Translating ADHD

By Shelly Collins and Cameron Gott

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Category: Mental Health

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Subscribers: 125
Reviews: 1

Nina
 Sep 6, 2022
The hosts have some good ideas, but they lose them in metaphors. In a single episode, for example, they had Mount Rainier, ponies, a lunch counter, and Lucille Ball. I'd prefer less metaphors and more examples and actionable tips.

Description

We believe that success with ADHD is possible... with a little translation. Hosts Cameron Gott and Shelly Collins, both ADHD coaches who have plenty of insight to share navigating their own ADHD experiences, discuss how to live more authentically as an adult with ADHD and how to create real, sustained change to achieve greater success. If you are an adult with ADHD who wants more out of their business, career, and life, this is the podcast for you!

Episode Date
Mulligan
00:36

Hi, everyone! We had some important stuff come up, and in the name of self-care we chose to take a mulligan. We look forward to returning October 10.

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Oct 03, 2022
ADHD and Your Lived Experience: Personal Narrative
26:49

Shelly and Cam continue to explore the lived experience theme for the new season with a deep dive into personal narratives. Our personal narrative is the narrative we tell ourselves to explain a situation or rationalize a behavior - ours or someone else’s. ADHD can make it really hard to distinguish our inner dialogue from our experiences in the world. The brain works hard to ‘tell a story’ to make sense of our experiences. Sometimes it gets it right, but often it omits or adds pieces to make the information more palatable, to fit a certain story.

Shelly and Cam share numerous client examples of how one’s own lived experience or context informs their narrative. They go on to share how coaching and therapy can help with seeing these statements for what they are - a perspective - and if this thinking is serving the client and who they are and what they are trying to achieve.

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Sep 26, 2022
Is ADHD a Superpower?
31:40

Cam and Shelly kick off the third season of the Translating ADHD podcast entertaining an often-asked question in ADHD circles - Is ADHD a Superpower?

It turns out that one’s own experience or context informs how people will answer this question. Many are emphatic one way or the other - that it is totally a superpower! or that it is not at all a superpower! Shelly and Cam, in usual form, explore the nuanced middle ground and discuss superpowers in the form of strengths and how ADHD can get in the way of distinguishing, owning and stepping into one’s strengths. Shelly and Cam point to research that proves that one’s context such as race, gender and marital and economic status influence one’s outlook on their ADHD (links below). The hosts share a number of client examples and examples from their own lives to look at framing one’s ADHD experience by exploring concepts like personal preferences and identities. Most significant, the hosts introduce the theme for the start of Season 3 - Your own context matters.

Episode links + resources:

Flourishing Despite ADHD Article Positive Aspects of ADHD Article

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Sep 19, 2022
Translating ADHD Reflections
22:55

As season two comes to an end, Cam and Shelly reflect on their learning over the last year in hosting the podcast together. Cam appreciates the focus on practice in the episodes and reflects how he is using this approach to develop a lighter touch on moving his own initiatives forward. Shelly shares how she let go of pursuing or achieving “at the speed of capitalism” and regaining an important perspective on what matters most for her - to have more balance in her life. 

Both hosts share about what they are looking forward to in the next season starting September 19th - more in-depth exploration of lived experiences, especially the interplay of ADHD and other conditions like anxiety and depression. Cam is also considering tinkering with the Mt Rainier Model. Cam has picked seven archived episodes for the break. Shelly and Cam invite listeners to listen and catch up or to also take a break and rejoin them in September.

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Jul 25, 2022
ADHD Interplay Overview: Physical Pain
26:22

Individual context matters and no more when we start to look at the interplay of ADHD and other areas of challenge like trauma or depression. A recent Canadian study that reveals factors and obstacles to succeeding with ADHD is the prompt for this week’s episode. Cam and Shelly talk about how listeners can read between the lines of a study and look for information that is actionable. 

At first glance the study reveals fixed qualities like gender and marital status that contribute to happiness and satisfaction with ADHD. Looking deeper we see the impact of comorbid conditions, trauma, history of abuse and chronic pain, and the importance of support in these areas. 

Cam uses his recent back injury to highlight the interplay of ADHD and pain. ADHD is often an X-factor when it comes to managing other challenges, exacerbating something like depression or deepening a depressive event. Cam and Shelly talk about the significance of effective supports and what happens when those supports are taken away. Those of us with ADHD tend to downplay the challenge or whether we deserve to address the core issues. This is just the start of exploring the interplay of ADHD and individual context.

Episode links + resources:

Summary of Canadian Study - https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s41042-022-00062-6

ADDA Event - https://homecoming.add.org/

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Jul 18, 2022
ADHD PoC Voices: Coach Marc Almodovar Shares his Own Story and Discusses Men’s Mental Health
26:22

This week we are delighted to present another special episode dedicated to exploring the lived experiences of people of color with ADHD by presenting an interview with ADHD coach Marc Almodovar.

 

Along with being a coach, Marc is an advocate for men’s mental health and runs a support group for men with fellow mental health advocate John Hazelwood. In this episode, Marc speaks about his own challenges growing up with ADHD and depression in a Hispanic community wary of mental health issues. Marc shares how his own diagnosis at 16 changed everything for him, answering so many questions, and how he found support and encouragement from his similarly wired father. Marc discusses with Cam how his desire to change the narrative on men’s mental health inspired him to share his own story of struggle and resilience and how the power of a supportive community is essential to real change.

 

Join us in this fascinating, inspiring and far-ranging discussion with Marc Almodovar. Marc’s attitude and enthusiasm will carry you through the rest of your day!

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Jul 11, 2022
Green Light Planning with ADHD
20:12

Hosts Shelly and Cam explore green light planning this week. This is a very specific example where expectations can go awry. Green light planning is a fascinating phenomenon and is the result of several ADHD challenges. It is when we predict the most favored outcome for some future event like catching a plane with time to spare. Most people will point to challenges with time estimation. Look closer and you can see more going on here.

Cam shares the example of a client trying to get to the airport and more often than not missing the departure. The client struggled with time estimation but also perpetuated a belief that he could better his best time. Furthermore, he failed to anticipate any potential delays or obstacles. Those of us with ADHD struggle to sense and anticipate variations of an outcome we create in our brain, especially the periods between events - the time between the shower, packing and eating breakfast. Specifically, this is a challenge with planning for transitions - both planned and unplanned. Emotionally we can engage in a mini ‘Zig Ziglar’ positive thinking exercise with the belief that our positive energy will somehow open an express lane to our destination. This is actually more of an emotional auto-pilot move to lock out unsavory thoughts if we are not successful in our plan.

Shelly counters with her own example of ‘Red Light Planning’ and the idea of a time optimist or time pessimist. The hosts leave listeners with an exercise to have a different experience with green light planning.

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Jul 04, 2022
Managing Expectations in Romantic Relationships with ADHD
26:14

The hosts continue exploring expectations, shifting to personal relationships this week. Cam takes the lead sharing dynamics that he sees from his Melissa Orlov coaching classes. The same habitual responses are in play in personal relationships as they were in last week’s episode on expectation and work. Add the dynamics of emotional investment and less defined roles, and the result is more contentious engagements with more emotional flooding by all parties. 

Cam and Shelly believe that many of the conflicts that come to a head in any romantic relationship often start with ill-defined expectations – that the partners at some point divert on their own picture of success. Shelly and Cam share multiple client examples to illustrate this point. They point to the opportunity to see expectation as a conversation starter, for partners to develop a shared language around feelings and expectations. It’s not about compliance or getting on the same page as much as appreciating the other’s perspective. Often ADHD is viewed as a convenient nemesis of a healthy relationship. ADHD is in play, but it never acts alone. All parties have their own work to do, and once everyone agrees to this principle then real change can occur. Cam and Shelly leave listeners with some steps to address expectations proactively.

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Jun 27, 2022
Managing Work Expectations with ADHD
26:11

Shelly and Cam do an abrupt right turn with expectations, from camping in the woods on Phish Tour with Shelly to the environment and demands of work. Wherever there are people there are expectations, and wherever there are expectations there are different interpretations of those expectations. Burnout is actually an indicator of mismanaged expectations. ADHD makes it really tough to distinguish the priority of competing demands, and we often falter when we sense conflicting expectations.

 

Shelly and Cam explore a few client examples of habitual responses (from last week) and what the clients did to have a different experience with expectations. Using a colorful metaphor from a previous episode of ‘too many tennis balls coming over the net’, Shelly’s client resources her new manager to take a look at all of the end-of-school-year incoming demands and to prioritize and make an action plan for a ‘successful return volley’. The common theme is noticing the expectation and your own response to it. Shifting expectations from an ‘immutable truth’ to actually what it is - a point of engagement for dialogue.

 

Episode links + resources:

 

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Jun 20, 2022
Habitual Responses to Expectation with ADHD
29:17

Shelly and Cam continue on the theme of habitual responses by looking at expectations. An expectation is basically a belief that something will happen at some future date. You can appreciate how expectations may be problematic for those of us with ADHD - the delivery of something at some future point in time. Time estimation and struggles with activation go hand in hand here. So it makes sense we can develop some not-so-helpful responses to expectation.

Cam shares three examples - ‘running the flag up the flagpole’, where we elevate our own expectations and ‘do whatever it takes’; ‘bristle and defy’ where we reject any expectation outright; and an emotional shame response where we go to our one-down position.  There are more responses, and Shelly and Cam invite listeners to think about their own responses to expectation. Shelly, fresh from a Phish tour weekend, adds the colorful examples for each scenario from setting up the campsite to challenges approaching our Discord server.

Through discussion, the hosts reveal a useful process of getting awareness and perspective on the expectation, identifying our own relationship and response to the expectation, stepping back and releasing any attachment to the expectation, and then using the experience as a point of discussion to clarify and reflect on the experience to build a better relationship going forward.

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Jun 13, 2022
Habitual Responses to Time with ADHD
23:22

Last week Cam and Shelly talked about habitual emotional responses to the stories we tell ourselves. This week they explore habitual responses in the context of time. Those of us with ADHD can have a complicated relationship with time. We can be extremely reactive to it, and we can be highly avoidant of it.

Today the hosts share client examples of some classic habitual responses to time. Shelly and Cam reference the Eisenhower Decision Matrix tool that distinguishes importance and urgency in a task, especially Quadrant I items that are important and urgent and the ever-challenging Quadrant II items that are important and not urgent. With ADHD just ‘scheduling’ our important items in the future is not enough. We have to first address the propensity to be drawn to the biggest signals - lit up by urgency and our level of interest.

Shelly leads off with her own client example where her client struggled with scheduling the all-important case notes in her role as a special education teacher. As Shelly and her client start to look for the “big chunks” of time the client starts to shift her perspective, not only seeing the time but how the time would be valuable to address much more relevant tasks. In doing so, Shelly’s client noticed and shifted away from her habit of thinking she needed big chunks to finish her notes. Cam follows with an example where the client’s habitual response is to avoid undefined but less urgent tasks, pushing them to the next day on his calendar. These self-described “black boxes” were a source of underlying anxiety for Cam’s client. But when the client let go of not knowing and embracing a narrow role of just assessing and defining the task, he could overcome his avoidant behavior. In both examples, the clients got curious and present to the opportunity at hand. Cam and Shelly leave listeners with some simple practices to start identifying and shifting habitual responses to time.

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Jun 06, 2022
Emotions and Stories: Getting to What is Real with ADHD
25:15

As a part of our trusting my brain theme, Shelly and Cam explore two client scenarios to illustrate the difference between the stories we tell ourselves and our emotional responses to those stories. The emotions we feel at any time are very real and dictate how we move forward in both thought and action. Stories that we tell ourselves are both real and not necessarily real. They can be informed by a past traumatic event as illustrated in our first client scenario or they can be based in a false belief as illustrated in the second one.

ADHD makes it very difficult to distinguish what is real and what is conjecture. They share how the mindfulness practice of getting present and curious introduced in episode 129 can be used to explore stories aided by ADHD that can elevate or ratchet up the meaning of an event or belief and conversely stories that can downplay or dismiss a specific need. Developing a sense of agency in the face of strong emotions and the compelling stories we tell ourselves is possible with the right support.

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May 30, 2022
Mindfulness on My Own Terms with ADHD
22:58

There is a plethora of scientific data to support the effectiveness of mindfulness in managing one’s ADHD. Lydia Zylowska M.D. has done some excellent research to prove this. Yet many people with ADHD have mixed feelings about the practice, especially the frustration of not being able to do it ‘the right way’.

