Blog Post | Perfect Strategy, Meet Imperfect Mindset


Perfect Strategy, Meet Imperfect Mindset

Sometimes, you must learn the same lesson again and again. Especially if you’re me. Earlier this week, I was brainstorming blog topic ideas with a colleague. We got to talking about the body doubling strategy, one of my go-to’s. Imagine my surprise when I heard myself apologizing for relying “too much” on body doubling to get things done. After saying it, I realized how flawed it sounded. After all, I’m using a powerful strategy that I know helps me reach my goals – so why the shame? As a coach, I would certainly question my client on how effective body doubling is when they use it. So how could I take on such an ableist mindset about myself?

My realization - and I’m currently cringing as I type this - is that I want to appear more “pulled together.” In a culture that values grit and rugged individualism, it feels practically un-American to work communally to get my boring or complicated tasks started or completed. I see now, of course, that being “pulled together” doesn’t have to mean doing it by myself. Being “pulled together” looks like using strategies that work for me in getting things done, without caring if it looks different than the way my neurotypical friends do it. 

I know this, and yet there’s still that little voice inside of me that sneaks up and lies to me with messages like, you’re less than. Despite my many years of hard work learning about and accepting my ADHD, and helping others do the same, there are still times I just want to be able to do it all by myself. 

Body doubling is a strategy that some of my clients push back on because we’re revealing something that’s unique about ourselves when we arrange to do a body double. We’re not quietly “managing” ADHD behind the scenes. Body doubling “exposes” us - but why hide in the first place? The goal of using these strategies should never be to “pass” as neurotypical. We are inherently valuable just as we are! Imagine the freedom of not trying to “pass” - of just doing what we know works best for us without explanation or shame. 

This week, I’m grateful for the reminder to continue the sometimes hard and brave work of loving myself just as I am, in a world that isn’t always set up for me. Jessica McCabe’s recent YouTube video “My Channel was a Bit Ableist When I Started” explores this topic beautifully. I’m letting go of the idea that I should be appearing neurotypically “pulled together,” and letting myself enjoy using the unique strategies that help me hit my goals.



Abby Riley
ADHD Coach | Center For Living Well with ADHD, LLC

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