It’s not impossible for people who are rapid-fire thinkers diagnosed with ADHD to learn to live full lives with less anxiety and be powerful contributors to their families, communities, and societies. I know this from my own life and the lives of so many others with the innovator brain (or ADHD) that I have helped along the way.
Shouldn’t it be a crime to shut down potentially high-performing people just because their behavior patterns jangle our nerves?
Shutting down is a term for a common occurrence among those who share this brain type. Have you ever noticed how someone can suddenly check out with no warning in the middle of a conversation? What about that person who doesn’t answer your e-mails or phone calls and avoids interacting with you without warning? These are some examples of shutting-down behavior. It is unfortunately a last-ditch effort to save yourself from further pain, feelings of incompetence, and the feeling that you are a disappointment to others. The person in shutting-down mode closes off further input from the outside world and lives in a safer inner world of his or her own creation. This focus away from the painful moment distracts people from the reality they perceive as failure. It can take many forms, ranging from surfing the Internet to the exclusion of everything else or playing video games in a way that blots out all input from outside to self– medicating with marijuana, alcohol, or more serious substances like cocaine, painkillers, and opiates.
What if we helped innovative thinkers avoid a tendency to shut down and helped them instead to work to understand and overcome their unwanted patterns of behavior? What innovative solutions to the many problems around us might we have as a result of encouraging more innovative thinkers to stand up for themselves? Rapid-fire thinkers are gifted and want to change the world. Einstein, Edison, Mozart, daVinci, Gates, Jobs—all could be annoying and were known to have issues with communication and relationships. But should they have been silenced?
There are many personalities, historical and contemporary, with the innovator gene, and they have made significant contributions. These highly original individuals used nonlinear thought processes that employed their intuitions as well as their intellects and more linear cognitive processes. Unfortunately many problem solvers do not either know they are or want to disclose they are innovators because of the stigma they feel society will apply to them.
The truth is that with the right support from ADHD Professional Coaches and Mentors both inside and outside of the workplace, innovators can with acceptance and guidance learn to modify their behaviors and become happy, productive contributors to us all. It’s past time for us to step forward, take action and make this a reality. Please support the innovators among you. Your future depends on it.