Resilience – Science-Backed Strategies from a Dyslexic / ADHD Perspective

Here are the other blogs in this series:
Resilience Part 2- Change the Narrative – what are some ways we can do that? What about being neurodiverse would make that different from other people?
Resilience Part 3- Face Your Fears – Ways to do that and being neurodiverse
Resilience Part 4- Practice Self-Compassion – How do you do that while being neurodiverse?
Resilience Part 5- Meditate – Ways to do that and being neurodiverse
Resilience Part 6- Cultivate Forgiveness –being neurodiverse can make it hard to forgive

Building resilience is an important skill for everyone, but especially for those in the neurodiverse community. We have to navigate school systems, and jobs that weren’t designed for us, and advocate for ourselves at every turn. This article by Kira M. Newman for Great Good Magazine lays out five proven strategies for building resilience and inspired me to dive deeper into each of these topics in my upcoming blogs to look specifically at how adults with ADHD and Dyslexia can use these strategies.

Here are some basics to start you off. Resilience is learning healthy ways to move through adversity—a collection of skills that researchers call resilience.

Newman starts off outlining five strategies:

  1. Change the narrative
  2. Face your fears
  3. Practice self-compassion
  4. Meditate
  5. Cultivate forgiveness

While these strategic methods for building resilience can absolutely benefit neurodiverse individuals, it is also important to talk about the unique relationship between this community and resilience. From a young age neurodiverse children learn that the expectations of them don’t take into account how they think, which can lead to feelings of inferiority. Validating and loving your neurodiverse brain can take years of unlearning.

As we explore each of these areas of resilience building, I will reference other good articles and writers from within the dyslexia and ADHD community.

The Inflow article, ‘The gift of resilience: why ADHD makes us stronger,’ highlights the unique way that the experience of having ADHD can build resilience.

Any adult with a neurodiversity is a beacon of resilience and they might not even know it. Last week I was talking with a potential coaching client who just in the last year learned they were dyslexic. I had so much fun showing them all of the ways they had skills in resilience that other people could only dream of having. We have been picking ourselves back up and jumping back into the game since we were little kids. Most of us don’t know how not to be resilient, at this point it is as much part of our DNA as the neurodivergences.

Resilience is hard-won. It takes work and like with many things, intentionally building resilience will look different for all of us. I hope sharing these strategies and perspectives on resilience will be a reminder that there are many different strategies out there, and finding out what doesn’t and does work for you is part of the process.

What are some of your resilience strategies?

I use the five we are going to explore and a couple more. One of mine is education. Part of getting back up off the floor when I am down is to talk about it in humbling, sometimes raw and honest ways. I have found that it is in those authentic ways that I am able to move forward faster because others are able to help connect with my struggle and that removes the isolation and fears.



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