Deciding to try coaching is a courageous - and huge - step forward.
Yet, the mere idea of ADHD coaching can evoke a complex mix of emotions. It's normal to feel apprehensive, unsure, or nervous. Maybe a little antsy or jittery. This isn’t a sign that you aren’t ready; it’s a sign you know you have to leave your comfort zone.
In this article, we explore the reasons why coaching can be intimidating and provide guidance on how to overcome these concerns and fears.
Why Am I Nervous About ADHD Coaching?
- It requires you to be vulnerable - everything is out in the open. In order to solve your problems, you have to talk about them. You have to share the good and the bad (and the ugly) to find solutions. You have to be brave and admit to having difficulties that you may feel embarrassed, ashamed, or guilty about. You may be used to masking your internal world with your peers or in the workplace, but in your ADHD coaching session, you’re asked to show up as who you really are. It might be the first time you talk about these issues in-depth with someone, or even say them out loud to yourself.
- It might change how you cope with failure. ADHD coaching requires you to give it your all and be committed. When we do this, if we aren’t successful in our weekly goals, we can’t say blame failure on outside circumstances anymore. You may have previously said things like, “If I just had more time to do …. then I would’ve submitted it in time.” However, in your coaching session, you’ll make the goals based on your current circumstances - such as a lack of time - and factor in obstacles you may face. Once we remove those “ifs” and “buts,” you might discover there’s more work to be done than you previously thought.
- You shared your goals and now someone knows if you are succeeding or struggling. Each week, you meet someone - your coach - who knows what’s really going on underneath the surface. Your coworkers might not know you’re working on time management; your family might not know you’re working on emotion regulation; but your coach does, and is ready to talk about it. There is a level of accountability that you may not have had before, and an exploration as to what made things successful or a struggle. You’ll have someone checking in that you’re making adjustments and experimenting to find the best routines for yourself.
- It’s a commitment. Commitment is scary! There are literally 1000’s of books written on the fear of commitment. ADHD coaching is no exception. Now isn’t the right time. What if I just quit after a month, like I did with skiing and Spanish classes? I don’t know if ADHD coaching is worth the money. We find a bunch of little reasons to count ourselves out rather than accepting the next chapter of growth and potential. You know that it requires effort, and that change takes a long time. It’s easy to convince yourself that you don’t have that energy in you to make these changes yet. That you’ll feel more prepared eventually…but we all know those “eventuallys” never come.
- It can feel like you’re admitting defeat. You might feel like if you need a coach, you’re failing, because you didn’t do this alone “like everyone else.” I’m a failure. I’m dependent. What does this mean about who I am? You may feel like ADHD coaching is somehow different than other forms of learning; that it says something about you, personally. You may feel like there’s a stigma around asking for help in your family or community, and that you’ll be judged for wanting support. How To Challenge Each Fear
How To Challenge Each Fear
All of the above fears - and fears we didn’t cover - are valid. Emotions are all valid! And, at the same time, we don’t have to let fears make our decisions. Here are a few things to remember the next time your nerves rear their heads.
- You don’t have to be ready to share everything at once. Everyone goes at their own pace. Coaching is 100% about your comfort levels. Your ADHD coach won’t push you beyond what you’re ready for and will be patient along the way. Never feel the need to rush your journey.
- Failure is part of the learning process. Every person who has ever done any coaching has failed at a goal. Your coach has failed at a goal in their life, too. Success is a process of trial-and-error to find the solutions that work for you. So, keep in mind that while it may not feel good when you fall, the moment you step back up, you are one step closer to finding the solution. Your ADHD coach will work with you on fostering a growth mindset so that setbacks don’t feel like a personal failure or defining fact about you. They’re just opportunities to learn what works - and what doesn’t - for you.
- Coaching accountability can feel more approachable than a friend or family member because they are a neutral third-party. They aren’t emotionally impacted by your challenges in their personal life, or asking you to make changes because of how it’s impacting them. Your coach truly wants the best for you and your own personal goals - no other agenda. You may feel more comfortable asking them how to work through obstacles related to your personal life than you would with other people. It’s a safe place to explore ideas without worrying about how someone will receive it.
- Ideally, we can commit to a coaching journey of 3-6 months. That is, in a perfect world. But, the world isn’t perfect - and your coach recognizes that! Remind yourself that ADHD coaching isn’t a permanent decision. If you get started with a virtual ADHD coach at Shimmer, then decide it isn’t the right time, it isn’t worth the cost, etc., you can undo it in a matter of minutes by putting your account on pause or cancelling it at any time.
- Everyone needs support. Everyone. Humans are social creatures. We were designed to live within, and be supported by, a community. It’s actually a pretty recent change in societal expectations that we should try to do it alone (but that’s another story!) and be successful by ourselves. We may hire an accountant to do taxes, go to a doctor to get antibiotics, send our kids to school for them to get an education, rent an apartment so we don’t need to build a home from scratch, use grocery pick up to save time at the store, and a million more things - and few to none of these types of support are judged. Your ADHD coach is just another resource to get where you need to go. They give ideas and collaborate, but you’re the one who makes it happen.
How To Find the Right ADHD Coach
Ultimately, finding an online ADHD coach that is a good fit for your needs and personality is a great way to avoid many of those potential pitfalls your nerves try to point out. But…how do you find a good fit?
One of the most important parts of getting started is choosing a qualified, experienced adult ADHD coach who can provide a safe, non-judgmental space, and who allows you to set the pace. A good coach will work with you to be comfortable and excited for the process and address each concern as they arise. They’ll understand that one size does not fit all when it comes to ADHD management, and they can create personalized strategies and techniques that align with your strengths, struggles, and goals.
At Shimmer, we have a TON of great coaches with different experience and backgrounds; so, chances are we have someone who will be a great fit for you. In fact, many of them have ADHD themselves, so they really do understand! The sign-up process is quick and easy, and based on your responses, you’ll be matched with three different coaches to choose from. Don’t feel like any are quite what you’re looking for? No sweat - just reach out, and we’ll get more detail on what you’re looking for to ensure you get the right fit, the first time.
You might still have questions or concerns - and that’s okay! If you’d like to learn more about the top ways members use Shimmer, or read a few case studies to get a glimpse at other members’ coaching journeys, we’ve got you covered. In fact, one of Shimmer’s founders has ADHD, and shared her own experience with ADHD coaching!
Then, whenever you’re ready, we’re here for you. Let’s tackle ADHD together!