I want to tell you about an incredible force of nature.

A human whirlwind that blows through organizations leaving behind inspiration, innovation, and impact.

This dynamo also leaves some destruction and hurt feelings in his wake, but that’s all part of his journey of learning and growth.

This whirlwind of a person is me.

And the engine that powers my path is a brain that’s wired a bit differently, an ADHD brain to be specific.

My story is one of dizzying successes and painful stumbles, deep loyalty and big blind spots.

I’m still a work in progress, but I’ve learned that my blend of gifts and challenges is all part of what makes me uniquely powerful.

STRENGTHS & STRUGGLES

In my career, I’ve achieved some amazing things.

I became a top salesperson and an effective operations leader.

I drove results, solved problems and rallied teams behind ambitious goals.

When I’m engaged and inspired, I’m an unstoppable force.

I have endless energy and passion for the work that lights me up.

At the same time, my ADHD brain sometimes works against me.

I get bored and restless easily, craving novelty and challenge.

In the past, this led me to impulsively change jobs every year or two, often leaving messy loose ends in my wake.

I struggled with following through on details and with regulating my reactions.

Sometimes I would blurt things out without considering their impact or shut down in the face of conflict.

Loyalty is one of my core values, instilled in me by my family.

Yet even with the best of intentions, I haven’t always shown up in alignment with that value. I

I’ve wounded people with my actions and had to face some hard truths about repairing the damage.

LESSONS LEARNED

I share my story, imperfections and all, because I believe there’s value in authenticity.

Owning our whole selves is how we grow and heal and connect. It’s how we give others permission to do the same.

People with ADHD are often made to feel broken or less than.

We’re told to sit still, focus, fit in, be less intense and more consistent.

But trying to contort myself to some societal ideal of “normal” only left me exhausted and ashamed.

The more I’ve embraced my own wiring and found environments that welcome my full self, the more I’ve been able to thrive and contribute.

I’ve learned to lean into my gifts – my energy, creativity, problem-solving skills, and ability to inspire others.

I’ve also learned to be transparent about my needs and challenges. I

let colleagues know that I do best with variety, flexibility and clear expectations.

I’ve gotten better at asking for help and putting guardrails in place to keep me on track.

I still have plenty of moments of impulsivity or disorganization.

But I’ve grown a lot in my ability to own my mistakes, make amends and get back on course.

I’ve built a life and career that works with my ADHD rather than against it.

And I’ve learned to appreciate all the ways my different brain makes me a strong leader and loyal friend.

My Message To Others With ADHD

You are not broken.

Your worth is not measured by your ability to conform.

You have incredible gifts to share with the world.

The key is designing a life that enables you to leverage your strengths and manage your challenges.

Embrace all of who you are.

Find the people and environments that appreciate and nurture your unique way of being.

Learn tools to harness your gifts and navigate your struggles.

And know that your intensity, creativity and passion are superpowers, even if they sometimes come with messy side effects.

Above all, know that you are enough, exactly as you are.

Keep growing and learning and showing up with authenticity.

The world needs the full power and beauty of your different brain.

Your struggles do not diminish your worth; they’re all part of your hero’s journey.

So wave your freak flag high. Shine your wild, wonderful light. Know that you belong and that you matter. ADHD is not a defect; it’s a different way of thinking and engaging with the world – one that comes with gifts and challenges and a whole lot of color. Paint your life and work in the bold, brilliant hues that only you can bring.

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