Ask Dr B about Codependency and Executive Function Skills - 107Sep 19, 2022
In this podcast episode, Dr B answers the question from Christine in Florida: "Does Codependency often play a role in executive function deficit?"
Developing your Executive Function Skills and shifting your limiting beliefs is the fastest and most effective way to overcome ADHD limitations, find focus, gain confidence, and a newfound freedom in your life!
My mission is to put an end to the worldwide needless suffering of adults with ADHD and those with under-developed Executive Function Skills - whether from ADHD, chronic depression or anxiety, trauma, addictions, or chronic illnesses. And, you don't need a formal diagnosis to know you need help developing these executive function skills in order to greatly reduce your suffering.
Full Episode Transcript Ask Dr B about Codependency and Executive Function Skills– 107
Hi there Aspiring Achievers.
If you think it’s your ADHD that’s been biting you in the butt all these years – then think again. It’s your underdeveloped Executive Function Skills. And it’s not your fault. Who taught them to you or helped you develop them? Probably no one. And, did anyone tell you that when you had that traumatic experience or finally got over your depression, that you would need to re-boot the development of your EF skills because they don’t just come back online again? Probably not.
We’re in serious trouble in the world right now, and we need well-developed Executive Function skills more than ever. What do I mean by these Executive Function skills? I mean the seemingly simple tasks of daily adult life like planning, prioritizing, scheduling, decision-making, managing yourself in time, and beyond… these EF skills. And the empowering beliefs that allow us to think of ourselves and our needs without feeling selfish, and actually take good care of ourselves. It may not be your fault that you didn’t fully develop these skills because of so many possible reasons, however, you are 100% responsible for the outcomes in your life now, and if it is to be, it is up to you to step up and develop these essential skills.
It doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming because it isn’t, however, that depends on your beliefs. If you have limiting beliefs that say that everything is difficult for you and you can’t do anything right and what is the point because you are only going to quit after a few lessons… Do you think that having those limiting beliefs is going to get you the life you want? And if you don’t believe you can change those beliefs, think again. A belief isn’t a fact and you can change all of your beliefs if need be. You see, all of our beliefs are made up by us as we grow up. We are the meaning makers of our lives. A belief isn’t a fact; however, we may treat it like a fact. And if we have enough limiting beliefs, that we treat as facts, well then, those beliefs can just run our lives into the ground and you can forget about having the life you want for yourself.
I have been helping adults to heal from their codependent behaviors and identity for over 30 years now. And if you were to tell me that you don’t believe that you can heal your codependency because you are different or your situation is different than most – I would tell you the same thing that my sponsor told me – I was holding myself out to be “terminally unique.” Taking this a step further, how do you know that you can’t develop your executive function skills? Or follow through on a program of transformation with the right type of training, support, community and safety you need in order to transform your life? Have you had all of that before and you didn’t make the changes? Probably not.
Most of the adults I work with have worked hard at having the life they want by piecing together a lot of hacks and shortcuts and stuff to do that doesn’t stick or change the trajectory of their life.
I have good news for you. As one of my mentors, Jim Rohn said – “for things to change, you have to change.” You cannot stay the same person you have been for all these years and add-on the hacks, shortcuts, and other stuff and expect it to make a significant difference in the quality of your life. It doesn’t work that way.
If you want to have the Volvo life or the Corvette life, you have to pay for that life in time, effort and energy. Those people who have those lives pay for them, otherwise, you can get a lesser quality life for a bargain basement price. And if that isn’t what you want for yourself long-term, then you need to shift your beliefs about what it takes to get what you want for yourself. And you might be wondering how much time, effort and energy you will have to spend to get the life you want. I can tell you that it’s as little as 15 minutes a day, every day, or as much as you want to invest in the creation of that life. Are you worth 15 minutes a day of your time to dramatically change your life? I hope so.
I’m excited to bring you another Ask Dr B episode because I love asking questions as well as answering them. As a child, I remember saying “just one last question” when it was time to turn off the lights and go to sleep. I always had one last question which wasn’t really my last question… I was so curious and still am; I love to learn as well as teach and share.
That said, I trust you all have lots of questions too, and to make sure you can get meaningful answers to your questions, you’ll find a link in the show notes where you can ask your questions and get answers in my upcoming episodes. If you’re wondering what kinds of questions listeners have asked me in the past, it’s been anything having to do with executive function skill development in adults as well as anything about adult ADHD as well. Sometimes the questions are a little more general and that’s okay too. If it’s something I know about, and feel it would be of value to you, my listeners, I am happy to include it in an episode.
Your questions matter to me. We are a curious bunch and at the same time often feel afraid or embarrassed to ask questions for fear of being shamed or appearing stupid to the person we ask questions of. That’s not the case here, and there are no stupid questions. If it’s your question and you are wondering about it, then it’s an important question. And, when you ask your questions, indicate in the form if I have your permission to use your first name or just initials when I create the Ask Dr B episode with your question in it. That way, your privacy is preserved and your questions get answered.
We are all a work in progress, and for you to continue to progress, you need answers to your questions. I want to thank one of my listeners for today’s question: “Does Codependency often play a role in executive function deficit?”
I will get to their answer in a few minutes and first, I want to make sure that you know the state of your EF skills and have all gotten your free PDF, “13 Signs Weak Executive Functioning Is Holding You Back” – have you? And, if you have gotten it, have you actually read the PDF and scored yourself? If you have, that’s great. If you got it but haven’t gotten around to reading it or scoring yourself yet, I suggest you do as it will provide you with some very important information.
And if your EF skills are sorely lacking in their development, I’ve got some great news for you. If you want help right away, get yourself registered for my FREE 3-day live training, which starts on Wednesday, September 21st at 11:30 am PT. And if you can’t make it live, be sure to get yourself registered if you want access to the replays. If you seriously want help now, be sure to get registered right away. Links for the free training and free PDF on EF Skills are in the show notes.
Are you over the age of 25 or 30? If so, you might have heard that whatever EF skill development you have by that age is it; there’s nothing more you can do for yourself except hacks and band-aids strategies. That’s not true. I’m 71 years young and continuing to get sharper and more skilled as I age, and I’ve been working with adults in their 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s and they are all developing their EF skills and creating better lives for themselves. How is this possible? Well, neuroplasticity dictates that as long as we're here and alive, we can continue to develop the skills we need. It doesn't cap out at 25 or 30. That’s a great win!
And speaking of wins, what’s it going to be for you today? If you’re already registered for the free 3-day training; that’s awesome. If you’ve read and scored your EF quiz; that’s fantastic. If you’ve decided that you can and will change your life starting now; that’s wonderful. Each one of these WINS deserves your full-hearted celebrating! YES!!! WOW!!! AWESOME!!! I know you all have wins – big and small – and I am hopeful that you are celebrating them all every day.
How much time do we have? Not much. So, let’s get to it.
Thank you to Christine, in Florida for our Ask Dr B question today, which is: “Does Codependency often play a role in executive function deficit?”
· Additionally, she shares “My husband of 30 years recently passed. 20 of the 30 were very difficult in many ways but I stayed. I walked on eggshells most of the time so as not to upset him. My life and emotions, revolved around him and making sure he was happy. The last 10 he was sick. Although we got along better, my life gradually morphed into full time caregiver until he passed. I did function somewhat better when he was alive but now here I am. Was that codependency? Is that at least part of why my executive function skills are lacking?”
Since many of you might not know what codependency is, the simplest definition is an absence of a healthy relationship with yourself, where you sacrifice your needs and wants, and the needs and wants of others comes first. So, filtering through this simple definition, and assuming a lot of information that wasn’t shared with me, it sounds like you sacrificed your needs for your husband so that you wouldn’t upset him. Sounds like everything revolved around him and making sure that he was happy. Where was your happiness in all of those years? Often, your happiness would come from him being happy, rather than your own happiness comes from you.
Codependency can certainly contribute to the underdevelopment of EF skills because you aren’t focused on yourself; you’re focused on another person and your focus and energy are being derailed. And, from what I gather, you indicated that you functioned better when he was alive, perhaps because you had a purpose or were needed, and once he was gone, you would have needed to have a new purpose to your life. Not only would your EF skills need developing, you would need to give yourself permission to focus on yourself and your life and needs and wants rather than focusing on others. It’s a very awkward place to be in because people are shocked when they discover that they don’t know themselves nor what they want or need in their life. They are lost when their focus and purpose isn’t on others.
If you are discovering that you have been living a codependent life up to now and have underdeveloped EF skills, healing your codependency as well as developing your EF skills will give you a quality of life that you most likely have not experienced before.
You are 100% responsible for 100% of the outcomes in your life. I learned that if it’s to be, it’s up to me. And the same is true for you. So long as you are willing to go the distance and heal what needs healing and develop what needs developing, you can fully resolve both issues in your life.
Thinking about codependency and EF skills, there are 6 important concepts that I teach in my program and I want to point out how each of these can be impacted by codependency.
1. Stand for something every day – it’s tough when you have to form your days around the needs of others.
Clarify goals – why bother when you won’t be able to pursue them when others’ goals interfere with your own.
Daily consistency – hard to manage when others’ needs come first.
Be willing to go to any lengths to achieve goal – a nice concept but challenging when your time and energy is given away to others.
Keep word to self – this doesn’t happen when you give others the power to run your life and influence your decisions.
Personal time for reflection – nothing left over after you’ve taken care of everyone else’s needs.
Whether it’s codependency or EF Skill training, you don’t know what you don’t know. If you want to really leap ahead to the next level of living, you need to work with someone who has the knowledge, training, experience and “knowing” to provide the full package for your transformation.
And that’s the message that I would love for each person getting a new ADHD diagnosis or suffering with ADHD symptoms to hear: You need to develop your Executive Function skills, and the fastest, most effective way is to join a reputable training program with an expert coach and trainer.
It’s 7-months of incredibly effective, in-depth training and coaching that will empower you to turn your untapped gifts into your most valuable assets. You’ll finally have the opportunity to realize your potential because your limiting beliefs, outdated identities, missing pre-skills, and underdeveloped EF skills won’t be undermining your best efforts any more. And, having made all of these changes from the inside out, you will be in a much better position to heal your codependency.
Are you seriously committed to putting an end to your needless suffering and developing your missing skills so that the quality of life you want to live is yours? The years will pass no matter what you do. It’s really the choice of what you will put into those years rather than them just be passing years filled with frustration and regrets.
Please slow down and become a student of your own life. Understand what you need to succeed with the multi-faceted brain you have. Take action on what you learn about yourself. This is the lifework that lies ahead for you if this is your time.
You came to this lifetime with an empowering gift, and I would love it if each and every person on this planet were able to express his or her unique, empowering gifts freely, without the threat of being shamed or criticized. Let’s put an end to that stigma once and for all and live as Empowered Achievers.
A Favorite Quote: Jim Rohn said, “If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.”
I love this quote because I’m not a tree and neither are you. If you don’t like how anything is, you get to choose to change it. It’s up to you to create the life you want.
Loving the podcast? Here’s how to get even more support:
· Executive Function Information List & AIA-FS Program Information: https://www.drbarbaracohen.com/AIA
· Free PDF - 13 Signs Weak Executive Functioning Is Holding You Back: https://www.drbarbaracohen.com/Executive-Function
· Free 3-part live training coming in September – “Take Control of Your Life -Meeting You Where You Are & Moving Forward from There” – get on the Information List to be notified first. https://www.drbarbaracohen.com/AIA
· Living Beyond ADHD Facebook Support Group for podcast listeners: https://www.facebook.com/groups/livingbeyondadhd
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