Creative and ADD Personality Traits – Change Your Labels, Change Your Life

Many of us have always known we were wired differently, and we were not destined to follow a traditional career or life path. Oh yes, we may have been pressured by parents, teachers, school counselors and even our peers to quit being such a flake, settle down, choose one thing and stick to it, for cryin’ out loud.

You may have been labeled a ‘Jack (or Jill) of all Trades, Master of None’ (ouch); or ‘Creative’ (artists are all eccentric, don’t you know?). You may have been diagnosed with ADD (attention deficit disorder) or AD/HD (with hyperactivity thrown in) and therefore saddled with the stigma of a ‘disorder’. Or you may have been repeatedly told you are ‘too sensitive’… or a ‘daydreamer’… or ‘not working up to your potential’… or ‘easily distracted’… or… eh, you get it. So, mostly these labels don’t feel too good, do they? They make us feel like we don’t quite measure up. But there’s good news afloat.

In my coaching practice, the majority of clients I attract are ‘creative’ types who enjoy or desire self-employment at one level or another. As I learned more about what I term ‘creative multipreneurs’ and defined this way of being on my website and in my newsletter, I would receive wonderful emails and phone calls from people telling me how much they identified with what I described.

They felt understood and some hired me to coach them. And sometimes, almost as an afterthought, they would share that they had been diagnosed as ADD or AD/HD. In order to better understand my clients, and maybe even myself, I started reading everything I could get my hands on about ADD in adults.

One author in particular, Lynn Weiss, Ph.D., Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults: A Different Way of Thinking, has never believed that this way of being is a disorder. She believes that ADD is a brain-style diversity issue and that no one brain-style is superior or more normal than another.

Let’s take a look at the positive labels that have been popping up in books and articles in the last few years for people with a yearning to know and experience many things. How does ‘Gifted Adult’ feel? What about ‘Renaissance Soul?’ How about Barbara Sher’s label, ‘Scanner’ for people of multiple interests? Garret LoPorto uses the label ‘DaVinci’ in his book, The DaVinci Method. He writes, “DaVinci’s are the change agents of society. They are the world’s greatest leaders, artists, entrepreneurs, inventors, revolutionaries and rock stars.” Wow.

However you feel about labels, they do have a positive place in our lives. They help us understand ourselves better and to realize that we are not alone. We can find a place to fit comfortably. They may help others to understand us better. We now are starting to believe in and appreciate our gifts like creativity, flexibility, curiosity, big picture thinking, and entrepreneurial spirit.