Slow-cooking CHANGE

Metaphors of Mind & Brain Redux
edited excerpt from Our Brains, Crock Pots™ and Microwaves (Jan. 2015)

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

The way in which my brain is rather like a Crock Pot™ frequently comes to mind. I put more than a few things in “slow-cook” mode, figuring that I’ll be better able to handle them later, and that they will still be “digestible” if I forget about them for a while.

By giving ourselves permission to do things our own way on our own timetables, our brain responds with a way to solve problems and work around challenges that works best for us.

I frequently use the term “slow-cook” as a communication short-cut when I coach. It is especially useful when I work with change resistance.

In my many years working with all sorts of individuals I have observed that what trips us up most is a process akin to denial – that just because something works for the rest of the world it darn well should work for us too!

If you want to understand how you work,
you need to pay deliberate attention
to how YOU work! Duh!

Until we begin to observe the unique manner in which we respond and react, we unconsciously defend or attack ourselves from expectations that, somewhere deep inside, we know are unrealistic, given our particular flavor of whatever is going on with us.

That way lies madness!

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for a reminder of how links work on this site, they’re subtle ==>

What’s even MORE crazy?

The least effective way of handling things is to continue to refuse to pay attention to new input or try on anything new because “it’s not you.” I am always shocked by those willing to pay good money to coach or train with me, only to insist on doing things the ways in which they are familiar.

How in the world can anybody expect to tweak-to-fit if they won’t give something new an honest try and report their findings in as unbiased a manner as possible? We need the data.

  • I would also be so bold as to suggest that anyone who hires me in the first place doesn’t already know the benefit of everything I am going to share or suggest.


  • If you are reading this blog, you are, in effect, a pro-bono client — one who also needs to take the coaching.

EXPECT change to activate resistance – it usually does

Almost ALL of us, ADD/EFD or not, have a small – perfectly “normal” – part of our personalities that balks unless a new idea or different manner of approaching a task is totally appealing in the moment we are “supposed” to take it on.

Slow cooking is an effective work-around –
and it sure beats throwing something away
just because it doesn’t fit your pictures.

Be smart about it – when something doesn’t work for you, pay attention to where and how things begin to get wonky, and remain ready to tweak at strategic points and try again. Abandon it only after a good college try, and trust your own instincts about what to try next.

But don’t put off trying a different way to skin your particular cat for longer than it take to make friends with the idea of experimenting with another something new for a week or two.

Slow cook whatever you must before you begin, but there will be no CHANGE until you try something besides what you have been doing to date and update a few decisions and habits as a result of what you discover.

Your instincts about what works for you are no doubt right in part.
Wouldn’t you like to be able to figure out which part?

You have to start somewhere. Why wander off in the wilderness or continue to force-feed yourself the same ole’ neurotypical tips and tricks if you don’t have to?

I suggest that, when life is not really working for you, you take the advice of someone with a ton of experience about what has worked for many others like you – perhaps the brain-based information and advice in over 500 articles written to help, right here on ADDandSoMuchMore.

Read the content, take the coaching, do the work –
and life gets better.

It’s not easy, but it absolutely IS that simple.

Put it in your slow-cooker

As I recommend in my Boggle Book (LinkList to excerpts HERE), “slow-cook” the answers to the questions I ask and the techniques and exercises I suggest.

START with your reaction to the idea of gathering easy-to-use manual “tools” to capture your thoughts as you go about your day and while you read.

Begin in whatever way you decide to do it first (which will probably be thought of as “your way.”)

THEN, pay attention to your own documentation to determine if your way shifts to any degree as you investigate with fresh eyes.

Are you:

  • more willing to use the advice in the format suggested?
  • less willing to do so? Or perhaps
  • encouraged to find another way to do the same thing?

NOW, what will you DO in response to what you discovered?
(Really, as a real question, not simply another indictment with a question mark at the end.)

  • Dig in and defend the old, regardless, or adjust to new information?
  • Look closely at what you HAVE you been doing?
  • Take a good look at how what you’ve been doing has been working for you?

Understanding how you focus and function

Again, if you want to understand how you work, you need to pay deliberate attention to how YOU work!

Throughout my adult life, I know that I have gotten into the most trouble when I doubted my own experience in response to the certainty of someone else promoting something else as the best way to go about this business of life.

Once I can determine the items that I, uniquely, need to have in place to function best, as long as I can set things up to keep those items in my life and use my own unique systems and strategies, I do VERY well.

