How One ADHD College Student Deals With Challenges

Listen to Ross, a college student with ADHD, talk with Academic and Career Coach Michelle Raz of Raz Coaching about his Challenges with ADHD as a college student.

In this episode Ross and Michelle dig deep into his journey through figuring out what works for him to be a successful college student managing ADHD on his own.   You will learn the words of advice Ross got to get through the boring and mundane work and how he had to look within himself to find solutions to his problems. The support source he has received enables him to face his failures and feeling of shame.  Hear what it took to get him on a positive academic path.

A key takeaway for him and pivotal question he began to ask himself when procrastination and low motivation set in was:

“Where has this procrastination led me in the past and did I like that?”

Learn where this journey has taken him

Hear where he is now academically

This is a great episode for parents of ADHD college students and motivational for ANY current or future college student.

Please forward and share with someone you feel needs to hear Ross’ story.

If you want more podcasts, blogs, videos on life with ADHD visit Michelle’s website at www.razcoaching.com  or www. coachingacademics.com. or email her at [email protected]  Also, you can  follow her at  www.Instagram.com/razcoaching. She has many mini blogs with tips of inspiration.   There’s something in one of her outlets there for you that can help you with your ADHD struggles and challenges.  She even has an App on her website to ask questions.   “Ask Raz!”.

 

Overcome Obstacles Instead of Being Overcome by Them

Overcome Obstacles Instead of Being Overcome by Them

Overcome Obstacles Instead of Being Overcome by Them

            A  4-part story of adversity, courage, hope and success for one TBI survivor

This is one of a four-part series of how one traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor overcame obstacles to improve her quality of life when appropriate resources seemed out of reach.  These obstacles and challenges associated with TBI survivors include many skills associated with execution functions of the brain.  These skilled functions can be thought of as the command center of the brain that controls the cognitive processes such as decision-making, impulse control, attention, emotional regulation, and working memory.

Here is the first part of her story.

Healing is a continual process, but for this TBI Survivor, I made a choice to overcome obstacles instead of being overcome by them. Do not get me wrong, there have been, and still are some tough days, but with determination and a willingness to change, anything is possible.

What Happened…

Over eleven years ago, my life drastically changed on a fall day as I was driving to Steamboat Springs, Colorado in a snowstorm for a class.  We all know how Colorado weather can be; sunny one minute, a few miles down the road and a few minutes later, a complete whiteout has greeted you with full force. As I was making the final turn toward the West Summit of Rabbit Ears Pass, I noticed a vehicle fish-tailing on their side of the road and decided to pull as far right on the shoulder as I could hoping the car would pass, I could make a sarcastic comment about their driving, then be back on the way to class.

I did not make it to class but, I did survive a head-on collision with the side of the other driver’s vehicle.  Not only was life as I knew it changed but my ambitions for my career were crushed as well.

What changed?

Well, I went from being a semi-respected member of the community to the town joke.

Memory, balance, speech, processing, and cognitive issues made me different; insignificant in the minds of many who, instead of trying to understand the abrupt challenges in my life, people chose to judge and diagnose me to be someone I was not.  I lost friends, family members had no idea how to deal with me or communicate with me so, it was just easier for them to write me off as a “freak”.  People I called friends called me, “different, odd, awkward, and consistently inconsistent”.  Great on the self-esteem, I tell you (sarcastically speaking).

There were limited resources within the community I lived and the husband at the time, scared the crap out of me when he drove me to and from doctor appointments and surgeries. It took me over a year to get behind the wheel again.The marriage did not survive, but my mild traumatic brain injury was not the only reason.

Do you know what it is like to walk into the store or post office and see people whisper into one another’s ear while looking at you from the corner of their eye? Nah, they were definitely not talking about me, and they were so secretive, I had not noticed. Right…

I apparently hired a lawyer to represent my best interests but I don’t recall signing the paperwork, but when it was all said and done, I was hurt in the accident so they could benefit from my pain and suffering.  On one of the few encounters I remember with the lawyer’s Junior Associate (my mood swings and emotional dysregulation were too much for the real lawyer), it was mentioned that I should lose my home, be broke, and accept that I would never have worth-while employment for the rest of my life.

I guess if I had bought into what they were selling, they would have gotten more of my settlement, and they got most of it. That was just enough motivation for me to realize I did not want to be the person they decided I was going to be.  Boy, did I make a few sharks angry.  Who cares about what their words did to my self-esteem?

