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Understanding Executive Functions - 064

executive function podcast Sep 30, 2019

Hey ADDers!  Many of you are living without well-developed executive function skills and strategies and perhaps don’t know it.  Or maybe you do…but you don’t know what can be done.  You’ve had these struggles in one form or another for most of your life and if they were going to improve, they certainly would have by now.  Fair enough…  You’ve come to the conclusion that you must have treatment resistant ADHD or really bad ADHD because it just isn’t getting any better; in fact, it might even be getting worse.  You’re showing up late more often, forgetting things, taking longer to get your paperwork done – whether for work or school.  In fact, your mind might feel like it’s speeding along, yet your thinking is actually slower and less clear.

As I've said before, there are many reasons why these skills get derailed in their development.  It's not your fault that your skills aren’t as fully developed “yet” as you need them to be, and you are responsible for developing them now, if you want your life to work better.  You can have skills but no strategies or strategies but no skills and falter either way; you need them both.  And even though you learn them separately, they are all inter-related. 

In this episode Dr B talks about:

  • Being willing to start where you are, without judgment
  • Setting a goal with enough specifics so your intention is clearly defined
  • Achieving a goal based on what you decide to do in the moment
  • The Importance Of Celebrating Your WINS
  • Living Beyond ADHD & Loving It:  Free 1-Hour Live Webinar coming in October; date and time to be determined.  Event is over.

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 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 Today is Episode 64 with Dr B

Hey ADDers! Many of you are living without well-developed executive function skills and strategies and perhaps don’t know it. Or maybe you do…but you don’t know what can be done. You’ve had these struggles in one form or another for most of your life and if they were going to improve, they certainly would have by now. Fair enough… You’ve come to the conclusion that you must have treatment resistant ADHD or really bad ADHD because it just isn’t getting any better; in fact, it might even be getting worse. You’re showing up late more often, forgetting things, taking longer to get your paperwork done – whether for work or school. In fact, your mind might feel like it’s speeding along, yet your thinking is actually slower and less clear.

You may have heard me talk about “living ready” in previous episodes of this show. To me, that means being prepared for whatever will occur, to the best of my foresight skill abilities.

Living Ready could be keeping pen and paper near your phone so you can write down what you need to remember. A strategy might be telling someone to hold on a moment while you get a piece of paper and pen to write down what they are telling you, if you don’t keep these things handy. This is relevant whether it’s a phone conversation or an in person conversation because if your Working Memory is under-developed, you won’t remember once the conversation ends. And if this is you, you know it’s sad, but true.

Living Ready would be having contingency plans so that if what you planned to happen doesn’t, you have a back up plan ready to go. A common phrase is, “I didn’t plan for things to go this way.” Fair enough…and if I asked you to show me your plan so we can trouble shoot it and see where things went wrong, there is no tangible plan to review; it’s just an expression.

An example might be you want to go to the movies to see a new release. You check online 3 days in advance and see that the movie is playing close to you and starts at 4:45 pm. And that’s where things stop. You don’t put this information on your calendar. You don’t set a reminder alarm. You don’t make arrangements for someone to watch your child (if you have one). You don’t put gasoline in the car when it’s almost empty. So, when the day arrives to go to see the movie, you have no childcare, and don’t even realize it’s the day to see the movie until 5:30 pm, when the movie has already started. If you had made a tangible plan and scheduled the steps you needed to take in advance of the movie, and followed through on doing them, you probably would have made it to the movie you wanted to see.

And what if you’re part of a family or have a job and your under-developed skills impact others? At your job you don’t manage yourself or your time very well and so you don’t get your portion of work done in time to pass it along to others on the team so they can do their part. Your co-workers might even send you reminder text messages in an attempt to prompt you into action but it doesn’t help. In fact, it only annoys you because you know you should be tracking these things yourself and that they are right. You know your job, you graduated university with honors and often know more than your co-workers, yet you just don’t get the job done when it’s due.

And it isn’t much better at home with your family. You may have made so many promises over the years to your kids and spouse (if you have them) and followed through on so few that everyone stopped believing that you will do what you say; your word means nothing to your family and it’s a horrible feeling for everyone. You mean what you say in the moment and then your intention is lost due to any number of challenges with these skills. It’s not that any one of these skills is difficult to learn, it’s just that you need to know what you’re missing so you know what to target, and then how to develop those skills more fully. And since none of the executive functions skills stand-alone, but are all inter-woven with each other, it can get tricky to differentiate which skills are lagging behind and how to bring them up to speed.

In the meantime, there’s a trail of wreckage that you are leaving behind you whether the impact is on your home life, work life, relationship with self or all of it.

The skills and strategies I often refer to, such as organizing, prioritizing, planning, scheduling, monitoring tasks, monitoring yourself, getting started, working memory, organizing things, stopping yourself from doing harmful things, managing overwhelm and emotional meltdowns, shifting or making transitions, foresight and so many more are known as Executive Function Skills.

As I've said before, there are many reasons why these skills get derailed in their development. It's not your fault that your skills aren’t as fully developed “yet” as you need them to be, and you are responsible for developing them now, if you want your life to work better. You can have skills but no strategies or strategies but no skills and falter either way; you need them both. And even though you learn them separately, they are all inter-related.

You’ve learned many different skills so far; and you know how to do many things; some of them highly specialized and specific. However, if you don’t know how to do the other essential things to successfully navigate your adult life, you may end up under-achieving in your life overall, and then blaming yourself and making this a moral issue rather than one of under-developed skills.

So what are you supposed to do? In order to thrive with your ADHD brain, you’re going to need to learn whatever skills and strategies you’re missing. You can’t get the life you want without them. To me, that means that you have learning and mastery to pursue; just as I had to. You need to be a student of your own life, and come to know and understand your own unique needs and then discover the best ways to meet those needs.

I want to spend the rest of this episode talking about executive function skill categories and some simple solutions to help you get started. Remember…these skills and strategies interface with your beliefs, values, and the meanings you make out of all the events in your life. And if you don’t already have the ability to keep your word to yourself and be accountable for your choices 100% of the time, you are definitely going to need to develop these very important skills as well.

PLUS - There might be some important pre-steps and pre-skills you need to develop before you can learn the essential skills. We all start where we start; that’s just how it is. Have you ever read a book about organizing or some other important skill and found it didn’t work for you because it didn’t teach you certain other skills that you needed first in order to be able to learn to do what the book was teaching? I know I’ve had this experience many times over the years and gotten extremely frustrated about the missing pieces that stopped me in my tracks. How about you?

In hindsight, I recognize that the success of everything I’ve been doing has been rooted in the foundational self-organizing and self-regulating skills I needed to learn – just like you do. Without these skills, we all struggle to do the basics that others with these skills do automatically. And what’s worse, you may never have enough time in your day to get the important things done and enjoy some free time for yourself.

I know how important “me time” or “free time” is for my well being and I give myself plenty of it – 2-3 hours every morning before I start my workday and an hour at the end of every workday. I’ve bookended it that way so my self-care tank is full when I start my workday and I have some “me time” at the end of my day for reflection and winding down before sleep. It feels well balanced to me, and I’d love for you to have something like that too.

So, where do you get the things I am talking about? Well, you can start by listening and learning from more of my podcast episodes, which are accessible in all the usual places, as well as on my website at https://www.drbarbaracohen.com. You can also learn from my Facebook live videos on my business page, https://www.facebook.com/drbarbaracohen and in my Facebook group, https://www.facebook.com/groups/livingbeyondadhd.

If you want more time with me, you can sign up for my next free live Webinar, Living Beyond ADHD and Loving It, and learn how to get the RESULTS you are seeking. The specific date in October isn’t set yet, however, there is a registration form on my website now to reserve your spot. When you register, you’ll have the opportunity to share your current challenges with me as well as the solutions you are seeking. The link is in the episode description and on my website at https://www.drbarbaracohen.com. There will be time for Q & A at the end of the live Webinar, so be sure to attend and stay until the end if you have questions.

Let me give you an example of executive function skill categories and employment. This is a great example of how many of the executive function skills come together when someone is working for someone else or wanting to have their own business.

