About Jennifer Kerstetter
ACC Certified Coach, International Coach Federation
"How long have you been doing what you do, and how did you become an ADHD Success Coach?"
To answer this question, it’s probably best that I share with you a defining moment, and a resulting “compelling story”, that brought me to where I am today – coaching people like you on exactly what to do to live an abundantly healthy, powerful, successful & hi-functioning life while navigating ADHD symptoms/tendencies. That defining moment in my life happened in 2017.
That defining moment in my life happened in 2017.
To give a little history, back in junior high school, my Mom was the first person to notice that something wasn’t aligned with my school work and attention span. After speaking with the school nurse who was also a close friend we were referred to a facility that did a deep compilation with a behavioral inventory that led to my diagnosis of ADHD. This helped me embrace and understand how I could live my life with my new and very real diagnosis. I was put in touch with a counselor and started stimulant medication to help me manage my ADHD traits.
I so clearly remember the counselor, who I now perceive more as a coach. There was one specific moment where my counselor cleared off her desk and asked me to organize it, during a moment in which I was lamenting how I was unable to do things successfully and feeling terrible about myself. I was able to organize the desk and put it back together. I was able to organize and get the job done using my own brainpower. Together, we created patterns for success that made sense to my brain and supported my authenticity vs. creating a robot. We created blueprints for an internal support system that allowed me to form positive ADHD habits that were easy to implement and they served as my tools in my ADHD toolkit for the next five years.
In 2000, I headed off to the University after years of working with my counselor. Upon arrival at the University, I realized my medication was not as effective because my body would plateau at the milligrams prescribed. It wasn’t until I pulled a 3-day all-nighter and then crashed for three days that it was very clear I was becoming addicted to my stimulant medication. This scared me so much that I raced back to my dorm room and flushed all the addictive medication down the toilet. I then phoned my mom who was concerned immediately about this decision due to my past while dealing with ADHD symptoms such as impulsivity, inattentiveness, disorganization, and the inability to prioritize my time and cross things off my to-do list.
As University continued, I set up successful study habits that allowed me to graduate from undergrad with a BA in Psychology, a minor in American History. I continued onto receiving my MA in American Studies. Right after graduation, I found myself working at a gas station and I remember saying to myself, “What the F&*%! This WILL NOT BE MY LIFE! I have WAY more to offer the world than this.”
As life’s navigations continued, I started substitute teaching and fell in love with learning and helping kids in general. I soon attended a third University in which I became Elementary and Special Education certified. I was hired immediately after I graduated. I now felt I was onto something that aligned with my Inner Purpose for it was certainly a stepping stone in the right direction.
During this period, I got married and found myself, shortly thereafter, navigating through divorce. Later, I would find myself dealing with my mother’s stage 4 lung cancer, getting remarried, the birth of two daughters, and my mother’s passing away. It was apparent the strategies that were in my toolbox from high school and the University years were no longer effective. I now had new challenges facing me.
In 2017, I was drowning in the paperwork and disorganization of my entire life. I felt both hopeless and helpless, as a mother of two, that was navigating big family challenges at home. I not only had my ADHD to deal with, but also had symptoms of depression and anxiety and was simply lost. I felt so unlike myself at this time and my friends and family kept asking me what needed to change. I was miserable. I started looking for ADHD resources, read some books and it was at this time that I was interested in working with a coach. I was now ready to reclaim my life. I put myself out there and called an adult ADHD coach.
We started our work and things started to hit for me. I no longer wanted to teach in public education. I was totally zapped from the work. I knew there were so many elements of this current career path that was out of my control and this was very much out of alignment with the best working environment to fuel my Inner Purpose and Desires. My core values were out of alignment with the education system and I knew my skill set would be more impactful with me showing up as a coach for Entrepreneurial Women with ADHD.
I made the decision to become an ADHD coach for people of all ages, including children, however, I wanted to target women, particularly women with the Entrepreneurial Mindset. I now owned my passion, celebrated my successes, and started coaching women with ADHD traits on how they can do the same: I watched them shed their guilt and shame, increase their curiosity, and learn to prioritize their best life too! I have since made a commitment to dedicate the rest of my professional life to helping other women gain clarity, support, and actionable tools to take back the power in their own lives, so they can pass these same success strategies onto their children and those around.
Here is a quote I have to share with you and give it time to sink in. This is one of the most powerful quotes I have ever read about help and women with ADHD.
“What the researchers found is that those of us with these genetic sensitivities respond exceedingly well to positive influences. In fact, positive interventions (in other words, help) allow people with genetic vulnerabilities like ADHD to excel beyond people who don’t have the same genetic markers! What this means to me – and what I’ve experienced – is that women with ADHD can excel beyond an average person without ADHD – when they have help.”
- Help for Women with ADHD, by Joan Wilder, pg. 12