Oh yeah, being different means being insignificant, right?  Wrong!

One afternoon a year-and-a-half after my accident, I sat at my kitchen table in despair, crying, and thought I could not live the way I had being living anymore. I was afraid to drive, the help I was getting was minimal, and the then husband was about as available as a live operator in a computer-operated call center. I was ready to give up and had grown resigned to the idea of my disappointing new life, trying to find acceptance of my circumstances even though I struggled to accept the new me.

It was tough because I could still remember how I use to be, I just did not know how to reach that person.  We had been permanently disconnected. I sat at that kitchen table and surrendered and prayed.  Something had to give. Does anyone reading this understand where I am coming from or what I am talking about?

Within my next post, I will share about healing; Lisa style.

Until next time……

Lisa Marie Ansell, Guest Blogger

If you have anything to share please feel free to reach out to me at www.razcoaching.com  or www. coachingacademics.com. [email protected] Or follow my www.Instagram.com/razcoaching. I do daily mini blogs with tips of inspiration. I post almost every day.  There’s something in there for you that can help you with your focus for the day.

10 Myths about choosing a career debunked

10 Myths about choosing a career debunked

10 Myths Debunked and your Negative Beliefs

Many beliefs can limit yourself in pursuing your career or lead you down a career path that is not a good match for you.  It is important to know yourself and the type of career you are considering and the requirements you need to be successful in the career.  You could get headed in the wrong direction for years if you hold onto some of these beliefs that do not match up with your personal characteristics, interests and dream.

10 Myths about choosing a career debunked

1.  All people who are good at music make successful musicians.

The problem with this kind of statement is that it leaves out many details it takes to be a musician.  There are skills needed to be successful.  As well as knowing how to play music, there is a commitment to practice or interpersonal skills to help promote the music and financial components for budgeting.

2.  All people who learn differently (LD) should go to vocational training programs

People who learn differently and have a strong support system, have gone on to have great careers as in business, science and entertainment industry. There is a learned gift developed by having to navigate life when you have a learning difference. It is the tenacity to work through problems, rebound from failure and celebrate the smaller step successes as they learn patience.   If the passion and desire to work toward the career goal is there, you can reach it.

3. All people with ADHD are creative and should own businesses.

While creativity is a hallmark trait used to describe people with ADHD, it doesn’t mean they have the operation skills to own a business.  The skills it takes to own a business include time management, long-range thinking, financial discipline, interpersonal skills and more.  It takes a lot of hard work and knowing when to pull in help through resources to run a successful business.

4. All people with good grades become top professionals

People that inherently get good grades and don’t have to work hard in school may not have developed adequate coping skills needed to deal with the stress and obstacles. It can hinder themselves in striving for high professional success levels.

5. All people who are good with people should go into sales.

Excellent interpersonal skills are needed in the sales industry as well as a tough as nail attitude for rejection and failure.  If you are sensitive to rejection and struggle to motivate after a letdown, then sales can be a challenging field for you.

6.  All people who make career changes later in life are discriminated against.

People may fear what others may perceive with a late in life career change, but could they be curious and even envious?  YOU can be the trailblazer to model how it can be done for others.  Your perception may be at play in a situation like this.

7.  All people with good educational backgrounds do well in careers.

Education is just a piece of the puzzle that makes up what it takes to do well in a given career.   Education is another way to get an edge on your career, but the other factors are equally important.

8.  All people with special challenges can expect to achieve less in their lifetimes.

This is a great myth to bust as we can go through the list of people with challenges that have contributed enormously to our society.  Hellen Keller, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Keanue Reeves, just to name a few.

9.  All people who made career choice mistakes should start over

This is the time to pull together the lessons learned and see how it may apply to something within their career choice.  Within a career field, there are many options.  For example, If your dream was to be an actor because you love the creative aspect of films but found that you do not like the stress of memorizing lines,  look at closely related field within the film industry such as production management or scene development or  coaching.

10.  All people have one true career destiny.

It is unusual to find someone who has stayed within one career their whole life these days.  People have many options to work from home and this has opened up options for people to investigate free-lance fields that bring a variety of work options and paths to consider.  As we go through life, your needs and interests change.  Our society is accepting of new ways to employ people and judge their performance wherever they are based.  This lends itself to allowing people the freedom to pursue dreams that may not have been thought possible in the past.

