Today, we are interviewing Hilary Andreini, life coach for adults diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.
Diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, Hilary is passionate about helping others find joy and peace with how their brain works so they can be kinder to themselves, think about the past differently and try new things.
Hilary received her Personal Certified Coach (PCC) certification from the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Additionally, she is a member of Children and Adults with ADHD (CHADD), Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) and ADHD Coaches Organization (ACO).
What is ADHD coaching?
An ADHD coach is a life coach with specialized ADHD training that can help clients “do the thing” by understanding that ADHD is a neurological condition that causes trouble with getting things done for a number of reasons and finding ways to support their clients’ troubling symptoms and manage their ADHD.
Coaches help educate and empower their clients to find strategies that work for them and their lives. We are not striving for perfection because perfection is impossible—we are wonderfully imperfect human beings. It’s what makes us interesting!
Together, we find ways to make mundane tasks more tolerable, or even fun. We work on time management tools like calendaring, alarms and reminders. We also work on task management systems like meal planning, to-do lists, accountability partners and routines.
How did you become an ADHD coach?
My journey from human resources to recruiting and eventually to life coaching for adults with ADHD has various twists and turns. Each step has been full of learning and I’m grateful for each one.
I originally chose a career in human resources and recruiting because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives and help make the world a better place 🌎. I didn’t know it back then, but I was also tapping into my top CliftonStrengths®; empathy, connectedness, input, adaptability, and relator.
I love to be of service to individuals and communities, develop deep relationships and share my knowledge. Because my career frequently pulled on these strengths, I was successful and loved what I did for a long time.
When did you realize you had ADHD?
Although I was good at and loved many aspects of my career, I also had challenges 😢. For example, I remembered my coworkers' stories about their lives (and their cat’s name!) but could not remember their titles or names.
To keep track of everything, I had to put in so many systems to try to manage 👩💻. I had spreadsheets galore and relied on technology to help me stay on track and quickly search for the many details that I needed to recall. It was a significant struggle for me and impacted my ability and confidence to fully serve my coworkers and candidates the way I felt they deserved.
When I was ready to start a family, I paused my career and became a stay-at-home mom 👨👩👧👧. Children have a wonderful way of restructuring their parents’ lives and changing routines. All my routines had suddenly changed and I had a hard time adapting.
It wasn’t until my child was flagged for ADHD that I learned that quiet women could have ADHD too! Like many women, we are often diagnosed with ADHD once we begin our families 🧠. Once I got my ADHD diagnosis and received the help I needed, I was able to forgive myself for what I had previously thought of as character flaws, instead of the ADHD symptoms they were.
What led you to start your own business?
My diagnosis was pivotal for me and began my interest in all things ADHD 📚. I read anything I could find on the subject. I was hungry to learn more to help me and my children—so much so that I kept saying to myself “I wish I could make a career out of talking about ADHD.”
The universe kept putting life coaching on my radar. Because of my background in HR and recruiting, friends and family came to me for advice on their career paths, resumes and job searches. In helping them, I realized that what mattered to me even more than resumes was who they were as people and what they wanted from their lives. So I paused, listened to the universe and signed up for life coach training and certification.
For adults with ADHD, the right fit is crucial for career success. By “right fit”, I mean a career that leverages natural strengths and interests. In my training, I realized that I wanted to help other adults manage their ADHD, so they can manage their lives and embrace all the gifts that come with it.
Almost four years later, I am still happy with my decision. I have a successful business and seeing my clients make the transition from “I’m flawed, my brain is broken,” to acceptance and management of their ADHD brings joy to my heart 🤗.