ADHD · dreams · life coach

Identity: With Whom do You Identify?

Wonderfully Different

Every time I go for my morning run, I see Olivia from The Biggest Loser. In my mind’s eye, of course. But there she is, running just in front of me, trimming down to a healthier frame little by little. Olivia keeps me running.

And there’s the Walker in Black, the “fast-walker” in Hillsboro Village who slowly but surely, day by day, trimmed down and muscled up over the years I lived on Blair Boulevard. Gripping her MP3 player the same way every day, she just keeps moving. Her discipline, despite the seemingly snail’s-pace results, has inspired me, a newbie, to running.

There are others- the girl in the running mag, the man in my parents’ neighborhood, Julie, Betsy & Robin at the office- whose discipline literally moves me. At 44, losing the excess pounds will take a long string of miniscule achievements, and I’m still in the first stage. But it is the mental exercise of identifying with others more successful than myself that has me up and out of my rut.

In many areas of life we can see our identity is in relationship to (or contrast to) others. In my spiritual life, it is Jesus.  In my writing life, I look up to Kim Thomas and Anne Lamott. But for now, you can pick just one area, just one person for starters.

I want to know this: Where are you? In a rut or on the move toward the life you want to live? With whom do you identify right now? I’m beginning to see the imperative of  identifying not just with those like ourselves but with those who are a few steps- or even miles- ahead of us.

Life with ADHD is no piece of cake, I know. We need the fellowship of others whose stories of failures and shame scarily mimic our own. When we share pitfalls, we see how normal and ”okay” we really are. But we may also be at risk of lacking challenge when we only seek out others with ADHD to hang out with. We also risk not seeing our own fantastic potential to become someone or something greater than we are now. Identifying with others who have overcome failure, developed outstanding coping skills, and are seen as successes by the society in which we live will shake us up and move us a few steps forward; little by little, step by step.

With whom can you identify? Eistein and Edison who had marvelously original thoughts but were shamed by teachers and peers? ADHD authors who’ve penned their stories and earned income off of which to live? By now you’ve likely heard of many successful adults with ADHD. Why not choose one to read about? Observe? Shadow?

The road to success is log and sometimes rocky. But it is a road- with more than one destination and exciting discoveries to be made along the way. I challenge you today to identify with someone ahead of you on that road. Pat yourself on the back for every little move toward your goal. And let me know what happens in the coming weeks! And as always, if you need a little coaching along the way, just give me a call.



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