Lessons Learned

The Worst That Can Happen: ADHD and Anxiety

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Have you ever heard that saying? That 90% of what we worry about doesn’t end up happening.

I had heard it and when I really thought about it, I agreed. It was comforting to consider.

This blog post is not about that. Today I want to share about the 10% of not great stuff that DOES happen. 

By now you may know that I’m a mom with adhd and I have a son who also has adhd. It can make for some #funtimes (no really).

My son was 20, driving and often out late. I had spent at least 4 years worrying about what could happen while he was out. Freaking myself out. Fretting over the possibilities and my utter lack of control. Then it happened, one of the things I feared most.

I have always had a low lying anxiety for most of my life. Always just a little bit nervous or worried about things that “could” happen. As a child it was things that may happen to me. As a mom it became things that may happen to my kids.

As my son moved into the driving stage I noticed my anxiety increase.

What if he broke down on the side of the road? What if he drove too fast and wrecked? What if he didn’t pay attention to the lights? What if he crashed and ended up in a ditch? (I think this one was passed down from my mom and my teenage days)

What if, what if, what if?

It was a very fearful place to be in. As parents we try to do all of the things, hours of practice driving, track the phone so we know if they’re almost home, pray, pray, pray.

One night I went to bed at my usual time of 9:30, while my husband stayed up until what is typically close to Midnight before he heads to bed. After being asleep for a few hours, I woke up at 2:15am and noticed the bed was empty. I thought to myself “that’s strange” and felt a little curious. Just a hint of nerves.

I got up and peered over the stair rail. No husband on the couch. Hmm, that’s strange. 

I went downstairs to look for him. No husband to be seen. I checked the counter for his phone. No phone. Hmm, this is strange.

I was half asleep, but starting to panic. Telling myself “don’t panic, don’t panic”.

I checked the key rack for hubby’s keys. No keys. I mean NO KEYS. My son’s were not there either. 

I decided to look out of the front window to check the driveway for my son’s car - no car in the driveway. My brain decided to freak out a little bit.  My heart did a tap dance in my chest.

I called my husband. No answer. I called my son. No answer. I’m in full blown panic attack now. I can feel my heart pounding and racing. I feel light headed.

My phone rings and it’s my husband calling. He says the words “I’m at the Emergency room. Jami’s been burned. It’s bad.” Then silence. My brain exploded. I think “no, no, no, please God”.

My son then gets on the phone and says “mom I’m ok. They’re putting stuff on my face and hands and sending me home.” This is the moment I will remember…my brain took over and got very logical. It thought “he’s coming home. That’s a good sign.” I felt relieved, and waited.

He came home about an hour later. Hands bandaged. Face covered in what looked like vaseline (the stuff they use on firefighters to help with the pain and keep the skin moist). I cried. Tears of joy that he was alive.

Don’t get me wrong. He was not fine, but was going to be ok.

He had experienced a flash burn to the face while cooking at a friends house and putting water on a grease fire. He ended up with 1st and 2nd degree burns to his face and hands.

We ended up seeing a burn specialist the next day in San Francisco where they gave us the incredibly good news that he should heal up just fine over the course of a year.

The part that I have noticed now, a full year later is this. 

I worried for 4 years ahead of time, about “the worst that could happen” and felt awful.

Then, what I could imagine as the “worst that could happen” actually happened. My son was burned, and I felt awful for 48 hours.

Go figure. It wasn’t fun. But to be honest both were uncomfortable. All of the worrying I did beforehand did not prevent the injury from occuring.

The worry and discomfort ahead of time lasted for 4 years and was optional. 

The actual thing that I was worried could happen, DID happen and the discomfort lasted 48 hours.

This is how it works. You can worry ahead of time and suffer, or you can experience the discomfort when and if something happens and leave the suffering ahead of time alone.

If you’d like to learn more about how to manage your mind and anxious feelings, book a free consultation and let’s talk. You can start feeling better today.

Decision Making: Why Is It So Hard To Choose?

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What is it about making decisions that can feel so hard?

This comes up eventually in almost all of my coaching sessions.

A decision needs to be made, large, small, in between. It doesn’t really matter.

In the moment, it feels like a very large and very serious decision, no matter what it’s about. Life or death. For sure.

And for some reason it feels impossible to make it. To decide.

When I ask my clients why? Why is it hard to choose?

They tell me the following:

  • “What if I make the wrong decision?”

  • “What if I regret my decision?”

  • “What if it turns out bad and I get blamed?”

  • “What if the consequences are bad and my fault?”

