393 | August Live Q&A with Brendan Mahan, Will Curb, MJ Siemens, coaches Moira Maybin & Roxie Martin, & Barb McDonagh

393 | August Live Q&A with Brendan Mahan, Will Curb, MJ Siemens, coaches Moira Maybin & Roxie Martin, & Barb McDonagh

[00:02:20]  – Eric has the first ADHD moment of the show 

[00:04:38] – Question: A listener who was recently diagnosed with ADHD asks about hyperfocus, prioritizing, and how to tell the difference between something that is a “new” passion versus a hyperfocus, versus a new commitment that may lose interest in. 

  • Learn as much as you can about ADHD. It’s a disorder where information makes a difference. 
  • If you can anticipate the things in your environment that you’re more susceptible to falling into hyperfocus and plan for them.
  • Our tendencies can be double-edged swords. 
  • Ask ourselves: Is it a passion or calling, or something we’re just doing a deep dive on? 
  • Have a place to store your ideas, because it doesn’t mean you have to act on them and continue to scroll. It’s okay to be curious about it, and observe if the curiosity will fade tomorrow before acting on it. 
  • The more we are engaged in thinking about it (our ADHD), the more we are going to take our lives off auto pilot. 
  • Is it a time-suck or a time-investment? 
  • Learning about ADHD is really learning more about ourselves. 

[00:14:33] – Question: What is the most frustrating thing about your ADHD? This listener’s most frustrating thing is having to wait for stuff. But first, Barb and Eric have a moment!

  • Roxie:  working memory in almost every aspect of her life, and shares a working-memory moment. 
  • Moira: day-to-day is waiting, but the big-impact ADHD frustration is impulsivity with blurting out. 
  • Will: An extreme lack of executive function while recovering from COVID (at the time of this recording) and activating on the task at hand. 
  • MJ: Impulsivity to never (or rarely) say “no”. Then optimism kicks in, then they realize they can’t do all the things, even though their ADHD wants to do all the things. 
  • Brendan: The “waiting-brain” and having trouble initiating prior to something bigger in the future. 
  • Eric: Transitioning or moving on to the next thing, and multi-tracking and maintenance in multiple domains of life at once. 

[00:19:37] – Question: A listener is one month away from having a baby and is in serious need of working on their recently diagnosed ADHD, and wonders how to balance these. 


  • Don’t join a coaching group (yet). Focus on your baby and get to know your baby because the years will fly by. 
  • Learn more about ADHD by listening to podcasts, because you can listen to a podcast and feed a baby at the same time. The more passive the learning, the easier it’s going to be to fit in [the learning] around your baby. 
  • When you’re pregnant, your body has a lot of estrogen which helps your ADHD. When you deliver, those hormones decrease. Women with ADHD have a much higher rate of postpartum depression largely due to this drop. 
  • Figure out what works for you even when others want to give advice, ask for help, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and take care of yourself.

[00:30:55] – Question: A listener, who is a startup cofounder, asks about navigating and managing rejection in a practical way, and avoiding participation with the anxiety of facing rejection. 

  • It’s not just about competing with someone else, it’s about competing and challenging ourselves. 
  • Is there risk? Yes. The only guarantee if a “no” is to not do the thing that scares us. 
  • Ask ourselves: Can you do everything that you think you can do and at the same time, understand that it might not go your way, or seal your own fate by not doing anything? 
  • Ask ourselves: What’s our mindset when we go into these things?
  • Ask ourselves: Do we love what we’re doing? 
  • One of the things that makes rejection so hard is the story we tell ourselves about why we were rejected. If we change the story and make it one that serves us rather than one that undermines us, it’s easier to take that risk the next time because we’re not ruined by the story we told ourselves. 

[00:35:16] – A listener gets burnt out from doing productive things, but when they feel burnt out, they know exactly what they need to do to recharge. But when they feel like they need to do more things, they don’t feel like they have the right to recharge.  (The panelists can relate!)