Cam and Shelly explore mindfulness in the context of orienting to the full impact of one’s experience. They discuss how mindfulness can be packaged like any other prescriptive offering with the off-putting instruction to  “just start by sitting still and focusing on one thing…”  Cam and Shelly break mindfulness down into its essential components of presence and curiosity and how both can be difficult to achieve with ADHD yet valuable in the process of overcoming the first barrier of awareness.

They discuss the benefits of informal practices of getting present and curious using body awareness techniques and exercises that provide beneficial context. Shelly shares how listeners can utilize our Pause, Disrupt, Pivot process to create space in the gap between stimulus and response. Finally, Cam shares how mindfulness can be helpful to reflect on a challenging experience to extract the learning to apply at some future time.

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May 23, 2022
Orienting to the Full Impact of our Experience with ADHD
22:21

Inspired by the client story from episode 127, Shelly and Cam dig deeper into the common elements the client engaged with, in part through her coaching with Shelly, to create more space, start trusting her brain and regain her own power in a difficult relationship dynamic. Cam and Shelly discuss the concept of ‘full impact’ and how those of us with ADHD can struggle to see all that is happening in our experience. This echoes First Barrier dilemmas (Barrier to Awareness.) Cam draws in the four elements of emotional intelligence and how getting to awareness and then management with self (introspection/reflection) and our social environment (perception) can be fraught with misinformation and stories that make seeking the truth challenging. Distinguishing what is real and what is not real is an early step to creating the space for informed and empowered change.

Both Shelly and Cam discuss the power of one’s own context and how it relates to activating curiosity and creativity (Cam’s boat in a lake metaphor) and journey thinking (Shelly’s pond metaphor). They also discuss how detaching from outcome and discerning ‘Mine’ from ‘Ours’ can create a context or frame for a place to start seeing the full impact of our experience.

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May 16, 2022
Trusting our Brain when the Relationship Turns Toxic
27:59
Shelly and Cam continue with the relationship thread and when we have to travel the ADHD path of discovery without the support of our partners. Today Shelly relays a client story where the real challenge was not related to ADHD at all, but how ADHD can make it difficult to trust our own brains. ADHD can distort our own sense of reality, our perception of time and our recollection of events. Add to that a toxic partnership, and getting clear on what is actually happening can be extremely challenging.  

Shelly shares how she first reframed the coaching work to help the client ‘strengthen my position’ so she could trust her brain and get a better read on the situation - to buy time and work on her own stuff so she could make an informed decision about the larger relational problems. Client and coach worked to gather more accurate data, distinguish the challenges from the greater challenges of the relationship and establish some consistencies in self-care practice. Listen as the client moves from making excuses for her partner’s behavior and blaming herself to a stance of choice and agency. A fascinating story of reclaiming one’s power and trusting one’s brain.

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May 09, 2022
Ignorance: The Common Enemy of ADHD
26:07

It’s a very human behavior to look for an easy and convenient enemy when we struggle to move forward. We see it in our current political landscape and we see it in the world of ADHD management. When ADHD is discovered in a relationship it can become an easy scapegoat for the dynamic that is not working. On a broader scale, we can point to neurotypicals as the source of our neurodivergent woes and vice versa. In this episode, Shelly and Cam continue to discuss the challenge of exploring one’s ADHD when one doesn't have the support of their partner.

 

The true enemy to positive change is ignorance and a propensity for all parties to jump to assumptions about confusing behavior. ADHD is invisible and inconsistent in its presentation. Cam and Shelly talk about the need to create space to explore our own ADHD experience so we can ultimately get to a place of trusting our own brain. They talk about the importance of bringing curiosity and compassion into the mix to locate and clarify a common base of knowledge - how one is experiencing their ADHD and how it impacts the relationship. One example is the ADHD behavior of the defensive/dismissive one two punch.

 

Shelly shares an excellent story about her own relationship and what she and her partner did to overcome a challenge and move forward recognizing each other’s needs. Finally, Cam discusses the importance of locating a community that supports and challenges and does not just echo one’s deepest fears and assumptions.

 

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May 02, 2022
When your Partner isn’t Supporting your ADHD Journey
24:33
It’s really nice when a partner is supportive and understanding as you begin your own ADHD journey of discovery. But this is not always the case. This week Cam and Shelly discuss the not so uncommon scenario when we embark on our ADHD journey without the support of our primary relationship. Years of misinformation, fear and shame can build to where the non-ADHD partner throws up their hands and says “Enough!”. It's hard to play a game when everyone is playing Texas Hold’em and we are dealt a hand of Uno but this is the case often when we are struggling to understand our own ADHD experience and when we try to translate our experience to our partners. Frustration abounds!  

Once ADHD is identified as a primary factor in the challenges of a relationship it can sometimes be identified as the sole dilemma. This is never the case in any relationship, yet anger, frustration and resentment build to a point where the non-ADHD partner withdraws support and vulnerability often with an ultimatum of “fix your ADHD!”. Our partners are not immune from making their own meaning and years of undiagnosed ADHD behavior - the missed events, the forgotten tasks - can build to a convincing story of “They must not care about me”. 

The hosts introduce their BEANS acronym with a focus on safety, needs and agreements. A partner can’t support if their sense of safety has eroded too much. The invisibility and inconsistency of ADHD can create a sense of uncertainty and lack of safety in the relationship. Cam and Shelly discuss ways to proceed to start to dismantle the parent/child dynamic that so often happens. Shelly discusses how detaching from outcome and distinguishing ‘my stuff, their stuff, our stuff’ can be a place to start when the ADHD partner has to proceed by themselves. Ultimately through effective communication and setting independent expectations, the partners can reintroduce safety and start to rebuild trust, but there may be a moment when in fact we have to push ahead and go it alone for a spell.

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Apr 25, 2022
Creating Value Around Identity and Purpose with ADHD
30:03

Shelly and Cam continue exploring the significance and process of creating value and dig into creating value around purpose and identity this week. They refine their Sense, Access, Value model through deeper discussion, new client examples and sharing practices for listeners. Value lives between attention and motivation, and ADHD disrupts the valuation process by limiting accessibility and awareness (Barriers I and II from episodes 94 and 104). Getting clear on what you need or what really matters is key to determining agency and is also highly dependent on timing. We need this information to be accessible at the times we need it most. Unfortunately with ADHD, when swept up in a dramatic moment the things that are valuable to us like identities, practices and purpose can fade into the background.

Shelly shares a story about how a client thought they needed to be more like a gregarious but abrupt co-worker. In exploring this, Shelly and her client soon realized that the client was creating false value around the attributes of this “Politician” individual. Further exploration revealed a desire for more connectedness to the client’s own sense of self - a desire to collaborate. Shelly shares how at first she didn’t see herself in the picture when considering a really important relationship decision, but when she circled back to consider what truly matters she got crystal clear on her next steps. Cam and Shelly discuss the importance of a positive feedback loop and that with incomplete information we can create a false picture of success. Finally, they share how listeners can use Pause, Disrupt, Pivot in the larger Sense, Access, Value framework.

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Apr 18, 2022
The Valuation of Time and Emotion with ADHD
28:05

Cam and Shelly go Big-Brain this week tinkering with the very structural elements of their Mt. Rainier Model (episodes 60-63). They introduce a concept not often considered in conventional ADHD conversations - language that often includes terms like interest, regulation, management and attention.  The term introduced this week is valuation, and valuation matters because it lives between attention and motivation. Valuation is simply the amount of value we place on something. Cam argues that those of us with ADHD struggle to see the value of something because of the disruptive nature of ADHD. You can’t value what you can’t access. You can’t access what you can’t sense. ADHD impacts our ability to both sense and access concepts like time and emotion.

Cam shares client examples that turn conventional wisdom on its head. Stories of clients challenging conventional takes on concepts like time and emotion. These clients are not just settling for management or regulation. These stories are forcing Cam to rethink the Rainier Cause and Effect model.

Finally, Cam and Shelly share a new process similar to Pause, Disrupt and Pivot. The new process is Sense, Access, Value.  Cam and Shelly are just at the beginning with exploring this concept of valuation.

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Apr 11, 2022
Evoking Awareness as a Practice with ADHD
25:30

Hosts Shelly and Cam continue on the theme of practice and look at evoking awareness. Evoking Awareness is actually an important coaching competency and is key to the coaching process. Within this category is the all-important aspect of self-knowledge - personal values and strengths, challenges and needs, best practices, and what we like to call the client’s worldview. Also remember that awareness is one of the three barriers of ADHD. It can be hard to create new awareness and keep that awareness once we have it. Today Shelly and Cam discuss practices beyond coaching that can help evoke awareness and build self-knowledge.

Shelly shares a surprising practice of tarot card reading and how it helps her to consider questions in a larger context. Cam shares how inspiration practices help him evoke awareness. The hosts emphasize that the actual tool or practice is secondary to what the practice encourages - curiosity in a specific context. Those of us with ADHD can struggle with overwhelm and with orienting to opportunities and questions worth considering. A good tool is like coaching. It provides a contextual prompt to explore an area with curiosity to evoke new awareness.

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Apr 04, 2022
Cultivating a Self-Care Practice with ADHD
26:42

Shelly and Cam discuss the significance of cultivating a self-care practice in this episode and start with distinguishing “should” activities and activities that “fill you up”.They first introduced self-care as a topic back in episode 95. In this episode, they look at self-care through the lens of cultivating a practice. Self-care is something both Shelly and Cam introduce to their ADHD coaching clients because it is the perfect vehicle to identify core values, key needs and practice making space for something that only matters to the client. ADHD can make it very difficult to identify and practice key self-care practices. 

Shelly shares her own experience in coaching with Cam and the barrier to honoring and practicing her own self-care practices of attending live concerts. She talks about the brain soothing benefits of practicing self-care activities that really matter to the individual. Cam and Shelly identify barriers to developing new self-care practices, both limiting mindsets and avoidant behaviors that get in the way.

Finally, Cam and Shelly discuss client examples of how three similar activities, like running, are tethering to very different motivators for each client. Shelly and Cam leave listeners with first steps for cultivating a self-care practice.

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Mar 28, 2022
Anchoring as a Practice with ADHD
27:11

Shelly and Cam explore anchoring as a practice this week. With the three barriers of awareness, action and learning, those of us with ADHD can lose touch with tried and true knowledge and proven practices. Seeing ourselves in the picture matters, but over time the picture can fade. Anchoring to what we know to be true is a proven practice to keep us tethered to our best practices and keeps us front and center in the picture. With ADHD we can set down knowledge and practices like setting down a set of keys. Eventually the keys become relevant when we need to drive somewhere. The irony here is that we can lose the awareness of the need or value of a practice or a nugget of relevant information. Literally out of sight, out of mind.

Shelly and Cam discuss how the pause from pause, disrupt, pivot is an opportunity to introduce an anchor practice. Shelly shares a client story where her client realizes how smelling a candle triggers a connection to a value of lightness and humor. Anchoring to what we know to be true opens us to living more authentically and within our values and strengths. The hosts leave the listener with an exercise to develop awareness around the practice of anchoring.

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Mar 21, 2022
Cultivating a Metaphor Practice with ADHD
28:04
Continuing with the theme of cultivating a practice, Shelly and Cam discuss the practice of working with metaphors. Some of us, like Shelly, make meaning through language. Others, like Cam, make meaning through imagery, metaphor and analogy. Shelly and Cam explore the power of metaphor by looking at Cam’s own progression of metaphor use - as a daydream escape in his early years, to weaponizing imagery to reinforce his own imposter syndrome to finally turn it into a constructive coaching tool.  

Cam relays the story of how he used imagery to articulate his own ADHD experience, namely the difficulty of finishing any project. He shares metaphors of snow plows with ever-expanding blades to a version of the Odyssey where Odysseus fights the Cyclops a hundred times. In putting imagery to his ADHD experience, Cam was able to start to understand his specific challenges and start to create the change he wanted to have happen. Both Cam and Shelly discuss how coaches use metaphor with clients to create understanding and an opening for change.

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Mar 14, 2022
Cultivating a Practice of Articulation with ADHD
32:07
Continuing with the theme of cultivating a practice, Shelly and Cam discuss the practice of articulation - giving language to our ADHD experiences, and to our thoughts and feelings. Articulation is a universally beneficial practice, meaning that everyone can benefit from this practice regardless of modality preference. Articulation is a key component of coaching and helps to break down the barriers of awareness and learning (from the Three Barriers of ADHD).  

