Summertime is in full swing. The kids are enjoying outdoor activities, patio umbrellas are open, and BBQs are grilling.
And inside, theaters are showcasing movie blockbusters, including my favorite…superhero action flicks.
Life is good.
Your ADHD Is Your Secret Superpower
Raising four kids of my own, I have watched my fair share of superhero movies. From Star Wars to Spiderman – Aquagirl to Wonder Woman…call me a superhero guru!
And whether you know it or not, if you have ADHD, you’re a lot like those superheroes. Behind the masks, capes, and action sequences, those heroes or heroines are someone amazing.
They’re ADHD Adults in Disguise.
Take Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, for example. If you’ve seen any Iron Man movies, you have probably been entertained by Robert Downey Jr.’s portrayal of the popular comic book superhero.
He is the epitome of an adult with ADHD.
Think about it: his resourcefulness, his out-of-the-box thinking, his spontaneity, and a little bit of craziness have kept him alive.
It has helped him create a power source that keeps his heart functioning. Using his own ingenuity, he saw a need for new technology and had the passion and vision to develop it. He built the power source from spare parts and broken weapons.
Talk about building something amazing from nothing! Definitely the ingenuity of an ADHD brain.
And he struggles with focus and mental restlessness – like any other adult with ADHD.
Iron Man, ADHD, and Entrepreneurs
Here’s a little-known fact about people with ADHD.
They are 300 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs.
So it’s no surprise Tony possesses an entrepreneurial brain style. He takes risks, bounces back quickly, and sees failure as a stepping stone to success.
Remember: your brain works differently than other people’s neurotypical brains. You just have to know its strengths and use them to your advantage. That and avoid common mistakes that can set you back. (Learn about the nine mistakes people with an ADHD brain make here).
Achieving Your Goals Through Your ADHD Symptoms
Active. Adventurous. Complete disregard for his physical limitations (or, in Tony’s case, his Iron Man suit’s power limits). He was chasing fun and excitement, which often got him in trouble—known for locking himself in his lab for days until he found an answer to his latest challenge (uh….hyperfocus?).
These are all symptoms of ADHD.
Now think about Tony without all these characteristics.
Who would he be without being able to ‘brain surf’ or jump from one thought to another? Who would he be without his spontaneous behavior and his ability to live in the moment? Without his incredible ability to hyper-focus on the task at hand? Without his ability to express himself with his charming nonstop commentary. (Here are some tips on how to express your fabulous ADHD self).
Would you have enjoyed the movie or found Tony Stark quite so interesting if he was quiet and shy, lacked curiosity, or if he meticulously thought about the consequences before he jumped off buildings?
Do you think he would have been able to achieve all his goals?
These gifts were necessary for Tony Stark to reach superhero status.
ADHD can be like that.
Like Tony Stark, ADHD can make someone larger than life and incredibly exciting to be around.
It’s unfortunate that ADHD symptoms are so often seen as debilitating. But they can be the complete opposite if you know how to use them.
They’re not challenges. They’re superpowers.
If you could take one of your ADHD challenges and use it as a superpower, what would it be?
Let me know by commenting below!
Laurie Dupar, Senior Certified ADHD Coach and trained Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, specializes in working with clients diagnosed with ADD/ADHD who want to finally understand how their brain works, minimize their challenges and get things done! Through individual/group coaching, live speaking, and her writing, she helps clients and their loved ones use effective strategies to minimize their ADHD challenges so they can experience success. She is the co-author and editor of 365+1 Ways to Succeed with ADHD and the author of Brain Surfing and 31 Other Awesome Qualities of ADHD. For more information, please visit https://www.coachingforadhd.com
This article was originally published on June 11, 2013, and has been updated.
Want to learn more about using your ADHD to your advantage? Check out my most popular blogs below! And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!
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I never considered it a gift, really. But not as a curse, either. I am who I am, and no worse than anyone else, but no better. Wouldn’t it be too arrogant to consider myself gifted just because of these brain characteristics?
But to some extent, you’ve given me a reason to rethink many things.
I really enjoyed this article as a mum of a teenager with ADHD. We have been feeling down. You have really encouraged us, and made us look at it differently. So often, we can feel crushed, and what you have written about is so positive and true, l am so encouraged and hope that you carry on writing in this way. It is so uplifting. Thank you for helping me and my son see the bright side.
Loved your outlook on ADHD. Some of the things you said will assist me with the teens that I work with hat have ADHD. Thanks for he reminders!!!