Research On Successful Adults with ADHD: Putting Success Skills to Work

February 18, 2022

Research On Successful Adults with ADHD: Putting Success Skills to Work

We can learn a lot from other adults with ADHD who have found great success!  There have been many research studies done over time that have found that such adults share several characteristics.  We can learn about these characteristics and then use them in our own lives to achieve our own versions of success. 

A great starting point for creating our own successful lives and fulfilling our potential is to consider potential outcomes, and to learn from the mistakes, and even more importantly, the successes of others.  Adults who have grown up with ADHD are a rich source from which to gather useful information. 

Lots of research has been done on successful adults with ADHD, and it has been found that these adults share many common characteristics.  These characteristics can be developed, learned, practiced, improved, and embraced.  We can work to develop these success skills and attributes and use them in our own lives.

Most adults still have many difficulties due to their ADHD, which further confirms that ADHD is a persistent problem that does not just “go away” with maturity.  However, many adults with ADHD have found tremendous success.  They have found ways to overcome and compensate for issues related to their ADHD, learn to live with it productively, and even in some cases, put it to use.  They demonstrate an assortment of shared qualities and use a variety of similar techniques, tools, and strategies.

While these adults range in age, gender, culture, ethnicity, religion, marital status and geographic location, they are all successful by most people’s standards.  They are happy, independent and thriving.  They have good interpersonal relationships, and work that they find satisfying, meaningful and that utilizes their strengths.  The definition of success varies greatly among individuals.  For many this means having a satisfying career, good, supportive relationships, independence and a sense of well-being.   

What contributes to these adults’ success?  Here are some of the common factors:

  • Control of their own life and being proactive
  • Desire to succeed
  • Self-awareness
  • Reframing the disability
  • Self-acceptance
  • Creativity
  • Discovering, developing and using strengths
  • Compensating productively
  • Perseverance
  • Resilience
  • Acquiring and honing life skills, success skills, tools, and techniques
  • Goal setting
  • Emotional stability
  • Goodness of fit
  • Niche-picking
  • Social systems and support

ADHD is a lifelong condition, or as I like to call it, journey.  Of course, that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.  In fact, it can be a good thing, even a great thing.  Many adults who had, and still have, ADHD are extremely successful.  They have overcome challenges, embraced who they are, found and developed what they’re good at, and created amazing careers and lives for themselves.   On the next several pages, you will find lot of information, tips, suggestions and worksheets for putting some of these characteristics/traits and others into practice.

Get the Adult ADHD Successful Adult workbook and guide here.  This workbook takes a look at the results of these studies and the characteristics shared by successful adults with ADHD, and provides exercises and worksheets to help you use these characteristics. 

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You can also find helpful ADHD resources here.


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