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Negative Self-Talk: Extreme Edition 2.0!

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about Impostor Syndrome, the “extreme edition” of negative self-talk. Officially, it’s defined as the “psychological phenomenon in which…despite external evidence of their competence, people remain convinced that they are frauds and don’t deserve the success they’ve achieved” – per Wikipedia.

The blog post got quite a response from readers – and I’m not at all surprised. Because we ADHDers subject ourselves to enough toxic levels of self-doubt to set off a Geiger counter.

Just to get you back up to speed, here are some signs that you might be suffering from this ADHD negative-self-talk-on-steroids:

  1. You feel like a fake.
  2. You feel like your success was just luck.
  3. You downplay your successes.

And here are two fabulously successful people reflecting on theirs…

“The exaggerated esteem in which my lifework is held makes me very ill at ease. I feel compelled to think of myself as an involuntary swindler.” –Albert Einstein

“Sometimes I wake up in the morning before going off to a shoot, and I think, I can’t do this.  I’m a fraud.” – Kate Winslett [TWEET THIS]

This blog post is the “2.0” version of the original because here, we’re going to slay this insanity. So whether you are just a dabbler in occasional negative self-talk or a full-blown impostor syndromer, here are five simple steps for getting back to reality…if not self-lovin’…

Take Some #$%&! Credit

Identify where you deserve some credit for whatever success you’ve achieved. Hard work. Getting up every day and giving another go despite what happened yesterday or last week. Coming up with some decent ideas. Find these positives, give them more than a passing thought, and accept them into your heart.



Question the Voice

Recognize that the statements you’re making about yourself are coming from the same place as the ridiculous contention that we are “lazy, stupid or crazy.” And as we ADHDers now know, thanks in part to Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo’s fabulous book with this phrase in its title, we are none of those things. We’re just wired differently. With this in mind, look for the absurdities in your negative views.

Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

This is a biggie. Through all our foibles and mess-ups and embarrassments and resulting insecurities, we have always looked at the person next to us and thought, “Geez, why can’t I be like HER?!” But fact is, nobody knows what the hell they’re doing! And that seemingly flawless “her” is probably as much a bundle of nerves and self-doubts as you are. (Refer to above quote by Einstein…or any of a million other famous/successful people who we think have their sh*t totally together.)

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

There’s buttloads of research telling us that this really works. For instance, you can become happier just by smiling (has to be a big smile, but it’s proven to work). You can increase your self-confidence by posing like Wonder Woman. This is neuroplasticity at work, by the way. (More on that another day.)

Score Your Successes

We must pay more attention to our successes (as described in ADD Crusher™ Video II, Way 9). ADHD teens and adults tend to “filter out” successes in their thoughts and memories – leaving only their ‘failures’ to dwell on. But it’s not enough just to think about our successes: we have to record them by writing them down. Ideally in a journal, but even if just a stickie note. A written success is remembered. An unrecorded and forgotten success may as well never have occurred.

Successful-People-ADHD-Altnernative-ADDCrusherStop dwelling on your foibles. Start scoring your successes!

Bottom line, our ability to push forward powerfully has much to do with how we judge our own past.

You are not a fraud. You’re a miracle and a rockstar. Trust me on this. I’m a miracle and a rockstar because I decided I am — notwithstanding my own tremendous self-doubt and ugly past. And you and I are cut from the very same tribal cloth.

Now, will you stand with me in the spotlight of fabulousness?


P.S. – Have you checked out the Crusher Pinterest page yet? Tons of great eye candy on there. Check it out and follow some of our boards!

P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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Resolutions – Don’t Even Bother

Each year, about half of us make New Year’s resolutions. Then, over 90% of them fail.

So how ‘bout this: don’t @#$%! bother.


I have a better suggestion: New Year’s solutions.

Let’s first understand WHY resolutions have such a hellacious failure rate. Here are the biggies…

They’re unrealistic. We too often stab at admirable but longshot goals – work out 7x a week…do a triathlon (never having done a 5K)…become a gazillionaire. Just setting ourselves up for failure.

They lack a powerful underlying motivation. Which is more powerful motivation-wise… Losing 10 pounds to fit into a dress? Or losing 10 pounds to avoid becoming diabetic? Never use vanity or guilt as a goal’s underpinning. They just don’t work as well as the deeper-digging stuff. TWEET THIS

They’re too vague. “Get in shape” vs “Lose five pounds by January 31”. “Get better grades” vs “Get a B+ or better in my dreaded chemistry class.” You get the idea.