  • “What if I change my mind later?”

Let’s take a look at these a little bit closer.

Is there a such thing as a wrong decision?

What if everything worked in your favor no matter what you chose?

Romans 8:28 is a favorite verse of mine.

“And we know that for those who love God, that is, for those who are called according to his purpose, all things are working together for good.”

All things!

No matter what decision we make, it will happen FOR us.

Even if it feels like it’s not working out the way we intended, or desired, we can have faith in the fact that in the larger picture it will contribute to our good.

What is regret?

According to the dictionary, regret is: a feeling of sadness, repentance, or disappointment over something that has happened or been done.

Let me repeat the first part…regret is a feeling.

What do we know about feelings?

That we create them ourselves with what we choose to think.

We can think a thought, like “I knew I should’ve chosen the other one. Now I’m stuck with this.” and feel regret.

Or we can think a thought like “I got the perfect one for me. How do I know that? Because it’s the one that I have.” and feel confident in our selection.

Who decides if something’s bad?

And who decides if we feel blame?

Good news again! We do.

For every single thing that happens, we get to decide if we are going to find the bad in it or the good in it. There’s always both.

Let’s say something doesn’t go as planned, and someone “blames you for making the wrong decision”. You get to decide if you want to agree with them and join that party, or not.

Let them think what they want. They will anyways. You get to decide if you want to think the same thing.

The good thing about others being allowed to think whatever they want, is we get to do the same thing!

Next time you’re faced with a decision treat it like a band aid that you forgot was there. It needs to come off and the faster the better.

Ask yourself if either option worked out perfectly, exactly the way that you wanted them to, which would you choose then?

Go with that one.

You feel stuck because you’re delaying the decision. Making a choice actually takes less than 30 seconds.

Rather than choosing an option, and making the decision, you’re choosing to stay stuck.

It’s not happening to you. You’re choosing it.

You make a decision the same way. Just choose.


If you think you may need a life coach in your life, I’d love to talk with you. Book a free 45 minute mini-session to find out what it’s all about and how it can help you launch into the next version of yourself!


The Path To Your Goal Is Paved With 1000 Pebbles

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I woke up in the middle of the night and had an epiphany. As I’m coaching with clients, it’s common for them to say “I keep doing the things and nothing, I’m just not seeing the results that I want”. I’ve thought it many times myself.

By nature I’m what is referred to as a “quick start”. On the Kolbe index, it describes the instinctive way that a person deals with risk and uncertainty. A person that is not afraid to jump in and do the things. That’s me.

According to the Kolbe index, “these change makers add vision and risk to the mix. Always negotiable, they defy the odds and intuit pos­sibilities that would otherwise go untried. Because they instigate the unusual, people who operate in the initiating zone of Quick Start are natural promoters and entrepreneurs. Accommodating change is no problem for people who respond in Quick Start. For instance, they’ll go along if you change your mind at the last minute and want to see a different movie. “

I take action, I do things, and I adjust.

I take action, I do things, and I expect results.

What I realized the other night is that my expectations may be out of alignment. When I have a goal in mind, I envision where I want to end up, what it will take to get me there and what the obstacles may be. Often the obstacles appear in my mind as very, very large mountains or boulders that need to be scaled or overturned.

I think if they can’t be scaled or overturned then there must be a creative solution to get around them. (I love that one, problem solving is my favorite!)

On average, I imagine 3-6 very large obstacles at a time. Never more than that.

I had a belief that there are a few large obstacles in the way of our dreams, and if we feel afraid but still take action, and then creatively navigate the 3-6 very large obstacles, we would get to where we want to go.

Expectations.

It just made sense to me.

Expectations.

So many movies are based on this premise. The mission is in sight and yet there is one large obstacle in the way. One big problem to be solved.

I bought into the hype.

I want to solve the one very large problem!!

So when I woke up the other night, for some reason I woke up and the first thing that came to my mind was an image of 1000 pebbles. No boulder. No mountain. Just 1000 pebbles.

They were small, and smooth, and light, and the same.

Where do I start?

It doesn’t matter, just pick one and flip it over.

Pick another one, and flip it over.

And another…

And another…

What if the way to my goal is to flip 1000 pebbles? Am I willing to do it?

It sounds boring and uneventful.

Can I stick with it long enough?

What if I think the way to my goal is to flip 1000 pebbles, and actually it’s more like 100,000 pebbles? Am I willing to do THAT?

I decided that night as I drifted off back to sleep, yes, yes I am willing.

The next morning I woke up and got to work.

Flipping pebbles.