Why Everyone With Executive Functioning Weakness Needs to do Charity WorkContributing time to a charity is a hugely positive experience. Here are 5 Reasons Why Everyone With Executive Functioning Weakness Needs to do Charity Work
Carol Gignoux, M.Ed
Filed Under: Executive Functioning Weakness, Volunteering, COmmunity, Executive Dysfunction, ADD, ADHD
Why Everyone with Executive Functioning Weakness Needs to do Charity Work
Contributing to a charity, especially through time instead of donations, is a hugely positive experience that I believe everyone with Executive Function Weakness needs to have.
Good deeds are satisfying and fun to do, and all of us deserve that kind of happy experience – especially those of us that experience varying degrees of executive dysfunction and/or ADD/ADHD! Plus, the wide variety of roles to fill at a charity means that the incredible innovator skills of this brain type can be put to good use. Don’t believe me? Here are some of the ways that charity work pays off.
Bond With the Community
It is so easy to live in an isolated way these days. With all of the advancements in technology, it’s actually not that uncommon to go to work, commute home, eat your meals, and spend your free time without very much real-life human interaction. The internet, streaming video, texting, and all the other virtual communications can leave us both connected and disconnected at the same time. I think that good, old-fashioned community engagement is something that a lot of people miss without realizing it.
By doing charity work, you get out there and meet the people who live in your area and have the same values. You get to enjoy new experience, and bond with people while sharing a common goal. It can renew that sense of hometown pride that you didn’t even realize you lacked. Plus, it’s a great feeling to be recognized as a good person within the mini-community of your charity. Whether your reputation is being the strongest, or fastest, or friendliest, or the person who brings the best snacks, it’s irresistible to feel happy at these bonds. We’re social beings! We’re hardwired for it.
The Instant Gratification of Charity
How often do you put your best effort into something, and get rewarded with instant proof of the great job that you’ve done? My guess is, not often enough. But that sense of instant gratification happens a lot when working with charities. If you’re fundraising, your proof is the pile of cash at the end of the day that you didn’t have before, and knowing the exact positive impact of that money. If you volunteer your time to put on events, you get your reward by seeing all of the happy people who have come out to share in the experience. If you work in more of a mentorship role with children, the elderly, people with special needs, or animals, you get to see the results of your hard work in the smiles and happy interactions of the people right in front of your eyes.
Choose Your Favorite Role
I feel like it’s a hidden secret of charity work that you only need to do the tasks that are fun for you. Instead of work, where there are a ton of non-negotiable responsibilities on your shoulders, when you do good deeds you can pick and choose your role. The special traits of people with the ADHD brain type – the problem solving skills, determination, and other assets that I call the innovator type – can really shine in charity work. Start by selecting the cause you want to support, and then contribute your effort in a way that will satisfy you and benefit them at the same time.
If you’re fearless about strangers, join the phone bank. If you’re good at sales, join the fundraising team. If you want to be outside more, work with a charity that puts on road races as part of the ground crew. If you’re fast on your feet when spur of the moment changes happen, join the events staff. If you want more solitude and peace of mind from your charity work, do something on your own like volunteering to socialize the animals at your local shelter or cleaning up litter at a park or beach near your home. Tailor your good deeds to the role that you will most enjoy.
Take the Lessons Home
After volunteering, you’ll probably feel pretty great. You’ve spent your time in a way that you like. You worked towards a bigger goal that you really believe in. You had a bunch of new experiences with like-minded people. It all serves to remind you of the best parts of being a member of a community.
Don’t miss the chance to hold on to that feeling, and to invite it into other parts of your life. Take a step back and look at the elements that contributed to your great experiences as a volunteer. Can anything be replicated in your daily life? Maybe the people you worked with were more open to your ideas, or friendlier in general. Maybe being out in the sunshine had a major positive impact on your mood. Maybe having a sillier atmosphere kept you interested in the task at hand longer than you otherwise would have been. Like a scientist, analyze the different factors in your experience, and ask yourself how you can recreate the favorable conditions when conflicts arise at work and at home.
Celebrate Your Capability
All of the perks I’ve listed above about the benefits of doing volunteer work condense into one truth: helping others feels great. When other parts of your life are going wrong, helping others is the cure. Seeing what you’re capable of doing with your fast brain, your strong hands, or your good attitude forces you to see yourself in a new way: you are someone powerful. You took control of a situation and did something that will help make someone else’s life better. You contributed to a cause that is bigger than yourself. I guarantee you that the problems that bugged you before will look a lot smaller and a lot easier to solve after you experience the transforming power of doing good for others.
Make Progress with the Right Executive Function Coach
As one of the 10+ million U.S. adults with ADD, I genuinely understand the challenges of living with ADHD as well as the positive results that can be achieved through coaching. With the help of a great executive functioning skills coach, adult ADHD treatment can change lives. With the right behaviors and coping mechanisms, it’s easier to overcome some of the worst symptoms. Those include distraction, lack of punctuality, untidiness, forgetfulness, failure to meet deadlines, and more.
By practicing these success strategies, performance at work can improve, too. Life at home will become more stable and relaxing. Enrich every important personal relationship. And most importantly, you’ll gain a new level of self-confidence.