Focus on Your Strengths
Do you ever question and doubt yourself and your capabilities? You’re not alone. We happen to be our own worst enemies and we hold ourselves back by focusing on our faults and weaknesses. When we get berated or belittled by someone else who points out our flaws and makes us feel even worse than we already do about ourselves, that doubt just multiplies. For instance, I have Multiple Sclerosis and I am humbled by my own body every day, especially my legs. I sometimes doubt that I will be able travel or stand on a stage and give a motivational speech. In addition, when someone finds out I have MS and they say, “I’m so sorry. That disease can be debilitating”, it multiplies my self-doubt. However, from this point forward, I choose to focus on my strengths and convictions. I am not going to hold myself back just because I have MS and my legs can’t keep up.
After reflecting on myself, I would say my top three strengths that differentiate me from others are as follows:
My indominable spirit
My positive attitude
The ability to laugh at myself and my disabilities
I choose to believe in myself and my abilities and not worry about my weaknesses. Although MS can be scary because no one can predict its symptoms or effects on my body, I am not going to waste time worrying about it. It’s easier for me to find humor in my challenging situations and by laughing at myself when I lose my balance, fall down, get pushed in a wheelchair, or have to wear my cooling vest and bright orange neck cooler, it inspires me to keep going.
As far as doubting my abilities to travel and deliver a speech on stage, I know I can accomplish both of these goals. I just have to adjust my perspective on each situation and make some modifications. For instance, traveling for me always involves my wheelchair, cooling devices, and making a list ahead of time so I am prepared for any situation. I also accept the fact that I need assistance and do not hesitate to ask for help. In addition, giving a speech onstage will not be like anything you’ve ever seen before. I don’t have to stand at a podium or walk around the stage; I can sit in a chair, stand and hold onto a chair or even roll myself around in my wheelchair. If I happen to trip and fall on the stage, I will just make it part of my show and blame it on my MS. By being different, accepting myself for who I am and sharing my indomitable spirit and positive attitude with others, I hope to inspire and motivate people to overcome their fears and challenges. We can do anything we set out to do; we just have to believe in ourselves and dismiss the doubting voices in our heads.