ADHD, with its related verbal working memory/EF challenges, makes it difficult to put words to an experience. In coaching, we create a safe space for a client to explore their ADHD experience with new meaning. Articulation is a part of a reflective practice, to pause and reflect on an experience and extract the learning to take forward. Cam and Shelly describe this practice as a dance and lay out some of the basic dance steps to get started. They introduce a concept of positive accountability and they share examples of how articulation can be beneficial on either side of an action or activity, discussing how this practice can be done outside the realm of a coaching relationship.

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Mar 07, 2022
Bigger Perspective Work with ADHD: A Client Scenario
30:41

Shelly and Cam continue in the vein of cultivating a practice and perspectives, looking at deeper perspective work over a longer period of time. People change and grow. The worlds and realities they create and live in change too. It only makes sense that their thinking evolves with that change. This is at the root of perspective - how we look at a situation is just as relevant and informing as the actual situation. There is a plethora of scientific data that supports how exploring mindset can better inform one’s experience.

Shelly brings a client example of perspective work over the span of a coaching session illustrating how perspectives can serve us in one period of our lives but no longer serve us as our situation changes and evolves. Shelly’s client shares how her “Solutions Focused” perspective served her well early in her sustainability initiative but then became more of an impediment as her situation changed. Shelly shares the relevance of a practice of incremental change and how we can generate evidence from our experiences to inform our mindset. The practice of Pause Disrupt Pivot is discussed as is a reflective practice. Individuals with ADHD with our ‘mode preference’ behavior can lock into a specific mindset missing an opportunity to take a step back and consider a better way to see a situation. A program note: This is not about just thinking positive AKA toxic positivity, it's about seeing oneself in their picture to create agency and empower change.

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Feb 28, 2022
Cultivating a Practice: Perspective Shifts and ADHD
31:13

Cam and Shelly step into their first deep dive into the greater cultivating a practice theme with an exploration of perspective work, a core element of ADHD coaching. When one thinks of cultivating a practice one can think of an action or a strategy and how to step into a task or behavior. With ADHD it is also important to develop a practice or habit of stepping back from a situation or experience. 

Stepping back is a reflective practice and allows us to view how we are looking at a dilemma or a situation. How we are looking at a situation is as important if not more important than the actual situation. Are you looking at something from a One Down perspective? A place of shame or fear? What is it to view it as an equal? To view it from a core value?

This is perspective work and perspectives matter because they are ultimately tied to motivation and seeing oneself in the picture. Shelly shares one of her first coaching sessions where she experienced a client’s perspective shift around time. Perspective shifts are about awareness in a different way and Shelly as her younger coach was amazed at how the client shifted her thinking around a recurring dilemma which then motivated her to address the problem proactively. Shelly pulls in our pause, disrupt, pivot process and how it can help with perspective shifts and also suggests listeners to focus in one small area of their lives with their practice here.

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Feb 21, 2022
Cultivating a Practice with ADHD
34:36

Hosts Shelly Collins and Cameron Gott pivot away from their exploration of emotions and emotional dysregulation and introduce a central coaching element - Cultivating a Practice. They lay out general concepts of developing a practice, distinguishing universal practices from more selective individual practices. Cam and Shelly introduce the idea of a practice mindset and discuss how perspective work in coaching is a good place to start when wanting to introduce a new practice. 

Cam and Shelly integrate their Pause, Disrupt, Pivot model and share stories about how their own clients develop a practice of first shifting their thinking prior to creating downstream change and agency. Cam shares a theater metaphor as a way to get perspective or distance on a feeling or a narrative. Like locking into an emotional mode, those with ADHD can lock into a familiar narrative or story that then influences outcomes. Finally, Shelly shares a few of the upcoming topics including mantras or affirmations.

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Feb 14, 2022
Emotional Modes with ADHD: Empathy
25:29

Shelly and Cam continue to explore emotions beyond ‘emotional dysregulation’ looking at a phenomenon they call emotional modes. Because of emotional variability and volatility, those with ADHD can be prone to ‘lock’ into a preferred emotional stance. They illustrate this autopilot approach by looking at how empathy tends to present in their own client population. 

Cam shares how he sees two distinct polar presentations of empathy - too much empathy for others with zero empathy for self or zero empathy for others resulting in isolation and lack of connection. Shelly brings in a metaphor of a swinging pendulum to describe this empathy imbalance and how listeners can start to loosen the emotional lock down and let the pendulum swing to allow for empathy for self and empathy for others. The hosts pull concepts from earlier shows like ‘seeing oneself in the picture’ and the importance of developing a curious practice to further explore the dilemma.

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Feb 07, 2022
Cultivating Trust in Relationships with ADHD
22:42

Shelly and Cam continue their exploration of the connection between positive emotions and positive structures. This week they focus on supportive people and cultivating trust in a relationship. Shelly shares a story where a client’s definition of trust evolves as she navigates hardship, setbacks and trauma to eventual learning and change regarding a desire to help her community in need. Listen for the client’s own ‘translating’ work as she redefines what trust actually is for her. 

In relationships, those of us with ADHD can lead with hope and intention, but without clear needs, agreements and active boundary work, we can find ourselves in the familiar territory of overextension, rejection and lost trust. Converting hard learning into new awareness can be a struggle, but in developing a reflective practice and accessing resources, one can move to a new place of awareness and engagement based on personal needs and values.

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Jan 31, 2022
Positive Emotions and Positive Structures with ADHD
25:12

As Shelly and Cam shift in the direction of the role of positive emotions in motivation and activation, they pause to consider the importance of positive structures. It’s almost impossible to embrace and utilize positive emotions like hope, curiosity and love if the signal of negative emotions, like anger or shame, is still too intense and if one has not considered positive emotions in the context of positive structures. Those of us with ADHD are masterful at responding and reacting to negative structures to create urgency and to activate an adrenaline/dopamine response. This approach comes at a great cost, though. As stress and anxiety build, our ability to utilize this consequence-based motivation system starts to diminish.

Positive structures are something Cam discovered in a state of burnout while teaching and again while building his coaching business. He realized that his fuel source of negative emotion and negative structures couldn’t propel him any farther. With little options, he turned to being curious about bigger contextual questions and his bigger Why. This is the land of values, needs and purpose. Cam realized important personal values of learning and education and that shifting to a positive mindset and utilizing positive emotions started with considering positive structures like core values and positive outcomes.

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Jan 24, 2022
Opening the Door to Positive Emotions with ADHD
24:16

This week Cam and Shelly pivot from the recent focus on negative emotions to positive emotions. Emotions are the on-off switch for action. Understanding how emotions come into play is key to motivation and taking action. Those of us with ADHD tend to over-utilize our fear neural networks or negative emotions to get things done. How often do you hear yourself prioritizing or taking action through urgency or on the greatest consequence? How often does worry, fear or anxiety inform what you are trying to do?

Accessing this negative neural network too much leads to stress and health issues. Starting to access the positive neural network can help to reverse this process. Cam and Shelly start by introducing the ‘gateway’ emotions of hope and curiosity. These are the emotions that can lead to other positive emotions like trust, gratitude and love. Cam reads a letter from an appreciative listener and discusses how developing community and understanding of the dilemma can instill a sense of hope and possibility. Shelly discusses how the skill of normalizing can make someone start to understand their ADHD experience and why in coaching it is important to articulate a picture of positive success.

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Jan 17, 2022
Big Signal Emotions with ADHD: Rejection
24:21

This week we continue our exploration of big signal emotions as we explore rejection. Cam and Shelly discuss that with ADHD on board it’s not just rejection, but the fear of rejection that has the biggest impact.

Cam and Shelly discuss the relationship between fear and rejection and how rejection comes from a place of fear. To examine this more closely, Cam takes listeners back to a time in life when he felt rejected frequently despite the fact that he was not being rejected. Cam felt rejected at work because he was in a role where he struggled with things that his colleagues managed easily. He walks through his perceptions and emotional responses in this time period that lead to a feeling of rejection where no rejection existed. To contrast Cam’s story, Shelly introduces some examples of times in her life when she has experienced real rejection.

With ADHD on board, we often miss nuance and distinction. Using our contrasting examples of real and perceived rejection, we discuss how to distinguish between real and perceived rejection. We also discuss looking at the nuance to determine whether we are being wholly rejected and whether we want to be included in the place we are experiencing rejection.

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Jan 10, 2022
Big Signal Emotions with ADHD: Shame
27:31

This week we return to our exploration of big signal emotions as we dig into shame. Shame is no stranger for those of us living with ADHD. Shame is often the root of many downstream emotional responses, like imposter syndrome and rejection sensitivity. As one walks through the world with an invisible disability like ADHD, one can see how shame can manifest. Cam and Shelly discuss how years of dismissal and rejection, deliberate and not, and years of struggling to explain or account for the unexplainable, plant the seeds of shame. Cam and Shelly share how factors like isolation, fear and trauma will contribute to the development of shame and how ADHD and emotional dysregulation heighten a shame response.

The First Barrier of ADHD is the barrier to new awareness. Emotions like shame, and blame in a previous episode, can cloud our judgment, disrupt our own agency and take us offline down some negative emotional rabbit hole (or one of our Valley experiences). When we explore emotions in a safe and curious way, locate a supportive community and bring new language to our emotional experiences we can start to dissolve the effects of emotions like shame.

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Jan 03, 2022
A Different Take on Emotional Dysregulation with ADHD
28:09

This week Shelly and Cam use a client story as a vehicle to explore emotion and emotional dysregulation. To have ADHD is to have challenges with managing appropriate and measured emotional responses. But that is not all. Emotion is key to the motivation system and developing new awareness and learning (All three barriers).

Cam and Shelly look at emotional dysregulation beyond the term and, in Translating ADHD fashion, dig into a client situation revealing language and dynamics that go far beyond a “failure to regulate”. Shelly shares in detail how her client located advocacy and agency from an emotionally charged interaction and found hope and change. She also shares how one can have strength and sensitivity in any given modality like visual, verbal or emotional.

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Dec 27, 2021
Big Signal Emotions with ADHD: Blame
30:48

Emotions are key to driving beliefs and behaviors. They also play a big part in effective ADHD management. Emotions also drive big signal responses like rejection, sensitivity or imposter syndrome. Those big signal responses can really impact our ability to identify and circumvent First Barrier dilemmas. The First Barrier of ADHD is the barrier to new awareness. Emotions like blame can cloud our judgment, disrupt our own agency and take us offline down some negative emotional rabbit holes (one of our Valley experiences). Shelly and Cam look closely at blame, one emotion they see often in their new clients, and the habit of ‘blame sponging’ or taking up all of the blame in some circumstance or situation. Emotion rarely operates alone. Black and white thinking and not seeing oneself in the picture contribute to a phenomenon of assuming all of the blame or rejecting it out of hand. Shelly and Cam share tools well known to long-time Translating ADHD listeners like curiosity and Pause Disrupt Pivot. Distinguishing our own stuff from others’ stuff and determining, through collaboration and communication, the ‘stuff in the middle’ gives us some traction with what once was a very slippery slope.

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Dec 20, 2021
Navigating the First Barrier of ADHD
28:15

Shelly and Cam revisit the First Barrier of ADHD - the barrier to new awareness - by illustrating a client’s own experience with struggling and eventually succeeding to generate new awareness. In Shelly’s words “to walk this world as an ADHD person is to walk this world misunderstood”. Because of the first barrier of ADHD, it can be extremely frustrating to know when we are struggling, and - when we do have this awareness, - it can be doubly hard to articulate our dilemmas to those around us.

In the client example, the individual moves through this process with vulnerability and curiosity seeking support from the people around him. He also faces the uncomfortable truth that he is not holding up his own rules for engagement. Instead of moving into shame, he does his own understand own translate work to get to a place of curiosity and agency. Notice the use of language the client shares in this episode. An eye-opening example of navigating the first barrier to new awareness.

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Dec 13, 2021
ADHD PoC Voices: Romanza McAllister LCSW Shares her Own Story and Discusses Challenges Facing People of Color with ADHD
17:57

This week we are delighted to present another special episode dedicated to exploring the lived experiences of people of color with ADHD by presenting an interview with coach and therapist Romanza McAllister LCSW.

Romanza is a trauma-informed psychotherapist and ADHD coach in New York City.  She is a mental health advocate and very active in the leadership of ADDA.

In this episode, Romanza speaks about growing up and the challenge of being misunderstood, even gaslit, by those around her as she tried to understand her own neurodiverse brain. She converted her own personal challenge into her current empowerment model of helping those with ADHD in communities of color find their unique authentic voice and recognize and celebrate one’s intersectional identities. 

Join us in this fascinating, inspiring and far-ranging discussion with Romanza McAllister.

