Is having ADHD or ADD a misunderstood talent?

The amount of judging that goes on within our society is constantly occurring. Throw in any topic with relates to mental health or a disorder, and there is still a strong and negative bias towards anyone who is perceived to have had, or is dealing with neurological concerns. What a shame, and when will we be able to stop looking at developmental health from a negative perspective? Hopefully soon.

Two of the neurological health disorder topics I want to start casting a positive light on are Attention Deficit Hyper Active Disorder (ADHD) and Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).  Why do I want to cast a positive light on these disorders? My reason is because I have worked with so many impressive people who have one or both. Many of them have been salespeople, and some are top athletes on sports teams. All of them are remarkable people, yet part of them feels disconnected and often ashamed of admitting they suffer from their neurological health challenge.

No one should be ashamed of something which if looked at differently, could in fact be a misunderstood talent. When I have studied the common characteristics of people who have ADHD or ADD, most of them have incredible talent.  For instance, many of them are highly intelligent and competitive, are driven to succeed despite any odds against them, and have off the charts emotional intelligence.

The people who have told me they have ADHD or ADD did not surprise me with this information, and sadly many of them were apologetic for doing so. What may have come as a surprise to the people who revealed their neurological challenge to me was that I told them I viewed this as a talent or gift. Most had never had someone tell them this. However, I have witnessed amazing outcomes and results of professionals and athletes when they were able to harness their mind and focus on what needed to be accomplished.

Yes, many of the people who told me they have one or both of the attention challenges take medication. They also tell me without it they struggle with being able to do their job or focus on their athleticism. I’m sure the first time they took the medication which helped them to focus must have felt similar to someone putting on their first prescription glasses for the first time.

The thing which bothers me the most about people who are challenged with not being able to focus well, is the stigma they feel and the burden of having to hide this. One of the best ways to take the negative power away from stigmas or negative topics is to openly talk about them.

Instead of having a negative perception of people who are challenged with lack of focus and extra energy than others, what if we took time to better understand how to help them? Perhaps we could start with not being dismissive of people who lack focus and have extra energy. Or, we could take time to better understand that not being able to focus or having extra misdirected energy can be focused and channeled into professional or athletic roles which will allow them to excel.

I’m not a betting type of person, but I guarantee you that some of your most talented, competent and accomplished people either in your organization or on your sports team have ADHD or ADD. We need to highlight these individuals who are proud of the fact they have these neurological challenges.

I chose the word challenge intentionally. Why? Because, although medically ADHD or ADD is considered a disorder, or what some medical practitioners refer to as a behavior disorder, both can be positively impacted with diet, exercise, reducing stress and also responsibly administered and monitored medication.

Let’s celebrate and honor all of the people out there who have come forward and revealed they have ADHD or ADD, and add me to the list of people to celebrate and honor them.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

If you want better and different results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

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