123: Finding Balance in Life with ADHD with Brendan Mahan

Do you or someone you love struggle to find balance in life because of the effects of ADHD? This is the show with the answers! My guest has been where you are because he has ADHD and his passion is to help others.

Brendan Mahan has a Master’s of Education and School Counseling. He’s an internationally-known ADHD Executive Functioning consultant, coach, and host of the ADHD Essentials podcast. He helps people manage the emotional, academic, and lifestyle impacts ADHD has on the people who have it and those who care for them. I was introduced to Brendan when he appeared on the ADHD ReWired podcast with Eric Tivers, where Brendan talked about his concept of “The Wall of Awful.”

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Show Highlights:

  • The things Brendan is intensely passionate about: helping parents and non-ADHD people understand, storytelling, being a husband and father, and martial arts

  • How Brendan’s intensity shows itself in stress and sensory overwhelm

  • How Brendan grew up as a sensitive kid who was afraid to disappoint adults

  • Brendan as a product of the 80s and 90s toxic masculinity who also had a nurturing side

  • How he learned to say “the quiet parts” out loud

  • How ADHD makes you impulsive and large, and Brendan tries to rein it in and not overwhelm others

  • Establishing boundaries when people unload on you

  • How to decompress

  • Two recent moments of overwhelm for Brendan

  • As an ADHD coach and consultant, Brendan works with kids, adults, families, schools, and mental health organizations as a speaker, podcaster, and (now) interim principal

  • How Brendan inverts the fire of anxiety to use it to be more compassionate and empathic

  • Why we need to give each other permission to struggle with mental health issues just like physical issues

  • Habits that help Brendan the most: a calendar for scheduling time and commitments, and his wife and kids who help slow him down at times

  • Why Brendan doesn’t believe in “lazy,” but believes it’s learned helplessness born out of a lack of skills

  • Why you shouldn’t tell a kid, “This is easy”

  • How much of Brendan’s coaching work comes down to problem-solving

  • Why you CAN do that thing you think you can’t

  • How you disempower those who want to help you when you don’t accept their help

  • Brendan’s advice: “Be willing to be vulnerable with those whom you care about and care about you.”


Find out more about Brendan and his work:

Brendan Mahan

Email: brendan@adhdessentials.com

Self-Reg by Stuart Shanker

Three upcoming events: Visit the Embracing Intensity Facebook page to join our EI Community or Patreon–

            April 27: Seasonal Potluck in the Pacific NW

            April 29: Ignite Your Power course: Time and Energy Balance

            May 11: A (10:00 am Pac.) group call with Kate Arms on Thriving with Intensity

Anxiety is the only thing you can burn for fuel and end up with more of it when you're done. ~ Brendan Mahan
Finding Balance in Life with ADHD with Brendan Mahan
There is power in quitting, but you should only quit if the thing isn't worth doing." ~ Brendan Mahan