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Dec 06, 2021
The First Barrier of ADHD
30:51

Why is it that we stray off the path we know - of best practices, best strategies and best resources? Why is it we struggle to recognize we have left the path and additionally, struggle to relocate the path once we have realized this? This challenge with generating valuable awareness at the right time is a signature ADHD dilemma and creates the biggest obstacle to meaningful change and even addressing our ADHD, including pursuing a diagnosis. This is the first barrier of ADHD - The barrier to new awareness.

Shelly and Cam discuss the first barrier and how it can manifest. Shelly recalls a story of Cam recently struggling with the first barrier and what he did to overcome it. This illustrates that the first barrier never goes away, but when we can anticipate the barrier with the 'pause, disrupt and pivot' process, we can navigate around it.

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Nov 29, 2021
Contextual Wiring and Your Unique Value with ADHD
28:40

Shelly and Cam continue with the ever-expansive topic of context with respect to ADHD with a deep dive into how our unique wiring is connected to our unique value at work and in the world. In this episode, they explore how contextual wiring presents in a few examples and how to leverage this ‘super strength’ throughout the week. They distinguish how big value is not the same as the big signal (episode 80). Our big value is often downplayed or dismissed because of societal norms and our own negative internal dialogue.

Shelly shares how vulnerability and integrity informed a choice to no longer ‘play small’ and step closer to her own compelling Why (episode 101). Finally, the hosts discuss how getting stuck in ‘ivory tower’ thinking can inhibit exploration and experimentation.

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Nov 22, 2021
Mindset and Shifting Context with ADHD
27:40

Shelly and Cam continue the theme of exploring context by introducing a process for shifting to a better mindset. Context informs our current narrative and our narrative informs our mindset or the way we perceive our world.

They share a simple three-step process of Pause, Disrupt, Pivot to shift from a negative context to a positive one. Shelly shares an excellent story of how she uses the process to interrupt a potential spiraling event and move to a better frame of mind. As they often do, Cam and Shelly share typical ADHD challenges around shifting context and leave listeners with a simple practice.

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Nov 15, 2021
Context and the Tone of Your ‘Why?’
26:04

Shelly and Cam stay on the topic of context but shift to its positive elements. They distinguish the value of ‘Who’ and ‘Why’ questions and how they inform the frame or context those of us with ADHD put around our experience. Both Shelly and Cam share how the tone of their own ‘Why’ questions early in their careers led to very different outward manifestations but similar feelings of frustration and confusion.

They then talk about how changing the tone of the ‘Why’ questions can open us up to curiosity, creativity and possibility. When we have a sense of who we are and how we show up in the world we can create agency and priority on the stuff that really matters.

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Nov 08, 2021
Context Pitfalls and ADHD
23:36

Shelly and Cam continue to explore contextual pitfalls and ADHD. Last week they introduced contextual mad-libs. This week they explore two more contextual challenges, ‘locking in’ to a limiting narrative and conversely ‘spinning through’ multiple narratives. Both are contextual in nature and a very ADHD Valley experience. We constantly tether to how we relate to our world, drawing frames of reference that meet a need that may be keeping us in a current state or mode and delay real and positive change.

ADHD is partially an ‘access and regulation’ dilemma; accessing and regulating attention, emotion, memory, energy, motivation and action. Our experience is a ‘Goldilocks’ experience of too little or too much. For example, our emotional experience is often one of too much emotion or not enough emotion. The same goes for creating meaning in our current moment - tethering to our current context. Cam shares two successive periods in his life when he experienced both the lock-in experience and the spinning experience.

For the lock-in, Cam shares how he fueled a ‘One Down’ perspective with a singular limiting story and the energy cost of keeping this ‘roadshow’ going. He then shares how he switched to the spinning version to rationalize a behavior and ‘play it safe’. This ‘channel switching’ is the situational rationalization we’ve discussed before.

Cam and Shelly share practices for listeners to bring the Keen Observer to these unique presentations of contextual pitfalls.

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Nov 01, 2021
Contextual Mad-Libs and ADHD
25:27

Shelly and Cam continue to discuss the concept of context as it relates to coaching and to the lived experience with ADHD. We are wired for context and the compelling narratives that can drive behaviors good and bad. Today we delve into how being wired for context is not so helpful as Shelly shares a concept that one of her clients termed ‘contextual mad-libbing’ - where one inserts their own narrative and meaning into an incomplete context like a short text message or a rushed meeting in the hall where key bits of data are missing.

All brains add and subtract meaning to make what we are perceiving make sense. A brain cannot process every piece of information it senses, so it skips and subtracts and adds meaning. Those of us with ADHD can be susceptible to contextual mad-libs where we quickly add our own meaning when we don’t have the entire story. The practice of ongoing contextual mad-libbing can have the individual expend tremendous energy and precious bandwidth on something that may not even be relevant. Shelly shares how she worked with her client to break through the Third Barrier and maximize the learning from a past negative work experience to inform a new promising work experience. This coaching work helps to address ADHD issues like prospective memory, developing useful hindsight and forethought. Cam and Shelly leave listeners with a few exercises to bring the Keen Observer to this mad-lib phenomenon.

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Oct 25, 2021
ADHD, Coaching and Context
29:29

Shelly and Cam bring forth a topic that is synonymous with coaching and the ADHD lived experience but rarely, if ever, discussed overtly in ADHD circles. Context drives so much of the coaching conversation from discovering big agendas to exploring limiting perspectives, yet we often don’t recognize when context is at work influencing our thoughts and behaviors.

Shelly and Cam define context and how it is of particular interest to those of us with ADHD. Part of the neurodiverse experience is in part because many of us are ‘wired for context’ - that we process by our relative relation to our world in a particular moment. The neurotypical population is wired more for outcome, sequence or process - wired more for time. Our preference for context has us lead with curious ‘Why’ questions rather than conventional ‘What’ and ‘When’ goal-oriented questions. They share numerous examples of how context comes into play in coaching relationships and how context can be a powerful ally or a formidable obstacle.

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Oct 18, 2021
Navigating The Three Barriers with ADHD
35:27

Shelly and Cam do what they do best, taking listeners on a journey through an ADHD-lived experience. Today they integrate all three barriers of ADHD as Shelly shares her own discovery and learning process. She digs into a recent dilemma around a breakdown with getting house chores done. Listen as Shelly and Cam explore Shelly’s journey as she bumps into and then develops workarounds for all three barriers, to new learning that she converts into new action resulting in systems and practices that reflect her current reality - the captain of her own abode.

The Three Barriers are as follows: The First Barrier to Awareness The Second Barrier to Informed Action The Third Barrier to Learning

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Oct 11, 2021
The Third Barrier of ADHD
28:49

Shelly and Cam look at learning and its role in creating positive and sustained change. Deemed The Third Barrier of ADHD, learning is the most significant element of a change process and the one most impacted by ADHD. In ADHD land so much focus is put on the first two barriers - knowing what to do and doing what you know - that many miss this third and so essential step in moving one's agenda forward. Learning is key to our higher level TA concepts of agency, integrity (doing what matters) and living a life of purpose.

 

They distinguish learning as ‘the awareness on the backside of action’, connect it to the reflective practice we have alluded to in previous episodes and discuss the dilemma of how our own internal judgements cloud our past experiences (like walking through a house of mirrors). Of course Shelly and Cam share their own experiences and client experiences to illustrate the third barrier. 

 

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Oct 04, 2021
Self-Care and ADHD
29:16

Surprisingly, this is the first episode dedicated to the topic of self-care. Shelly and Cam discuss self-care in the context of the coaching process. They discuss why they start with self-care in every coaching engagement. Clients often come to coaching looking for a quick win but they're often seeking that win from an urgent state of mind or in an ARC perspective. Shelly and Cam go on to discuss certain obstacles to self-care including “shoulds”, getting hung up in the “how”, diminishing or downplaying the value of a self-care practice and attaching extra meaning to the activity. Shelly shares an example of a client who put too much pressure on her own self-care practice but through her own reflective practice recognized the pressure and shifted the way she approached the self-care activity.

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Sep 27, 2021
The Second Barrier of ADHD
32:36

Shelly and Cam pick up a thread from a past client conversation who was shifting from a knowing place to a place of action. Shelly shares more about her client in an active state of ‘cultivating safety’. This is significant because it is an excellent example of breaking through the ‘Second Barrier of ADHD’ - the first barrier is to new awareness, the second barrier is to new action and new behaviors. The Second Barrier is ubiquitous with the ADHD experience and likely the most maddening aspect of living with ADHD - we don’t do what we know we ought to do. This far reaching discussion explores the significance of being the ‘captain of your own ship’ and moving to a place of resilience around receiving feedback and choice on our own terms. Information about ADHD is varied in its accuracy and too plentiful. In our “One Down” position we can feel like we are not in a position to discern information, accepting some and rejecting the rest. Being at choice with feedback or advice is a key element of breaking through the Second Barrier of ADHD.

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Sep 20, 2021
Enduring Covid Stressors with ADHD
26:51

Continuing the theme of resilience, Shelly and Cam revisit COVID as a topic, discussing the stress of living with an ongoing pandemic. They share personal stories and stories from clients and how the current uncertainty in daily life creates additional stressors. Building effective resilience is about identifying and managing stressors, distinguishing what we can and can not control. With ADHD we can diminish or downplay negative inputs and just try to ‘soldier on’. Acknowledging the stress and impact is a first step in processing feelings and moving through their Understand, Own, Translate process. Shelly and Cam share the SCARF model from David Rock as a useful tool.

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Sep 13, 2021
Resilience and Building a Reflective Practice with ADHD
33:46

Hosts Shelly and Cam continue down the road of resilience with a focus on developing a reflective practice. A reflective practice is a key element of coaching and an absolute linchpin in the action/learning process. Research in neuroscience and meditation shows the benefits of cultivating a reflective practice. The population as a whole under-utilizes this practice and those of us with ADHD can really struggle in developing a consistent reflective practice. We introduce the idea of The Keen Observer, the objective partner to explore and reflect on experiences, thoughts, feelings and how we make meaning and form new beliefs. Cam and Shelly share simple practices to access this powerful resource and Shelly shares a client story where a reflective practice reveals not only a limiting belief but also a break through moment to a new opportunity. Exercises for both Fast Brainers and Big Brainers are included with our new emphasis focusing on practical application of the concepts introduced in each episode.

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Sep 06, 2021
Resilience Practices with ADHD
31:45

Hosts Shelly and Cam continue to explore the concept of resilience and focus on resilience practices. Episode 60 laid out the ‘valley’ experience - getting stuck and not finding a way out. In today’s episode we explore practices to manage those valley moments. We share more examples of challenges when we are ‘deep in the emotion of an event’ like ‘blame sponge’ and our old friend from Episode 4, Adrenaline Response Cycle. Cam shares a  humorous “brain under assault” story and Shelly does a little spot coaching to reveal how Cam used resilience practices to help him manage the stressors. Other concepts and practices to manage valley moments discussed include body awareness, elements of Cam’s Emotional Health Ladder, the power of a reflective practice and Cam and Shelly’s own Triple 10 Ascending practice and Disrupt, Pivot, Activate, Explore sequence. Emotional Health Ladder Levels (Episode 78): Level 1 Present and Calm Level 2 Attending to… Level 3 Auto-pilot Level 4 Survival Level 5 Delusional

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Aug 30, 2021
Reframing Resilience, Support and Practice with ADHD
21:35

Shelly and Cam kick off the second season of the Translating ADHD podcast! In this episode, we lay out what listeners can expect in the next 90 episodes. We reflect on our biggest learnings getting a 20,000ft. view of the podcast and review what our audience is wanting to see more of in each episode. One request from our listeners is to have more examples of live coaching. Another is for us to provide listeners with more insight into how they can practice the concepts presented in the show in the "other 167 hours in the week". Shelly and Cam roll out a format that not only informs the podcast but also the Discord community and their group coaching efforts. The format revolves around the concepts of Resilience, Self-Care, Agency, Project X and Purpose. These are the core elements that inform Shelly and Cam’s coaching work with our individual and group coaching clients. We will still look at common ADHD topics like time and distractibility but through the context of these five cornerstones for living a life that fits.

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Aug 23, 2021
Reflecting on the Translating ADHD Journey and What's Next for The Show
22:34

This week, Cam and Shelly take some time to reflect on their journey in creating and producing the Translating ADHD podcast. We take some time to reflect on where we started, how we've grown, and what we've learned so far after 89 episodes of Translating ADHD. We also discuss what we're considering in the future, and how we plan to use our six week summer break. We examine ways in which we are considering evolving Translating ADHD as a show and discuss how strengthening engagement with our amazing community as a primary goal.

