In honor of International Women’s Day, I’d like to give a shout out to all the women with ADHD. And although we dearly love all the girls, boys, and men with ADHD, let’s take this opportunity to celebrate the women with ADHD.
There are plenty of us out there, even though you may not run into many women with ADHD (that you know of) in your social circles.
Through all the private and group work I’ve done, I’ve coached hundreds of women with ADHD (if not a thousand), and I’ve observed many similarities. Take, for example, some of the disappointing things I see:
- Women with ADHD suffer from low self-esteem. It kills me when I start working with a new client who can go on and on about her flaws, mistakes, and missed opportunities, but skips over her talents, strengths, and accomplishments. Those good things are always there, yet so often women don’t even recognize them, let alone acknowledge or celebrate them.
- Women with ADHD judge themselves harshly. We’re always our own worst enemy. The smallest mistake or misstep gets turned into the biggest self-flogging. And when questioned, women with ADHD would never judge their friends for the things they judge themselves for.
- Women with ADHD don’t take very good care of themselves. While many women with and without ADHD fall into this category, it’s so much worse for women with ADHD! So many women with ADHD think they don’t deserve to take good care of themselves because they feel like their lives are such a mess. It’s sad, and it’s never true!
The good news is that all these things can be addressed and adjusted. Working with a good ADHD coach or an ADHD-friendly therapist can absolutely help a woman to improve her self-esteem, adjust her expectations of herself, and shift her focus onto the self-care that she deserves.
And on the flip side, there are also a lot of positive traits that women with ADHD share, like:
- Women with ADHD genuinely care about people. They’re some of the most compassionate and empathetic people out there. True humanitarians. They give of themselves to help others frequently (perhaps even too much sometimes!) And women with ADHD are often the people that friends and coworkers go to for advice.
- Women with ADHD are smart, intuitive, spunky, funny, and fun to be around. Even though some women may not recognize it, they are always intelligent. Sure, I haven’t encountered any rocket scientists (yet), but intelligence comes in many forms. And when you spend a chunk of time talking to a woman, her intelligence makes itself known. So does her strong sense of intuition, her quirky nature, and her magnetic personality. Women with ADHD are just fun people!
- Women with ADHD are capable of great things. I’ve coached lawyers, doctors, philanthropists, scientists, professors, professional athletes, CEOs, artists, and so many more—all women with ADHD. I’ve coached Super Moms, Super Daughters, Super Sisters, and Super Friends—all with ADHD. I’ve coached recovering addicts, survivors of major traumas, and others who have displayed tremendous resilience—all women with ADHD. I’ve coached women who have achieved their biggest goal in life, and women who are just waking up to their potential—all with ADHD. And what they have in common is a strong vision of what they want, and a drive to succeed. Sometimes that vision needs a little help to unfold and sometimes that drive needs a little help to get going, but it’s always there.
So to all the women with ADHD out there, be proud of who you are—differences and all. Take some time to celebrate yourself today, just for being who you are.
Happy International Women’s Day!