How Does it Feel to Have Executive Functioning Deficits?

A parent asked me to describe what it “feels” like to have executive functioning deficits. Let me tell you—it is not pleasant. One can be ridiculed, nagged, upbraided, labeled with different “disorders” or “disabilities”, told you are lazy and unmotivated, feel incapable, fail classes and lose jobs all because your brain stops you from being on time and able to get things done in a timely organized manner.

You may struggle with learning certain skills and subjects. This happens because parents, teachers, some therapists, and employers, don’t understand these “invisible” challenges in your brain. Since poor time management is viewed as a “character flaw,” individuals with executive functioning deficits suffer low self-esteem and can doubt their own competency. It leads to feeling powerless and hopeless, angry, anxious, and depressed, spiraling into failure unable to reach your inner potential. In a nut shell, it can be horrible.

I know these powerful, painful, negative feelings because I lived with them for over 40 years before I figured out how to support my brain to get things done. I developed Seeing My Time because I wanted to stop others from suffering like I did. I recently asked a 24-year-old client to describe what living with executive functioning deficits has been like for her before and after she completed the Seeing My Time course:

“I can spend hours trying to accomplish tasks on my to-do list for the day but nothing gets done because of how easy it is to get distracted by another task. Marydee ingrained in me the fundamental concept that those who struggle with EF need to be able to visualize each hour, week, month in order to feel motivated to get something accomplished. It doesn’t mean that those who struggle with EF are lazy or procrastinators it just means we have been missing this fundamental concept in our daily life – we need to see it in order to make it attainable, to get it done. Seeing is believing and in this case it is the motivational factor of conquering the to-do list in our daily lives.”

Another client recently contacted me a year after he completed the course:

“Every day is still a challenge due to my executive functioning deficits. Your Sklar Process™ is the only life change that I have made that has had positive results. I’m more successful at work and I’m more patient with myself.”

Both of these folks had experienced pain and failure but by learning about their brain and time they have made powerful changes that have improved their lives. They are both amazing and wonderful people. Their executive functioning deficits haven’t gone away, it’s just after the experience of the Sklar Process™, they now know how to support themselves to reach goals and improve their time management. There really is hope for those with executive functioning challenges.

About the Author Marydee Sklar

Marydee Sklar is the president of Executive Functioning Success and the creator of the Seeing My Time Program®. She is an educator and author of three books on executive functions, as well as a trainer and speaker. Marydee has more than twenty-five years of experience working with students and adults with executive function challenges.

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