There’s no plan of action. We get such satisfaction from writing down our resolutions. Hey! Feels like things are getting better already!! Booop. But goals have meaning only when action has begun. And that requires a plan – which is a New Year’s Day inconvenience (especially if our goal is unrealistic or inauthentic or vague).

So, what if we were to just say, “SCREW New Year’s resolutions!” — and seek instead…New Year’s SOLUTIONS?

What I mean is, setting ourselves up for success by focusing on simplicity over grandiosity, the abundance of blessings instead of the absence of what we desire, and leveraging what makes us happy. This approach uses 5 simple steps to seeing some attainable ADHD solutions for the coming year…

Step 1: Tally Your Victories

Before even contemplating the things in your life that need improvement, get your head around the things that DON’T – or at least the things that you’ve done well this past year. List at least five. (And as you’re thinking about how things went, say, at your job, in which you actually took a pay cut or were passed over for a promotion – don’t dwell on such setbacks. Everyone will have had setbacks and frustrations in the past year. But that is NOT what this exercise is about. Now, write that list!)

Step 2: Gratitude Prayer

Resolutions are prayers for things we don’t now have. Sort of disempowering, ironically, no? Gratitude is empowering. And all you have to do is think about what you’re blessed to have right now.

Now you’re in an abundance mindset. A little different from tallying all your wants, needs and shortcomings to determine your resolutions, yes? OK…

Step 3: Find One Thing You LIKE and Do More of It

As you look back at the last 12 months (or 12 years, for that matter), what are the things you enjoyed most? Ideally, you’ll identify constructive things you did for the first time, or in a new way. Write down 3-5 things. Then pick the ONE you can take action on to have it be a bigger part of your life.


Step 4: Find Something You Despise and Do LESS of It

Cutting out Cherry Garcia® ain’t easy cuz you LOVE IT. But there are things you DON’T like that you’re nonetheless still doing — and can work to reduce. You don’t like being late. You don’t like opening the door to that crazy-messy closet. List 3-5 things you really despise but seem doomed to repeat or tolerate. Then pick ONE to focus on crushing.

Step 5: Make a $@#%! Plan

Make-A-Plan-Kid-ADHDWhy do I say pick just one of each of the above? Cuz another big reason for the resolution fail-athon is listing too many. With just two solutions to pursue, you can find the time and wits to map out how you’ll go about making each happen. (Start by creating a calendar entry to think about or work on each. Do that NOW.)



Don’t contribute to the resolvers’ 90% fail rate! Work these 5 simple steps starting right NOW and you’ll have a 90% shot at some real solutions.

Abundant blessings to all…


Founder of Crusher Solutions, LLC (I kid you not)

P.S. –  If you haven’t yet heard of, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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Avoid These 3 ADHD Holiday Blunders

Ah the holidays – the warmth of family and friends, the spectacle of football on the big TV, wine glasses and silverware clinking as everyone digs into a bountiful meal…all with a deep sense of gratitude for all our blessings.

Ya. Aaaaaand…the quibbling leading to emotional outbursts, out-of-control kids screaming and playing catch with the cat, red wine and gravy spilled liberally, crumbs and nut shells embedded in the carpet. Freakin’ chaos. Gratitude? Thanks for nuthin’!

Santa-Shiner-ADHDThere’s a reason “liquor store” is the #3 search term in Google Maps just before the holidays.

However lovely or looney your holiday gatherings tend to be, ‘tis the season for dysfunction and disarray, especially for our tribe. And in my experience, there are at least three egregious ADHD Holiday Blunders that befall the ADDer who is not vigilant…

The Relative that Baits You into Confrontation

Maybe it’s a cousin or an uncle or a sibling. Seems every time you’re together there’s a conflagration (or Armageddon if booze is deployed) before the end of the night. Politics, religion, your kid’s behavior – whatever. And our volatile emotional wiring makes it all so predictable that you begin to anticipate the encounter on your way to the gathering.

But here’s the deal…

As you anticipate, you sub-consciously start formulating your retorts and assaults in advance, which starts generating the negative sentiments that attach to the offender’s most offending behaviors. The trick is to STOP WRITING THAT SCRIPT, and alter your anticipation of that encounter by identifying something positive about your nemesis. Yes, you can if you try. And then when you arrive let that be what guides the discourse. When you walk in the door in that mental space, you can undercut the otherwise inevitable. Epic Win.

[Bonus Tip from a Seasoned Hostage Negotiator! According to Gary Noesner, author of Stalling for Time: My Life as an FBI Hostage Negotiator, “Tone is king here: subtle vocal inflections can impart either ‘I disagree, let’s move on,’ or ‘I disagree, let’s turn this into The Jerry Springer Show.’” (From a NYTimes article – seriously.)]

