Reflecting on the Translating ADHD Journey and What’s Next for The Show

Episode 89

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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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Episode Transcript:

Shelly: Hi, I’m Shelly 

Cam: and I’m Cam. 

Shelly: And this is translating ADHD. 

Cam: We’re back! We are back and Shelly and I are looking at each other like yeah, we’re back so listeners if you’re new to the show, we’ve taken a six-week break in the summertime.

And not just a break, right? We weren’t sitting on the beach drinking Pina Coladas or Coronas, 

Shelly: Although I did go to some fish shows. So there is that, 

Cam: We have been doing some other work and really thinking about the first chapter or the first 90 episodes that we put out there and what changes do we want to make going forward?

So we want to introduce some of those changes today in this episode. 

Shelly: So we got feedback from a few crucial places. Number one, we did put out a survey to all of our patrons. So thank you to those of you that took the time to fill that out. Number two, our group coaching courses have been just a wealth of feedback for us because we’re getting long time listeners in a room together, speaking our language and talking about our show, talking about what’s already working for them prior to starting the group coaching, which is awesome. And so we’ve taken sort of the common threads that we’ve heard and made some decisions about how we will move forward. 

Cam: Yeah. So here we are. These group coaching efforts have given us tremendous feedback because for the first 90 episodes, we were putting it out in the world, really not knowing how it was landing fully. And with these group coaching efforts, just being in the room with our listeners and here they’re coming in with all of this work.

All of their understand own translate. Shelly and I are getting this really valuable feedback on how people are actually utilizing this stuff. And that’s the direction we’re going in is okay. How can we take this and move this forward? Today, the working title is the other 167 hours in the week, right?

We’re with you for about 30 minutes a week. And what’s the opportunity in those other 167 hours, right? Discovery process. The fascinating thing that I learned in the group coaching is people would come thinking they had their work identified and through the process of sharing and learning and discovery, they were uncovering this new material, these new opportunities of discovery. And it was eye-opening for everyone in the room. Really fascinating. 

Shelly: Yeah, cam, we’ve noticed this pattern in the group coaching, and then you and I started talking about private client experiences, right? Where the client comes and they’re pretty sure they know what the work is. They know the path before them. They know exactly which unwanted behaviors they want to tackle but when you start to dig in, there’s so much more there. And Cam, and I are really noticing that a lot of the most important work that we do with our clients is value work is examining limiting beliefs, examining old stories, examining where those stories come from.

To be in the world as an ADHD person, we receive more than our fair share of negative feedback. By the age of 12, ADHD people will receive 20,000 more negative messages than their neurotypical counterparts and that has an impact. Over time, we start to internalize those stories. We start to form a sense of self around those stories. 

And oftentimes where we think the dilemma lies in behavior, the dilemma really lies in unpacking and changing the narrative on those stories. Where did this particular voice come from? What’s the origins of it? What does it have to say? And do I believe what it has to say about me?

Right time and time again, I see this with my clients where they think we’re going to be on time management today. And where are we really? We’re back in the valley, talking about their limiting belief around this particular scenario and how that is impacting their ability to have a different experience.

Cam: So Shelly and I identified five areas that we’re going to focus on in the next chapter. I don’t know if that’s the next 90 episodes but the next chapter is we synthesized it down to these five areas and those five areas are: resilience, self-care, agency. Right, you’ll recall the episode on agency and advocacy doing what matters or what we call project X and finally purpose.

And. We’re actually developing group coaching efforts around those themes. So we’re rolling those out and the podcast is going to focus on those areas because we’ve identified those are the key areas to having a rich and fulfilling life with ADHD. That there’s some of the same stuff around understanding, owning, and translating in each of those.

But the fascinating thing the classes that we’ve done so far, project X and resilience, is that people are doing a little bit of everything there. Finding some purpose, that authentic voice that informs the valley experience, and that authentic voice to come into that valley experience, because what happens when we go to the valley, right?

Recall Mount Rainier and dropping deep in the valley. It’s like the wheels come off the wagon, we’re going along. And all of a sudden our resources that we’ve identified they leave us in the moments we need them most. I think that is so indicative of the ADHD experience is that we cobbled together these resources and we identify them, and then in that moment where there’s doubt and question and frustration, those resources that we’ve named, that’s that card catalog, it’s those practices, the self-care practices, they leave us, we forget them. 

And so resilience is that ability to identify them and keep them close at hand. Self-care is this practice that they fold together so nicely that you can’t have resilience without some self-care practice. Agency is going out into the world and advocating for yourself. You belong in this picture. That’s what agency was all about. Seeing yourself in the picture. And then project X is working on the stuff that only matters to you. Again, another very specific ADHD dilemma, and finally going to where Shelly’s big work is, like what she loves is purpose, right? Helping people identify. What their big agenda is and leaning fully into that.

 So that’s the fascinating thing is as we stepped away from this and started to consider it just jelled into these areas and we want to be clear, this is not a pitch for our group coaching efforts. If you’re interested in doing the group coaching we’re available, but there’s other ways you can engage with this and you can just engage with us through the podcast.