• Metacognition to accurately see your role within the company you work for and how you interface with other employees or team members. Or, for your own business, accurately seeing all that’s involved in the start up and growing of your business

• Inhibiting your impulses to just react to things rather than pause, think them through and then choose the best course of action for your desired outcome

• Shifting your focus from task to task throughout the day, as needed or conditions change, rather than constantly shifting from thing to thing and never finishing anything

• Emotional control over your feelings as they arise in response to daily events and deciding what meaning you will give your feelings or events so you stay well-regulated throughout the day and moving forward

• Self-monitoring your interactions with others and adjusting as needed so that good communication and connections are maintained

• Initiating or getting started on whatever is needed each day without hesitation, and that you know what you need to do to start, continue and finish your tasks or projects

• Working memory so you can hold onto information and integrate it with new, incoming information and not have the previous information drop off your radar

• Planning and scheduling with actual step-by-step processes and times assigned to things so they get done as needed to keep the flow going, especially if you are working with a team

• Organizing and prioritizing on the outside so you can see your thoughts and flow of events and adjust them accordingly for the best outcomes

• Strong sense of identity of being competent and hence confident in what you are doing; it’s the “I am…” statements you make about yourself

• Conscious focusing on what you need to pay attention to, when you need to pay attention to it rather than allowing your focus to go where it goes

• Task monitoring is fairly simple and straight forward if all your other skills are well-developed because you know what you are looking for and what to anticipate and can course correct as needed when it isn’t happening

• Organizing material things could be according to themes or frequency of use or convenience depending on who is using the things

• Maintaining achievements so you don’t have to start over after every victory because you just maintain all that you’ve achieved and build on it

Consider what would happen or does happen if you don’t have mastery over all or most of these executive function skills and strategies; and couldn’t effectively build or run your business or be an effective member of a work team. So many of these skills are fundamental to our successful adult life no matter what our roles – inside or outside of our homes.

You also need maintenance skills so you can create a consistent routine that incorporates your new achievements and maintains them. Otherwise, what is the point in going after goals and achieving them because you will be doing that over and over again, rather than just enjoying them as part of your life. I trust that many of you have experienced this with getting organized but not staying organized or getting things cleaned up but they keep getting messy within a few days.

And, if you’re like me and didn’t learn these skills in your basic educational years, you can start by learning a few with me on my next live Webinar in October. I would love to have you join me.

If you feel like your life is passing and you aren’t achieving all that you want, then responding quickly is important. How much time do any of us have? Not all that much. Time doesn’t stand still for any of us; whether we are ready to move forward or not. I learned long ago that I wanted to “live ready” for the unfolding of my life. I didn’t want to have to pass on any more opportunities because I wasn’t ready and couldn’t say “yes” when I really wanted to.

If my podcast show is the first time you’ve been hearing about executive function skills and strategies, you are not alone. If you’re an adult who received a diagnosis of adult ADHD, executive function skills should also have been assessed and discussed with you, in my humble opinion. The odds of having under-developed executive function skills along with ADHD are very high; in fact, almost a given that you will. And it goes beyond just ADHD. If you’ve lived with depression, anxiety, addiction or trauma for a good part of your life, the odds of having under-developed executive function skills is also very high. The reason? It takes being present in specific ways for these skills to develop.

Today’s episode is about recognizing that you may have several under-developed skills sets and focuses on the development of them, using various examples and stories. I want to offer you hope; real hope. Things do not need to stay the same. And for things to change, you have to change. How much time do we have? Not much. So let’s get to it.

Today’s 3 key points and stories:

1. Being willing to start where you are, without judgment
2. Setting a goal with enough specifics so your intention is clearly defined
3. Achieving a goal based on what you decide to do in the moment

Now back to being an adult with ADHD or executive function challenges in today’s world. Many of you have asked me WHY you didn’t develop these important skills and strategies. We could chase that answer forever. Instead, I prefer to focus on HOW you can and will start to develop them now. I have stories to share with you, including actions steps, and a favorite quote of mine.

And first, I want to talk about celebrating your WINS, big and small, since WINS are such an important part of my philosophy. Remember, what we pay attention to grows, so paying attention to what’s right instead of what’s wrong helps to generate more of what’s right. Seems simple enough. And when you acknowledge and celebrate your WINS with a full heart of appreciation, you are giving yourself a priceless gift. No one else may feel that what you are celebrating is any big deal and that’s fine; in our community we all know what a big deal it truly is!

Please don’t downplay your WINS by classifying them as what you are “supposed to do” and therefore not worthy of celebration; that it’s expected of you. Please don't short-change yourself by thinking that it’s pointless or stupid to reward yourself for all the little things that you’re “supposed to do.” That couldn’t be further from the truth. Are you really going to make yourself wait until something HUGE happens to celebrate? Does something HUGE happen everyday? Probably not! It doesn’t for me. But the kind of WINS I talk about can and often do which is exciting. And from what I see, celebrating WINS is an absolute necessity to getting out of the emotional ditch of whatever ails you and shifting into a better attitude and way of living.

So, what are you going to celebrate today? Maybe you asked someone for help organizing your bedroom, which is really hard for you; that’s definitely a WIN. Perhaps you figured out how to be on time for appointments and you’ve succeeded for 2 weeks now; that’s a wonderful WIN. Maybe you decided to put a stop to your negative self-talk and build a more loving relationship with yourself; that’s a great WIN. You get the point; celebrate all of them; big and small. And none of this “half-hearted celebrating”; you’ve got to mean it. Exaggerate your emotions. YES!!!! WOW!! AWESOME!! You want your acknowledgement and celebration to register in your neurology with the power to move you and shift your state. Many of us need a higher level of stimulation or intensity for things to register. So, if that’s you, give that to yourself and exaggerate your celebration so you can actually feel it.

And listen…my show may be the only place that you hear that you’re not broken or defective or less than! That you are a precious “human being” whose value is stable; because I am not talking about you as the “human doing.” It’s true that you may be missing a lot of skills and your life has been very difficult up to now, and yet skills can be learned. Please know that I am not making light of your struggles or unhappiness; not at all. I want you to know that there are solutions to your struggles. If you are willing to offer yourself a lot of compassion and patience, plus the time, effort and energy it’s going to take to make the necessary changes, these things can happen for you. I know this is true because this happened for me, it happens for my students, and it can happen for you!

And please don’t let yourself be one of the 80% of people who say they want to change but never actually end up making the changes they want for many different reasons. A perfect example is my free live webinars. Many register to attend and then don’t make it a priority to attend or even watch the replay when I send it out each time. Perhaps it’s because they didn’t put it on their calendar or set a reminder alarm. Or maybe the challenges and pain they shared with me isn’t painful enough yet to take action. I don’t know the answers as to why so many don’t get to the webinar for the solutions and help they are seeking – just that many don’t. I read about so much suffering and how difficult your lives are and I feel for all of you; I do! I know that the tools and results you say you are seeking are within your reach, yet many of you don’t follow through to get what you need. I encourage you to follow through and make your needs a priority so you can lessen your pain!

We all have busy lives, things to do, and commitments to keep up with. And now we are talking about adding something more to your plate. Seriously? Yes. And if you don’t learn HOW you are going to make room for the things to happen that need to happen for your quality of life to improve, then how will they happen?

I did a time budget exercise with my students recently. I asked them to determine roughly how many hours per day were already spoken for. I heard 25-27, 23, 24 and so on. And then I asked roughly how many hours would they need per day to achieve their goal; again, various answers. And when we do the math and see that you are over budget time wise, that’s where many people want to quit and just say no instead of figuring out HOW they are going to make the time they need for change. Things can’t change for the better if you quit and keep things the same. Are you willing to “pause” long enough to figure out HOW you are going to make time for what will ultimately help you gain even more time for yourself? I hope so.

There is training and support available to ensure, to the best of my ability, that you are one of the 20% who do change and thrive. Please join me at my next free live webinar, so you can start making changes right away. I’m not interested in offering you “fluff” – rather solutions to give you the RESULTS you are seeking.

Time to transition to some stories and action steps. Our first story is about Jeannie and being willing to start where you are, without judgment.

• Jeannie is in her 40’s and has self-diagnosed with either ADHD or some very severely under-developed executive function skills.

• Like many adults who come to this conclusion on their own, she sought help for most of her life and yet no one knew what her symptoms meant because of the lack of training required for mental health professionals.

