“How the hell did I get here?” That was my reflection last week.
After an incredible group discovery call (next one is 12/4), I woke up to an overwhelming feeling of purpose and fulfillment. I have wanted to make a difference and work with people since my first psychology class. At the time I wanted to work with children. As a kid, I sat in my fair share of psychologist offices; discussing different ADHD medications, having me complete puzzles and read paragraphs, discussing our options. I know everyone just wanted to help me succeed, and we tried hard to get to the bottom of my hyperactivity. Everyone was desperate to “calm me down.”
My grades suffered as I struggled to be mediocre at things (like math) that didn’t “click" for me. (I still hate math, btw). I felt like an outcast; everyone else had it together. No one else had to go to tutors after school just to memorize the basics. When the other kids were outside playing at recess, I was sneaking off to take my pill in a spoonful of peanut butter. (I was also afraid of choking on a pill- why was I so weird?)
I was too excitable. Too hyper. I had too much energy and was really chatty. If I wasn't curious or intrigued by the lesson I lost focus. My seat in class was moved often, I actually remember my 2nd grade teacher moving me all over the classroom until she finally put my desk next to hers. They didn’t want me to become a disruption to other kids. As a parent now, I get it, but as a kid, it sucked. I didn’t belong anywhere. I felt like a freak most of my childhood. No one understood me. No one thought I was as intelligent as I knew I was.
I had all these ideas, I could write for hours, I could come of with elaborate stories and concepts. I was creative, an abstract thinker and a great problem solver, but they don't grade that. My big personality, lack of focus, and super energy were my flaws when I just wanted to be normal like everyone else.
Looking back now, I know the path that got me here, but I’m honestly shocked that life played out the way it has. I’ve worked really hard to push myself forward, despite being told most of my young life that ADHD would always be a struggle and that it could really impact my success in the future. Those words haunted me for years; I let my fear of failure cripple me. I never thought I was "that bad." I figured eventually I'll figure it out. I was so afraid they were right that I didn't event try. I took the classes in college I knew I excelled at. I tested in to higher level literature classes. I had above a 4.0 in all my psych classes. I was inducted into an honor society. But, I skipped right over Science and Math- not because I didn't think I couldn't figure it out, but because I was afraid they'd all be right. True Story. I never finished my college coursework. I’m still a few credits shy of my degree. I got married, had my first two kids while I wrapped up my certification in human services and addiction counseling and never went back.
I started developing my own brand. I failed a lot. I succeeded a lot too. I tried to be normal. I toned myself down, pretended to be focused and organized. I fought the urge to be hyper, loud and weird. I wanted to fit in. In big public settings, I bit my tongue. When everyone else was offering their insight, I sat back and listened. Even if I knew I had a great idea- something creative and fresh, I rarely brought it up. It wasn’t until recently that I realized everything I’ve been ashamed of and everything I hid was part of my superpower.
I'm not flawed. Here is where Self Love and Activation kick in. I self activated about 9 months ago. I pushed myself into newness, uncomfortable territory and vulnerability. I came out in an activation exploration.
The excess energy everyone found annoying as a kid, "hyperactive" as an adult means I have enough for me and anyone who needs it during coaching. I was literally gifted energy to share!!! (That’s pretty flippin’ cool) I can coach 4-5 people, and pour all the energy they need into them. This is funny because the running joke as always been that I'm always "on". I'm always doing something. If I'm not moving, I'm miserable. Until I activated, I just thought I wasn't as cool as all the people who can literally "rest" or "nap" or "relax". My body and mind crave action.
My bold and loud personality has helped me coach others into new exciting directions. I truly believe I was given this voice to share it with others. I want the people I work with to feel supported and empowered to take action. Then their is my "focus". I focus on the things that align with my talents and strengths. You will probably never get me to love Pythagorean theorem, but I pay quite a bit of attention to the things I'm invested in- the things that others might overthink or dwell on are things I address and can move on from quickly.
It’s an incredible feeling to be freed of your own sabotaging. My whole life I thought I wasn’t good enough to be like everyone else. I was damaged and strange. I didn't fit in. I didn't belong. Since being on this new path of activation I realize those are my gifts, they allow me to do the work I love with passion and vigor. I was given these specific gifts for a reason, to pacify them would only bring me further frustration.
If you are around me you are going to see my energy, you'll probably feel it. I'm going to straight up ask you what your dream is and what you love about yourself. I'm going to ask you your weaknesses so we can acknowledge them and move on.
When things come naturally, don’t dismiss them. They are who you are. Don't devalue things just because they are intrinsic. They are your natural gifts, use them.
When things are hard, they are not your thing, and that’s ok too. If you want to learn something new or improve a skill, do it. But don't beat yourself up that it doesn't naturally click for you. You were not born to be good at everything, even though society influences us to be.
Don't think someone is flawed just because their strengths are not the same as yours. The beautiful thing about humans is we are all different. Even creative minds see things uniquely. People that are great runners have different speeds and endurances. Try not to look for your strength in others; look instead at your weaknesses and see if you can align with someone who has those traits as their strengths. If you are not great at numbers or logistics (like me) find someone with that as their strength and talent. They are eager to help with it being in their natural wheelhouse and it will empower them to use their gift.
My own activation inspired me to help others find theirs. Activation has made me happier than I've ever been. It's a constant evolution and exploration, but it's the best "self" I've ever found. Explore until you meet yourself. That person is absolutely miraculous.
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