As a woman with ADHD, I understand that the struggle is real, and the daily challenges of ADHD can make everyday tasks more difficult. We are all in this lifelong journey to finding the right peaceful balance of living our most purposeful life with ADHD.
Often, those with ADHD can become very good at masking their identity, trying to hide who they are to blend in, to seem like they have it together or to avoid conflict. After years of being told to “try harder,” “you’re just lazy,” or being labelled as “stupid,” we have built up many false beliefs and have told ourselves many false stories which causes us to lose touch with who we are, who we truly are.
The unfortunate result of this leads us to unhappiness, unfulfillment, and the endless search for more.
We can be consciously unaware of the root cause, which can often result from not honouring our core values, passions and strengths while allowing old beliefs to hold us back from moving forward to living our lives on purpose.
Try these five steps below to start living your life on purpose. A life filled with joy, gratitude and self-awareness!
Five Steps to Start Living on Purpose with ADHD
1. Discover who you are: Design
Spend time learning about who you are, and do a deep dive into all things you!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
During the process of discovering “who you are,” you will become more aware of your innate strengths, talents and interests. No two people are the same. This is also true for how we experience ADHD challenges, symptoms and behaviours. Many things can impact how someone experiences and expresses their ADHD. Having ADHD is a lifelong companion, so it’s worth getting to know your specific ADHD symptoms so that you can thrive rather than just survive.
Becoming self-aware of what you’re naturally good at and what interests you can assist in living on purpose with ADHD. Discover the passions that keep you moving on the path toward fulfilling your purpose—spending time intentionally learning about the most meaningful, important, and significant things to you.
Exercises that expand your awareness of your Strengths and Core Values are also very helpful and eye-opening tools for discovering who you are. Further exploration can lead to great insights that can move you forward in areas you were previously stuck.
Learn about your unique ADHD and how your symptoms and strengths appear in your daily life. What gets in your way? What motivates you? What things in your life light you up?
Spend time asking God to show you who He has created you to be and how He has uniquely shaped you and gifted you. Be sure to find a way to capture what God reveals to you; as we know, with ADHD, we can have trouble remembering things, even if they are great revelations from the Lord.
Dan Miller from 48 Days to the Life You Love says this “Every one of you has special gifts – singing, writing, gardening, art, computer skills, selling abilities, teaching others, encouraging others – but whatever our gift – it is a raw product. It has limited value until we apply the discipline necessary to make it useful to ourselves and others.”
If we don’t take the time to learn how we are shaped, ADHD traits included, how can we possibly use our strengths for ourselves and in service of others?
2. Stop the Rumination: Negative Self-talk
We get to choose what thoughts we obsess and ruminate on!
Research tells us that we have over 30 000 thoughts per day. Imagine how many thoughts we have with ADHD! It might seem overwhelming and too big to even start to break the spiral of negative thoughts that shatter our self-esteem and confidence.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Romans 12:2 ESV
Ruminating thoughts are a big part of ADHD. Research shows that about 80% of our thoughts are negative. Let’s start to change the story we tell ourselves. Research also shows that 95% of our thoughts are repetitive, which can create a real spiral for us with ADHD.
Don’t let negative thoughts and stories be a barrier to your growth and forward movement to living on purpose. Break the cycle by reminding yourself daily what is true about yourself.
Dr. Henry Cloud says, “The reality is negative thoughts have power. Everyone has them, but happy people let them fly by like a bird instead of catching them and inviting them to move into their heads and build nests.”
Journaling has outstanding proven benefits and can be a great way to gain new awareness. Traditional journaling can be challenging for those of us with ADHD, but there are some additional creative and unique ways to journal that I would encourage you to explore. I have created a “Living on Purpose” workbook for you to get started!
Affirmations and gratitude have proven benefits to changing our thoughts, shifting our focus and living happier lives.
3. Embrace Who You Are: Acceptance and Gratitude
You are creative, resourceful and whole!
“Let go of who you think you’re supposed to be; embrace who you are.”
ADHD can come with years of shame and guilt. Years of being told you’re not good enough. In some cases, after years of being told you are lazy, you need to try harder and be corrected. So much so that it can lead us to feel unworthy and broken.
You are not broken, and you do not need to be fixed. The Bible teaches us that God doesn’t make mistakes; you are fearfully and wonderfully made in his image. ADHD and all! You have a unique brain style; it’s time to stop going against it and learn to embrace who you are.
God, you have made me in your image. I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
You have equipped me with many gifts and abilities.
You know who I am, and you love me.
God, help me see your truths today as I explore change.
my thoughts to align with who you say I am.
4. How will You Celebrate:
Reward yourself for being intentional with your future and working towards achieving the life you desire.
The ADHD brain loves rewards! It creates the motivation we often need to get started and releases the dopamine our brains desire.
Be intentional with setting up a reward for yourself after you’ve done the hard work of discovering who you are, exploring your thought life and challenging the old beliefs that have been holding you back from Living on Purpose.
5. Challenge: List five Ways ADHD Positively Impacts your Life
You have special gifts, strengths, interests and talents.
Don’t skip over this step. It is beyond important to shift your perspective from the struggle, challenges and negative stigma we encounter daily.
Write down five ways ADHD shows up in your life positively. How have some of these qualities helped you in different areas of your life?
Embrace the Opportunity to Start Living on Purpose With ADHD and Get Your Free Workbook Below.