• Jeannie, like many adults with ADHD or under-developed executive function skills, has educated herself about these conditions and yet made very little progress on correcting the challenges because as Einstein said, you can’t solve something at the same level of awareness that the problem exists; there are very specific ways of learning these skills later in life.

• Jeannie loves many of the traits associated with ADHD and yet hates that she isn’t functioning well overall because so many of her EF skills are compromised.

• She knows that with better habits and the ability to make better decisions, she could have an amazing life; and making these changes has been near impossible for her.

• Like so many of us, she has a lot of wreckage from her past that needs to be cleaned up and discarded. She knows that unlearning and relearning takes time and that’s fine except she just isn’t making any progress with this goal. And without new skills and tools, it’s so hard to reach one’s goals and live one’s best life.

• She also has 3 kids that she is very concerned about because of the hereditary factors of ADHD as well as the ineffective modeling she is providing and the unproductive skills and strategies they are learning. She doesn’t want her kids to struggle the way she’s struggled which makes her needs for improvement even stronger.

• Jeannie is concerned about her ineffective modeling for her kids and yet she doesn’t have the ability to do better yet, and she can’t even tell her kids what she is thinking or feeling while she is doing a task ineffectively because she isn’t self-awareness enough yet. Visual or behavioral modeling isn’t enough to help kids learn what they are seeing.

• Her kids experience a lot of broken promises, which erodes their trust in the word of others. And Jeannie is also negatively impacted by not being able to keep her word because her mind is learning to tune her out when she says that something is going to happen; like what makes this time any different than all the times before when she said she was absolutely going to do something and didn’t?

• And when Jeannie starts thinking about how her life could have been different “if only…” that doesn’t serve her at all. Better to be thinking today about HOW she is going to make these changes now.



Background Facts about starting where you are right now, without judgment:

• In order to start where you are right now, you need to know where that is

• You might not be the best self-reporter – whether to others or to yourself. You might have difficulty stepping back to gain perspective or it’s just too painful to see what’s there

• Negative self-talk becomes a habit whose job it is point out all of your failings and limitations and then pass judgment on you

• To bypass all this emotional stuff, going with data and facts, rather than assumptions about yourself means it’s not personal; just what is right now



If you relate to Jeannie’s story, your action steps are:

• Focus on developing your metacognitive skills; not just thinking about your thinking but about the big picture of your life and knowing what is actually going on. Be a student of your life and learn what you can about yourself.

• Follow Through and practice seeing your life through the eyes of your new perspective. And from this new perspective, what information is available to you now that wasn’t before and helps you to make better decisions because you are considering the real facts of your life, not the fantasy?

• Self-Management will be based on whatever feelings start to come up from seeing your life more clearly and addressing issues rather than operating in a fog. Mindfulness and meditation are great tools for self-management, and you can even do them standing or walking; doesn’t have to be seated.

Let’s transition now to our second story about Ben and setting a goal with enough specifics so your intention is clearly defined.

• Ben was in his mid-50s and wasn’t diagnosed until a year ago.

• When it came to setting a goal, Ben had a lot of resistance because of the many negative experiences of having failed to achieve his goals; he felt it was pointless.

• What Ben didn’t know is that he had never learned how to correctly or thoroughly set a goal so that he could successfully achieve it. He didn’t know about having criteria or specifics so that his intention was clearly defined and all he needed to do was follow the plan.

• Ben’s version of setting a goal was to say that he was going to achieve something, such as organize his office desk by the end of the workweek, and then when he was leaving work on Friday, time and time again he would see that he had not achieved what he said he was going to achieve.

• He thought that he was making it too difficult for himself and so he even tried achieving a goal that was much smaller such as putting all the dishes in the dishwasher after supper every night and turning it on to wash the dirty dishes overnight while he slept. This seemed simple enough, however he was unable to successfully achieve this goal as well.

• Ben had no idea that he had under-developed EF skills in the realms of sequencing, prioritizing, attention to detail, focusing on the right things at the right times, and so much more. He often thought of himself as stupid, lazy, incompetent, and as a failure as an adult.

• He had also been single his entire life and often pondered why no one seemed to want to spend time with him; not friends or a significant other. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that he was a failure as an adult and therefore no one would want to be with someone like him.

