• Coach Elizabeth Brink

The Life Changing Magic of Releasing Our Shame

Updated: Sep 21

Are you terrified of someone coming by unannounced? Do you half-joke about the way you live while feeling deep shame?


Every week in the ADDiva Get Organized program, I hear nearly 100 people with ADHD “confess” their mess. They apologize for not maintaining the efforts of previous weeks, and it makes my soul ache.


Piles of miscellaneous papers, a collection of used cups, laundry that needs to be washed, dust bunnies, soap scum, and purses full of wrappers & receipts.


Clients tell me they’re just gross and lazy. They’ve never been able to keep up with deep cleaning or tidying up.


Your tidiness does not correspond to your worth.

You are valuable simply for being you.

The state of your home, car, or office can never change that. It’s okay to stop fantasizing about a future you in a future living room that’s ordered and clean.

It’s okay to accept without judgment how you keep house and what you eat for dinner. You have enough real things to fill your worry bucket.

While not all those with ADHD struggle with messy spaces, nearly all carry around mental and emotional messes. Part of the empowerment of learning about ADHD is seeing the symptoms apart from your identity.


Shame says, “You’re a slob or messy person,” but guilt says, “you make or leave messes.”

We can learn to get comfortable admitting guilt when we stop making it about who we are at our core.


We left that bowl to mold, we didn’t put the laundry away, we forgot to set a coaster down.

These are all things that can be worked on.


When we throw up our hands and say, “that’s who I am! I’m a messy person so don’t expect more from me,” we rob ourselves of the real power of accepting and naming our challenges and experimenting with ways around them.


How can you reframe challenges with your ADHD symptoms to stop accusing yourself of having a character flaw?


If you need help, come hang with me in The ADHD Enclave with other women who are doing the work.


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