What does it mean to be an adult? What constitutes an adult? How does one know one is an adult? Is when you reach a certain age? Is it when you are done with school? Is it when you are mature enough to not laugh at the fact that the word constitutes has the word “toot” in it?
I began thinking about this while thinking about my ideal client. My ideal client is someone with ADHD who is a young adult (or close to being classified as such) who desire to learn how their brain best operates so they can succeed in adulthood.
But, what does it mean to be an adult? Am I an adult? * siiiiigh * If I cannot answer those question, well…
IT’S TIME FOR A RESET
Self-esteem is a common struggle for those with ADHD. I don’t want a struggle with doing adult things to drag down my self-esteem. In fact, I often feel quite proud of myself when I do adult things. For example, I once fixed my garbage disposal, and I felt incredible after doing so.
As a business owner, I need to be able get stuff done. I have no boss making sure I do all the things I need to do. I need to hold myself accountable.
As a coach who wants to coach adults, I need to know how to adult, so I can help others adult. I believe a coach should be his/her own client. Therefore, I need to help myself succeed in adulthood.
Currently, I am not dating anyone, but I would like to date someone. I do not believe the types of women in whom I have interested are going to be interested in childish guys.
Who I Want to Be
I want to be authentically me. Not only do I want to be an adult, but I want to be an adult version of Alex. In reflecting on this topic and a conversation I had about it, I have found myself drawn to Mister Rogers. He was an adult, but he also had a profound sense of play and imagination. Those are two aspects that I want to help shape my adulthood. I do not want to abandon them. I am a fun-loving guy; it would be disingenuous to not use play and imagination.
Moreover, I want to be reliable. I do not want to be a flake. If I take something on, I want to complete that task. This is not an easy thing for ADHDers to do, but I think I can employ some strengths-based strategies to help me there.
I am going to breakdown adulthood thusly:
Adults plan stuff. Flying by the seat of one’s pants does not end well for adults. I see three key aspects of planning:
Planning to plan
Planning the plan
Doing the plan
All three of these parts are needed. You have to make up your mind to plan and find a time to plan. Then, you need to actually plan. Lastly, you need to actually act on the plan. We ADHDers can get stuck on the first two parts. Sometimes, the act of planning to plan feels like actually planning when it really is not planning. Other times, we get stuck in the planning process. Coming up with ideas for how the thing can be done can seem more fun than actually doing the thing, so we get stuck there. Perfectionism can also trap us in the planning stage. These are all things that adults must avoid.
Independence and Dependence
Adulthood means independence. An adult can take care of themselves and should be self-reliant. However, an adult also needs the maturity to admit when they need help and the humility to ask for it. Yes, I want to be an individual and get stuff done, but I need to remember that I need others. I ned to be willing to ask for and receive help.
Person Who Does What They Say They Are Going to Do
When adult says they are going to do something, they do it. Adults can be relied upon to follow through on commitments. Not much more needs to be said on this.
My brain loves to plan and organize. I like solve problems and doing puzzles. Planning things out excites my brain. However, I must plan to actually do the thing, instead of just thinking about the thing.
Using my sense of play and imagination will be key. This will make the adult tasks that I do not enjoy but have to do less burdensome. I will continuously come up with clever and amusing ways of getting stuff done. I will take time to laugh every day.
I also need to follow my interests. I will be more engaged in tasks in which I have a genuine interest. This means saying no to tasks in which I do not have a genuine interest (and can avoid). If I want to be a man of my word, I must be smart about what I agree to do.
Finally, I need to continue to re-evaluate how I am doing as an adult. It can be easy to slip out of good habits without realizing it. Self-reflection will be key to ensuring I stay on this path.