The Impulsive Over-Spend

You want to do the right thing. You want to be considerate. You want to have some fun. You want to reward yourself and your family for a year of hard work – whether with gifts or gourmet gluttony. And so, you invariably blow a small fortune and piss off the spouse and, come April, can’t understand why there’s only enough funds for another Staycation.

But here’s the deal…

We ADDers are 1) always aiming to please and 2) boneheaded wielders of credit cards. Deadly combo. (Um, ya, I had $100,000 in credit card debt at one time. Bonehead.) Yet we do NOT have to shower anybody with anything to show our love (including love for ourselves). In fact, a great way to love yourself is to respect your money. And the best way to show your love to your family and friends is to do some gifting that doesn’t involve the latest gadget or designer purse or soul-less gift card.

The Over-Subscribe

If you’ve signed up to do the whole shebang – hosting everyone at your place, preparing and cooking everything, etc. – you’re a good person. Bless you! Yes, we ADDers want to be the good hosts, or at least the heroic bringers of unseemly joy. And the more we sign up for, the more we’ve signed up for mistakes, misery and missed opportunities to actually BE with our people. Which we perennially remember just as the hordes begin to arrive – “Ruh-roh. I am swamped!”

But here’s the deal…

Reality is, you don’t have to sign up for nothin’, least of all being the Iron Chef for 17 people. Everybody already LOVES YOU (even Cousin Jackass, in his own jackassy way). So just sign up to bring yourself, some genuine silent gratitude prayers and some authentic eye-to-eye Hey-man-great-to-see-you!’s. And/or at least commit to not over-committing.


Wishing you lots of holiday dysfunction-crushing!


P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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ADHD Negative Self-Talk: Extreme Edition!

I’m a loser. A failure. A…

Some of the most brilliant and successful people in the world think they’re a fraud. Some 40% of successful people, by one estimate. Probably higher for our particular tribe – however we measure our success.

Recently read a New York Times story about Amy Cuddy, the Harvard researcher who uncovered the power of Power Poses. Her TED Talk on the subject is now the second most shared in the history of TED Talks – pretty impressive. As is her career: a wonderful story of a comeback from a paralyzing accident and a prognosis that she would never walk again. And yet…even after recovery and fame and success and a book deal…she felt she was a failure.

She suffered from Impostor’s Syndrome – the “psychological phenomenon in which…despite external evidence of their competence, people remain convinced that they are frauds and don’t deserve the success they’ve achieved” – per Wikipedia.

When one of our blog readers asked me to write more about negative self-talk and strategies to battle its debilitating effects, I was looking for the right angle to complement my previous blog on the topic. Amy’s story provided the spark – cuz Impostor’s Syndrome is Negative Self-Talk: Extreme Edition! And everyone in our teen and adult ADHD tribe suffers from some degree of this insanity.

Before delving into some nuts and bolts of this specter, here are two more examples of hugely successful sufferers…

Claude Monet: Changed History of Art…Thought He Sucked

There’s a great quote from Claude Monet that made me think, now this guy was a classic ADDer. Toward the end of his career, he says, “My life has been nothing but a failure, and all that’s left for me to do is to destroy my paintings before I disappear.”

David Neeleman: Changed Airline Industry…Thought He Was a Loser

Dr. Ned Hallowell, a friend of Neeleman’s, tells this story fabulously. In a nutshell, he dramatically altered the efficiency of travel by inventing the e-Ticket and founded three airlines. On the day JetBlue was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, he was driving back home to Boston after ringing the opening bell when Ned called to congratulate him. “How do you feel, David? Great day, huh?” To which Neeleman replied something along the lines of, “I don’t deserve any accolades. In fact, I feel like a failure.”

Now, I realize these two people were/are in fact hugely successful, so you may be thinking, “Fine Alan. Who cares if they thought they were losers? They had their success and accomplishments. I’m busting my butt over here trying to be successful and THAT’S why I’m frustrated, on top of feeling like a fraud!”

OK, ok. But reality is that these people had a few things in common that got them where they are, one of which may very well be ADHD. And here’s what the one confirmed ADDer from above has to say about our tribe’s ADHD gift (and curse):

“In the midst of all the chaos in your mind, and all of the disorganization, and all the trouble getting started, and procrastination, your brain just thinks a little bit differently. And you can come up with things.” – David Neeleman  TWEET THIS


A disproportionate number of academic high-achievers are likely Impostor Syndromers


Do You Suffer (Even a Little) from Impostor Syndrome?

