When we have a disability in our lives we often feel just living is enough of a challenge. However, taking on additional challenges can make the вЂњchallengeвЂќ of disability seem minor. ThatвЂ™s right! Trying to do more, not less, can make it easier to do the normal things.
Why you should take on a challenge in spite of a disability.
When we live with a disability we often find ourselves stuck in a sort of purgatory. Because we know that we have limitations we donвЂ™t try new things. That leaves us stuck without the thrills of achievement.
If we accept the label of вЂњdisabledвЂќ we will have disabled our lives. When we were children we couldnвЂ™tвЂ™ do many things, yet we still tried. We would ride a bike even if we fell off the last time. So why donвЂ™t we keep trying after a disability. Yes there were many times we fell off the bike, yet we were usually able to go farther each time once we got back on. Each incremental improvement kept us trying to ride, so why is it that as adults we accept failure when the first attempt doesnвЂ™t go well?
There are several reasons why we might not try a second time, but none are valid. You should expect to do better with second and subsequent attempts. You should be able to gain both skill and knowledge with each failure. The fact that you keep trying defeats that self-image of a failure.
Now that you feel like trying, what should you try?
Here are guidelines for what challenges to undertake:
- Choose a challenge that excites you. Bike riding is exciting. That was one of the reasons we kept trying.
- The challenge needs to make you focus. You did not worry what you would watch on TV after you rode your bike.
- The challenge needs to keep offering you room to improve. Once you could ride the bike downhill, you then had to learn how to turn around and ride it back up the hill.
- The challenge needs to offer you milestones. Bike riding had those, ride down, turn, and ride up the hill.
- Each step along the way needs to make you feel you accomplished something.
- You get to share your achievements. Initially your parents were there to cheer on your bike riding. True they also picked you up and tended to the scraped knees.
- You need to be able to focus upon the process. You looked forward to each attempt to ride the bike. Then riding the bike became a joy in itself.
- To really get your life going as an adult you now need to set challenges for yourself each day, week and month in the various areas of your life, physical, emotional, social, and work. Yes, you need to pay attention to all these areas. Would your life be fuller if you lost weight, found more reasons for joy, made more friends, and did a better job at work?
- DonвЂ™t expect to conquer your challenges alone, you did not learn to ride that bike by yourself, so why should you go it alone now?
So, ask yourself:
- What will be the next bold challenge I undertake?
- What challenge did I avoid because I feared how others would react?
- What will be the challenges I will choose each month for the rest of the year?
Now make your plans and get your team together. I have assembled a team to help me with this blog, the podcast, вЂњDisability FreedomвЂќ and to find ways to reach more with these two mediums.
As all ways, Seek Joy
Ps this is the eleventh in the series on making a disability your biggest Gift. They are based on Brendon burhcardвЂ™s book, The Charge