Turning I Can’t Into I Can

by | Mar 27, 2017 | Maya's Journey to Success | 0 comments

In The ADHD Success Club for this week, Dana’s homework involved paying attention to what I can’t do with ADHD no matter how hard I try. Really?!!??!! How can success mean focusing on what I am unable to do, on my limitations?  I’m stubborn, idealistic, and competitive, so initially the idea of Dana asking me to admit what I can’t do really bothered me.I can't I can

Last week in an effort to rethink how I could make my web platform more simplistic and streamlined, I emailed my former boss, a man who is laser-focused, strategic, and nuts and bolts. At that point, I realized that I was trying to turn an I can’t into an I can. With ADHD I can’t figure out the best way to simplify on my own, I can work around that with the right tools. Knowing and accepting my limits and/or triggers gives me a greater awareness of how to creatively problem solve as I use this wackily-wired, creative and resourceful brain of mine to its best ability.

Having an awareness of what is extremely difficult for me helps me get perspective, so I can find workarounds in things that go beep, people who offer me balance, and help through The ADHD Success Club.

On Sunday, I was ready to realistically look at what I can’t do with ADHD no matter how hard I try. On that day, I felt surrounded by what I couldn’t do because I had slept late and not taken my ADHD medication, my brain was in a fog. I looked at my tasks and felt there was way too much to get done to even bother starting. Still, unwilling to admit defeat and needing to blog, I decided to process my procrastination by turning the ADHD I can’ts into I cans:

I can’t deal with situations where I create too much detail–too many layers of things to do, a life too busy with too many piles of purposeless clutter,


I can begin to find ways to simplify.

I can make a big sign to remind me that even though my brain craves complexity it needs simplicity.

I can begin to create better habits that help minimize situations with too much detail/clutter.


I can’t deal with the initial shock of documents that put me in a state of overwhelm (emails with too many details, collaborative documents with too many details, too much detail without a big picture),


I can sometimes handle these things on a second read, the next morning, or when I’m not too busy.

I can ask for an explanation.

I can break down what’s given to me into chunks.

I can toss it in the trash if it doesn’t work for my simplicity needing brain.


I can’t strategically see myself out of chaos,


I can seek the help of those gifted at breaking things down so that chaos has some order and so that I can see what my next steps are.

I can’t  remember to do the little things,


I can set timers and reminders.


I can’t  change everything at once,


I can keep working on a little at a time knowing that small steps in the right direction will eventually help me get where I want to be.

Maintaining a growth mindset while being realistic and taking action is, I think, the key to taking small steps in the right direction, and that I can do.


Maya is a member of the Morning ADHD Success Club. Maya writes to make sense of things. It keeps her engaged she has asked to write about what she learned that week in the Success Club and shares her thoughts here, on the blog.


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