Getting Perspective with ADHD

Sometimes with ADHD it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees. Little things can take more time than we had thought. Strong emotions can derail intended plans. Planning ahead doesn’t come easily. Add together these common aspects of ADD and life can quickly start to feel overwhelming.

From time to time, it’s important to step back to get perspective on things.  But that’s not always easy to do!

Tony Stoltzfus, in his book Coaching Questions offers four ways of getting perspective. I’ve added some questions and suggestions that may help in trying each of them:

1) Proportion: Take some time to step back and look at things from a big picture perspective.

  • Consider personal values and goals. What’s really important to me?
  • How does the way I am currently living my life serve what I value?

Different people step back in different ways. Does journaling help you with discerning the big picture? Or talking to a trusted friend? Working with a coach? How can you make time for this? What environment(s) best support your need for reflection?

2) Objectivity: Detach emotionally and engage rational thinking.

  • Take time to calm and center yourself to get into a rational perspective.
  • You don’t need to ignore feelings, but balancing emotional reactions and the rational perspective can create a clearer way forward.

What helps you step back to look at things more objectively? Mindfulness or meditation can be  helpful in this regard. If you don’t do that, you can try exercise to to release strong emotions before taking time to reflect.

3) Viewpoint: Look at the situation from a variety of different angles.

  • Engage your imagination to consider your situation from the point of view of others. What do things look like now?
  • Think long-term. If you look back at your situation ten years from now how might things seem to you?
  • Ask trusted others for their viewpoints.

Would it help to do this exercise with someone else? Sometimes using your imagination, and engaging as many senses as possible, to picture others or yourself in the future can take you to a different perspective. Jot down what you think and feel when you take on a different perspective so you can review it later. 

    4) Clarity: Recognize that inside you likely have more clarity than you realize.

    • Reflect on how you’ve handled situations like this in the past. What worked well for you?
    • If you have trouble getting clear, consider what other information you might need in order to reach clarity.

    You’ll get more clarity if you relax before reflecting. Sometimes “talking it out” with a good listener can help you get in touch with your own intuition or inner voice.  Some people find greater clarity when journaling. Working with an ADD coach can also help you discover more clarity.

    Considering coaching as you look at the bigger picture to sort things through? Or for help with organization, time management or any other reason? Contact me today for a free consultation!

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