There are three categories of this syndrome (which, by the way, is not officially a psychiatric disorder). If you’re like me, you can probably identify with one or more of the following…

  1. You feel like a fake: You don’t deserve whatever success or degree or job title you’ve achieved. And what goes along with not feeling you deserve the status is the worry that you’ll be “found out”.
  2. Your success was just luck: It’s not because you worked hard or made smart choices. You just got lucky. And so you have little confidence you’ll be able to find more success.
  3. You downplay your success: “Ah, it’s no big deal – anybody coulda done it.” And accompanying this is difficulty accepting praise.

A lot of this is classic Negative Self Talk, and we do it every day. But it has emotional and physical costs. So we really have to stop beating ourselves up and start celebrating our successes. And in a sequel to this post, I’ll outline the ways to do just that.

Stay tuned, you incredibly successful, fabulous, destined-to-be-famous Crushers!

P.S. – Have you checked the Crusher Facebook page yet? My goodness – there’s all KINDS of good stuff on there. Over 30,000 fans can’t be wrong! C’mon over and Like us – and make sure you select “Follow” or “Get Notifications” – so that you, um, get all our notifications!

P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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Top Tips from New ADHD Awareness Project Book

InspirationalCvr3DwebCropped1As part of ADHD Awareness Month, mega-coach Laurie Dupar has, for the 4th year in a row, compiled from top ADHD experts (yes, including moi) yet another Amazon #1 Best Seller. It’s called Inspirational Ways to Succeed with ADHD, part of the ADHD Awareness Book Project.

My favorite thing about this book series is that it dispenses lots of great tips in ADD-friendly, bite-size bits. And among those bits in the latest book are quite a few that really caught my (mind’s) eye. Can’t fit ‘em all here, but can fit a few of the greatest hits…

Create an Action Board! [pg. 87]

Laurie Dupar has not only put a lot of energy into creating this book project, but has put a lot of her own wisdom into its pages as well. Of the many Tips-de-Dupar to choose from, my favorite is this one.

I’m a big fan of vision boards – as I teach in ADD Crusher Video I/Way 2: Get a Nagging Desire, we ADDers often need emotional stimulation to fire up our motivational rockets. And a vision board loaded with powerful imagery of what we most desire out of life can be a great source of that fuel.

Laurie’s tip is to create a more tactical version — an action board. What makes it more tactical is that you include images of near- and mid-term goals, and also of action steps toward those goals! The upshot is that, “In the process of creating an action board, we spend time considering our goals, finding the right pictures and putting them together [so that] we literally see: ‘This is important’ and ‘This is how to achieve it.’ This clarity and motivation can propel us to action!”


How Do I “Get” Me? [pg. 48]

As ADHD coach Judy McNamee says, “…understanding about one’s own brain wiring is a vital link to your child’s acceptance of the challenges of ADHD, and ultimately in the ability to gain or maintain high self-esteem.”

This statement really resonated with me, especially on the heels of Dr. Ned Hallowell’s rousing keynote at the recent ADDA Conference, where he repeated his admonition that we MUST move away from the phraseology of “deficit” and “disorder” if we are to start de-stigmatizing ADHD.

So think about how you talk to your ADHD kids about their condition. Or for that matter, think about how you talk to yourself about your ADHD brain! For instance, Judy suggests using a metaphor such as, “a cell phone trying to juggle too many applications at one time”. Now, comparing my brain to a smartphone sounds a heck of a lot better than “deficit” and “disorder”, no?


“We MUST move away from the phraseology of  ‘deficit’ and ‘disorder’ if we are to start de-stigmatizing ADHD.”

Tweet That!


Test Myself? You’re Kidding! [pg. 67]

Coach Liz Ahmann, who specializes in helping students succeed with their ADHD, shares a disarmingly simple tip for learning: test yourself. Now, nobody likes quizzes or tests, but if you can make self-quizzing your friend, you’ll be leveraging what research tells us is one of the most effective ways of absorbing new information.

And as I see it, this isn’t just for students – a businessperson could quiz herself before an important meeting or phone call on the key points she needs to make or on the elements of her proposal – ensuring a smooth, confident delivery…a busy mom could do a pop-quiz in advance of a parent-teacher meeting, or on what the key to-do’s are for the week, with similar benefits. So put this one in your Succeed with ADHD toolbox!


The (Unsustainable) Adventures of Executive Function Mom [pg. 74]

Diane Dempster, one half of the dynamic duo behind, shares a personal account of thinking she “had it all together” even with three kids all born in the space of 19 months while managing a full-time career – until (you guessed it) her son was diagnosed with inattentive ADHD…and then she lost her job…and then her marriage began to unravel…and then another child diagnosed…and then…Wow.

