Some adults with ADHD have very successful careers. Others struggle with a variety of issues including “Distractibility, impulsivity, hyperactivity, poor memory, boredom, time management issues, and difficulty handling long-term projects”….among other things. Source
In case you haven’t noticed I am kind of a mess. But I am the type of mess that you cannot see when you look at me. By outward appearances I seem totally normal and functional.
I grew up thinking I would be a career woman. I knew I wanted a family, but I still aspired to be what I pictured as successful. Over time I have begun to define success differently, and so should you.
What if I told you to stop worrying about it? Would you listen? I don’t even know if I could listen to myself say that without feeling like a fraud. I worry about it all the time. But this is the truth:
Success is not about financial gain. Success is about continuous self-improvement.
In the meantime, here are a few ideas to get you started in your own failure forward.
Don’t beat yourself up
Please do not beat yourself up if your career does not match the picture you had in your mind when you were 20 years old. You didn’t understand how life works at that age. Now you do.
Live with a sense of purpose, whatever that may be. Give yourself the space and grace you need to move forward. Don’t listen to the Negative Thought Patterns.
Try focusing on being grateful for your life experiences and the people that surround you. I may not have the career I envisioned but I have a wonderful life with wonderful people. I have a fabulous husband and a challenging new business venture with this website.
What is your purpose? (Outside of career) What experiences and people can you feel grateful for?
Take pride in the things you excel in
I am not a perfect wife or mother. I can be inconsistent and irritable. There are piles of papers and animal hair everywhere you look. But believe me when I tell you, I am still the CEO of my house.
My home is a mess, but it is a warm and welcoming place for my family and friends. That is my definition of success.
Take pride in your strengths. Maybe you have great personal style. Perhaps you are great at giving advice. Are you a really good listener?
Everyone is good at something!
Make a list of the things you excel in. What can you talk about that you are proud of?
Focus internally instead of externally.
Do you worry about what other people think of where you are in your life? How well your career is going?
Don’t worry about winning anyone’s approval except your own. You can bend over backwards for your boss but if his son/daughter needs your job, chances are they will get it. It is an icky fact.
What could you do right now, as in TODAY, that would make you feel accomplished and proud of yourself?
Need to sort through your mail? Do it. Need to lock yourself in the bathroom with a book? do it. No judgment here.
Starting this blog is my accomplishment. Persisting is my accomplishment. If I measured this website’s success based solely on income, I would have quit a long time ago.
Hearing from all of you in the form of emails and messages is what keeps me going. I feel good about the connections I have made and the women that form my community. All that warm-fuzzy stuff that I enjoy so much is me focusing internally. Now you try it!
Stop comparing yourself with others
This is the thing; many people are living beyond their means. I have no clue how they drive luxury vehicles and live in half-million dollar homes. I have stopped comparing my level of “financial success” with that of others.
Success is no longer defined by money for me. I like Louis Vuitton handbags and designer jeans. But I also like tranquility and stability in my life. Spending too much money trying to keep up with the Joneses does not = stability. It is a recipe for disaster.
Are you comparing yourself with others? How good would it feel to let go of that?
Most of the people you know in your life that you deem “successful” probably have the trappings of success. As in – they appear to have money, or perfect children, or a perfect home. I am here to tell you they do not have it all.
I have spoken to so many women and mothers and we all feel like we are failures. This is totally counterproductive.
Educate yourself about what is going on the world. Practice self-care and acceptance. Like My Facebook Page so you can see my live feeds each week. I am not perfect and I don’t hide my lack of perfection well.
The best way to redefine success is to work on ourselves. Support other women and mothers without criticism. Be yourself. Rock out on your strengths.
Now you tell me – how do you define success?
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