7 tricks to work around that neurodiverse brain of yours.
You are unique, I am unique. But in many ways we are the same.
Have you ever noticed that you naturally go from hyperfocused to no focus at all in the same half day? From having millions of jolly good ideas to no idea how to implement them and sometimes feeling overwhelmed? Is it fear of success or fear of failure? Both? Is it something else?
You sit and watch other people looking super efficient all week when you yourself are on a roller coaster of F YEAH and H NO in the space of three days, no matter what you are working on. Energy levels are very uneven, and you feel guilty every time you start something because you think you “don’t have the willpower” to carry it through.
You start but you don’t quite finish. You put stuff to the side and never go back, even if it was good. You procrastinate.
You make notes like it’s automatic writing. Some sort of massive brain dump, but you end up never again looking at that great stuff you came up with, with the feeling of guilt and shame that comes with that. That’s if you could even read your notes and make sense of them again…
Are you a serial learner who majored in FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)?
That life changing plan you have had in mind for years, but somehow you haven’t managed to implement yet, how is that going? “Some things take time”, right?
Do you ever get that feeling that you think and process everything differently than most of the people around you, which makes progress rather slow or unsteady? People tell you to get a regular job, but one thing is for sure: even though you can be an amazing employee, that is NOT YOU.
I get that. All of it. And more. I oscillate from feeling l like an absolute airhead who needs her 16 year old to be her walking, breathing Post-it Note, to this monster with both the big picture and the nitty gritty all planned in reverse chronological order, including the conversations that need to be had. #MegaMultiTaskingMind.
I can lift a work project like nobody’s business when I am an employee, and for some reason, I regularly go “Blerrrrhhhhhh. Liiiiiiiife….” when it comes to working for myself and doing what I am supposed to do. But I will never go back to being an employee, that’s not where I thrive, and so far I have managed to build a life doing what rocks my boat AND serves others. There’s no going back. But sometimes it’s complicated to say the least.
Unfulfilled potential sometimes sounds like it should be your middle name when you find yourself in that pattern on a down day.
Obvioulsy being like this comes at the cost of some chosen comments from the people close to you, as well a bunch of conversations you know they are having amongst themselves. If I let myself slide, on top of the single mother, house, kids and animals to look after thing, I could go into freefall, and that really wouldn’t work for anyone. It doesn’t work from my adrenals, to begin with, so…
So what is going on?
I have ADD. It’s Attention Deficit Disorder. That falls into the category of neuro diversity. As in we use our brains differently.
I prefer to say that I have Attention Deficit OOOH SHIIINYYYY!!!! It’s funny and true, therefore better.
I have never managed to hold a self employed schedule down. I repeatedly trip over my own weekly intentions. I have elastic to do lists that span weeks and have been recoiling at the sheer idea of business gurus telling me to get up at 4.30am to stick some weird stuff in my coffee -which would be a hot choccie because I don’t drink coffee, and it’d be gross in tea anyway-. Doing a vision board was fun. That one time. And that’s because I was spending time with a friend and cutting up stuff… I have a half executed one on the wall behind me actually. It has sequin fabric on the back. You can see I did try a second time, but I don’t read magazines, so i’d have to print my own stuff. Anyway, I digress.
Hold my pen while I run away at the sound of “Plan 2 years ahead, ‘cuz if ya write it down it’s gonna ‘appen!”.
I have all the books alright. I have a business shelf help budget too it seems. I’ve read a couple of chapters of most of those books… Ahem.
Have you read them in full and fallen prey to the Shoulda Woulda Coulda Monster? The old me had a finger in the cogs and frankly felt not enough most of the time. Everyone was integrating happily, planning strong, implementing fast, but not be. It all kept hitting my boundaries. Of course I follow some courses and guidelines and I recognise the value of what is presented.
