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DREAM BIG! Autism and ADHD Are The Secrets To Success

Many of us have dreams. Some of us dream small, some of us dream big. But how many of us truly live those dreams? 


If you are a neurodiverse woman, you may feel that your dreams aren’t as valid and achievable as anyone else’s. Maybe others have rejected your dreams and goals, or perhaps you’re just used to fitting in around what others want and need from you, and your own dreams have been forgotten?


I spent decades ignoring my own dreams, walking a path of prolific people pleasing, in my desperate attempts to fit in and be accepted. It never worked and it resulted in a year long autistic burnout at the age of 36. Even my journey into entrepreneurship was fraught with suppressing my real dreams, doing what others needed and wanted, and ignoring the impact it was having on me. My diagnosis gave me the grace and motivation to change that, and to align my life to my true self and dreams.


Today, we’re going to explore how you can start to create a life that is in complete alignment with those dreams, a life that is authentic and true to who you are. Do you have a dream inside of you that you’ve been suppressing? Do you often wonder what life could be like if you followed your dreams? Or maybe you’ve squashed your dreams deep down and you’re not even sure if you have any? ( I promise that you do, even if you can’t find them right now!).



Dreaming Big

The first step to creating a life that is in alignment with your true self is to allow yourself to dream BIG.


Our dreams are often connected to our true core values, and core values drive you towards living life as your true self (more on values another time). Dreams are the starting point for our goals, and they are the things that inspire us and give our lives purpose. We ALL have dreams, whether we believe we do or not, they will be buried inside of you somewhere. As neurodiverse women, we often have unique and vibrant dreams, shaped by our distinctive view of the world. We dream in ways that neurotypical folks don’t, it’s pure magic. 


Embrace your dreams, no matter how big they seem. Many successful entrepreneurs have famously said “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough”! And this is one of my all time favourites: “Fear is just excitement, in need of an attitude adjustment”. There is actually truth in that – the same physiological processes occur in the body with fear and excitement – so I tell myself this ALL the time!


Living in Alignment

Creating alignment between your dreams and your everyday life is super important. If you don’t do this, then you’ll never move forward, or in the right direction. And remember this, from one of my business mentors, Daniel Priestley: ‘Be directionally correct’. That’s it – you do not have to have it all figured out, you do not have to be perfect! Be directionally correct with your actions, and you’re on the right path. Also – prolific beats perfect, every time!


To live in alignment, you have to deeply connect to your core values. Your core values are the things that are most important to you, the principles you want to guide your life. I call them my North Star and my internal compass. They guide me through all of my decisions now, and I can identify almost immediately, what is in alignment with my core values, and what is not.


Start by identifying what truly matters to you. What are your passions? What are your strengths? What brings you joy? What makes you feel alive? WHY? Once you have identified these core values, you can then start to align your life around them. This can involve setting goals that reflect these values, making decisions based on them, and structuring your daily life so that it is in harmony with what you truly care about.


The starting point for my signature RADIATE model starts with identifying and aligning to values. It’s THAT crucial. It can be really difficult to do this as a neurodivergent woman, especially if you have spent most of your life as a prolific people pleaser and doing what others expect from you. Identifying and aligning to your values can feel impossible for many of us, but it is so golden when you do.


Embracing Authenticity

Living a life of authenticity means being true to yourself, even when it’s difficult. Even though it might feel difficult, remember that living a life that isn’t authentic or in alignment to your true self is even more difficult. Change can be daunting, and following our dreams can be terrifying – but imagine how you’ll feel when you DO achieve those things. Embracing your authenticity means not hiding your true self in order to fit in or please others. As neurodiverse women, we often feel pressure to conform to societal norms and expectations. But embracing authenticity means recognising that our neurodiversity is not a flaw, but a unique strength.


In being authentic, you’re acknowledging and expressing your feelings, standing up for your values and beliefs, and embracing your unique strengths and talents. It involves setting boundaries, advocating for your needs, and taking care of your own wellbeing. Imagine that for your life, where you have defined success on YOUR terms, and you’re living a life that feels fulfilling, joyful AND successful. You can have that, I 100% believe that.


The Journey Ahead

Creating a life of alignment and authenticity is not an overnight process, nor is achieving our goals and realising our dreams. It’s a beautiful journey of learning, self discovery and of course, trial and error! There’s no such thing as a mistake, in my book.


We learn lessons, we made different choices and we grow and evolve along the way. It takes courage, self-awareness, and perseverance. But the rewards are immense. By living a life that is true to who you are, you will find a sense of fulfilment, joy, and inner peace that you may never have thought possible.


As an autistic ADHD woman myself, I can whole heartedly attest to the transformative power of this journey. It was not easy, especially as I was listening to all the ‘should’s’ that were thrown my way, and ignoring my ‘wants’. But it has brought me to a place where I feel aligned with my true self and my dreams, where I can live authentically and unapologetically. And I love it!


So, dream BIG. Live even bigger. Start creating the life you deserve, a life of alignment and authenticity. I promise you, it’s worth every step of the journey.


Until next time, be brave, stay you, and keep being brilliant. Nikki x