Why Trying to Fit In Doesn’t Work

Now that my book has been released, I’ve been asked by a few people, “What exactly is the maverick approach to ADD management?” In order to explain, I’d like to tell you a quick personal story about music that has more to do with ADD than you might expect…

I’ve been taking voice lessons on and off for the past couple of years. I’ve had two different voice teachers, both young musicians who don’t adhere to classical voice training techniques. Although my voice is much better suited for opera, I just wanna sing rock! I don’t care about classical technique.

In my last lesson, I was having some trouble. I just wasn’t singing well! I wasn’t hitting the right notes and my timing was off. I was annoyed with myself and my frustration was building. Finally, my voice teacher said to me, “Stop thinking, stop trying so hard, and just sing.” So I did.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and let go. Suddenly I was singing again, and sounding great. Afterwards, it occurred to me what the problem was: I was trying too hard.

I was trying to hit the right notes, trying to breathe in the right places, and trying to project my voice…and I was caving under the pressure. But once I stopped trying so hard and started trusting myself, the pressure went away. My performance improved greatly, I felt relaxed, and I had fun.

The Maverick Approach to ADD Management

My voice lesson experience is a great metaphor for the maverick approach to ADD management. If you’re trying really hard to live life the way you’re “supposed” to, then chances are you’re stressed out, frustrated, and overwhelmed.

Taking the maverick approach to ADD management means that you stop trying to fit in and start embracing your differences. You trust yourself and do what works for you, not what works for everyone else. Some examples include:

* Feeling comfortable taking care of yourself, even if that means saying “no” to people or taking a day off just to relax

* Doing whatever it is you have to do in order to pay attention, even if that means doodling in a meeting

* Organizing yourself in ways that are comfortable for you, even if that means being a little disorganized compared to most people’s standards

* Refusing to stress out about the little things, even if that means running a few minutes late sometimes

The maverick approach to ADD management is NOT about trying to be good at everything. It’s not about trying to conform to other people’s standards. And it’s not about fitting in!

The maverick approach to ADD management IS about managing your ADD in such a way that it doesn’t prevent you from moving forward. It’s about feeling comfortable being yourself, and finding solutions to your challenges on your own terms. It’s about enjoying your life, and having confidence in yourself.

Mavericks aren’t afraid to be the “odd one out” because they know that following other people’s rules doesn’t work. It leads to stress, frustration, anxiety, and pressure. Breaking those rules and making your own is a much better fit for adults with ADD.

Mavericks would rather be happy and successful than waste energy trying to fit in.

Are you a maverick?

Copyright (c) 2007 Jennifer Koretsky