 

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Jul 05, 2021
ADHD PoC Voices: Kofi Obeng Shares his Journey as a Black Man with ADHD and his Advocacy Work
31:13

This week we are delighted to present another special episode dedicated to exploring the lived experiences of people of color with ADHD by presenting an interview with ADHD Advocate Kofi Obeng.

Kofi is a mechanical engineer who lives in South Carolina. He was diagnosed with ADHD in the early 2000s. He is a father of sons with ADHD and has become very involved with the ADHD community. He is a co-facilitator of the African American/Black Diaspora ADHD Group at ADDA. ADDA supports adults with ADHD.

Join Cam in exploring Kofi’s own journey in discovering his own ADHD in college and how he has leveraged his knowledge to help his own children and the greater PoC ADHD community.

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Jun 28, 2021
Disclosing ADHD
19:29

One of the biggest dilemmas we face in our professional lives as ADHD people is the when, what, and how of disclosing our ADHD. Through client examples and years of experience, Shelly and Cam discuss the opportunities and pitfalls of ADHD disclosure. The hosts focus on the rich middle ground between ‘share everything’ and ‘share nothing’ and how the Understand, Own, Translate work listeners are doing can be an effective resource. Cam and Shelly talk about the preconceived notions neurotypicals can have about the term ADHD. They also discuss how to share ADHD challenges in a way to promote connection and ‘conversation starters’ versus ‘conversation stoppers’.

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Jun 21, 2021
Navigating Romantic Relationships with ADHD
26:31

Romantic relationships can present tremendous challenges with ADHD in the equation. Romantic relationships produce big, intense signals that can block out other things. This is especially true because of the emotional investment that comes with a romantic relationship and the emotional dysregulation that comes with ADHD.

Shelly and Cam continue their discussion on ‘seeing oneself in the picture’ as they explore romantic relationships. We delve into how developing a healthy, meaningful, complimentary relationship with ADHD in the mix largely lives in Quadrant 2 (important, but not urgent). We also discuss how success is largely connected to the state of one's primary relationship and the impact that the state of a primary relationship has on the work we do with our clients and advocate for in the podcast.

 

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Jun 14, 2021
Managing Personal Relationships with ADHD
30:12

Personal relationships can often be more challenging than professional relationships with ADHD in the mix. Just remove all of the work related structures like role, goal and objective and add elements like emotional investment and historical baggage and watch out!

Shelly and Cam continue their discussion on ‘seeing oneself in the picture’ as they explore personal relationships - typical personas like rescuer or bulldozer, common pitfalls like over extension or ‘making up for’ behavior and strategies to develop new understanding and exercise choice. They continue to  delve into the significance of concepts like expectations, needs and developing better personal boundaries. Finally, they look at the common challenges when neurodiverse individuals try to navigate relationships with neurotypicals.

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Jun 07, 2021
Managing Professional Relationships with ADHD
26:35

Continuing their discussion on agency and advocacy, Shelly and Cam tackle the all important area of managing professional relationships. The workplace is where translating opportunities and challenges will be ever present. In this episode, Shelly and Cam share a number of client stories as they highlight the significance of setting clear agreements, managing expectations and addressing needs.

They continue the ‘seeing self in the picture’ concept with more of a focus on the picture part - is what is being asked reasonable or even feasible?  The discuss the challenges of negotiating from a perceived ‘one-down’ mindset many of us with ADHD experience. Finally, Cam and Shelly introduce the phenomenon of a gap between one’s internal dialogue and their external behaviors - the pitfalls and opportunities presented here.

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May 31, 2021
Defining Your Roles and Knowing Your Value with ADHD
26:35

This week, Shelly and Cam continue their discussion on "seeing yourself in your picture" and the broader concepts of agency and advocacy. In this episode they focus on role definition and value creation. As divergent thinkers we can believe that we need to cast a broader net when it comes to roles and value. Shelly and Cam make the case for limiting scope here.

Shelly introduces the coaching skill of co-creating and how anyone can use this skill to further define role and value in everyday conversations reintroducing terms like needs, expectations and boundaries.

Both bring examples of client scenarios to further illustrate this skillset.

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May 24, 2021
Putting Yourself in the Picture: Agency and Advocacy with ADHD
27:23

As ADHD people, we can be so focused on the biggest signals that we lose ourselves in our own pictures. This week on the Translating ADHD podcast, Cam and Shelly pivot to introduce a new concept of agency and advocacy that will inform the next several episodes from articulating needs in relationships to whether to disclose your ADHD at your workplace.

The definition of agency we introduce is the social science definition that includes acting independently and exercising free choice. Often there are two camps when it comes to navigating conventional (and neurotypical) societal norms - to reject them wholeheartedly or to attempt to assimilate fully. We see agency as a path to navigate a rich middle ground.

Cam and Shelly also discuss their upcoming group coaching class Navigating the Lunch Counter and Cam shares a story of deliberately losing his executive functioning in the middle of the produce section of Wegmans Grocery.

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May 17, 2021
Accessing Nuance and the Subtle Signals with ADHD
28:41

As ADHD people, we pay most attention to the the things that generate the biggest signals. This week on the Translating ADHD podcast, Cam and Shelly continue our conversation on the ADHD signal-based attention system. We look at several ADHD coaching client scenarios in this episode. Through these scenarios we examine how big signals can disrupt. We then look at how our work to help our clients access the more subtle signals gave nuance and clarity to the situation. This clarity ultimately leads to positive outcomes as it disrupts the binary all or nothing, black or white thinking and allows us to engage in creative problem solving and to be at choice.

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May 10, 2021
Hyperfocus and the Allure of the Big Positive Signal
26:51

As ADHD people, we pay most attention to the the things that generate the biggest signals. This week on the Translating ADHD podcast, Cam and Shelly discuss how big positive signals can be as disruptive here as big negative signals.

We discuss how listeners can build awareness around big positive signals, including our tendencies as ADHD people to use positive signals to avoid negative ones and to hyperfocus on positive signals to the detriment of other important but more subtle signals.

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May 03, 2021
Navigating the Fight, Flight, or Freeze Stress Response with ADHD (pt. 2)
27:25

As ADHD people, we pay most attention to the the things that generate the biggest signals. This week on the Translating ADHD podcast, Cam and Shelly continue working with the stress response metaphor we introduced last week.

We discuss how listeners can use this metaphor as a way to build awareness around the stress response and to leverage that awareness to have a different experience with the types of dilemmas that cause us to end up in fight, flight, or freeze.

Episode links + resources:

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Apr 26, 2021
Navigating the Fight, Flight, or Freeze Stress Response with ADHD
28:38

As ADHD people, we pay most attention to the the things that generate the biggest signals. This week on the Translating ADHD podcast, Cam and Shelly continue our conversation on big negative signals and the corresponding stress response.

Using a metaphor that Cam first presented at CHADD in 2019, we discuss how ADHD adults can build awareness of our stress responses. We then talk about how we can use that awareness to disrupt the stress response before it happens.

Episode links + resources:

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Apr 19, 2021
ADHD and the Stress Response of Fight, Flight, or Freeze
26:31

As ADHD people, we pay most attention to the the things that generate the biggest signals. This week on the Translating ADHD podcast, Cam and Shelly continue the conversation by discussing negative big signals.

We discuss how negative big signals often produce a stress response our ADHD clients. We then look at examples of each type of stress response: Fight, Flight, and Freeze. Cam and Shelly then share how clients were able to use awareness as a tool to begin to disrupt this type of stress response before it happens by noticing and naming the negative signal which creates an opportunity for a different outcome.

Episode links + resources:

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Apr 12, 2021
Hyperfocus and Navigating Big Cognitive Signals with ADHD
25:31

As ADHD people, we pay most attention to the things that generate the biggest signals. This week on the Translating ADHD podcast, we dive deeper into this signal based attention system.

 

We discuss our tendency as ADHD adults to rely on the Adrenaline Response Cycle (ARC) and hyperfocus as primary tools for getting to action. The challenge here is that these tools are only effective for the biggest signals, those generated by emotion or urgency. This leaves us ignoring the more nuanced signals, the ones that often speak to what really matters to us. Cam and Shelly discuss how many of our clients come to coaching with the limiting belief that their previous strategies "no longer work". The reality here is more nuanced - as life gets more complicated and our goals get more lofty, relying only on paying attention to the biggest signals and the subsequent ADHD response of adrenaline or hyperfocus no longer works because these reactive tendencies don't allow for forward progress.

 

Episode links + resources:

 

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Apr 05, 2021
ADHD and Managing Signal Based Attention with REBEL
26:38

As ADHD people, we pay most attention to the the things that generate the biggest signals. This causes us to give our attention to things that may not be our priority, and to avoid the big signals that are painful. The big signal generators that often get our attention include: interest, urgency, avoidance, emotion, visibility, novelty, and perceived conflict.

This week Cam and Shelly bring the REBEL model together by discussing how we can apply REBEL model to navigate our ADHD brain's "signal based attention system". We discuss several successful outcomes with our ADHD coaching clients that demonstrate REBEL in action and how it can help us tune into more subtle signals. The REBEL model: Remember to remind the brain Expand the mind Balanced Attack Exposure to time, to new experiences Limit scope, start with what you know

Episode links + resources:

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Mar 29, 2021
An ADHD Productivity Tool: REBEL and Exposure to New Experiences
27:45

This week Cam and Shelly continue their discussion on competence and confidence diving into Cam’s productivity tool REBEL by taking a closer look at the second E and Exposure to New Experiences. Exposure to New Experiences is at the heart of the work we do as ADHD coaches. When our clients commit to actions in coaching it is an opportunity to test and try and to be exposed to new and different experiences, regardless of the outcome of the action. This is the learning action model we talk about on the show: building knowledge of of the self and one's uniquely wired brain over time to create lasting change. The REBEL model: Remember to remind the brain Expand the mind Balanced Attack Exposure to time, to new experiences Limit scope, start with what you know

Episode links + resources:

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Mar 22, 2021
An ADHD Productivity Tool: REBEL and Exposure to Time
26:34

This week Cam and Shelly continue their discussion on competence and confidence diving into Cam’s productivity tool REBEL by taking a closer look at the second E and Exposure to Time. Exposure to Time addresses how ADHD adults experience time differently. We discuss how those of us with ADHD often live in now or not now, and how we can begin to have a different experience with time. Exposure to Time is about practicing awareness so that we can step back and see beyond the big signals and begin to develop a better relationship with the smaller signal of time. The REBEL model: Remember to remind the brain Expand the mind Balanced Attack Exposure to time, to new experiences Limit scope, start with what you know

Episode links + resources:

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Mar 15, 2021
An ADHD Productivity Tool: REBEL and Balanced Attack
27:32

This week Cam and Shelly continue their discussion on competence and confidence diving into Cam’s productivity tool REBEL by taking a closer look at B and Balanced Attack. Balanced Attack addresses ADHD tendencies around motivation. The first is our tendency to follow what is interesting and to struggle to engage with tasks that do not engage the interest based attention system we have ad ADHD people. The next is our tendency as ADHD adults to rely on urgency and the adrenaline response to urgency to motivation, especially for tasks that we cannot motivate for based on interest. Balanced Attack is about managing tasks that are uninteresting or otherwise challenging for those of us with ADHD so that we have more time, space, and bandwidth for what matters. The REBEL model: Remember to remind the brain Expand the mind Balanced Attack Exposure to time, to new experiences Limit scope, start with what you know

Episode links + resources:

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Mar 08, 2021
An ADHD Productivity Tool: REBEL and Remember to Remind the Brain
26:54

This week Cam and Shelly continue their discussion on competence and confidence diving into Cam’s productivity tool REBEL by taking a closer look at R and Remember to Remind the Brain. Remember to Remind the brain addresses the memory challenges with ADHD, and especially remembering in the moment. As ADHD people we connect and make meaning in the moment, however, we often forget what we know outside of that moment. How do we keep what is relevant front and center? What are the things that we have learned about our own ADHD experiences and what we know to be true about ourselves? This week, Cam and Shelly discuss how listeners can use Remember to Remind the brain to make these key connections in the moment in order to keep what is relevant front and center and to remember and apply what we know about ourselves. The REBEL model: Remember to remind the brain Expand the mind Balance the attack Exposure to time, to new experiences Limit scope, start with what you know

Episode links + resources:

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Mar 01, 2021
An ADHD Productivity Tool: REBEL and Expand the Mind
27:30

This week Cam and Shelly continue their discussion on competence and confidence diving into Cam’s productivity tool REBEL by taking a closer look at the first E and Expand the Mind. For a group with wide ranging imaginations & perspectives those of us with ADHD can lock into a predetermined outcome then claim failure if our actions don't match our initial picture of success. Both Cam and Shelly discuss how Expand the Mind was instrumental in giant leaps forward as coaches and as neurodivergent souls. The REBEL model: Remember to remind the brain Expand the mind Balance the attack Exposure to time, to new experiences Limit scope, start with what you know

Episode links + resources:

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Feb 22, 2021
ADHD PoC Voices: Rhashidah Perry Jones Shares on ADHD Advocacy in Black Communities
30:57

This week we are delighted to present another special episode dedicated to exploring the lived experiences of people of color with ADHD by presenting an interview with ADHD Parent Advocate and Coach Rhashidah Perry Jones.

