Character Strengths: Inspiring My Purpose to Empower Individuals with ADHD
For many years, I knew I was born with a set of specific talents, which resulted in recurring patterns of success. I knew that these talents worked well in specific situations, but there were many other moments where they remained stagnant. It seemed like whenever I really needed them to support me in accomplishing an important goal, I could not locate and enlist them.
Looking back, I think I hoped that I could simply take out some sort of “special key” to open the door to where my strengths were located and use them whenever I wanted. It took many years for me to realize that it does not work this way.
It wasn't until I discovered my character strengths, by taking the free online VIA Character Strengths Survey, that I experienced how my signature character strengths (Leadership, Social Intelligence, Fairness, Creativity, Honesty, and Hope) could inspire me to naturally pursue and automatically engage my core, genuine strengths and capabilities that genuinely expressed who I was and what I wanted to contribute to the world I lived in.
By taking the VIA Character Strengths Survey, I was simply identifying the 24 character strengths and capacities that my heart and head used in unique, authentic, engaging and natural ways to voluntarily initiate and create a successful and fulfilling life.
I also learned how to flourish by aligning my actions and understanding of ADHD with my signature character strengths. I quickly became aware that my character strengths were also a key source of prompts that quickly reminded me of successful, fulfilling, and purposeful moments which consistently elicited powerful positive emotions. When I learned how to savor/celebrate these special moments and emotions,rather than just letting them pass by, they always inspired me to take action, which created significant progress in important areas of my life.
I have learned how to use my strengths consistently, in positive ways, to support me with my ADHD struggles. I use my creativity and perspective to change the "broken" way I look at my ADHD as a disorder with deficits to be fixed. I truly envision it as the genetic blueprint of one’s unique brain wiring.
Science has supported this notion by revealing that we are neurodiverse beings with brains that have trillions of ways to process and learn about our world.
When I received my first FREE VIA strengths profile, I immediately knew these were foundational capacities that helped define who I am as a human being. If I was going to live in integrity ("Honesty" as one of my top character strengths is aligned with integrity) with who I am, then my character strengths were going to need to be integrated into my daily life. However, I quickly learned and utilized my signature strengths to be expressed in a balanced manner harmony with my unique ADHD brain wiring.
It quickly became very clear to me there were countless people with ADHD — diagnosed and undiagnosed — who were needlessly and UNFAIRLY suffering because the invisible challenges of ADHD could not be explained to them.
This automatically enlisted one of my key signature character strengths: "Fairness."
This character strength is often my internal driver motivator of positive emotion, which quickly activates both my heart and head and enlists two or three of my other signature strengths such as leadership, social intelligence and creativity.
I have learned that character strengths always work in pairs or groups and are never expressed in only one isolated capacity.
I felt it was not fair that brilliant, creative, and articulate human beings diagnosed with the label of “ADHD” were not fulfilling their potential.
They were not embracing their inner greatness to pursue their purposeful, passionate missions.
After going through my own journey of discovery and coming to understand my own ADHD, I found that I wanted to share my discoveries with everyone and anyone who would listen.
Utilizing one of my signature strengths, Social Intelligence, I became aware of the messages that strongly connected me to people with ADHD, and shared the ideas I felt they wanted and needed to learn.
The ADD Coach Academy (ADDCA), founded in 1998, has supported thousands of people through education and coaching to empower them to discover their unique brand of ADHD, and to take responsibility for transforming their lives.
My experience has consistently shown that people with ADHD have tremendous strengths that are often buried and concealed. These hidden strengths need to be set free so that all of us may contribute to the world the gifts we were born to share.
To take your free VIA Character Strengths Survey and identify your signature strengths as well as all 24 of your human capacities, go to http://www.viacharacter.org today and learn what makes you who you truly are. Of course, you may need a coach to support you with understanding how to integrate your character strengths in order to reach important goals in your life, especially an ADHD coach.
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