Rapid-Fire Thinking and the ADHD Brain

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Rapid-Fire Thinking and the ADHD Brain

ADHD coaching is fulfilling and fun. I get to work with adults, couples, families, executives, teens, and kids. To make a generalization, my clients are lively, complex people. They are willing to put strenuous effort into solving their problems and improving their lives. And, the trait that each of them hold is rapid-fire thinking.

My clients often reach out to me at their lowest point. They feel disappointed in themselves, confused about their place in non-ADHD society, and tired of failing to measure up. Often, they are a little worse for the wear when it comes to emotions, relationships, trust issues, and self-esteem. But once they are outfitted with the right tools, they are unstoppable.

ADHD Doesn’t Mean You’re Incapable

People with ADHD are as capable, or sometimes even more capable, of finding success. Too often the behavioral issues that accompany the powerful ADHD brain can overshadow all its interesting, wonderful assets. It’s about learning to embrace and control the disease.

Those with ADHD are undervalued by society. They are marginalized at school and at work. They doubt themselves, sometimes failing to see what they can contribute to the world around them. In ADHD coaching, I often remind my clients that people with ADHD are valuable members of any community. Their contributions brighten daily life and make a difference.

ADHDers Are Valuable

I love my clients’ incredible capacity for change. They may struggle with the scars of old pain, but they are tough. They can be overwhelmed by the intense thought-creation patterns of ADHD brains. This is especially true when held to the expectations of the non-ADHD world. Yet for these clients, the difference between success and failure is as simple as saying, “I’m strong enough to overcome this.”

You may have never heard ADHD described as a collection of valuable traits. For anyone who needs a little reminder of the awesome power of the brain, consider three of the best ADHD assets: rapid-fire thinking, creativity and unconventional problem-solving strategies.

Rapid-Fire Thinking

Rapid-fire thinking is the lingo for the ADHD brain’s thought pattern. It means that for every idea that a non-rapid-fire thinker has, a rapid-fire thinker has 10. That concept is almost staggering – while one brain is going at 10 miles per hour, the next is going 100? This sounds more like a superpower than a deficit.

The medical and mental health communities are still learning about rapid fire thinking. They are trying to understand what it means and how to channel it effectively. This neurological difference goes a long way to explain the disparity in ADHD and non-ADHD behavior. As the science progresses, it’s imperative to insist on rapid-fire thinking to be perceived as a positive anomaly; an equal, not “defective,” brain.

Celebrating Rapid-Fire Thinking

The rapid-fire brain is something to celebrate, and we do so in ADHD coaching. Look at the law of averages, and it’s clear that high production of ideas is a winning situation. If it’s a one-in-a-million solution you’re looking for, the rapid-fire thinker will get there much faster! My own rapid-fire thinking gave me the skills to communicate well with others, form goals and achieve them, and be a part of something greater than myself.

Rapid-fire thinkers need the right tools. They can find these in ADHD coaching as well as working with therapists and doctors. A great support system is important, too. Rapid-fire thinking is an amazing asset, but remember to keep structure in your life for balance.


The thing about rapid-fire thinking is that it’s not a matter of quantity – it’s quality, too. Whoever first said “think outside of the box” must have been talking about the ADHD brainstorming technique. Rapid-fire thinkers see beyond the limitations of non-ADHDers when attacking a problem. They also relentlessly pursue stimulation.

This hunger for amusement and interest can lead to detrimental focus issues. As soon as the novelty wears off, boredom begins to set in, and so begins a chain of distraction.

Yet when the problem remains interesting, and the conventional solutions are the boring part, the rapid-fire thinker will produce new interpretations and ideas. One useful strategy is to set a time for an important brainstorming session, demanding total concentration on the issue at hand. In their element, ADHDers know that there are no wrong answers, and very off-the-wall solutions can be the best.

On the subject of creativity, it’s also worth noting how many accomplished business people, musicians, writers, performers, and artists have ADHD. These successful people transformed prejudice and mistreatment and turned it into beautiful self-expression. They acquire new skills with ease and use them to share their bountiful ideas with the world. To name just a handful of game-changers in the ADHD ranks, include Will Smith, Justin Timberlake, Adam Levine, and Solange Knowles.

Unconventional Problem-Solving Strategies

Problem-solving is something that rapid-fire thinkers savor. They may identify it as negotiating, brainstorming, reasoning, or applying logic. Regardless of the label, and whether it’s taking place in a boardroom, courtroom, or living room, it means that the ADHD brain is doing what it does best.

The electric light bulb, the Theory of Relativity, Virgin Galactic space travel; these are only a few ideas form rapid-fire thinkers. The difference in point of view can be a matter of baby steps compared to giant leaps.

Rapid-Fire Thinkers Can Make Innovative Employees

The flexibility of rapid-fire thinkers makes them ideal employees in today’s evolving workforce.  Misunderstood as children and marginalized as adults, some ADHDers spend their brainpower on figuring out how to fit in to a world that doesn’t quite make sense. With a support system in place, the tenacity of the rapid-fire thinker will show, churning out solutions until the right one comes along.

Rapid-fire thinkers sometimes need high stakes – a looming deadline, lots of pressure, pumping adrenaline – to summon the focus to tap into their amazing idea reservoir. Often ADHD students will justify their procrastination with the fact they produce amazing work under-the-gun. Yet the best results come when the rapid-fire thinker has enough control to access that intense creativity and solution production at will, without the stimulation of adrenaline.

When asked to help, rapid-fire thinkers dive in and solve the problem faster and better. When coupled with a purpose, rapid-fire thinkers are the driving forces for change. This brain type is different, but not inadequate, not a deficit. Rapid-fire thinkers are set apart as super-solvers, creative to the core.

Learn How to Take Advantage of Your Rapid-Fire Thinking

If you’d like to learn more about how to optimize and leverage your rapid-fire thinking and ADHD brain, explore our ADHD coaching programs.

By | 2018-06-28T17:47:44+00:00 June 28th, 2018|Adults, Self-Image|0 Comments

About the Author:

As founder and president of ADHD FREE, Carol has proven to be one of the foremost thought leaders on the subject of ADHD and other innovative brain types. Her decades of hands-on experience with ADHD as well as her cutting-edge research provide valuable tools and success strategies for children, teenagers, college students, adults, executives and couples that Carol coaches, trains and consults with. Every day Carol provides her clients with the tools they need to lead orderly, happy lives in the classroom, office and home. After working with Carol, you will know your unique gifts, be able to express your true talents, and successfully achieve a more stress free and fulfilling life.

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