Rhashidah has spent the last 20 years educating parents and individuals with ADHD through her work with CHADD. Rhashidah is an executive with a non-profit organization addressing fair housing issues and homelessness in the greater Philadelphia area.

Join Cam in exploring Rhashidah’s own education in learning about ADHD through raising her own child and the obstacles and opportunities facing communities of color. This conversation is a powerful testament to the value of optimism, resilience, courage and hope.

Episode links + resources:

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Feb 15, 2021
An ADHD Productivity Tool: REBEL and Limit Scope
31:03

This week Cam and Shelly continue their discussion on competence and confidence diving into Cam’s productivity tool REBEL by taking a closer look at L and Limit Scope. Those of us with ADHD know a thing or two about over committing and over-extending. Limit Scope is all about knowing your limits, limiting what comes onto your plate and how to effectively move things to completion. Cam pulls out the metaphorical stops on this episode with melon patches, half baked cakes and stairwells with one key missing element. The REBEL model: Remember to remind the brain Expand the mind Balance the attack Exposure to time, to new experiences Limit scope, start with what you know

Episode links + resources:

For more Translating ADHD:

Feb 08, 2021
Developing Competence and Confidence through Practice
30:12

As ADHD adults we often undermine ourselves in the areas of building confidence and competence. We find ourselves overwhelmed with choices in these areas, not knowing where to start or which actions will serve us best. This week, Cam and Shelly discuss how ADHD adults can help us develop confidence and competence and introduce a model for this practice that we will break down in detail over the next several episodes. The REBEL model: Remember to remind the brain Expand the mind Balance the attack Exposure to time, to new experiences Limit scope, start with what you know

Episode links + resources:

For more Translating ADHD:

Feb 01, 2021
Beyond Imposter Syndrome: Cultivating Confidence and Competence
25:56

This week, Cam and Shelly continue our conversation on ADHD and Imposter Syndrome by examining how listeners can begin to move beyond Imposter Syndrome. In addition to naming and distinguishing Imposter Syndrome when it is happening, there are ways that we can develop supports for ourselves as ADHD adults to be able to more readily step out of Imposter Syndrome. Today, we look at the concept of a skill development practice to develop confidence and competence as one critical support here.

 

Episode links + resources:

 

 

For more Translating ADHD:

 

 

Jan 25, 2021
ADHD and Imposter Syndrome
24:53

This week, Cam and Shelly dive into the topic of Imposter Syndrome. This topic comes up frequently both in our client work and in our Discord community. Imposter Syndrome tends to show up despite evidence to the contrary. Using examples from our own experiences and our client work, we discuss why this happens for those of us with ADHD brains and how listeners can recognize and create change around Imposter Syndrome for themselves.

 

Episode links + resources:

 

 

For more Translating ADHD:

 

 

Jan 18, 2021
Grieving for our Past Selves after an ADHD Diagnosis
31:24

This week, Cam and Shelly dive into the topic of grieving our past selves. As coaches, we often work with people who come to us with a new ADHD diagnosis, and with that diagnosis comes new context. With that context comes both the awareness that there are real reasons that we struggle, and the grief for our past selves as we wonder what might have been different had we known sooner that we have ADHD brains. We then discuss how grieving our past selves as ADHD adults isn't a process we go through once, but rather a process that will happen many times as we do our own understand, own, and translate work. We bring in client examples and metaphors to illustrate how and when this type of grief shows up and how listeners can recognize this grief for what it is and begin to work through it.

Episode links + resources:

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Jan 11, 2021
Revisiting our ADHD Cause and Effect Metaphor: How to Use this Model to Create Change
29:26

This week, Cam and Shelly finish a series of episodes to revisit the Cause and Effect metaphor that we presented in episodes ten and eleven. In this episode, we bring the component parts of the metaphor we've discussed in the last few weeks together to show the whole picture. In addition to discussing how the metaphor comes together, we discuss the bigger purpose the Mt. Rainier Cause and Effect metaphor. This metaphor is a more detailed version of our Understand, Own, Translate process. The goal of both frameworks is to discuss how ADHD people can most effectively create long lasting change.

Mt. Rainier Metaphor Illustration:

Cam's illustration of our Mt. Rainier Cause and Effect Metaphor.

Episode links + resources:

For more Translating ADHD:

Jan 04, 2021
Revisiting our ADHD Cause and Effect Metaphor: Above the Lunch Counter
34:47

This week, Cam and Shelly continue a series of episodes to revisit the Cause and Effect metaphor that we presented in episodes ten and eleven. In this episode, we continue to break down this metaphor to help listeners better understand language we use regularly in the show. In this episode, we continue to look at Cam's own ADHD journey in the context of our metaphor. We start by looking at the point that Cam first found himself up above the metaphorical Lunch Counter, the place where he came to ownership of his own ADHD experience. We then discuss the work that Cam did above the Lunch Counter in examining combinations of symptoms and learning about his individual ADHD manifestation and what was at causation for him.

Mt. Rainier Metaphor Illustration:

Cam's illustration of our Mt. Rainier Cause and Effect Metaphor.

Episode links + resources:

For more Translating ADHD:

Dec 28, 2020
Revisiting our ADHD Cause and Effect Metaphor: The Lunch Counter
29:30

This week, Cam and Shelly continue a series of episodes to revisit the Cause and Effect metaphor that we presented in episodes ten and eleven. In this episode and in the coming weeks, we will break down this metaphor to help listeners better understand language we use regularly in the show. This week, we continue our discussion by discussing where awareness work begins as ADHD adults: at The Lunch Counter. The Lunch Counter the place that ADHD adults find themselves in after diagnosis; the place where we start to learn about level-1 ADHD symptoms. We then discuss the limitations of the Lunch Counter and why our model does not end here. While there is helpful information to be had in examining level-1 ADHD symptoms, the real work begins by examining combinations of symptoms and learning about one's individual ADHD manifestation.

Mt. Rainier Metaphor Illustration:   Cam's illustration of our Mt. Rainier Cause and Effect Metaphor.   Episode links + resources: For more Translating ADHD:
Dec 21, 2020
Revisiting our ADHD Cause and Effect Metaphor: The Valleys
27:52

This week, Cam and Shelly begin a series of episodes to revisit the Cause and Effect metaphor that we presented in episodes ten and eleven. In this episode and in the coming weeks, we will break down this metaphor to help listeners better understand language we use regularly in the show. This week, we start by reminding listeners why we chose Mt. Rainier as the center of our metaphor. We then discuss the area of the metaphor that most of our ADHD adult clients find themselves in when they come to coaching: The Valleys below Mt. Rainier. We then use Cam's experience to examine how we see The Valleys as the area of being in the effect of our ADHD behaviors, and how listeners can apply this model to begin to examine their own lived experience and start to move toward the next portion of the model, which we will discuss next week: The Lunch Counter.

Mt. Rainier Metaphor Illustration:

Cam's illustration of our Mt. Rainier Cause and Effect Metaphor.

Episode links + resources:

For more Translating ADHD:

Dec 14, 2020
Big Brain Fast Brain: An ADHD Modal Model
32:29
One of the best things about doing this show is that, as your hosts, we are also learning. We are constantly examining our models, concepts, and language as we deliver episodes to you. 

This week, we examine the language we've been using for modes of operation as ADHD people. Taking our previous "Planner and/or Doer" language, we introduce and discuss a new model that we feel better describes a range of ADHD experiences: "Big Brain and/or Fast Brain"

Episode links + resources: For more Translating ADHD:
Dec 07, 2020
Developing Keystone Habits with ADHD
34:20

Building habits can be a challenge as ADHD adults. This week, Cam and Shelly introduce the concept of keystone habits. We discuss how learning what the important large and small keystone habits are for ourselves as ADHD people is so important because keystone habits are the foundational habits that we can build other habits on. We then give examples of keystone habits from our own lives and our client work and talk about how listeners can begin to discover what your keystone habits might be.

Episode links + resources:

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Nov 30, 2020
Activating for the Tasks that Matter with ADHD (pt. 2)
26:30

In today's episode, Cam and Shelly continue our conversation on what is really happening for us ADHD people in the gap between awareness and action. We discuss the "pain portal" that exists in this space and give several examples of how clients have used our our understand, own, translate model to pass through the painful place and get to action.

Episode links + resources:

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Nov 23, 2020
Activating for the Tasks that Matter with ADHD (pt. 1)
26:52

ADHD makes us unaware, makes us disengage, or makes us fail to engage. Much of the work that Cam and Shelly do with our adult ADHD clients is discussing how to bridge the gap between awareness and action: We know what we want to do but we don't know why we don't do it. Today, we discuss the what is really happening for us ADHD people when we fail to bridge the gap between awareness and action.

Episode links + resources:

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Nov 16, 2020
ADHD and Avoidance
29:45

As ADHD adults, we are masters at finding ways to not do what we know we ought to do. We often think the problem is procrastination, but procrastination is not a helpful description of what is actually happening for us. In this episode, Cam and Shelly dive into one ADHD manifestation that can look like procrastination: avoidance. Using several examples we discuss how avoiding behavior can show up, and how listeners can learn to start to recognize avoiding behavior when it is showing up, and how to begin creating change here.

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Nov 09, 2020
Distinguishing High Value Work with ADHD
26:22

As ADHD adults, we struggle to distinguish high value work from low value tasks. We lose sight of our priorities during the work day, or we get sidetracked and lose sight of the bigger picture when working on a project. In this episode, Cam and Shelly discuss how listeners can begin to distinguish high value work as a way to prioritize and to focus on what matters when tackling a bigger project.

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Nov 02, 2020
ADHD and Decision Making (pt. 2)
36:10

This week, Cam and Shelly continue our conversation on ADHD and decision making by looking at decision making during the work day. We look at where missed decision points can happen during our work day. We then discuss how listeners can apply a learning action model to create change by catching more opportunities for decision, considering what the decision at hand is when a decision point is identified, and saving bandwidth for the decisions that matter.

Episode links + resources:

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Oct 26, 2020
ADHD and Decision Making (pt. 1)
34:22

This week, Cam and Shelly turn our attention to decision making at a high level. We discuss how so much of what we struggle with as ADHD people comes down to indecision or missed decision points. We then give examples to highlight the different ways in which ADHD impacts decision making and give several scenarios to highlight ADHD related challenges that have learning to make good decisions at their core.

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Oct 19, 2020
ADHD and Task Management (pt. 2)
26:22

This week, Cam and Shelly build on last week's episode by discussing steps listeners can take to start to take control of task management. We discuss the 3-Step method that Shelly uses with clients to start building good habits around task management, and how listeners can use this method as a starting place to learn what works best for them.

Episode links + resources:

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Oct 12, 2020
ADHD and Task Management (pt. 1)
27:03

This week, Cam and Shelly continue our conversation on creating a meaningful work day as ADHD adults by looking at task management at a high level. We break down the many ways in which ADHD can interfere with task management and discuss ways in which listeners can begin to examine how their ADHD is showing up each day and how it might be interfering with effective task management.

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Oct 05, 2020
The Power of Explicit Agreements with ADHD
29:21

This week, Cam and Shelly continue our conversation on creating a meaningful work day as ADHD adults by looking at agreements. We discuss the implicit agreements that we make with ourselves and others, and how we can fail to uphold those agreements when they are not clear or when a bigger signal grabs our attention. We then look at why explicit agreements are much more powerful for our ADHD brains. When we make explicit agreements with ourselves and others we know our commitment, our role, and how others around us can support. Finally, we discuss how listeners can begin to examine their existing agreements to look for opportunities to strengthen those agreements.

