Failing Better with ADHD…
Did you hear the piece on NPR last week about looking at failure a new way? It sure caught my attention!
Adults with ADHD have lots of experience with failure. Since many of us spend much of our life trying to do things and not succeeding, you might consider us failure experts.
However this radio interview talked about a wonderful idea that puts failure in a new light. It’s called Failing Better.
When you Fail Better you look at failure as a learning experience and a way to improve how you do things.
I think it particularly fits ADHD adults who are trying to learn new ways of managing their ADHD.
My clients often fail at the first or second shot at trying a new habit or routine. Yet, instead of looking at it as failure, I teach them to look at it as a step in their learning process.
Between ADHD coaching sessions they’ll try a new way of doing something. The next time we talk we dig into what didn’t work, what did, and why. We learn from their mistakes and keep adjusting their new habit until it’s successful.
A prime example is my ADHD coaching client, Jane, who these days is focused on getting to work on time.
At first, as we were figuring out Jane’s morning routine (a crucial piece in being on time for work), she thought her commute was only 20 minutes. Except, as she put the new routine into practice, she continued to be late.
It turned out Jane actually needs 35 minutes to drive to work and be at her desk at start time.
This is Failing Better. Trying new ways of coping with ADHD and adjusting and improving until it works.
As with many things in life, learning to live more easily with Attention Deficit is a process. Try a new way of doing something, and if you aren’t successful figure out why and try again.
I suggest you embrace Failing Better. It’s an essential mindset for ADD Success.
The Last Word…
The harsh contrast to Failing Better is just plain failing. That’s called not learning from your mistakes.
To paraphrase Einstein, “Trying the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
That’s often what ADHD adults do before they actively begin trying to manage their Attention Deficit. I simply failed for years. I’d try to get organized in the same old ways only to have the clutter quickly build again. I’d commit to doing something I wasn’t good at and would let my employers and friends down. I’d promise myself I’d change but kept the same old habits and I’d let myself down.
That was failure.
It wasn’t until I became keenly aware of how my actions effected my results and began taking realistic steps to improve that I began Failing Better.
It’s a whole different way of looking at life with ADHD.
Failing Better was the start of not having my ADHD define me but instead become just a small part of who I am.
Will you accept a challenge? Honestly decide if you’re failing or Failing Better. If you’re fed up with simply failing, I suggest you do what you need to do to learn to live more easily with your Attention Deficit.
There’s no need to figure it all out on your own. An ADHD coach can help.