Her podcast www.nurtureyourzest.com is all about finding your courage, cultivating your curiosity and learning how to nurture your zest.
In addition to hosting the podcast, Ashleigh also provides training to individuals and businesses in ‘Public Speaking’; ‘How to Plan, Start and Launch a Business’ and ‘How to Grow Your Online Presence Through Guest Podcast Appearances’. She also offers group and 1-1 coaching, helping to support people in overcoming their limiting beliefs through Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP). On top of that, she also works with other businesses as a Producer, helping them curate and produce their own podcast series. She’s a busy woman.
Ashleigh has done all of this while living with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD-Combined Presentation) and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD). With it being the hyperactive type (read more about ADHD in our blog here), this often means that she has three thousand ideas every day, with thoughts interrupting thoughts constantly, leaving her with difficulty focusing and feeling completely overwhelmed. She can then find herself at a loss of where to start, which steps to take or which activities to undertake.
This affects more than just her work though. When she’s under pressure, Ashleigh can often forget to eat, drink, leave her desk, take breaks or generally look after herself. She has a tendency to overwork as she becomes hyper-focused on one activity for many hours. But at the same time, some days she can also struggle to get started at all.
In the past, Ashleigh has also struggled with impulsivity, not always thinking of the consequences of actions or decisions or how they could impact herself or her business. She also struggles to understand forms which means she can get behind on financial tasks, or not apply for funding that she could potentially be eligible for because she doesn’t know how to complete the paperwork or doesn’t have the confidence to. This is one of the reasons Ashleigh has loved working with This is Me, because they take care of the application and talk you through everything.
When it comes to C-PTSD, Ashleigh can experience flashbacks and nightmares which cause her to relive traumatic memories which is incredibly distressing, upsetting and can affect her sleep and cause anxiety and fear. She can get startled quite easily and if confronted with a trigger can find it difficult to speak or communicate. The lack of sleep can impact everything, making it difficult to look after herself, concentrate or make decisions.
All of these things make it a bit more challenging to run a business, however, ADHD and C-PTSD aren’t all negativity. Ashleigh has a warm and enthusiastic personality, a generous nature and her neurodiversity makes her incredibly empathetic. She also has the wonderful ability of being able to chat with everyone, which is a helpful skill when working as a podcaster! She’s amazingly creative with all the ideas that run around her head all day, she just needs someone to help her focus them which is exactly where This is Me comes in.
Having a support worker is different for everyone. For Ashleigh, what works best for her is to have time set aside for them to work together every week. They start off with a catch up, bringing forward any questions they might have for each other and then discuss where she might be stuck and create a plan for the day. She finds it best to think out loud and work through any tasks she is struggling with. Her support worker can then help her organise her thoughts, create some structure and work out which tasks she might need some help with.
It was difficult for Ashleigh at first because she felt ashamed or afraid to ask for help. She also didn’t know how to delegate tasks because she would have to firstly, understand the task. This would mean working backwards and she would get herself lost in the detail unable to work out the steps. She had to learn to be honest about times when she was struggling, which all requires a lot of trust and confidence in the support worker.
After working through the initial setup period, Ashleigh isn’t ashamed anymore. She knows now that by asking for help you can get things done much more quickly. Knowing that there is no judgement from This is Me or her support worker has empowered her to work through difficult tasks such as complex forms. It’s given her a huge sense of pride and achievement.
‘This is Me has been life-changing for me, not only in a professional way,
it has also helped me to sort things out in my personal life and business.’
Seeing the change in Ashleigh has been wonderful. She said that she feels calmer, more responsible and confident she is doing her best and that if she doesn’t know the answer to something, it’s simply a journey to get there.
We’re so proud of Ashleigh and everything she’s achieved!