Her tale will surely resonate with many of you parents. And the short version is that she survived – and even thrived, with a major transition: from trying to be the “Executive Function Mom” for the whole family, to being more “Self-Care Super-Mom”. All with the help of three principles:

  1. A perspective shift toward compassion, which allowed her to view her children’s (and her undiagnosed ADHD hubby’s) behaviors through a healthier lens.
  2. The upending of resentments based on the understanding that, “Expectations are resentments waiting to happen”, i.e., setting expectations for the family high was setting everyone up for failure!
  3. A new focus on herself, beginning with self-compassion and not taking things personally. But also, “actively managing the triggers that put [her] into stress-mode.”


Danger-Expectations“Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.”

Tweet That!

I hope you found some resonance in one or more of these. The book really is full of great stuff. If you want to see mine and others’, you’ll have to buy the book! (NOTE: Sales proceeds don’t go to the contributors – but a portion does go to CHADD, ADDA and ACO.)

Happy reading!


P.S.: We’ve got some new videos coming to our Crusher YouTube Channel, so if you’re not subscribed yet, please do so you don’t miss them! Lots of great free tips and more to come. -ab

P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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Not-So-Obvious ADHD Time Management Hacks

Procrastination Clock ADHDIn the realm of teen and adult ADHD natural remedies, perhaps no subject is talked about as much as time management.

It is, after all, one thing we almost universally suck at. But just as universally, seems we hear similar time management tips over and over. Most are legit and many are powerful if adopted, but at the request of one of our blog readers, I wanted to take a fresh swing at this topic and churn up some effective strategies you might not have heard a million times before.

Here goes…


Protein Power Pops

When you’re sitting at your desk trying to think and move things forward, but you’ve hit a wall — maybe in the late morning or mid-afternoon – you’re wasting time. You’re getting declining returns on your efforts and you’re just frustrating yourself. Keep a healthy protein snack handy at all times – nuts/seeds are best. A handful of nuts (NOT sugary or carbo-loaded snacks) with one bit of dried fruit such as apricot tossed in, will fire you back up. And repeated protein pops whenever you start to drag will power you through to quittin’ time or meal time. This can add an hour or more a day to your productive output.

Reel In Rumination

This is a huge time (and energy) waster. As I sit here writing this particular section, I have an occasional “urge” do ruminate on a couple of negative things that came my way today. Nothing too horrible – just the kinds of things my mind instinctively wants to mull over a bit…maybe get some violins playing in the background so I can have a legitimizing soundtrack to abet my feeling bad. But STOP!, I tell myself…with a simple reminder that dwelling is the opposite of propelling

Worry Does Not

Yep. I could’ve indulged in that mini woe-is-me episode. But it would have stolen a good few minutes from me, not to mention some mental energy that I have better things to put toward. So instead, I’m now back to writing this blog. And propelling, not dwelling.

Re-Wire Waiting Time

We waste a lot of time waiting (e.g., in line at the store or post office) – and waste a lot of mental energy being frustrated at having to wait. I don’t like waiting any more than the next antsy-pants ADHD fidgeter. So, when I’m waiting, I’m doing…one of four things:

  1. Deleting unimportant emails (on my smartphone, of course…If you don’t have one yet, get one). I’m not reading important ones unless they’re urgent — just cleaning house, so that when I’m back to work I can focus energy on the emails that matter.
  2. Scanning the headlines. I’ve reduced my media intake dramatically – but I still have to stay on top of certain news and pop culture, so I scan a few media outlet apps on my phone. (And I resist the temptation to surf into titillating but irrelevant articles!)
  3. Meditating. If I’m caught up on email garbage duty and am abreast of top headlines in my business sectors, I…quiet…my…mind. Nothing fancy – just switching from listening to mental noise, to listening to my breathing for a coupla minutes. And I’ll usually throw in a Power Pose…so that when the wait is over and I’m back to work, I’m ready to CRUSH IT.
  4. Problem-solving. When there’s more than a five-minute wait – e.g., a doctor’s office or waiting for my flight to take off – I go into problem-solving mode. What’s something that’s been puzzling or frustrating me lately? What active project needs some mental lovin’? Let me just open up my ADHD-gifted-mind and noodle around with that issue a bit. Hmmm. Ooh! That’s a good idea!

Note that all four have a forward-moving purpose. I’m not engaged in small talk on the phone or texting…I’m not watching the latest video of cute kittens. And just as important, I’m not burning energy on being frustrated – cuz I ain’t really waiting!