• One day his friend Evan did choose to hang out with him at his home and was watching Ben attempt to do something simple like put away his clean laundry. Evan watched Ben start to fold a towel and in the next moment he was going to the closet for a hanger for a shirt and then he was going into the kitchen to get some water to drink but not even asking Evan if he wanted water too, and so on. Evan wasn’t judging; just observing and later decided to speak with Ben about what he observed.

• Ben had no idea that he was all over the place with his actions and so unaware of the possible needs of Evan for water too.

Background Facts about setting a goal with enough specifics:

• In order to set a goal with enough specifics, you need to “pause to plan.”

• This has to do with the EF skill of Inhibiting your impulse to just forge ahead and do whatever you can get done, rather than pausing to reflect on what needs doing and then planning the sequence of events for that to happen.

• You also need to know all the specifics that need doing in order to achieve the goal or results you are seeking and many people don’t know those details; they just know the big picture view of what they want but not the details of how to get what they want and when to do each step.

If you relate to Ben’s story, your action steps are:

• Focus on the “pause to plan” until it becomes automatic before you start anything you want to do and especially anything you want to successful do.

• Follow Through on listing all of the specifics you can think of that need to take place in order to successfully complete your goal. And then take it a step further and have a non-judgmental friend take a look at your list to see if you might have left anything out. You might have your friend help you put the specific steps in order of what needs to be done first, second, third and so on if you have difficulty sequencing or prioritizing. Be sure to ask questions of your friend while they are doing this so you can learn what they are thinking during the process.

• Self-Management of the feelings of shame or embarrassment you might be feeling by being so transparent with your friend. Understand that shame is saying that “you” are defective or wrong, which isn’t true. And embarrassment will pass as you get used to allowing yourself to be who you are and how you are so you can work on the under-developed EF skills that are blocking your way to successful goal achievement. And let’s transition to our third story about Betty and what achieving a goal based on what you decide to do in the moment is all about.

• Betty was pursuing her graduate degree and having a difficult time writing her dissertation. She has problems with self-control and scheduling. So, even when she makes a great schedule for herself, she completely ignores it because her impulse control is sadly lacking.

• She had a serious problem with “choosing again” and keeping her word to herself. Her mind had stopped believing her and just operated on impulses in the moment, like “see it, do it”; “want it, get it” and nothing she wanted and got brought her any closer to writing her dissertation.

• Even though she was in her 30s, she lived like an unruly child without boundaries or limits to what she was allowing herself to do. And so, she did whatever she felt like doing in the moment. She never said “no” to herself or encouraged herself to “pause” and “shift” and stay on track. She never questioned herself when she got off track and was doing something other than what was scheduled for that specific time.

• Because she didn’t keep her word or meet deadlines, she thought that accountability was the issue. I encouraged her to look at her sense of self or identity narrative – what she was saying to herself about herself. Things like -“I am a fake. I don’t belong in this program or going to school with such responsible people. It will be a miracle if I finish my dissertation and it won’t be accepted without a lot more work on it anyways. Who am I kidding here? I’m an imposter.” If she didn’t feel she belonged at the university, then she was going to have to fail out to prove that she didn’t.

• Betty needed to learn that who she said she was is direct instructions to her mind. Every moment of every day she was making choices to reinforce her negative, self-doubting identity rather than choosing to see herself as the smart, creative and talented student that she was.

• Her medication helped a little and since there are no skills in pills, she still didn’t finish her tasks; she couldn’t, otherwise she would succeed and her internal script was deeply reinforced for failure not success.

Background Facts about what you decide to do in any given moment:

• Foresight is also part of the issue here. You need to be able to look to the future and see the trajectory of your choices – positive and negative – and evaluate them.

• Important to train yourself (pause and reflect) to not sacrifice what you want long-term for immediate gratification.

• What you do moment to moment add up to the ultimate outcomes you get and successes you achieve. The real power you have is in the moment, so focus there!

If you relate to Betty’s story, your action steps are:

• Focus on staying in the moment and gently steering yourself back to what you committed to do, if you get derailed. Remember, it is only in the moment that you have any real power, so focus there!