Go for your potential in life!

by debunking these 10 Myths about choosing a career

There are many opinions out there for every statement made regarding a career path one might choose.  Do not limit your potential in life by believing everything at face value.  Look at the counter-argument like I did in the above scenarios. This type of critical response is a process to get in touch with your true inner beliefs.

If you have an interest and desire for a career path and see a personal limitation that would keep you from being successful, I encourage to go through the exercises of debunking the thought with an alternative view.  This could be the first step in gaining the courage to face a challenge with the attitude of how can I navigate in this career field WITH my limitation?  Is this an area I can work on to improve or do I need to find a modification or accommodation to be successful.  Turn to techniques that bringer you closer to realizing the dream career such visualization or enlisting someone that can help you develop strategies in your weaknesses.

Your determination and consistent pursuit of the career can happen.

One of the earliest documented stories that I am aware of dates back to the 1960s.  This was a period where people with disabilities where looked upon as defects and often hidden from the public by families out of shame and fear. Christy Brown, artist and author,     fought every day for something and struggled with his inner critic to motivate and persevere. He began his passion for painting and writing to escape his burden of daily living and earned enough from his work to earn a living.

His first published book was translated into 5 languages writing it on a typewriter using only his left toes. In the first chapter of the book, My Left Foot, Brown describes how he could not be truly happy in life if he viewed himself simply as a cripple.  He wanted more and created ways to make his dreams into realities despite not have arms not being able to walk.

He shattered these 10 Myths about choosing a career!

He says in a 1962 interview that it was when he was able to accept himself for who he was combined with the immense support of his family, that he was able to succeed in life.  He offers advice to other people with disabilities that, with the right support, you can overcome any challenge.  As he says, we all have challenges.  Perhaps it is simply a mindset that sets apart this remarkable early example of overcoming tremendous difficulties to reach a fulfilling career and life.

Christy Brown’s accomplishment included artists, internationally best selling author and poet.  This example of overcoming odds, fear, having courage and face stigmas and myth of people with disabilities in Dublin, Ireland, is quite remarkable at a time when people commonly institutionalized anyone with mental or physical disabilities. His life story may have set a precedent in other countries to shift their limiting beliefs of the capacity of people with disabilities as a collective force.  He is one of the first inspirations for any suffering with any type of challenge.

10 Myths about choosing a career debunked!

If you have anything to share please feel free to reach out to me at www.razcoaching.com  or www. coachingacademics.com. [email protected] Or follow my www.Instagram.com/razcoaching. I do daily mini blogs with tips of inspiration. I post almost every day.  There’s something in there for you that can help you with your focus for the day.

Your Career Blueprint

Your Career Blueprint

Your Career Blueprint Begins With Your Passion and Purpose

Passion and Purpose is The  Key To Building A Resume And Career Path

Live by your purpose and you will create an inner drive and passion to culminate  a life and career path uniquely yours….One that brings out the best version of yourself.

Over 50 percent of the current American workforce are unsatisfied with their current employment and career choice. Considering how many hours people spend at work, it would be a good idea to be among the other 50 percent who enjoy what they do for a living!

Choosing a career path that ignites your purpose and passion in life does not only lead to a higher level of success and satisfaction but fulfillment at work, research also suggests that it promotes long term happiness, and good health.

But for someone with ADHD this may be a daunting and  overwhelming task. 

Many find it easy to discover their mistakes and not their strengths, they may lack confidence in what they can and cannot do with all the struggles and challenges throughout their lives.   By breaking down the components that go into choosing a career and taking a deep look at how successes and personal struggles could serve as a tool for identifying some hidden talents, interests and skills, you can ignite your career path.

This is achievable when you follow a systematic approach to unearth your unique career that works just right for you.  Consider it a blueprint to your personal career path.

 Develop a blueprint that is authentically yours

A career blueprint  for your life will help to create a strong foundation and structure for career happiness.  You can compare it to building your dream house.  Would you build a house without a well thought out set of blueprints?   You might be able to pull it off but how stable would it be for future additions? You would want to put a lot of thought and time into making sure it was right for you. The structure of the house will determine how well you live your life and the problems you may encounter with it.  A well designed set of blueprints takes time, energy and passion.   It is key to apply this same process to finding a career meant just for you.

Without a career blueprint plan, it is difficult to think through possibilities of how your life experiences connect to your goals and how your career could adapt and grow with you over time.

Joe is a good example of someone who benefited from this process.  He was a college student who lacked a solid career plan.  He was taking classes to satisfy general requirements but did not know where to specialize his interests.  After going through this process, he found that his true passion and purpose was not in the engineering program he had originally thought was his path.   He has able to identify key elements that were important to him in a career and incorporated that into what he naturally was good at in college.  The great part was that it stayed within the engineering department, but shifted to a more environmental focus.  It took into account his desire for travel, continual learning and humanitarian efforts.  He was able to design a career blueprint to best set him up for success in this field with strategic action plans and milestones.

Some people may think it is too late in their career to start the blueprint. They may be burned out of their chosen career but feel they are too old and tired to recreate their life purpose.

It is never too late to start  creating a blueprint for your life!

And you don’t need to start from ground zero. Through this process, you can see connections that will propel you into your new career direction with your personal history, experiences and narrative.  Mary was able to rediscover her life’s passion and purpose by using this strategic process.

Mary was a marketing professional who loved her chosen career path.  She had felt  passion and purpose and never questioned her choices until she left the workforce for 20 years to raise her children.   Now an empty nester, she  was looking to redefine her life purpose and re-enter the workforce without spending years retraining to gain new skill sets.  She dug in deep to look at her blueprint she had created and found that her life experiences as a mom brought new skills, interests and passion.  She was able to find purpose and passion with her experiences that complimented her original career blueprint path where she was making over six figures. In fact, she ended up feeling MORE marketable as she made connections in her current life situation to her previous career experience that were very insightful.

The key to finding a career that gets your passion and purpose burning is to look at your life’s What, Why and How.

The What of the Blueprint

WHAT you want out of life such as  interests, values, and  personality factor into this equation.  You might even find that some of your desires were written by you at a young age. It may be a childhood dream that was imprinted into your mind when you did not have any distractions or life barriers creating doubts that could serve you in choosing the right career path.

Go through these questions and answer them.  Writing them down in a journal will help you see a pattern of your wants.

  •       What brings you joy?

    It is very important to take time in finding out who you are, ask yourself some important questions.  What makes me unique? There may be a special strength in your uniqueness. What are my values and beliefs? What are my fears?  Self-knowledge is a key step in designing a career path that works for you.

  •       What motivates and energizes you most?

    Another key factor in determining your career path in life is knowing what gets you motivated.  Anything that gets you motivated and keeps you energized is capable of sustaining you through the mundane or tough times in a career.

  •       What are you biggest interests?

    Knowing your interest is also very important while developing a career path. Your area of interest would be where your career is focused on. You might even find that some of your yearnings and fears were not written by you and don’t suit you now.

  •       Is there a major challenge you want to tackle in your life or career that is important to you?

    For instance, If you knew you only had one year to live, what would you want to do during this time?

 

You can start to identify a life pattern that will point you in the direction of a career blueprint meant just for you by answering these questions. This  will align with your plans and purpose in life as the foundation.

The Why of  your blueprint plan deepens your connection of what it is you want.   Taking a look at your unique WHY or Inner Narrative is a good place to start.  What is the voice inside your head telling you?

Why are you the way you are?

Desires, beliefs, values, and fears don’t materialize out of nowhere. Your values and personality are shaped during our lives in several ways.  They’re either developed over time by our internal consciousness or as observations made during our  life experiences. The key here is to identify the why and know yourself and how it factors into your career path.

Designing a career blueprint for you by taking proactive steps geared with this self-knowledge of who you are and what your wants are makes your career journey of planning and decision making solid and stream-lined.

The How to pull it together for your career blueprint plan

Now is the time to connect the dots and see the patterns emerge.  Identify career paths that fit into this using resources available to you.

Once you have a good understanding of your true authentic self of what you want and why you want it, create the career path.   Unpack the  box of expectations that you grew up with and make connections  between, values,  personality, strengths,  and start to identify paths that will relate to your personal dreams and goals.   Your career blueprint plan will start to take form and give you clarity and a vision that you can follow.

And for the skeptics

Yeah sure, things could change, and you may need to modify the plans over the years, but with a solid blueprint, the changes can be handled and accommodated and add value and character to your original plan as it did for Mary.

Your career path is a path that does not need to be a straight path.  This thought can leave people feeling panicked when they want to adapt or change their plan.  The career stakes become so high and feel unattainable which can leave people feeling stuck and confused.   It does not have to be this way.

Gone are the days of people choosing one career and never veering off from that path.

People are creating more of a portfolio of jobs that lead to a series of careers.  This can be exciting for someone that has a developed blueprint career path that takes into consideration all the elements to a passionate and purposeful career.  The path can have many elements to it that spur off the main course but contribute to the overall career goal.  Now more than ever a career path can have many twists and turns that lead to success, fulfillment and purpose.

Consider these point  in designing a career blueprint plan:

  •       Make meaningful connections in life experiences: self knowledge
  •       Investigate interests, skills, aptitudes, accomplishments, and challenges
  •       Identify patterns between, values, personality, strengths, and how it relates to career dreams and goals
  •       Build a vision board of what you want your career to look like
  •       Answer some self reflection questions: Is it truly your plan?
  •       Incorporate opportunities for growth and learning in your career

 

Take note of all the points listed above. Turn them into a manifesto.   When you feel overwhelmed and distracted from your purpose, go back to this statement as a guiding light in your career journey.

Build a career path that ignites your passion and purpose and never second guess your career choice.

This post is from the fall issue of Attention Magazine by Michelle Raz.

ADHD Genetics: Passing it On

ADHD Genetics: Passing it On

Can ADHD Be In Our Genetics?

The real answer to “What’s going on?” …. “EVERYTHING!!!…. ALL THE TIME.  The Struggle Is Real” #ADHD

A client recently asked what causes ADHD.

Pointing the finger at bad behavior is common in households raising children.  It is often met with humor and fun as you poke at your partner.

“Oh…. he is JUST like his father!”

But, when you have ADHD challenges in your family, you or your spouse’s genetics can TRULY play a significant role in understanding what IS going on.

You think……Is ADHD my genetics?

  • Couldn’t be me or Could it?
  • Is it the fast-paced society of electronics and everything at our fingertips?
  • If I just gave her different food? Or No sugar. Would it help?
  • Is it my fault?
  • Did I create a demanding child that needs a lot of attention?
  • Does society or our environment influence it?
  • Is ADHD genetic?

My knowledge points to neurological and ADHD genetic explanations as the root of  symptoms.  They are subject to being worse with many external factors, including the quality of life we live.

ADHD is known to be genetic and passed down at a rate of over 70%.

ADHD is a brain disorder that is likely caused by various factors. Experts and research suspect genes to play a role.  Studies in dopamine – a chemical that is responsible for the ability of our brain to maintain and hold attention is linked to ADHD.  It is often referred to as a dopamine seeking brain. The attention-deficit person needs that stimulation to concentrate and focus at higher levels.

Researchers across the world are still working towards determining the genetic factors that make a person more likely to have ADHD.

However, there is still a lot of work to be done to truly understand it more. They are investigating different types of genes that can possibly play a role in developing this brain-related disorder, particularly the ones that are linked to this neurotransmitter dopamine. It has been seen that some of the variants affect communication between the brain cells. In contrast, the others influence certain cognitive functions in our body, such as learning, focusing and language.

Research is still needed to better understand the role of genetics in Attention Deficit Disorder

These pieces of evidence show ADHD is genetically linked and that it can possibly be passed from parents to children. This doesn’t mean all the adults dealing with ADHD will pass on this condition to their kids. It does seem to run in families though,  but not in all the cases. It is said that one-third of all adults who had ADHD in their youth days have passed it on to their children.

My client asked me if the way his son is being raised could be a factor in causing it.  ADHD is not caused because of the way kids are brought up or bad parenting; it is not due to video games or because your kid had too much sugar. In fact, small doses of sugar like in Gatorade can help a student while studying.  It is a dopamine seeking brain-related disorder that can affect anyone.  Although the environment can have a factor in how much it affects one’s life on a daily basis.

While parenting doesn’t play a role in causing it, parenting styles could make the symptoms worse. A predictable schedule with routines and habits will foster an environment to help manage the chaotic thoughts and impulses associated with ADHD.

So, when you are poking fun at your spouse for where your child’s wild behavior is coming fun, It just might have some genetic roots and validity to it.

Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.  It is packed full of exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately.