There will be a Facebook Live Video on this Wednesday, April 26, 11am (ET).

I’m sure this is a pretty universal experience when living with a disability.

You enter a room and most of the eyes in the room focus on you. Maybe it’s just a glance. Maybe it borders on a stare.

In my younger years, this made me so uncomfortable. I would enter a room and want to say:

Seriously, you have never seen a person with cerebral palsy shopping, taking a class, applying for a job, etc?

As I got older and began to draw more on my core belief that people are generally good at heart, it dawned on me that others tend to look at people with disabilities out of curiosity. I realized that I do that when I see someone who has a clear difference from me. I wonder about their life and experience. Human nature causes our eyes to wander with our wonder.

This is the first thing to remember when you want to enter a room confidently.

1. People are curious by nature. Chances are your disability ignites curiosity, not malevolence.

Now just because curiosity is stirred doesn’t mean it’s a judgment free zone, as Planet Fitness advertises. ;)

Human nature also tends to judge, whether we like it or not. Remembering this leads to the next two concepts that will help you feel confident when eyeballs are on you.

2. It’s human nature to judge, whether people do it consciously or unconsciously. You cannot control this and to do so, would leave you exhausted.

Deeply connected with #2 is this:

3. When people judge you, place your focus on what you know is true about you. This is the only thing you can control when others are judging you.

By focusing your attention on your truth, not others’ opinions of you, you’re going to be more centered on your abilities, strengths, and gifts. When you do this, a magical dynamic begins to occur.

4. Placing attention on your positive attributes boosts confidence and as your confidence increases, others begin to transform their judgments of you. This is because they pick up on your good energy, a.k.a., good vibes.

All of the above lead to the most important thing to know, whether you’re entering a room or alone at home.

5. You’re here in this world, in your body, with your mind, possessing the abilities you have, for a reason. The world and every room you enter needs your presence.

These concepts are applicable for all areas of life. They can be particularly helpful to remember when you’re trying to develop friendships or trying to date and develop relationships. Dating, Relationships, and Disability: How to Have Confidence and Succeed opens May 31. Click here for more details.

 

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