  • “I need to do all my work first before I can recharge” may be an old story we tell ourselves.
  • We can’t only do the work because that’s what leads to burnout. 
  • Nobody gets everything done on their to-do lists, including neurotypical people. 
  • Ask ourselves: What’s the story we tell ourselves? What are the remnants of our old belief patterns? Are we making up for our ADHD? 
  • Plan the time off first, and protect that time after it’s been planned.  
  • We’re never going to escape the mental trap that says, “Oh, I could do more.” Sure, we could do more, but with diminishing returns. 
  • You deserve to have self-care, whether you’ve gotten the stuff done or not. 
  • Write down a compelling “why” to help remember why it was prioritized. 

[00:41:13] – A listener, who is also a new dad, is overwhelmed and finds himself doing anything else except for the things he feels he needs to do. Both him and his partner have ADHD. 

  • Balance the sleep by swapping nights with your partner and experiment with a rhythm that works for you. 
  • Ask for help and be open about what your struggles are, that doesn’t necessarily need to disclose the ADHD. 

[00:44:50] – A listener asks what kinds of movies the panelists like to watch!

  • Eric: Death to Smoochie
  • MJ: Oceans 13, Atlantis, The Emperor’s New Groove, otherwise they watch documentaries or true-crime 
  • Will: Mostly watched kids movies recently; really enjoyed The Mitchells vs. The Machines. Will also enjoys comedies and light-hearted things. He even enjoys “terrible” movies (movies that are so bad they’re good.) 
  • Moira: needs movies with a story to stay engaged. Otherwise, she enjoys Pride & Prejudice (both versions), period pieces, and movies with mysteries but aren’t scary. She also enjoys rom-coms.
  • Brendan: All the Marvel movies, Star Wars, fantasy stuff, heist movies, especially Oceans 11. 
  • Roxie: Jojo Rabbit, comedies that take her by surprise and are really quirky.
  • Barb really likes comedies and action movies like the Fast & Furious movies, and series like Umbrella Academy. 

Honorable mentions:

  • Sharknado 
  • Tremors 6
  • Ticket to Hawaii
  • 5-Headed Shark
  • Poseidon Rex

[00:55:57] – A listener, who was diagnosed with ADHD over ten years ago as an adult, and is wondering if there is any ADHD medication that can be taken while breastfeeding. 

  • It comes down to risk-reward of the baby and managing ADHD. Some folks have found it safe to take the medication, depending on medical history. Bottom line: Talk to your doctor, and make sure your doctor knows you and understands ADHD.
  • Talk to your pharmacist. 

[00:59:08] – Between ADHD, a brain injury, hormones, and anxiety, a listener is feeling like a dysfunctional mess. Coaching, therapy, meds, and techniques haven’t worked for them thus far, and are feeling down more frequently. 

  • Number one: Putting yourself first and being kind to yourself.
  • Questions asked back to the listeners:
  • How many of us did help not work until we had the right help? 
  • What are your protective factors? What does your support look like? What community support networks exist that you can take advantage of? 
  • We have an inner voice or inner critic we’re allowed to ‘tell off’. 

[01:04:25] – Eric shares an update about his Phish tickets and shares some lessons learned about travelling.

[01:05:44] – A listener, newly diagnosed with ADHD, asks about dealing with transitions. 

  • Ask someone to help and share that transition-piece with someone else.
  • Use a timer, but make sure it’s a timer it’s not on your phone. Make it something that will have you get up from your chair if the “gravity” of your chair is getting stronger. 
  • Limit context switching whenever possible. 
  • Try doing everything in one space that you need to do in that space before transitioning onto the next.
  • “Break for Eyes” on iOS desktop. 
  • Build in more buffer time between switching. 
  • Have an alarm for the upcoming transition as a “nudge” of what’s coming up, not the transition itself.
  • Every transition is really two transitions:
  • You have to transition out of what you’re doing, then into whatever is coming up next.
  • There are three kinds of transitions:
  • Physical transitions
  • Emotional transitions
  • Intellectual transitions

[01:11:29] – Enjoy the last minute moment-of-dad from the Dad-Joke King himself, Will Curb. 


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