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Sep 28, 2020
ADHD and Reimagining Accountability
32:31

This week, Cam and Shelly discuss how ADHD adults often view accountability as a negative value judgment that requires us to always use our time productively. We then discuss how ADHD can reimagine accountability to create positive support and mutual accountability with our collaborators. We also share our accountability practices in producing this podcast together, and some lessons learned from other accountability relationships. Use code cam for a $5 discount on Cam's book: Curious Accountability: Three Coaching Conversations for Better Client Results

Episode links + resources:

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Sep 21, 2020
ADHD and Emotional Organizing
31:07

This week, Cam and Shelly continue the conversation on how ADHD adults can reframe what it means to have a meaningful work day. We discuss how ADHD brains often determine what we will or will not do based on what we "feel like" doing, and present alternatives to emotional organizing to prioritize and plan your work day as an ADHD person.

Episode links + resources:

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Sep 14, 2020
Creating a Meaningful Work Day with ADHD
32:09

This week, Cam and Shelly discuss how ADHD adults can reframe what it means to have a meaningful work day. We examine the limited usefulness of workplace motivational statements for ADHD adults, many of which place importance on being accountable for our time, and discuss other ways in which we can measure a meaningful work day. Use code cam for a $5 discount on Cam's book: Curious Accountability: Three Coaching Conversations for Better Client Results

Episode links + resources:

Sep 07, 2020
ADHD and Sleep (pt. 2)
30:30

This week, Cam and Shelly continue our discussing on ADHD and sleep by exploring how Shelly worked over time to change her relationships with sleep from chronically under slept to well rested.

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Aug 31, 2020
ADHD and Sleep (pt. 1)
32:32

Adults with ADHD are significantly more likely to have problems with sleep than the general population, and to make matters worse our ADHD gets in the way of being able to create change around sleep. This week, Cam and Shelly discuss how listeners can start to create change around sleep using our understand, own, and translate model.

Episode links + resources: For more Translating ADHD:  
Aug 24, 2020
ADHD and Self Advocacy
29:42

As ADHD adults, our own ADHD can often get in the way of good self advocacy. As coaches, Cam and Shelly often see this in clients who seek out coaching when relationships at work or at home have deteriorated to a point where recovery may not be possible. In this episode we discuss how listeners can have a different experience with self advocacy using the understand, own, and translate model.

Episode links + resources:

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Aug 17, 2020
ADHD and Identity
26:41

This week Cam and Shelly discuss how our relationship with our ADHD changes and evolves over time as we learn more about ourselves and our neurodiverse brains. We also discuss how this relates to ownership, and how owning our ADHD looks different for each individual.

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Aug 10, 2020
Why Individual Manifestation and Awareness Matter
29:06

This week Cam and Shelly zoom back out to look at ADHD brains at a more global level. We revisit the topic of individual manifestation and our belief that understanding ones own unique brain wiring is the best way for an ADHD person to create change.

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Aug 03, 2020
Honoring Who You Are
28:07

 

This week Cam and Shelly revisit the major shifts that Shelly discussed in the "Stepping Into Who You Are" episode to discuss what happened next. With the powerful shifts that Shelly experienced, she realized that a major piece of her life wasn't allowing her to live authentically which led her to make a difficult and life-altering decision.

 

Episode links + resources:

 

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Jul 27, 2020
Defining Big C Coaching
24:37

This week Cam and Shelly revisit the topic of "Big C" Coaching. We discuss what defines a "Big C" coach and why this style of coach approach is such a powerful tool for our ADHD brains.

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Jul 20, 2020
ADHD PoC Voices: Inger Shares on Being a Black Woman with ADHD
24:50

This week we are delighted to present our first special episode dedicated to exploring the lived experiences of people of color with ADHD by presenting an interview with our friend and colleague Inger Shaye Colzie. Inger is a Black woman with ADHD and a coach + therapist. Join Cam in exploring her lived experience as they discuss her current coaching + therapy career, her experience as a child with ADHD, and the unique challenges she sees for Black women with ADHD.

Episode links + resources:

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Jul 13, 2020
Stepping Into Who You Are
26:30

 

This week we try something a little different to demonstrate how ADHD brains can be an asset when we know how to manage our attention and focus on what matters. Join us as Cam coaches Shelly to help her examine and articulate the powerful shift she recently experienced that brought her life's purpose into full view and allowed her to step into a new more powerful version of herself.

 

Episode links + resources:

 

 

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Jul 06, 2020
Managing All of Life's Roles
28:45

This week we revisit the idea of knowing your role as adults with ADHD. However, this time we look at it from a different angle that Cam and Shelly often see show up with their clients; when we get so focused on one role that the others seemingly vanish. Using real world scenarios we examine the different ways that we and our clients have experienced disappearing roles, and discuss what listeners can do to examine and create change around this experience in their own lives.

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Jun 29, 2020
Making Anti-Racism Part of the Show Culture + Community Announcement
09:41

This week we are taking a pause to discuss our plans to make anti-racism a part of the culture of Translating ADHD. Both of your hosts believe that silence is complacency, and that we have a responsibility to use our platform to speak out against racism and to amplify the voices of our Black colleagues doing great work in the ADHD space. Here's the plan:

Financial Support for Anti-Racism.

We launched our community for show patrons today. Gain access to our Discord community when you become a patron at the Translator level ($5/mo) via Patreon.

  • 100% of our proceeds earned via Patreon through 12/21/20 will be donated to anti-racism causes.
  • 10% of our proceeds earned via Patreon will be donated to anti-racism causes forever.

Amplifying the Voices of Black ADHD Professionals and ADHD Professionals of Color.

For the most part, the show you know and love will not be changing. Our primary format will still be conversations between Shelly and Cam. However, we recognize that the lived experiences of Black people and other people of color with ADHD have unique challenges and we want to make room to explore these topics with our colleagues who have the lived experiences to share.

Speaking on Anti-Racism Topics as Relates to ADHD

Cam and Shelly will continue examine current events from the ADHD lens. This will include, whenever appropriate, discussing relevant issues on the subject of anti-racism as relates to our adult ADHD audience.

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Jun 22, 2020
The Power of Being At Choice
27:00

When we are at choice as adults with ADHD it can make difficult tasks easier and help us shift from a perspective of being free from pain to one of being free to do what matters. Today, we talk about how seeking relief from your level 1 symptoms works but can't sustain a long term management plan. Enter freedom and choice.

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Jun 15, 2020
How Clean Slate Thinking Harms Us
24:41

Have you ever found yourself believing that if you could just start with a "clean slate", things would be different? Today, Shelly and Cam ask our listeners to examine clean slate thinking. We look at the circumstances that compel us to want to start over and the appeal of a clean slate as an answer to complexity or overwhelm. We also dig into our own experiences to discuss the past damaging behaviors and patterns that each of us experienced in pursuit of a clean slate.

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Jun 08, 2020
Living With ADHD Does Not Make You Broken
28:49

 

Because we struggle with things that seem "easy" for most people, those of us with ADHD tend to develop the belief over time that there is something inherently wrong with us. Taking it a step further, we often try to hide our differences by bending over backwards to blend in with the neurotypical majority. Today, Shelly and Cam ask our listeners to question the limiting belief that having ADHD makes us broken; and instead to consider how owning both your strengths and challenges as an adult with ADHD empowers you to adapt to methods that work for you and honor the fact that your needs are different.

 

Episode links + resources:

 

 

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Jun 01, 2020
Stepping Out of the "I'm Not Doing This Right" Mindset
24:51

Because our brains are wired differently than the neurotypical majority, those of us with ADHD can often fall into the trap of believing that we are not doing things right. Today, Cam and Shelly use client examples to demonstrate how the "I'm not doing this right" mindset can show up in friendships and work relationships. We then discuss how these clients were able to shift their perspective from a a place of inferiority to one of different, but equal.

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May 25, 2020
Utilizing Supportive People with ADHD
27:05

Today, Cam and Shelly come back to our conversation on resources to discuss how we can better utilize the supportive people in our lives . We discuss how we as adults with ADHD often resist asking for help because we view it as a sign of weakness. We then ask listeners to consider the perspective that together, we are stronger.

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May 18, 2020
Letting it Be Easy with ADHD
32:32

Today, Cam and Shelly discuss a guiding philosophy that Shelly lives by in her own life and uses frequently with clients: Let It Be Easy. We discuss how we as adults with ADHD often get in our own way, over-complicating problems or approaching them from the wrong angle. We then give examples of how we and our clients have used this philosophy to find the "let it be easy" approach and how listeners can apply this philosophy to their own challenges.

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May 11, 2020
Finding the Right Path with the Big Agenda
23:34

As coaches, we use The Big Agenda to help our clients understand the bigger reasons they are working to create change and to link the work they are doing to positive outcomes, and to provide signposts that we are on the right path. In today's episode, we discuss how listeners can begin to consider what defines their own Big Agenda, and how we use our clients Big Agendas to provide signposts on their journey.

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May 04, 2020
Managing Distraction to Reach Completion
31:50

For those of us with ADHD, distractions are a struggle. When we are distracted by a compelling thought or idea, we are often not only taken off task but taken down a rabbit hole. In today's episode, Shelly and Cam discuss a model for managing distractions so that we can reach the completions that matter to us.

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Apr 27, 2020
Managing Mental and Emotional Energy with ADHD
27:18

As we do the work of adjusting to this temporary new normal, we often feel like we are at our mental and emotional limits. This week, Cam and Shelly open up about our own experiences in this unique time, including what we are aware of and what we are working to adjust.

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Apr 20, 2020
ADHD and Setting Boundaries
38:16

As our world shrink and our access to other people is limited, there is a need for us and the people in quarantine with us to set healthy boundaries so that we don't sacrifice our own well being to meet the needs of those in our households. This week, Cam and Shelly discuss setting boundaries and managing expectations both in the context of quarantine and in general as adults with ADHD.

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Apr 13, 2020
Managing Mental and Emotional Overload with ADHD
43:50

This week, Shelly and Cam continue our discussion of ADHD experience in the context of the current coronavirus pandemic. Though the pace of life may be slower for many of us, our bandwidth is being stretched by uncertainty, powerful emotions, and the effort of trying to find our new normal. Using Cam's DAM model, we discuss how to manage the mental and emotional overload brought on by these uncertain times by evaluating and adjusting what we can control: our behavior.

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Apr 06, 2020
Shifting from "Snow Day" to Opportunity Mentality while Social Distancing with ADHD
32:41

This week, Cam and Shelly discuss how different clients are experiencing the slow down in the pace of life as they practice social distancing amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. As the number of urgent items that need our attention decreases, our clients are turning our attention to activating on items that are important but not urgent. Using several recent client examples we discuss how our clients are uniquely experiencing reduction in urgency and demands on their attention as adults with ADHD. Using these examples, we then discuss how listeners can adjust in the absence of urgency by looking for the opportunities created by this slower pace.

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Mar 30, 2020
Navigating COVID-19 Related Disruptions with ADHD
39:40

As coaches, Cam and Shelly are working with clients on managing the many disruptions caused by the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The individual challenges are as unique as our clients, the individual impacts they are experiencing, and their individual ADHD experience. In today's episode, we bring that conversation to our listeners by discussing what we and our clients are working through: lost or reduced income, loss of crucial supports (environments, people, routines, structure), managing time when everything happens all under one roof, and more.

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Mar 23, 2020
Identifying and Accessing Resources with ADHD
36:25

As adults with ADHD, we often do do not see the many resources available to us. However, when we are operating from a place of strength, we can start to identify and access those resources. In today's episode, Cam and Shelly discuss the importance of approaching resources from a place of strength, identify several areas in which to look for and identify resources, and give examples in a few crucial resource areas.

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Mar 16, 2020
Shifting to a Strengths Based Perspective with ADHD
32:48

This week we continue the conversation around strengths by looking at Shelly's client Sally and her limiting belief that she had to "pass as neurotypical" to be successful. Cam and Shelly break down how Sally shifted from this limiting belief to a strengths based perspective. We also discuss why this shift is so important and why it is often the place we begin with our clients.

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Mar 09, 2020
Tapping Into Strengths with ADHD
32:32

This week we turn our attention to tapping into our strengths as adults with ADHD. Cam and Shelly break down why we are strengths based coaches and discuss how accessing and leveraging strengths is a powerful way to help our clients create the change they are seeking. We then cap the conversation by discussing how accessing and leveraging strengths helped one of Cam's clients turn a scenario at work from one of challenge to one of opportunity and success.

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Mar 02, 2020
ADHD, Hyperfocus, and Flow State
38:10

 

As adults with ADHD we often have a black or white view of hyperfocus. On one hand we see it as a powerful elixir or superpower that allows us incredible focus and productivity. On the other, we know that hyperfocus can distract us from what is important by dragging us down Alice in Wonderland style rabbit holes. In today's episode, Shelly and Cam discuss how to create awareness around hyperfocus by distinguishing when we are hyperfocusing on tasks that are timely and relevant from tasks that are not. We bring in examples from our own experience, discuss popular examples of hyperfocus portrayal, and discuss how hyperfocus differs from flow state.