Shelly: So we’ll talk more specifics about upcoming group coaching efforts at the end of the show but Cam, what has my attention right now is the words that are not included in our group coaching efforts: time management, organization, productivity.

For the average ADHD person, those things missing would be cause for concern. You ever have that client that comes and they’re like, “I just need help with productivity, that’s it. You know, If I can get stuff done, everything else will fall into place.” And when I was a newer coach, I jumped right in that pool with them.

Okay, you need help with productivity, let’s stay on productivity. But I’ve since learned over my years of doing this work that oftentimes the barrier between intention and the thing that you want to do has very little to do with inability to prioritize or time blindness. 

It’s in the valley. That’s where the barrier lives. In the story that we tell ourselves, or it’s in the experience that we’re having, that we don’t even realize that we’re having. And I have a great client example I’d like to share here if that’s okay. Okay. 

Cam: Yeah. 

Shelly: So this particular client is a field researcher, and when he’s out in the field, he’s visiting multiple sites per day. He came to a coaching session, wanting the outcome of being able to collect data on-site as he was visiting each site because his lived experience told him that when he waited until he got home at the end of the day, not only was he exhausted and not really wanting to tackle that task at that time, it was also a lot harder because now he had to sit down and do data from multiple sites, and the data from the sites that he was at earliest in the day was no longer fresh. So there was more effort involved than if he had just done it onsite. 

So we started digging into what happens at that critical moment. If he cognitively knows that he has a better experience when he records data on-site, what’s the dilemma there?

And he said, “at that moment, when I’m about to leave the site to go to the next site and it would be time to record the data, my brain’s like a whirlwind; I’m worried about traffic, I’m worried about getting to the next site, I’m thinking about what’s in store for my evening, I’ve already mentally moved on and I’m getting a little overwhelmed with next steps.”

And then this voice hops in and says, “Hey, we can do this later. You can sit on the couch while you’re at home and relaxed, it’ll be chill, we’ll be comfy, and that will be a great time to wrap up this data recording. Don’t worry about it right now. You’re clearly already overwhelmed.” 

So we both noticed that voice when we were talking about the whirlwind and I said, “what’s so compelling about that voice, who is that voice? Is that your future self? Because your future self knows that’s not true.” And so we kicked it around for a while. This particular client likes to give characters to some of his internal dialogue. And what we finally came up with was Loki. This is Loki. And for those of you who don’t know, Loki is the trickster god, and this is Loki showing up and posing as this client’s future self.

And the thing about Loki is if you engage with Loki, chances are you’re going to lose. That’s why he’s the trickster god. So even though my client knows that what Loki is telling him is not true. That this is not going to be a good experience and has never been a good experience in the moment. He’s so charmed by that voice. And so captivated by it and so compelled by it that he almost can’t make a different choice. 

So naming and identifying this voice did two things, flushing out this character. Number one, it’s separated that voice from my client and what my client knows about himself and his lived experience. And number two, because of the particular name that we gave it, of Loki, which worked for my client, it gave us an action. Which was simply to not engage with Loki. If I engage, if I listen to the sweet lies that he’s telling me on-site when I’m overwhelmed, I’m going to fall for them. So I need to just not even engage with that voice. 

And in doing this, my client was able to have a different experience. He was able to record data onsite. Now he came to that session thinking we were going to talk about time blindness. This is all in time blindness and the way it’s manifesting looks like time blindness, but in order to get to an effective solution, we needed to talk about Loki, not time blindness. And this is true for every single one of my clients.

What’s that manifestation, what is actually behind the unwanted behaviors, and what’s going on in each individual’s uniquely wired brain is different. And so if you try to talk about it just from the impacted executive functions level: time, blindness, procrastination, et cetera, you’re never going to get meaningful change.

It’s just not going to happen. And so this is the thread that Cam and I are on. We’ve known this for a long time. We’re both absolutely evidence-based coaches, meaning, the more we coach, the better we get, because the more we’re able to see what threads work across multiple clients. What things resonate across many different types of people who have ADHD. What’s working and what’s not, but for both of us, this is the first time we’ve pulled it together and realized here are the areas. Here’s the work that we do with every single client, whatever the topic is, be an email, be a procrastination, be a prioritizing. Those are all valid topics for coaching, but in order to get to meaningful change, this is how we do the work. 

Cam: I love that story. it’s just absolutely brilliant Shelly. I think that, a couple of things at play here. One is our clients or people who are struggling with a situation. This is a human thing. So they’re looking for one reason why right? I want to find the culprit. I want to find the thing that’s standing in my way, boiling it down to its one thing, it’s time blindness. It’s prioritization. It’s this when it’s much more complicated than that. 

Complicated in the sense that there’s many factors coming into play, right? There’s that Loki voice the trickster, but the trickster also informed by his ADHD with downplaying the current dilemma, of like, oh, I can do this later. It’s kicking the can down the road, plus this hopeful future, right? Anyone think you look out and oh, about six weeks from now, things are going to clear up. I just need to get through this challenging area, but it’s like that hopeful future outlook that so many of us have. And so it’s also really presumptuous of us to I think that we know what you need. And that’s another dilemma is partly people come as okay, my problem is this because they go and they seek information. And out there is a lot of people saying you have ADHD. This is your dilemma. That is extremely presumptuous. To think that someone would know exactly what your dilemma is and the exact fix.