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have the same number of hours in a day that were given to Helen Keller, Michaelangelo, Mother Theresa, Leonardo DaVinci and Albert Einstein.” H. Jackson Brown Jr.     Tweet That!

In closing, if you were to put just two of these three time hacks into regular practice, you’d start seeing your to-do list shrink a bit…all those stickies on your desk might start to thin out. You might even start to feel some control over that slippery clock.

So start by giving one (not all – just one) of these a try and let me know what you experience. Maybe you have a less-known ADHD time management hack of your own you’d like to share. We’re all ears!!

Crush Father Time – or he’ll crush YOU!


P.S. – Are you following @ADDCrusher on Twitter yet? Please do, and you’ll start seeing #CrusherTip’s in your feed. Lots of great tidbits of wisdom, tips and solutions. You can of course also search #CrusherTip on Twitter. -ab

P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab


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5 Easy ADD Alternative Treatments for Back to School or Work

BTS ADHD1Well, by now we’re all likely back at school and certainly back at work – including the work of that brutal job called running a household…accompanied by our teen or adult ADHD and maybe even an ADHD kid or two. Every September we post a fresh batch of Back-to-School/Work ADD alternative treatment tips (i.e., things that don’t require a doctor visit!), and here we are, two-thirds into the official month of BTS/W. So….here they are…

BTS/W Tip#1: Remember that SUGAR SUCKS, CARBS KILL and to FEED YOUR BRAIN RIGHT!! Diet is the foundation of your brain’s day (which is why Feed Your Brain is Way ONE in the Crusher curriculum); if you’re eating crap, it’ll be a longer, crappier day at the office or on campus. Skip the sugary cereal, the useless muffin and the disgraceful donut. Go for a protein-based breakfast (and lunch, and snacks) and you’ll immediately feel the difference in your mental fuel tank. Here’s a free snippet from Video I/Way 1, with a little more on ADD diet.

BTS/W Tip #2: When your mind becomes worn engaging study or a tough task, execute a VENUE CHANGE — pick up and move somewhere else. To another room or  even just another chair. Or to the back porch or a coffee shop. The movement gets blood back to your brain…the brief break rests your brain muscles…and the new environment gives you a psychological fresh start. Of all the ADD alternative treatments I use, the power of this simple change-up has surprised me the most. And if you’ve got a spare two minutes before you sit back down, do a Power Pose.

BTS/W Tip #3: Consider getting a coach. Even if you only do a handful of sessions, you can make huge strides with a great coach’s counsel. And increasingly there are opportunities for GROUP coaching, making it very affordable. Here’s a list of some of the top ADHD coaches.

BTS/W Tip #4: Don’t make your ADHD worse than it needs to be!!! There’s a bunch of stuff you’re probably doing every day that will make school/work tougher. Ain’t NO need fa dat!!! Get the free eBook, “5 Things You’re Doing Every Day that Make Your ADHD Worse” at ASAP!

BTS/W Tip #5: Keep your workspace visually clean. Clutter is not only a reminder of your many un-done to-do’s, it affects your ability to focus on the task at hand. Keep a basket or box nearby to store miscellany. Make the surface of your desk like a clear blue sky. While not one of the easiest ADD alternative treatments to execute, once the clearing is complete, you’ll be quite relieved and more eager and able to focus.

I’m not a big proponent of Top 10 Lists of anything, including ADD alternative treatment tips – because they tend to get read but not put into action, since you’re getting too many ideas thrown at you at once. This is why I limit lists to fewer. And in fact, my suggestion is to bite off just ONE of these and make it happen — just pick the one that resonated with you most. Then come back for more.

Wishing you a crushingly good return to school…or work…or the messy house…


P.S.: For a limited time we’ve turned on last year’s Back-to-School coupon code — BTS15 — so take advantage of it to save 15% on any risk-free purchases of our acclaimed videos that were selected as a CHADD Innovative Program. Get crushing and use code BTS15 here before we shut it off!

P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab


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The Most Overlooked Barrier to Focus and Powerful Intention


For 90% of our waking hours, we are typically overlooking the opportunity to choose our thoughts. We are not paying attention to our “inner dialogue”, and therefore letting it play us like a fiddle.

That was the short answer I gave Shell Mendelson, one of our ADD Crusher™ affiliate coaches and an authority on focus and intention, who recently asked my thoughts on the question: “What is the barrier to focus and powerful intention that most people overlook?” I didn’t have to think long on that one.

Even the more emotionally intelligent among us spend way too much time on mental “autopilot” – allowing our pre-determined beliefs and pre-wired responses to run the show. Which results in:

…making less-than-ideal choices in response to external stimuli…

  • We’re not thinking before doing – which gets our keys locked in the car or a child left at the soccer game.
  • We’re not thinking before responding to people – which can often offend or miscommunicate.
  • We’re not thinking through tricky problems as thoroughly.

…stifling creativity…

  • We’re not accessing the “higher functions” of our creative mind.
  • We’re not letting new, sometimes unrelated-yet-synergistic thoughts filter in.

…clouding our brain with exhausting, irrelevant – even harmful – thoughts.

  • We’re spending time senselessly worrying about the past.
  • We’re nervously and needlessly anticipating future scenarios that are not even likely to occur.
  • We’re judging people, things and ideas (including ourselves).

Making things even worse is that this unchecked “mental BS”, as I call it, increases our level of stress (cortisol), reduces oxygen supply to the brain, and generally drags down our entire physical being…and overall wellbeing.

If, on the other hand, you could be in the habit of reminding yourself to pause and be “in the now” at various times over the course of the day, you’d be less stressed, have more mental focus and physical energy, and be just…plain…happier.


But how? I have a bunch of tricks that work well for me. For instance…

  • Cause the Pause: Whenever I enter or exit something – a doorway, my truck, a conversation, a website – I use that entrance/exit as an external cue to pause and think before proceeding. (See my blog on this.)
  • Cue Good Thoughts: I have posted in my living and work spaces simple reminders, such as a stickie at my desk that reads, “Acceptance. Enjoyment. Enthusiasm.” – meaning that if I’m not in one of those three states…I’m not being present.
  • Quiet = Power: I do mini-meditations I call “Shut-Up-a-You-Mind” – a few seconds or minutes just…quieting…my…mind…before entering into a demanding task or conversation.

I’ve got a million more of these, but those are a few biggies. I hope you’ll try one or two, because if you can…be…here…now…

…you can break down a major adult ADHD barrier to focus and powerful intention.

…aaaaaand CRUSH!


P.S. – Not bothering with our Back-to-School Sale this year, but for our subscribers and blog readers we’ve re-activated one of the old coupon codes – BTS15 – which grants a 15% discount on our revolutionary videos. Get back to school or back to work with more focus, less overwhelm and more productivity. Limited time, so if you’ve been thinking about trying ADD Crusher™ with a no-risk results guarantee, go for it using BTS15.  -ab

P.P.S. – We get wonderful emails from fellow Crushers all the time – this from just the other day: “Thank you so much for ADD Crusher, it has seriously impacted my life and given me hope that I can be a success in this world that I find so very difficult to operate in.” Humbling.

P.P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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Undiagnosed ADHD Adults at Risk: Reaching Out to the 85%

At the ADDA conference in Orlando, one of the presentations I gave carried the same title as this blog. And I humbly submit that it was among the most important at the conference. Here’s why: we who enjoy the meanderings, the sense of community and the shared triumphs and trip-ups within our ADHD communities (blogs, Facebook pages, forums, etc.) are blessed with our awareness of our own ADHD. We know what’s what.

Granted, we don’t know all the answers to our foibles or solutions to our weaknesses, but our awareness has put us on the path to those answers and solutions – and ultimately to greater life fulfillment.

But we “awares” are only about 15% of the adult ADHD population. The other 85% are in the dark about their condition. And that non-knowing is often deadly. At the very least, it’s an onerous, invisible burden to themselves, their families and to society. So I wanted to share a little more about the impact of the non-awareness in our midst – along with a few things we can do to perhaps help the 85%.

Some Sad Stats on Undiagnosed ADHD

Here’s the big picture: ADDers – diagnosed or not — are much more likely to have a range of negative outcomes. And whatever the stats for the group as a whole, you can bet the 85% are even worse off. So for instance, a young man with ADHD will…

  • Have a lower education level, higher unemployment and lower lifetime income. While at the same time higher personal medical costs.
  • Have a higher likelihood of smoking and substance abuse. Indeed, he’ll be seven times more likely to develop either a drug abuse problem or an antisocial personality by the time he reaches adulthood than someone who does not have ADD.
  • Be twice as likely to be arrested, about three times more likely to be convicted and up to 15 times more likely to be incarcerated.

[A bit of disclosure here – a big reason this is an important topic for me is that, for much of my adult life, I lived many of the above statistics – and am lucky to be sitting on my balcony writing this right now. Watch this video for more on that…]

Here’s my award-winning TEDx Talk on this…

The Best ADHD Videos of the Year

And for a young woman with ADHD? All the above statistics, plus…

  • More likely than her non-ADD counterpart to suffer from an eating disorder, obesity, prescription drug dependence.
  • A higher divorce rate and will be 7 times more likely to have an unplanned pregnancy.
  • And will be twice as likely to attempt suicide.


 Did you know that up to 45% of our jailed population is ADHD?

I could go on. It doesn’t get any prettier. But we can do some things to reach out on behalf of the 85%…

What We Can Do

I divide opportunities for action into three areas…

1. Alert Your Network

  • Like/Share/Post at (they’re among the few doing groundbreaking work with ADHD prisoners).
  • Like/Share/Post at (a companion site to my TEDx Talk on this topic).
  • When ADHD Awareness Day/Week/Month are upon us, do everything in your power to share links, FB posts, Tweets, etc. especially with your NON-ADD network!

2. Take Some Action

  • Click on ADDA’s Legislative Action tab on their site and follow links.
  • Donate to ADDA and ask that your donation be directed toward the undiagnosed and/or corrections.
  • Go to CHADD’s Legislative and Media Action page and follow links.
  • Volunteer to mentor an incarcerated kid.

3. Advocate

  • Tell your politicians at all levels, criminal justice system, healthcare system and both mainstream and social media about the clinically researched link between ADHD, crime, and jail.
  • Advocate for a national change in all areas of the justice system to recognize ADHD as a legitimate neurological disorder.
  • Demand screening, diagnosis and treatment for ADHD and other LDs for all children with behavioral/educational performance problems in public schools.
  • Demand that diagnosis/treatment of ADHD and other LDs be covered by all health insurance as part of a basic package under the Affordable Care Act.


If we could each do just a few of these things, we’d make a bit of a difference. Thanks in advance on behalf of the 85%!!


P.S. — Any thoughts to share on this? Personal experiences that put you or a loved one at risk in the past?

P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab


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Book Review: Dr. Wes Crenshaw “I Always Want to Be Where I’m Not – Successful Living with ADD & ADHD”

As anyone who’s seen the intro to ADD Crusher™ Video I knows, I can’t read my way out of a paper bag. Slow. Painful. “What was that paragraph I just read? Oh, wow, I just read 14 paragraphs, none of which I remember. Guess I’ll go back and try to read ‘em again.”

I always want coverMany of you know the feeling, or a similar one. So when I come across a book that’s easy, maybe even fun to read, and provides some real nuts-and-bolts alternative ADD solutions, I have to share.

The book, by Lawrence/Kansas City-based based psychologist Dr. Wes Crenshaw, grounds itself in relatable case studies of his many varied clients at his family psychology practice’s two offices. Relatable stories are of course a good thing, but what Crenshaw does is make the book relatable in several other ways:

First, he sets up each chapter with an intro called, “Is This Chapter for Me?”, including a checklist of questions that help us crappy readers know, before we embark on fourteen+ paragraphs, whether that chapter is likely to be of interest to us. Makes me think that every self-help book should consider this: “Hey, this chapter’s about so-and-so. If you don’t give a doody about so-and-so, save your eyeballs and skip to the next chapter.”

Second, the doctor’s a good writer. Meaning he knows how to have fun with his prose without “jumping the shark” and losing credibility. He tries to fit a little bit of grin-inducing wordplay into most pages.

But most importantly, he shares some smart concepts and solutions for ADHD adults and teens that are memorable as they are useful, e.g.:

  • While we ADDers always want to be “somewhere else” (hence the name of the book), we must constantly remind ourselves that, “You are where you are right now and you have to make the most of it.” Indeed, the more we ignore the here-and-how, the less likely we are to create something positive out of our situation.
  • Following on the preceding point, “Somewhere Else is not always better” than Here and Now. In fact, it rarely turns out to be what we think it’ll be. And the more you’re present, the better that “next place” will be.
  • Lastly, I like his overall attitude, summed up in this quote: “This book is about doing what’s hard so life turns out better and easier in the long run.” He calls himself “a tough coach” with no apologies.

This honesty about what it takes to turn the tide on one’s ADD/ADHD struggles is refreshing. Too many products are screaming, “Try this and everything’ll be dandy”. As I say repeatedly in my videos and speaking engagements, you have to take the action, over and over, until habits are formed.

Even for the crappiest ADHD reader, this book is worth the action. Link to it here.

Crushatarianism for All,


PS – Read a book that really helped you out? Share it below. We are your peeps!

P.P.S.  If you haven’t yet heard of, I hope you’ll check it out. Each Monday night at 10pm we “air” another episode chock full of useful productivity tips and “brain hacks”, and our Guest Experts provide more great ideas. Tons of other benefits for members, including free group coaching sessions. Hope to “see” you there! ab

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