Part of my role as a coach is to help people see beyond their perceived limitations. In a way, its the inclusivity that sits both within us and all around us. It is our ability to seek answers and solutions, to test the boundaries of our own abilities. Often, it is where the beauty of growth lives and the magical joy of doing something that you want thought impossible.
As someone who was mis-diagnosed by specialists, not once, but twice, through their life, I have had quite an interesting relationship with the "need" for diagnosis, clarification and labels that are sort by many.
This will be a difficult read, but I think it is one that will really get you to think about your own relationship, and your role in supporting those around you, when it comes to labels.
My issue around labels, especially today, is that we are seeing more and more people seeking an "answer" which I can totally understand. But what many are NOT addressing is the "so-what" impact - because for many, the "so-what" begins......
"I have X diagnosis SO I can't do that"
"I have Y diagnosis SO I have an "excuse" for "not" being able to"
I am all for informing and empowering others. If the clarification of a diagnosis and label help individuals because they provide RESOURCES, SUPPORT, and even MEDICATION for a BETTER and more FULFILLING life - then brilliant. But what I am tending to see is too many people limiting themselves.
What I am seeing is people seeking a label and then sitting behind excuses. Worse still - being OKAY with that.
Even more so, is not being honest with themselves and believing their own BS. Unfortunately, I am seeing this a lot with the Imposter, ADD, ADHD, and Mental Health world as a whole.
Am I being anti-diagnosis - NO!
As a society, it is important to TALK about these areas, to provide that space, support, and knowledge. BUT it is even more important to address the "so-what" to find solutions to keep on living our best and most fulfilling lives BEYOND our wildest beliefs of what we PERCEIVE we can achieve. It is important to invest in the resources, support, and encouragement of others to live up to and beyond their wildest dreams - BEYOND a diagnosis! Ultimately, to understand and seek ways TO DO as opposed to NOT do!
AND you too have a responsibility to seek that for yourself and what it looks like TO YOU if you are that person being labelled!!!
I shall give you an example of this. Person "X" has previously had successful businesses, managed large scale events, travelled the world, spoken on stages, held down a family home, and more. Yes, at times things were difficult. They were able to clearly identify their strengths, areas for development, and things that they especially found difficult. For those elements they found difficult, they would allocate extra time (solution focussed) to be able to complete these areas and sought support through outsourcing (solution focussed).
They thought they might be ADHD and completed an assessment via the NHS. They were given this diagnosis and provided with medication.
However, things that they had previously done in business and in life soon started to stop. ADHD and Executive Dysfunction would come up more and more in conversation as a way to "not" complete things that they did previously, (all be it with the additional time and outsourcing they previously had created for themselves).
Yes, this all feels uncomfortable to address.
And yes, it is hard to read and write.
And no, as a generalisation, this is not happening across the board.
BUT it is happening and many people are fearful of how to address these changes, challenge perceptions, and consider alternative options and solutions to ACTUALLY keep BUILDING PEOPLE UP and to help them address their fears.
On the flip side, I have seen clients whom, with labels and diagnoses, have come to me ready to FACE those fears, been curious, challenged, cried, tried again, laughed, and FLIPPING CELEBRATED huge milestones which they didn't think were possible!
Here's the thing........
STOP telling yourself what you can't do.
BE CURIOUS about what you can do and how you can get there.
Stop BLAMING the label.
Call out your own BS.
If this touches a nerve reading this, good! I want to CHALLENGE you to think, consider and be curious. If I have done that or got you to realise a) all that you are achieving or b) to kick you into realising that you CAN achieve more (all-be-it with having to look at things differently) - AMAZING NEWS. That's a huge win!
For now, sit with your thoughts, your emotions, your beliefs.
Are you limiting yourself? Call it out!
Rant Over (drops mic).