In my prior post I shared how the ADHD nervous system is different. In this post I want to talk about the importance of identifying and leading with your unique strengths – your superpowers – and how you can do that.
Everyone is good at some things and not so good at others. This is not limited to people with ADHD. People with ADHD tend to be hard on ourselves, focusing on our challenges and abusing ourselves with negative self-talk, which diminishes our self-esteem and motivation. But given that ADHD also brings gifts, taking the time to analyze what you are uniquely great at and then learning how to lead with those superpowers will make you more successful, and you’ll feel better about yourself, too.
There are 3 key ways to identify your strengths and superpowers:
Feedback from others
Self-Assessment: Take some time to reflect on your strengths, and keep in mind that we often don’t recognize our own strengths because they involve things that come easy to us. On a sheet of paper, write down all the things you are good at. What are your strengths? What do you do better than anyone else at work? What leadership skills do you possess? What have others told you in the past? Write down whatever comes to mind – you’re just brainstorming for now.
Feedback from Others: Ask co-workers, your boss, family members, and friends about your strengths. They may have complimented you in the past and you just brushed them off, because of negative self-esteem or an assumption that everyone has those same strengths. Take the time to send an email to a dozen or so people in your life. Give them a short list of numbered questions. Ask them things like: What adjectives would use to describe me? What are my unique strengths? What is different about me? What qualities do I have that you especially value? When you have all of this feedback, consolidate it into a single document and sort it based on the number of times a strength was mentioned.
Strengths Assessments: There are a number of strengths assessments available online, and using one (or two) can be a great way to tease out your strengths more objectively. I particularly like the VIA Character Strengths assessment (a basic report is free) for strengths based in personal values, and the StrengthsProfile ($14-$40 US) for a broader range of strengths that are more likely to show up in your professional life.
Finally, once you have all of the information you’ve collected above, pull it all together. Identify and rank those top ten strengths you believe you are uniquely best at – your superpowers.
Think about how you can better lead with those superpowers, leveraging them to perform better and feel better. Work to reframe how you look at yourself – pushing past negative self-talk and give yourself credit for what you are doing well. Learning how to access your superpowers when you need them will help you live your best life.
In upcoming posts, I’ll share more about the importance of how you can manage your challenges and practice self-compassion.
If you’d like to learn more about my individual coaching or my soon-to-be announced coaching groups, please get in touch.