The extent to which any one or several of the items I need to function best are missing or unavailable for any reason is the extend to which I flounder and fail – and when others comment that I seem to be little more than a stuttering wonder!

I would like to suggest that might be true for YOU as well.

Get in touch if you’d like to hire me for some coaching help identifying what you, uniquely, need to have on board, and to midwife the process of putting those items into place.

Or sign up for Peer Coaching Basic Training if your biggest problem turns out to be follow-through and habit creation.

Read the entire generating article HERE.

No TIME to read all this stuff? Want more help?

Sign up for Peer Coaching Basic Training, an inexpensive way to learn the techniques of effective fee-free Peer Coaching.

It will also help you sort through a great many “functional issues” so that you can design an action plan guaranteed to be more effective than what most of you are currently attempting to do.

Classes are a much cheaper alternative to hiring my personal coaching services (and the FIRST time I offer a new class is always your least expensive option by far).

As always, class size will be small to allow for personal attention, so don’t miss the announcement if you want to make sure you sign up before the first class fills.

If you already know that this is something you are going to want to be part of, let me know in a comment below and I’ll make sure you have notice before the class is full (don’t forget to fill in your name and email on the comment form or I won’t be able to contact you).

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There’s a lot to know, a lot here already, and a lot more to come – in this Series and in others.
Get it here while it’s still free for the taking.

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You might also be interested in some of the following articles
available right now – on this site and elsewhere.

Related articles right here on

From the Coaching FIT series:

A few related Coaching Articles:

A Few LinkLists by Category (to articles here on


About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

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  8. PorterGirl says:

    I love this. I consider myself quite unusual in that I like and relish change. However, I know that I can be really bad at taking advice, even when I know that the person offering it is probably right. My friends have got used to this and ignore my initial rebuffs, waiting for me to calm down a bit and think sensibly. I don’t know why I am so resistant to taking advice, but it is something I am working on! Thanks again fora brilliant post.


    • You ARE unusual – and not just because you enjoy change (stimulation!). I’m also guessing that you have past experience where you took advice to heart and it backfired, so you have determined to follow your own council “from now on.” The main thing is that you DO “calm down a bit and think sensibly” – which is all any of us really CAN do anyway. PorterGirl has a great technique – she thinks what she thinks and holds her tongue when she can. 🙂

      Thanks always for reading and commenting. NOW, I have a review to think about as I take Tink for his “morning” walk.

      Liked by 1 person

      • PorterGirl says:

        Ah, you could be right there – from a young age I was adamant that I would make my own mistakes and learn from them. My poor mother had to stand by and watch, ready to pick up the pieces! Luckily I am a quick learner, so I tend not to repeat mistakes. I just find whole new ones to make and call them ‘learning experiences’ 😉
        I hope the walk helps! Give Tink my best, I am sure he loves getting out and about with you.


        • Back again – with wet paws and sticker burrs (Tink, not me, that is) 🙂 It seems that you and I live on our computers (tho’ you probably connect via smartphone, I prefer a super-sized screen and a grown-up finger-sized keyboard)

          “The terrible twos” – nature’s way of teaching us who we are and what we need to do to navigate the world: reject the norms of others and figure it out for ourselves. Some of us are more intractable, others decide to fall in line at some point. (Guess which club I joined?)

          Like you, I tend not to repeat the SAME mistakes – but I seem to be infinitely creative about staying in the same ballpark. “Unfortunately,” I learned about sticking to my values – setting out early to walk my talk until I died. Tho’ most days I wonder why those who decide that their ends justify any means seem to be better off, I seem to get mired in ethics as my own action strategy. 🙂

          Mother Teresa is quoted as saying: “God, you’d have a lot more friends if you treated the ones you have a lot better.” hmmmmmmm


          Liked by 1 person

          • PorterGirl says:

            I tens to dedicate the first half of the week to intense internet activity – blog, social media etc – but come Thursday I only check comments occasionally and I use my time to write and work on various bits and bobs. I do use a smartphone but much prefer a laptop or desktop – so much easier to type!
            Sounds like you had a lovely walk and Tink had a great time!
            I think that sticking to your values is important. If you can look yourself in the mirror and know that you did what YOU thought was genuinely the best thing to do – no one can judge you. Well, they probably will (people are judgey!) but you can hold your head up high. That’s my theory, anyway 🙂


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