More Inspirational Girls Blogs
- Dyslexia: One Girl's Story from Tragedy to Triumph
- A Guide to Being Glamorously Green
- ROLE MODEL: Hazel McCallion
- Working Your Way Up
- Big Things Happen ...when you don't give up
- What Are YOU Meant to Do?
- Turning a Challenge into a SUCCESS!
- Meet Our Sisters from JAPAN!
- Sisters from Poland
- Beauty and the Beast
- "Only dead fish go with the flow."
- On your mark, get set...GO! Women in the Olympics.
- Mary Wollstonecraft
- Ponytails of Love
- No Matter What!
- Friends & Sisters - the perfect combo!
- Facing Fears - a real life story
- SAPPHO: The Poetess of Greece
- Dreaming Big Can Be Hard
- Goddess of the Month - SOL
- Tuareg: The Blue People
- Inspirational Girls - More Than Just a Hobby
- The Life of Pocahontas
- Girls on the Run
- Belief in a Dream, Dr. Jane Goodall
- Goddess of the Month - Dou-mu
- Inspirational Girls and Women - Lorene Hatelt
- Be Your Own Goddess - Ganga
- Sisters Around The World - Egypt
- Inspirtational Girls and Women - Silken Laumann
- Struggle for Identity - being a young woman during the times of the Renaissance
- Girls Honouring Outstanding Women
- Be Your Own Goddess - Selene
- Life in Africa as a teen of the Masai Tribe
May 2009 Blogs
- Real Girl: Sara
- Let's Talk BRAS
- We hate being JUDGED, ...but do WE do it too?
- Splish Splash, time for a bath?
- Turning a Challenge into a SUCCESS!
- Fencing, en garde!
- Elemental Connections Part 4 of 4: AIR
- Ask a Girl - sneaky thing, change a law, allergies, slang
- Ask a Guy - sneaky thing, change a law, allergies, slang
- Sniff, sniff... bad breath and B.O.
- Focus on HABITS
Turning a Challenge into a SUCCESS!
INSPIRATIONAL GIRLS AND WOMEN, May 2009, by Jenifer Merifield
Turning a Challenge into a SUCCESS!
Meet the fabulous and very energetic Shanna Tator. While Shanna has ADD, she didn’t grow up with that label. She didn’t actually know she had ADD until she was in her late 20’s...
“Being a kid and growing up was really hard because I always wanted to do my own thing and it was difficult for me to follow rules and do things the teachers’ way at all times,” recalls Shanna. “The ways I wanted to do things weren’t looked upon as ‘proper’. So when I did them my way people sometimes thought I was being rebellious, but I wasn’t. It was just what I knew was my best.”
School was Tough!
Junior high and high school were especially tough for Shanna. They were more structured than grade school where she had to sit still and be quiet for 75 minutes straight. For someone who needs to be expressive and move around, staying put wasn't an easy task! “One night,” says Shanna, “I had so much homework that I had to stop every once in a while to jump on my bed to release all the physical energy that was building up from just sitting there. Of course my Mom yelled at me because I wasn’t doing my homework, but at the time she just didn’t understand. She wanted me to ‘grow up’ and ‘behave properly’, but I knew I could quickly release energy to get more focused this way.”
If anyone can relate to Shanna’s feelings of needing to release energy, she also recommends running up and down the stairs a couple times or dancing in your room!
It didn't matter what anyone else said...
Shanna’s guidance counselor said she would never make it through university. Being the determined girl that she was (and still is), Shanna used her gift of having lots of energy to prove her guidance counselor wrong! She knew that when she was doing what she WANTED to do, she did a lot better than when she was doing things that were forced on her to do.
That’s where ‘One Focus’ came up for her. “I realized that I had a MILLION things I wanted to do and I felt like I had to do all of them immediately. It felt like ‘this is the last chance I’ll ever have to go there, do this, talk to them’ and the anxiety was crazy. So when I was in high school I realized that I wasn’t actually getting ANYTHING done, never mind ALL these things. That’s when I decided to focus as hard as I could on just ONE thing. My mantra became ‘My One Focus for Total Success’. I could go to bed knowing I got stuff done, and at the end of the week I got 7 things done instead of having started a whole bunch and finishing none.”
Her Ticket to Freedom
University turned out to be an awesome experience for Shanna. It may seem intimidating if you’re struggling like she did in high school, but Shanna says, “See it as your ticket to freedom; not necessarily what you are learning as much as being there for the sake of learning how to learn. It’s a once in a lifetime experience. It really can be fun and the reason to stick it out is to NOT lose out on so many more opportunities in the future. If you make a list of the things you could do if you dropped out of high school vs. if you stuck it out and went on to university or college you will see that with school you can do anything! I did, and so can you.”
Freedom was and IS big for Shanna and for those of you who can relate to her story. "School, believe it or not," says Shanna, "is the big ticket to freedom."
Discovering the World
“I traveled for three years after university. My reward to myself was to go backpacking for a year. That was the best learning experience of my life! I was living, working and experiencing different cultures on my own. I was giving back to communities, using tons of energy because I was back packing, and I learned SO much. It was total freedom and I couldn’t have done if I didn’t go to university first. I wouldn’t have been able to enjoy the experience because I would have felt like a quitter. Graduating was my ticket.”
Shanna worked to totally pay her own way as she traveled. She taught, she did environmental work, she got to choose to do the things she loved. “For 8 years I led backpacking trips and wilderness expeditions for kids in high school and Jr. high, and for adults. That of all places was where I was introduced to the whole ADD thing!”
While working with Jr. high kids, the teachers would prepare a list of kids to watch out for. She was told that those were kids who got in the most trouble. “Know what happened? It was those very kids who were the best kids ever because they had tons of energy, they were curious and interested. Those were the kids who had trouble sitting still in class. They thrived outdoors because they could express themselves freely by touching and climbing and ‘doing’, rather sitting and not experiencing things physically. I totally related to these people and it made me understand what they needed and why I was just like that. Those kids needed to be out there. That’s where they thrive!”
“When I was officially diagnosed everything made sense to me. I now coach people with ADD. I understand them so it makes perfect sense to me.”
Tips for Kids With ADD
As an expert on ADD and Focused Learning, Shanna has some great tips for kids with ADD, or kids who get restless. “At recess and lunch, go out and burn energy. Walk, dance, jump, climb stairs, just do energy releasing things. Be active on your breaks and even at home. I had an exercise bike in my basement and I did my homework on it. That’s what got me through school. I have a client who read two whole chapters in one night for the first time ever by reading while being on an exercise bike.”
Shanna now does workshops for students with ADD in university and coaches people one on one over the phone. “I call it ‘Super Success for the smart yet scattered’. A lot of my clients have not been diagnosed with ADD but are feeling scattered. I coach them and give them amazing tools to stay focused on what they really want."
Shanna’s company is called One Focus Total Success and is the number 1 ADD coaching company on the planet right now.
Shanna’s Message to You
“Take action rather than just thinking about it forever. When you want something, immediately take action into doing it. You will feel whether it’s right for you or not. Just don’t be afraid to take that first step. When you want something bad enough jump into it with your whole body!”
Shanna is a new writer at GCDA and has a column called “FOCUS on FOCUS” where you can learn a new 'focus for success tip' every issue! See her first article here.