Confidence is key to a happy and successful life.

This is true regardless of ability level. Perhaps even more true if you live with a disability, or any major difference, for that matter.

A disability certainly sets you apart from the crowd – and that’s a good thing! How absolutely boring would the world be if we were all the same. Sometimes though, a disability, a difference in movement, thought, speech, doing tasks, looks, can bring unwanted attention.

Much of my work in recent years has centered on helping people to affirm themselves in the face of going out in life and being “different.” Affirm? What does that mean? To build oneself from within, to recognize one’s strengths and offer the encouragement to bring them forth. Affirming gives our abilities the power to shine.

Affirmations are positive statements we feed our self-esteem that remind us of our strengths, positive qualities, and goodness. Affirmations are most effective when we say them repeatedly and frequently to ourselves and also out loud or on communication devices.

When we say affirmations frequently and regularly (aka daily), our confidence naturally builds. Similar to how a computer gets programmed, we program our minds to focus on the positive within ourselves. Centering your attention on the positive is so crucial when you have a disability because let’s face it, the hardship of having one, can weigh a great deal on our confidence.

Below I have listed five affirmations for living happily and successfully with a disability. Try them on for yourself. See how you feel after saying them several times. Then take the challenge below.

1. My disability allows me the freedom to be different.
2. I have so many strengths within me, such as _____________.
3. By being exactly who I am, there’s so much that I offer.
4. I love who I am, my body, and its uniqueness.
5. There is so much I am able to do and be when I focus on my strengths.

The Challenge
Come up with your own affirmation and share it in the comments below. Some simple rules to effective affirmations are to keep them short and in the present tense. If you use the future tense (I will…) you’re sending your brain a subtle message that you’re not yet what you want to be.

Updates
The Living Fully with Disability Campaign is going strong. Please check out the latest video update – Living Fully with Disability

So much is happening now at Radiant Abilities, a monthly newsletter will be launched in November, along with weekly blog posts!

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Kathy O’Connell

I believe in the power of living with a disability and using it as a launching pad for transforming one’s life. When people embrace their disabilities as an integral part of who they are to include both challenges and triumphs, life takes on new meaning. One becomes empowered to make choices, pursue dreams, radiate abilities, and live fully.

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