 

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Feb 24, 2020
Distinguishing ADHD and Time Management
34:18

As adults with ADHD we often view time as the enemy, because many of the effects of ADHD look like poor time management. Today, Shelly discusses her experience working with neurotypical adults and adults with ADHD in the areas of time management and breaks the differences in experiences. Shelly and Cam then distinguish time management challenges from ADHD challenges. We also discuss how effects of our ADHD challenges are often mistakenly believed to have cause in time management issues, both by ourselves and the neurotypicals around us.

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Feb 17, 2020
Time, Transitions, and Hyperfocus (pt. 1)
35:41

Transitions are difficult for those of us with ADHD. Often we can become stuck in one of two gears: the neutral gear of "the planner" or the 5th gear of "the doer" with little access to the gears between the two. This inability to access other gears tends to keep us stuck in either a pre-action or reaction mode. In today's episode Cam and Shelly discuss how to identify which gear you tend to be stuck in, and how those of us with ADHD can begin to access the gears between neutral and 5th.

"Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.

-Japanese Proverb

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Feb 10, 2020
ADHD and Experiencing Time
45:08

Those of us with ADHD experience time differently. To complicate matters, our perception of time can vary based on individual ADHD manifestation and a number of outside factors. Today Cam and Shelly discuss some of the ways in which they and their clients experience time differently. We also discuss how to begin developing awareness of your own experience of time as an adult with ADHD so that you develop strategies to get what matters to you while managing the amount of time that is given to or taken by others.

Cam's Seven Factors to Action:

Take the item or goal on your list that has not budged and rank each of these areas from 1-10. The areas that fall below a 7 are the ones that speak to why this item is not moving forward.

  1. Level of interest
  2. Level of ease
  3. Level of urgency
  4. Level of fun
  5. Level of accountability
  6. Level of relevance or importance
  7. Level of emotional load

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Feb 03, 2020
ADHD and Doing What Matters
32:51

As adults with ADHD we respond well to urgency, but not necessarily to importance. This often leads to us failing to act on the things that are important to us but will never be urgent; items such as career and business goals, self care goals, and self improvement goals. Today, Cam and Shelly discuss why these items are so difficult for us to get to action on as adults with ADHD, and how we can objectively evaluate what has us stuck here.

Cam's Six Factors to Action:

Take the item or goal on your list that has not budged and rank each of these areas from 1-10. The areas that fall below a 7 are the ones that speak to why this item is not moving forward.

  1. Level of interest
  2. Level of ease
  3. Level of urgency
  4. Level of fun
  5. Level of accountability
  6. Level of relevance or importance

Episode links + resources:

For more Translating ADHD:

Jan 27, 2020
ADHD and Sense of Self
44:16

This week Cam and Shelly continue the conversation around ADHD and negative self talk by exploring how we have each shifted in this area over time. We each discuss a recent scenario in which ADHD caught us off guard, what the consequences were, and how we were able to manage both the situation at hand and our ADHD tendencies. We then reflect on what might have gone differently prior to having done the understand, own, and translate work we advocate for on the podcast and with our clients.

Reflecting Questions for Listeners:

As we hit episode #13 (and counting!) Cam also pointed out that now is a great time as a listener to pause and reflect on your experience with the podcast so far. Here are the four questions he posed:

  1. What are you aware of?
  2. What are you learning?
  3. What is resonating?
  4. What is your practice?

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Jan 20, 2020
ADHD and Negative Self Talk
42:41

 

As adults with ADHD we can be our own harshest critics. In today's episode, Cam and Shelly explore negative self talk in the context of our cause and effect metaphor. Using examples from our own experiences, we discuss the causes behind our negative self talk, the impact negative self talk has, and how to start shifting the signal to a more balanced and realistic view of ourselves and our experiences.

 

Mt. Rainier Metaphor Illustration:

 

 

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Jan 13, 2020
Cause, Effect, and the Universal ADHD Question (pt. 2)
45:41

In this continuation of last week's episode, Cam and Shelly use examples from their own experiences as adults with ADHD to further illustrate both the difficulty and the importance of getting to cause with ADHD. We also offer alternatives to the metaphor we've been using to illustrate the relationship between cause and effect and the impact of ADHD, and we expand on our existing metaphor to set up for next week's episode where we bring the metaphor together.

Mt. Rainier Metaphor Illustration:

Cam's illustration of our cause + effect metaphor.

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Jan 06, 2020
Cause, Effect, and the Universal ADHD Question (pt. 1)
45:35

 

Why do I not do what I know I ought to do? This is the universal ADHD question and the question that Cam and Shelly hope to help you answer throughout this podcast. In today's episode, Shelly and Cam use metaphor to discuss the first barrier to answering this question: getting to effect. As adults with ADHD we are often acutely aware of the symptoms of our ADHD, however, we mistake these symptoms as cause when they really live at effect.

 

Mt. Rainier Metaphor Illustration: 

 

Cam's illustration of our cause + effect metaphor.

 

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Dec 30, 2019
Embracing Journey Thinking with ADHD
35:20

Those of us with ADHD are often prone to problem based thinking, believing that if we could just solve the problem then everything would fall into place. In today's episode, Cam and Shelly offer an alternative approach of journey based thinking. Based on their work with clients and their own experiences, Cam and Shelly discuss two major components of journey based thinking. The first is defining your big agenda as an adult with ADHD which allows you to connect the work you are doing to manage your ADHD to the positive impact you are trying to create. The second is learning to go narrow before you go wide, which allows us as adults with ADHD to take the first step without letting the potential outcomes of the bigger agenda prevent us from taking action at all.

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Dec 23, 2019
Embracing Your Unique Brain Wiring with ADHD
00:00

Moving through the world with ADHD means learning how to cope and manage ADHD to survive in a world that isn't designed for us; however, Cam and Shelly believe there is a better approach. Embracing your unique brain wiring means not just understanding the differences in your experience, but owning and leveraging those differences to ultimately work with the way that your brain works instead of trying to work against it. In today's episode Cam and Shelly share stories about how embracing and working with their unique brain wiring ultimately lead to less stress, better outcomes, and greater success.

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Dec 16, 2019
ADHD and Impact
27:29

To have ADHD is to have both positive and negative impact. The challenge that we face as adults with ADHD is that ADHD impairs our ability to be aware of all of our impact. Using examples from client experiences and our own experiences Cam and Shelly discuss being aware of our impact as adults with ADHD in the areas of beliefs, behavior, task initiation, and more.

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Dec 09, 2019
ADHD, Sleep, and the Essential Structures Model
33:01

In this episode, Cam and Shelly introduce the Essential Structures model, a model we use with our clients. This model is one tool to create awareness around your own ADHD experiences and to distinguish; both subjects we've discussed in previous episodes. You can also use this model to identify both the challenges and supports that may not be immediately apparent to you as you embark on the process of change as an adult with ADHD. To demonstrate the model in action, we discuss it in the context of sleep which is a common challenge among our adult ADHD clients.

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Dec 02, 2019
ADHD and Readiness for Change
46:05

How do you know if you are ready for change as an adult with ADHD? If you aren't currently ready for change, how do you prepare to be ready for change? In this episode of Translating ADHD, Cam and Shelly explain what we mean by readiness for change with ADHD. In this episode, we discuss Cam's early experiences as an entrepreneur and his own process of being ready for change to demonstrate why the readiness steps we discuss in are crucial to our ability to create and sustain positive change as adults with ADHD.

 

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Nov 25, 2019
ADHD and the Adrenaline Response Cycle
37:21

 

Awareness of our ADHD experience is not just about being aware of what works, it's also about developing awareness about the habits and behaviors that are getting in the way. In this episode of Translating ADHD, Cam and Shelly look at a common ADHD behavior that often gets in the way of change; that of delaying action until urgency forces our hand. Using Cam's Adrenaline Response Cycle model, we look at how those of us with ADHD often rely on urgency or anxiety as a motivator while discounting the effects of the crash and recovery part of cycle. Using examples from our own experiences, we discuss creating awareness around the impact of living on the ARC roller coaster which is the crucial first step to finding other motivation elixirs.

 

ARC Model:

 

 

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Nov 18, 2019
ADHD and Creating Change
48:24

 

Change is really difficult with ADHD. Individuals with ADHD tend to delay and try everything they can before they are able to embark on real and significant change. We also tend to try to create a clean slate, restarting and reinventing over and over again. In this episode Cam + Shelly share their own experiences and failures with try everything and clean slate thinking. We then discuss how ultimately how the process of understand, own, and translate allowed each of us to create the real and sustainable change we were seeking.

 

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Nov 11, 2019
The Power of Translating ADHD
37:06

In April of 2019, Shelly presented at the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals conference on the topic of time management for ADHD clients. The challenge she ran into was how to translate the unique ADHD experience to a room full of neurotypical professional organizers and productivity consultants. The presentation was not only successful, but Shelly noticed that the strongest reactions came from the few participants in the room who also have ADHD. Shelly heard over and over again from these colleagues that her presentation helped them understand their own ADHD experiences in a new way and that they felt understood in a way they never have before. Thus was born the concept of Translating ADHD.

Cause + Effect

The experience of having ADHD inhibits our ability to get to cause. It's like being in the wake of your motorboat: we feel the effects of the experience but we are not in the experience itself. Having ADHD puts a veil between the the wake and the boat itself. Cam and Shelly are fascinated with how those waves are made and the ADHD connections. Translating ADHD is being able to get into the boat, to understand how it does what it does, and to make real connections between cause and effect. When we put consistent focus in an area, we can make gains around understanding, owning, and translating ADHD.

Understanding ADHD: Awareness + Distinguishing

Having ADHD is a paradoxical experience, because having ADHD inhibits our ability to understand our ADHD experiences. We lump the negative effects in our lives under the umbrella of ADHD without differentiating what is really going on. ADHD has us default into a binary approach to things, it's black or white or all or nothing. Either everything is right and we're killing it, or everything is wrong and we're getting killed. The big idea today is that it's not all or nothing. Distinguish by asking: What is and what is not ADHD? How is ADHD coming into the mix? What is not useful awareness?

The 4 States of Awareness

You are listening to this podcast because you want to create positive change, and you suspect that ADHD is inhibiting your ability to change. The place to begin is to understand the power of awareness and the different types of awareness. Unhelpful Awareness: Self doubt, negativity, lack of self confidence, self blame, victim-hood. This is a side track that keeps us in pre-contemplative awareness because we are not in a place to contemplate our options, our choices, or how to move forward. Pre-Contemplative Awareness: The state of not knowing what you know, not knowing that there is an opportunity for change. We don't yet know there is help that we can find. Acute Awareness: Painful, but necessary. The place where life is now painful enough that we know we cannot keep going the way we are going. Contemplative Awareness: The place where we know that we need to make a change.

Practicing Awareness with Curiosity

As coaches, Cam and Shelly don't just help people make plans. We are curious about motivation and how we can diversify motivators so that urgency is no longer the primary way our clients with ADHD are able to get to action. The Pause: Practice pausing for awareness in your day. What state of awareness are you in? What are you noticing? Curiosity: To move from unhelpful awareness to contemplative awareness, try practicing curiosity. It is not possible to have fear, self doubt, or negative self talk if you practicing curiosity because they exist in different parts of the brain. Journey Thinking: Your ADHD wants a solution right now. Part of understanding ADHD is recognizing that you are on a path of development and that real, sustained change happens slowly over time.

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Nov 04, 2019
Introducing Translating ADHD
07:22

 

Translating ADHD Hosts Cameron Gott and Shelly Collins are not only ADHD coaches, we also both are adults with ADHD finding our way. We believe that you can be more successful with ADHD and this is the work that we both do as ADHD coaches with clients every day.

 

Why Translating ADHD?

 

Only 20% of adults with ADHD are actively managing their ADHD. To further complicate things, many adults with ADHD believe that they must first solve their ADHD before they can be successful. We believe there is a better way, an integrated approach that allows us to to embrace our authentic selves as adults with ADHD as we learn to better navigate our individual ADHD related challenges. We started this podcast with the belief that success and ADHD can go hand in hand, and with the hope that more adults with ADHD will see the value in managing their ADHD in a way that allows them to live authentically as an adult with ADHD while creating sustained change over time. Our process of understanding, owning, and translating ADHD is intended to help our listeners do the work that we do with clients every day: to better understand the impact and influence of ADHD, to own and distinguish our ADHD experiences, and to translate by giving language and meaning to our ADHD experiences.

 

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Nov 03, 2019