Many people struggle to become confident and comfortable in their bodies, and living with a disability can sometimes make this even more difficult. However, there are several steps that everyone can take that may ultimately contribute to higher self-confidence and increased happiness.
Ways to Increase Your Confidence
Learning to accept yourself and your impairment is the first step in building your confidence. This can be difficult, especially if you are someone who has recently become impaired and is now struggling to adapt to your new circumstances. Acceptance must come first because we cannot be confident in ourselves if we do not accept our impairment. An impairment may change some ways that you live your life, but it does not change who you are, because everyone is a person before they are a person with an impairment.
Self-confidence is something that must come from within, and this can begin by training yourself to think positively. If you notice yourself thinking negatively, remind yourself of all the great qualities you possess. Examples of positive self-affirmations could be reminders of qualities such as your kindness or loyalty, or reminders of recent accomplishments that make you feel proud of yourself. If you pay attention to when you are thinking negatively about yourself, you can eventually train yourself to think positively instead, and thereby foster your self-confidence.
In addition to thinking positively, it is important to embody this positivity as well. By taking action instead of telling yourself that you cannot do something, you will prove to yourself how capable you are. Acting in positive ways, and speaking to others in a positive way, will increase your happiness and make it easier to be truly confident in yourself.
“How I Fail at Being Disabled”
Susan Robinson is a business leader and entrepreneur who was born with a genetic visual impairment. While she is legally blind, she prefers to think of it as “partially sighted.” In this funny speech, she talks about the hidden biases people sometimes have regarding disability. Everyone is disabled in some way, she says, so why not focus on everyone’s abilities instead? She explains several methods that she uses to teach people about the harm in making assumptions about disability.
For more advice on disability, relationships, and confidence, check out the “This Enabled Life” blog by Alicia Reagan.
Check out Susan Robinson's Ted Talk in the video below: