Once upon a time, a few years ago, I was diagnosed with ADHD. My life was chaotic. A single parent with years of undiagnosed ADHD, with four children, a job, and all the other things I was distracted with. I quickly learned how and why my life had become what it had become, but with that knowledge, realized what I could make my life into. Now don’t get me wrong. There was no magic moment of change with voices singing from heaven, and suddenly everything was better. No, this has been a journey. It has been long and difficult as I faced the demons that had been created over the prior 30 years of my life. Every step forward has been worth every effort invested. Even now, as I help others on their own journeys, I discover areas that can help gain better control and confidence.
I would like to offer some steps to help in your journeys, whatever that may be. You could be going through a transition in life, dealing with a new diagnosis for yourself or for a child, or maybe a long time struggle to keep juggling life. I challenge you to work through the following with me, and see what develops for you, and how taking care of you can impact those you care for.
One of the things that I have been working with lately is environment and how it affects productivity. Often times, a person’s environment can seriously impact how well they operate. Part of being mindful is having an awareness of how things in our universe and us are connected. Even as unique individuals, we are all intertwined into a system together. One of these systems, specifically, being family.
When I am coaching a client, child, teen, or adult, one of the major factors that play into their success is their environment. I also sometimes like to call this their Habitat. This habitat is a complex system of relationships with everyone and everything in and around them. This habitat can be supportive and energizing, or it can be draining. As parents, teachers, or mentors of some type, our habitat greatly influences the children around us, and their ability to create a successful environment for themselves. By reducing the drains in our own habitats, and creating more energizing ones, we build a stronger support system for ourselves and for others we care for.
“People are changed, not by coercion or intimidation, but by example.” – John C. Maxwell
Building a Thriving Habitat
I can’t tell you what your habitat or your child’s habitat should look like. Just like each individual is unique, so is every family or household. Every environment will have positive or negative effects on everyone in that system. The point is to be aware of how your habitat is working.
- Is it a habitat that supports you and your family, or one that drains and builds stress?
- Take into consideration how well your environment supports you in supporting your –ism or your child’s ism’s.
- Be mindful of how life changes. Does your habitat change too?
- Is your habitat adding to your anxiety or stress?
- What beliefs do you hold around daily habits you have? Are those habits serving you?
When Life Offers You Challenges, You Can:
- Bury your head in the sand and hope it goes away,
- Muscle your way through it like a bull in a china shop and hope someone else will pick up the pieces, or
- Assess the situation and adjust how you’re using your resources to address new challenges.
Assessing the Situation
Energy is the main resource that we are working with here. There are things in our lives or our environments that both drain our energy, and give us energy. Ideally, a person would want to look for balance by filling their lives with energy givers or things that have a high return on investment for the energy we put out.
Energy drainers, or Toleration can be people, jobs, projects, clutter, habits, or other demands put on us by life. Every one of them requires an investment of energy. Just like with a budget, you want to avoid the red. If you’re letting too much energy be drained, it results with increased stress, anxiety, fatigue, and moodiness. Your overall ability to function quickly decreases. It becomes more and more difficult to successfully meet the demands of work, social events, home, family, and of course, the –isms. It just plain is not physically healthy, not to mention the emotional, mental and spiritual health.
Next month I will conclude this article by presenting a tool to identify and address your energy drainers.
ADD Coach Academy: Personal transformation Edition 3 “Barriers and Tolerations”.
School of Coaching Mastery: Personal Development “Your Holonic Self”.
Ursiny, PhD, T. (2005). The Confidence Plan: How to Build a Stronger You, Chapter 4.2 “Defuelers And Refuelers.” Sourcebooks, Inc.