• Follow Through on creating fun strategies to ensure that you consistently keep your word to yourself and stay focused on the moment and what you committed to do. Learn to say “no” more than you say, “yes” – since focusing in the moment is what gets you your success. That is, if you are focused on following through on the right things or those things that will move you forward in the direction of successfully achieving your goals.

• Self-Management of the emotions that arise when you say “no” to yourself, and gently guide yourself back to the task at hand. This is gentle re-parenting as playing 2 roles in your life. It’s a wonderful opportunity to use mindfulness and meditation to calm yourself so you can be clear about what you expect of yourself and direct yourself calmly towards achieving it.

Remember that no matter which stories you identify with, you need to cultivate a “practicing mindset” and come to look forward to practicing something every day that is moving you toward your destination. Yes, it’s going to take some work on your part, and the work can be fun and playful. In fact, play is the way to go when it comes to learning new skills and strategies.

It’s not enough to know the steps or see them modeled for you; you also need to know the thinking behind the steps so you can adjust your own mind and bring it into alignment with what will bring you success. You might even need someone to walk beside you, step by step, to help guide your thoughts, actions and follow through so you stay the course and achieve your outcome. I love doing that.

And again, if you don’t have a place you go for support and knowledge about how to transform your life into what you’ve always wanted, join me for a free 1-hour webinar in October, and be sure to share your current challenges and the solutions you are seeking with me as well. https://www.addventuresinachievement.com/october-live-webinar

Learning skills and strategies may sound like a lot of work, and maybe it is but it doesn’t have to be unpleasant work. In fact, it can be fun and playful if you approach it that way and give it those types of meanings. I’ve been playing with these skills and strategies for years now because I had to learn them, just like you do. I knew that I would be more inclined to stick with learning them if I could make this a fun experience for myself; which I did. And I’ve continued to be a student of my own life as I hope you will be of yours, and stick with it until you’ve achieved mastery, and the happier and more productive life you want.

A Favorite Quote: Brene Brown said, “Belonging starts with self-acceptance. Your level of belonging, in fact, can never be greater than your level of self-acceptance, because believing that you’re enough is what gives you the courage to be authentic, vulnerable and imperfect. When we don’t have that, we shape-shift and turn into chameleons; we hustle for the worthiness we already possess.” So, the question I have for you at this point of our journey together is - How great is your level of self-acceptance? If you still don’t love and accept yourself for all that is you today, then when? Accepting yourself for who you are today does not stop you from working on becoming more for tomorrow. I hope one of your steps toward self-acceptance includes joining me for my next free live webinar.

That’s about it for today’s episode on Understanding Executive Functions by Looking at Your Life With & Without Them and how you can start to develop your skills right away.

Thanks for letting me know how much my show helps you and means to you. It means a lot to me to know that your life is getting a little bit better every time we get together. Listening to every podcast episode is a small action step, and something that can help you move your life forward, one episode at a time, if you take action on the steps I include for you. If you just listen and hear the value but don’t take action, you won’t gain the value that’s there for you. Remember, for things to change for the better for you, YOU have to change – which means you need to do your best every day to do something that will lead you in the direction of your destination.

Feel free to rate the show, even if you don’t choose to write a review. I am grateful for whatever you are willing to do that helps me bring benefit to greater numbers of people. Thank you in advance for your kindness and participation.

It helps me in my mission to make sure that all adults with focus, follow through, self-management and under-developed executive function skills have the training, strategies and support to help them live a happier, more productive, and wildly successful life. That’s the driving force behind this show and expanded content of the ADDventures in Achievement program.

I’ve always felt that the world might be a much better place if we viewed each other as community or extended family and see the unique needs of each other and reach out because we can; so long as it isn’t done at the expense of your relationship with yourself and meeting your own needs. We are not alone in this life of ours! We are all inter-connected in such unique and mysterious ways, and we can see that even more so by further developing our executive function skills and strategies.

I know my episode production schedule has been erratic and it is coming back into alignment. I anticipate having weekly episodes for you again very soon. So, if you don’t want to have to remember to look for new episodes, just subscribe and the newest episode will be in your feed as soon as it’s released.

Thanks for listening… Until the next time… Bye for now…

 

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Let's put an end to the worldwide needless suffering together! We can do this!