And so what Shelley and I subscribe to is a coaching approach where we bring you together and get you in the vicinity to provide the context of, yeah we’re just wanting to have some consistency and success in our day in a sense of fulfillment. We all have ADHD. And to trust you in your own process of discovering what is the unique dilemma, so that you can start to identify ways to work around and through that, that’s this discovery process.

there’s a reflective practice there. I mean, It was like, oh, you’re not going to tell me to meditate. Are you cam? No, it’s this moment of pausing though. And considering, and weighing your situation. Versus others and identifying your path forward and then providing support there. I think that was collective light bulb that went off for Shelly and I over in the last six months, I’d say, and it really came together here in these last couple of weeks.

We’ve had some time to really think this out. 

Shelly: So what does this all have to do with the other 167 hours in a week? The best work happens, not in the coaching session. But in the lived experience that you have between coaching sessions, whether your coaching sessions are this podcast, whether you have a coach, whether you join one of our group coaching efforts, the most important work is having your lived experience with the knowledge that you didn’t have before.

So my client and low-key it, wasn’t just a switch where we went from. This isn’t working at all two, it’s working perfectly. In that one instance, he was able to have a different experience. Guess what that did that brought up more curiosity about where else Loki is showing up? Where else is low-key? The voice that keeps me from activating or causes unwanted behavior, or causes me to make choices that are not good for my future self.

So we’re still digging in there and we will keep digging in there, but it started with the discovery of this low-key voice. And then my client going out into the weeds. And having the lived experience of having a different experience. If you’ve listened to the REBEL episodes, this is one of the ease and REBEL exposure to different experiences.

And it’s one of the most important things that happens in coaching because we have a different experience. Once we want to keep pulling on that thread. Able to start having a different experience consistently. Guess what? Those old limiting beliefs, those old challenges that were standing in the way of having a different experience don’t have the power that they had before, because we now know that it’s possible.

To do things differently. It is possible for us to create change. And we have that to anchor to, even if we slide back into old behaviors, we’re not where we were before, because we know something new about those old behaviors and where they’re coming from. And we have all of this evidence of positive outcomes to anchor, to meaning we now know what to do in order to get out of this place Where we’ve found ourselves repeating old behavior patterns

Cam: Well said. And I think that also people can be thinking, oh, I’m going to do a wholesale change on my week. We’re not saying that at all, this is incremental, right? Just as Shelly did with her client, it’s looking at a specific area and targeting that and small efforts. An effort can be 10 seconds.

It can be 10 minutes. It can be just looking at having a different experience with one engagement, but then building awareness around that, building, understanding, starting to accept and own that. And that’s that whole time translation process. So to you, it’s, how is the practice going to be different this time?

What can we insert there that you can take this learning from here. What’s popping for you here that can live through you out there. And the other 167 hours. 

Shelly: And on our part, we’re going to try and do even better in helping you identify practice each week in your own unique situation. Again, some of the feedback we received was sometimes I’m not sure what my homework is.

That’s my, we’re introducing this notion of practice as an episode unto itself. We’ve talked about it a lot before, but each week your opportunity is to. Take, what has your attention or what you’ve learned or noticed about your lived experience and decide what the practice is, but we’re here to help with that and to give ideas of directions that you might take a topic each week.

So before we wrap up, we want to talk a couple of big announcements with you. All the first one is for all of our patrons, we will be returning to live events with either Cam or myself.

Once a month on the fourth, Thursday of the month, however, we’re going to do this a little differently instead of a Q and A we’re going to offer life coaching. So one or two participants that join we’ll have the opportunity to be coached by either Cam or myself. Again, this was based on feedback from our patrons and from our group coaching courses.

This is something that you don’t yet get on. The show is really hearing us coach. You’ve heard Cam coach me a little, a couple of times, but you really haven’t gotten to see what that coaching relationship looks like. And when one of our group coaching participants pointed that out to us, it was like a brain explosion.

Like yeah. Let’s show people. What coaching actually looks like These will only be available life. So watch the Patron or watch the Discord for information on how to join. Again. These will be the fourth Thursday of each month. This one will be on the 26th at 9:00 PM. Eastern next month will be a daytime slot for our international listeners. So stay tuned for a time and date on that one. Our second big announcement is we have two upcoming group coaching courses based on the five that we’ve outlined for you. Okay. So for the very first time, we are offering a daytime slot starting on September 29th at 10:00 AM Eastern, we are offering a group coaching course on the topic of resilience. And then October 20th, back in our evening time of eight 30 Eastern, we will be doing self-care for the first time.

So for those of you who have been in a previous course, this one’s a new offering. Visit the website, translating adhd.com, click on the group coaching link that will tell you everything that you need to know about our group coaching offerings and we’ll look forward to seeing some of you in our upcoming courses. As far as the show, we’re excited to be back. We’re excited to dive into these five areas here. And so until next week, I’m Shelly and this was Translating ADHD.

 Thanks for listening.

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Episode 89