convenient enemy when we struggle to move forward. We see it in our current political landscape and we see it in the world of ADHD management. When ADHD is discovered in a relationship it can become an easy scapegoat for the dynamic that is not working. On a broader scale, we can point to neurotypicals as the source of our neurodivergent woes and vice versa. In this episode, Shelly and Cam continue to discuss the challenge of exploring one’s ADHD when one doesn't have the support of their partner.

 

The true enemy to positive change is ignorance and a propensity for all parties to jump to assumptions about confusing behavior. ADHD is invisible and inconsistent in its presentation. Cam and Shelly talk about the need to create space to explore our own ADHD experience so we can ultimately get to a place of trusting our own brain. They talk about the importance of bringing curiosity and compassion into the mix to locate and clarify a common base of knowledge - how one is experiencing their ADHD and how it impacts the relationship. One example is the ADHD behavior of the defensive/dismissive one two punch.

 

Shelly shares an excellent story about her own relationship and what she and her partner did to overcome a challenge and move forward recognizing each other’s needs. Finally, Cam discusses the importance of locating a community that supports and challenges and does not just echo one’s deepest fears and assumptions.

 

Episode links + resources:

 

 

For more of the Translating ADHD podcast:

 

 

Play Now

Load more

Podbean App

Play this podcast on Podbean App