This article is a continuation of the series I started about helping ADDers move beyond shame and fear. It’s a three-step process from the framework I developed: Strengths. Superpower. Stepping Up. This final article in the series addresses Stepping Up.
This is where you pull it all together. If you have read the Strength and Superpower articles, this article will make more sense to you. You have learned and started “wearing” your strengths. You know your superpower and “keep it by your side” for use when needed. And now it’s time to see and feel the benefit of this work.
We’ve already discussed how some ADDers have lived under the veil of shame for so long they don’t even know they are suffering. They also have been living in fear, often without recognizing how controlled, they are by that negative emotion. I know from both personal experience and working with other ADDers that they too often aren’t living into their best selves, or getting as much out of life as they deserve. They also aren’t contributing to life as much as they could or as the world deserves.
Let me ask these questions to help you think more about this topic.
▸ Do you have the sense about yourself that you are living smaller than you could or want to?
▸ Would you like to lift the veil of shame and come out into the light of your life?
▸ Would you like to break out of the shell of fear that has controlled your thoughts and actions for so long?
▸ Can you feel what it would be like to live without shame or fear?
▸ Can you do more with your life than you have been?
I hope your answer is yes to these questions.
When you move forward, away from shame and fear, you are in charge and control of your actions. You’ll find it’s easier to forge forward, creating a new path, than trying to walk backward, struggling to stay in your previous steps. This discussion of strengths, superpower, and stepping up have changed you. Even if you aren’t sure how you want to go forward, if you do at all, you can’t go back to the way you were.
It’s your time to step up into your full glory. It’s time to step up to your personal power to use your gifts to make your world a better place. It’s time to step up to use your strengths and superpower to create something amazing in your life and for the world. That stepping up requires raising your vision of yourself and your world and dropping your fear.
The two previous concepts we covered — strengths and superpower — are to be woven together now into the fabric of your life. By incorporating your strengths and superpower into your identity you become a stronger character. That helps break the shell of fear. When you then start living from your strengths you start to be more authentic which boosts self-confidence. The more you incorporate your strengths into your psyche, the more proud you become of yourself. With that pride comes control over your superpower and confidence. That’s when your fear drops away.
Look back at your lists of strengths. How are you using your strengths to make your life better, to make your work more successful, and to make your relationships more satisfying? Which traits dovetail with your strengths? Which traits can your strengths improve on, erase, or turn around so they don’t drag you down? Are you following the idea of making the most of your traits by using your strengths? These are valuable questions to answer for yourself.
Applying your self to these exercises will give you a power you may not have felt in some time.
* Pull out your lists of traits and strengths.
* Compare them, side by side.
* How much overlap is there between the two lists?
* Which traits dovetail with your strengths?
* Which traits can your strengths improve on?
* Can any of your traits be erased by any of your strengths?
* Are there traits that you turn around with the benefit of knowing your strengths so they don’t drag you down?
As an entrepreneur, you have lots of opportunities to exercise your strengths, to develop skills, and prioritize tasks. Part of the intention of this article is to also point out that you have lots of opportunities to drop the tasks that don’t utilize your strengths, that challenge your traits, and that you are bad at (and don’t want to get good at doing). My husband provides a great example of what I mean. He does not like bookkeeping. He persuaded me to do his books for several years, and while I’m not bad at it doing it for him, it stressed me out. He finally agreed to hire a trained bookkeeper. He is a much happier entrepreneur now that he can get that necessary task done without taking his attention off the tasks that are a good use of his time. I’m happier too.
Lessons in that story include working in our strengths, complimenting our traits, and stepping up to do the right thing for our business and relationship. If it hadn’t been so stressful for me to do his bookkeeping for him I would have utilized my superpower to help. Given that being the bookkeeper for my husband wasn’t a good idea, the superpower didn’t come into play. Pick up the task that utilizes your strengths, are supported by your ADD traits, and you enjoy. Drop the tasks that don’t utilize your tasks and that you don’t enjoy. Simple, right? It requires a “step up” attitude and mindset to create the habit to make those actions a habit.
Do you feel yourself becoming more confident as you work with your strengths? Do you feel the fear dropping away? The shell of fear has been tightly around you for so long it’s going to take longer than this workshop to have that shell fall away, but hopefully, you are seeing the cracks in the shell form and you are seeing daylight through those cracks. As you feel stronger and more confident you’ll step out and up into your full glory. Note that as you step out and up you are stepping up into your personal power.
Another benefit of stepping up is that it builds your resilience. You have a new outlook on life and can better face the challenges, struggles, or even catastrophes of life better. You can ride the wave of disappointment or despair better. You can bounce back faster and survive better. That’s a nice perk to all the other advantages and benefits you gain from weaving your strengths and superpower into your life and stepping up into your best self.