I have intra and interpersonal skills and strengths. Also ADD and Dyscalculia (I didn’t mention that one). It is what it is. It could be that you have it too. Or ADHD, or something along those lines. A Dys of some sorts, with funky working memory where stuff doesn’t stick.
Make no mistake, that makes us awesome. Just different. Neurodiverse. Which means we get to where we need to get to in a different manner. So let’s go together. Read on.
It is no secret that the brain affects emotions and efficiency in business. I am living it. I am the mother of two ADD and Dyslexic awesome sauce teenage girls. I have a Maine Coon who thinks he is a dog. No wait, that’s another issue probably. Anyway, I was a teacher and a trainer, and got to differentiate for kids and adults who didn’t apprehend learning the (what we are told is) usual way. I am a hypnotist and more. I am self employed. And I know most entrepreneurs, and definitely display signs of ADD, ADHD and other forms of neuro diversity. They can also show signs of emotional disorders, anxiety and so on.
These things don’t come alone. In the circles, it’s called “co-morbidity”. It’s an ugly way to say that if you are Dyslexic for example, there is a chance that your working memory is rather rubbish and that’s why you forget stuff as soon as it comes in, or buy the same item twice because you forgot that you’d bought it already… or don’t write the details of that zoom call in your diary… the appointment is there, but you didn’t write what it was. Way to do business, huh?
You could have poor working memory at the same time as ridiculously amazing experiential memory, like one of my girls who keeps talking about stuff I don’t even remember being there for. There are about 10 types of memories, so don’t get on the “I have rubbish memory” boat, please, that’s the stuff I end up having to de-program in a hypnosis session, so save your pennies and start by declaring “I HAVE OUTSTAAAAANDING MEMORY!!”.
My other one remembers the lyrics of a song after hearing it twice, and yet I was called in school when she was 4 and told she had memory issues. No, dear teacher, she just doesn’t want to give you the satisfaction of singing in front of you when you want her to. She sang that song all weekend and wouldn’t stop. She still does. It’s ADD singing. Tell her to stop and she will start again after a few seconds. because it’s the impulsive side of ADD. She is quite challenged when it comes to remembering the housework stuff I ask her to do. She is my contrary one. Are you contrary? Do you people please, or do you find yourself resisting the most trivial things, just because you can, at the expense of maybe building a more profitable business? You are not being a jerk. You could be neuro diverse.
So rather than feeling even more depressed about the added hurdles that being neuro diverse can bring, let’s talk about what we CAN do to be even more awesome than we are already, and achieve better flow in life.
It is up to us to optimise our skills and activities. I have some hacks for you in this article. Bear with me. Meandering mind at work.
As I write this article and move paragraphs around, I can report that I have: made two cups of Genmaicha tea, filled a blue glass jug of water, been to the loo several times, said hi the cats several times (Pollux just came in), made quiche (I kid you not, it’s 4pm and the thing is nearly ready to go in the oven, nearly being the operative word), responded to about 13 messages on Wechat, Whatsapp, Facebook and Messenger (most from customers), supported a leader in my team, and been transferring the data from my old laptop to this desktop, gone to the station and back with my eldest, fed the cats, fed the hens, forgotten I was writing this and so on. Yup. That’s me. But I could well have done this all in one go, with no drink, no look break, no self-care at all, and between midnight and two in the morning, so I am not doing to bad today, actually… Don’t tell me we have no focus. We have a LOT of focus. On a lot of things. At the same time.
If that’s you, you need to know that:
a. you don’t suck
b. ups and downs are as normal as lefts and rights, diagonals and everything in between
c. not all of us are Richard Branson and other incredible neuro diverse minds and it’s ok not to be as successful
d. there are ways around the issue
So how do you overcome that on a daily basis and actually use it to your advantage? Before you fret, you don’t have to do all those things…
1. Autopilot is your best friend.
Check all the things you do daily and organise them. Marie Kondo your life. It may take you a while. It may feel constricting. Keep the end goal in mind: fewer possibilities for things to throw you off your game. Get yourself a version of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and get the work version while you are at it: Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life. Hey. Stick to your future. You need this.
Forcing yourself to be super organised is a must for me. I start with the things that send me in a tizzy when they go wrong. For example: I never lose my car keys because they can only be in one place: the hook near the kitchen. If I lose focus as I come inside the house, and before reaching that hook, we are talking less than 4m, I risk putting them somewhere else, and that will mean a lot ot time wasted and moaning that I didn’t do what I was supposed to do. So why berate myself when I can autopilot the key hanging? If anything, it saves me asking out loud where my keys are, which annoys everyone.
2. Your vibe does attract your tribe
You will notice that you get on well with others with similar neuro diverse traits. If you are building a business, for example in Network Marketing or any business involving building teams and working with collaborators, use your superb mind and heart to your advantage. Actually, you’ll be doing that naturally, so it’s not actually anything you need to work at, it’s the way you are.
There are some of us uplines who don’t push. We will kindly kick your bum once in a while, but rest assured ours also gets kicked at the same time. We don’t nag. We aren’ here to motivate you. Your Why should be big enough for you to just keep swimming just keep swimming.
My doTERRA team of Wellness Advocates is very diverse, we all went through the same training, we all have the same love for essential oils and serving people, AND most of my leaders are highly sensitive, empathetic people who need to do things their way, or they will push back and abandon something they love. I know it frustrates some ever so driven and successful people we very much respect, but these are the people I attract, because I can be no other than myself, and they feel that they can do this too.
So if this is you, you do you. Your business will be a reflection of you, and so it should be. It’s all good. Every way of being attracts the right kind of people to you. And even then. Let’s say you attracted someone very different to you in your business. They need your way of being as much as you need theirs. You will both pull eachother out of those oh so comfy zones, and you will see growth in both. So again: it is all good. You don’t need to sacrifice the way you are on the altar of a formatted business.
Incidentally, I am always looking for wellness passionate people to link arms with. dōTERRA is an amazing heart centered company, so ping me if you want to discuss the biz opp.
3. Work out your strengths and flex them
There are no two people exactly the same as you. Secret sauce all the way. It is very important for us neurodiverse people (who usually have a very precise kmowledge of who we are), to actually see our strengths and how they serve us. My number one is Empathy. This means I shed a tear over Bob the cat dying this week, some people find it pathetic (like my ex, had he seem me at dinner). But this empathy I have means that I was always a prime candidate for putting myself in other people’s shoes and connecting to them on a more personal level.
If you want to know what your strengths are, invest in the Strengths Finder test. I recommend doing all 34. It’s a small investment for a lot of clarity. There is also a version for children, it comes in many different languages, and you can turn off the timer if you are Dyslexic (in case that was already making your blood pressure increase -see? Empathy as a number 1). There is a book to go with the test, but I recommend doing the online test and seeing if they have a cheaper bundle. Now once you have your result and if you are in leadership of any kind, this book is the one that will work for you.
Why am I going on about Strengths? Because they are all represented and they all matter and if you work with your strengths, the world will make more sense and respond in kind when you follow the way you were built. And what doesn’t come naturally to you, you can work on.
I am about to list my top and last 10. This might make for tedious reading after a few, so you can skip ahead, but I find it is important for you to see that we all have a different make up. Some of my least developed strengths are so not in alignement with who I am, that YEAH, they’re at the end, and maaaaaaybe I don’t want to become a disciplined, competitive, commanding person. But in my business, I need some of these strengths to come in.
Your full report will show you all your strengths and in which order they come in, and there will be workbooks to work with.
Disclosure, here are my top 10:
Empathy: People who are especially talented in the Empathy theme can sense the feelings of other people by imagining themselves in others’ lives or others’ situations.
Learner: People who are especially talented in the Learner theme have a great desire to learn and want tocontinuously improve. In particular, the process of learning, rather than the outcome, excites them.
Connectedness: People who are especially talented in the Connectedness theme have faith in the links between all things. They believe there are few coincidences and that almost every event has a reason.
Activator: People who are especially talented in the Activator theme can make things happen by turning thoughts into action. They are often impatient.
Harmony: People who are especially talented in the Harmony theme look for consensus. They don’t enjoy conflict; rather, they seek areas of agreement.
Responsibility: People who are especially talented in the Responsibility theme take psychological ownership of what they say they will do. They are committed to stable values such as honesty and loyalty.
Restorative: People who are especially talented in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it.
Woo: People who are especially talented in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.
Adaptability: People who are especially talented in the Adaptability theme prefer to “go with the flow.” They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.
Communication: People who are especially talented in the Communication theme generally find it easy to put their thoughts into words. They are good conversationalists and presenters.
The less pretty, my last 10, and therefore where it feels like work: or shadow self. I don’t 100% agree with the Includer one, because of my top 10, but there are varying degrees.
Strategic: People who are especially talented in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
Includer: People who are especially talented in the Includer theme are accepting of others. They show awareness of those who feel left out, and make an effort to include them.
Significance: People who are especially talented in the Significance theme want to be very important in the eyes of others. They are independent and want to be recognized.
Deliberative: People who are especially talented in the Deliberative theme are best described by the serious care they take in making decisions or choices. They anticipate the obstacles.
Discipline: People who are especially talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create.
Command: People who are especially talented in the Command theme have presence. They can take control of a situation and make decisions.
Analytical: People who are especially talented in the Analytical theme search for reasons and causes. They have the ability to think about all the factors that might affect a situation.
Competition: People who are especially talented in the Competition theme measure their progress against the performance of others. They strive to win first place and revel in contests.
Context: People who are especially talented in the Context theme enjoy thinking about the past. They understand the present by researching its history.
Maximizer: People who are especially talented in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.
I stronlgy advise doing this test and using the workbook.
4. Use productivity, products, apps and software
Some people call them “coping mechanisms” and sneer at our dependence on some nifty tools. If they are useful to “normal” people, why would they suddenly be a crutch for us? How disparaging, thank you, keep your projections for yourself.
I recently got my girls and I some echo dots. I think Google have their own version of them. My original thought was: “I am done shouting up or down the stairs”. My second thought was “My iphone 6S -I am so with the times- battery is nearly dead, listening to music doesn’t help”. My goodness do the reminders work beautifully! And that to do list? Yummy! I feel like I am in Star Trek: “Echo, add cream cheese to the shopping list”. (I forget the shopping list on the fridge 40% of the time, so having the Alexa app on my phone is ace because the list is there). The echo dots around the house mean that I can brain dump a certain number of things as I am doing something else. For some reason I can’t help saying thank you. High five to anyone who does the same.
Dictate in your phone, use Siri, Cortana, whatever their names are. Get that stuff out of your head and somewhere useful where you can pull it out. I still have a hurdle with that one because I don’t check what language I am in, and so I regularly end up with gobbledeegook, and by the time it’s out of my head, into the phone and complete rubbish, I have lost my trail of thought. Nevermiiiind.
Get a password and pins storage system. Hand up if you are forever resetting your passwords…
Use a calendar that follows you. I love my pretty wall hanging calendars. I spend hours each year transferring birthdays. I know 2020 is a special kind of year, but I stopped using them in February this year. It looks like it was graduation away from paper this year. Just as well too because I had two calendars plus the one on my phone… What better way to mess up?
Use those tools!!
5. Practice self-care and manage stress
You know what I am going to say and you also know I don’t always do what I preach. I have the priviledge helping others before myself and gradually work my way back up to me. Ha.
Anyway. I want you to make sure that I urge you to use your screen/work time wisely, eat properly, stay hydrated (I don’t mean pop soda) and that you use every possible thing to keep you feeling good, or get you back on track. Massage, foot bath, bath, forest bathing, whatever makes you feel good, do it. We are very good at pushing through, and that’s not good for us long term.
I use essential oils (and teach people how) to manage stress, help with sleep, help adrenals, reduce the toxic load of everything that goes on skin, in food, on surfaces and in the air. There are specific blends for specific issues and they overlap, so it doesnt mean you need 80 bottles to handle the majority of everything that comes up in your day.
If you want the easy and yet effective way in, read this blog article and scroll to the bottom for some great diffuser blends. There is also a button to book a discovery call if you want to see if oils could be a good fit for you.
Some of the oils that should be in your house (in my humble yet expert opinion):
Balance for a three times a day application to steady you.
Jasmine Touch to feel fabulous (hey, men too, ok?), especially if you work from home in your tracksuit bottoms and Crocs.
DigestZen Touch if stressful things show up as funky bowels for you.
Lemon to keep you fresh and alert.
Frankincense because it makes everything better, and sometimes when you don’t have the bandwidth to make a decision as to which oils to use, shoot Frankincense first and ask questions later.
To start your oily journey with me, you can either click the button below, or if you know what you want, use the following links in no particular order:
6. Meet other people
In real life or virtually, make sure that you meet people. It is important to develop a sense of community, and to stay away from the lonely entrepreneur vibe. I won’t dwell on this or give examples, but please please please see this as part or your business and your emotional health.
Some of the people you should make a point in adding to your life, on top of friends and non judgemental people, are people who know what you are going through, and hopefully who can add tools to your arsenal.
Mindscaping is an amazing tool I use a lot, especially for men who aren’t used to, or keen on either talking at length, or going under hypnosis. The process takes half an hour to an hour, and the shifts are tremendous.
It’s gentle in the sense that it doesn’t force anything, but since it is about working with your rich subconscious, there are no limits to what we can do.
7. Plan with the Moon
OK. This is a weird one for some, but hear me out. If you have heard of gardening according to the Moon and it doesn’t make you go “Wait, what the whaaat?”. If you know the Moon affects oceans twice a day, that Emergency Rooms are fuller every full Moon, that we are made of predominantly water and therefore are affected by the Moon. If you know women’s menstruation (yeah, guys, you need to know that shizz so you know when she’s going to bite your head off or need a cuddle. You don’t want to be at my house on a full Moon with my otherwise lovely teenagers)… Then this will make sense.
We are in different frames of mind and physical states according to the Moon. If you are neurodiverse, you will be more in tune with that kind of stuff.
This means that you might be super ploughing through tasks one day and then need to recover for three days after that. Or you have best laid plans to work on x but by the time you get up, you can’t face x, and you would rather do y. Does that sound familiar?
The Moon does her thing in different signs and elements for us all, at the same time, in the same order all the time. And those of us who are entrepreneurs and neuro diverse will really feel it in our business. Some people are indredibly sensitive to Schumann Resonance, others not so much. It’s not woowoo, it’s observable, and predictable. It means that you can plan according to the Moon and use the information to your advantage.
If the 90 day game plans, the “30 days till”, the “Get shizz done in a week” fill you with dread, guilt and shame because you generally suck at them, then your life is about to change. You can kiss linear “block your time the same every day” a solemn goodbye and channel ACDC as you stroll to the website I am about to give you.
This is a tool I have been using to plan out my business and I feel so much more aligned, it is quite unreal. In fact, it resonated so much that I knew it was the right thing for me right off the bat.I went straight for the Moonsight calendar and then upgraded to the whole thing.
More of us should be working in harmony with ourselves, and the Moon has a serious part in this.
Free goodies are avalable here so you can test things out.
And if you are convinced, then here is where you want to go to sign up for a year of tools and support, planning and all sorts of supplements you can go through in your own time.
Watch your business change as you embrace all that you are.
I would love it if you could let me know how you get on firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook