A lot of people with or without any disabilities will often tell you that if you just keep your mind strong and stay determined, you can do anything. That, however, is not something that you will hear from someone who is successful in life, even while dealing with debilitating disabilities.
When and if they are being honest, they will let you know that it has never been easy, and it likely won’t ever be so either. At the same time, they will also tell you that a strong mindset is definitely the basic necessity, but every student or professional who is suffering from a debilitating disability or disorder must also devise strategies to overcome those difficulties. All effort needs to be planned, effective and directed towards solving a particular problem, wherever it may have originated.
That advice is pure gold, and we are going to touch on a few important aspects of devising plans to strategically overcome obstacles in your career and grow as a professional.
Weeding Out the Unnecessary Struggles
This is perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice that anyone with a permanent disability will learn to appreciate sooner rather than later. The idea is that you need to eliminate any struggles that you can. Thanks to the tremendous advances we have made in technology, it is perfectly possible to eliminate a lot of them.
Let’s take academics for example, where you have probably struggled enough throughout your school and undergrad days, even after having a sharp mind and maintaining decent grades. Commuting and getting around from one place to another can be a hassle and a stress to deal with, not to mention any of the various other social and medical challenges which often accompany special ed students. Now that it’s finally behind you, it’s time to be smart and take advantage of the technology that is available today.
In case you have plans to join the corporate world with a business degree, you can easily complete your MBA online, without ever needing to leave your home for that coveted business management degree. Those that already have a degree in computer engineering or any other technical qualifications associated with their chosen career path will actually find that certain MBA online programs are typically meant for engineers and techies, prepared in a way to make sure that they can earn higher salaries, take up higher rungs on the corporate ladder and even consider tech entrepreneurship later on in their careers.
That’s just one example though, so look around and see which of the struggles are actually unnecessary and fruitless, so that you don’t end up wasting time on them. The idea is to be as agile, effective and productive as possible. The necessary struggles are plenty on their own; don’t add more to them by giving in to vanity. Accept voluntary help when you know that you can gain from it, and concentrate on achieving independence on fronts that you practically can.
Negativity Comes in Many Forms: Beware of them to Avoid Such Scenarios
Negativity naturally leads to depression, and depression has never led anyone to success, disabled or not! It’s easier said than done of course, because no one can exactly know what you feel physically and mentally, without actually being in your shoes. Even the same disability does not affect all of us in the same way, so there’s that as well.
However, given how easy it is to fall into depression these days for anyone, it is important to be aware of what to avoid before it starts to affect your productivity at work or your happiness in general. Take a scientific approach to keeping a level head, which can be frustratingly difficult at times.
Let’s take for example, a scenario where someone new at the office steps in to help a disabled colleague without being asked to do so. At this point, the colleague being helped has a choice to either see it as an act of politeness and gently tell his/her new colleague that help is not necessary at the moment, or they can choose to shout at them to harshly let them know that it was wrong to assume help was required in the first place.
Taking the former route helps you make a good impression and establish a rapport with the new colleague. It also doesn’t spoil your mood because you treated the act of politeness as it was. Taking the other route, which a lot of people do take and even advocate nowadays, will have multiple negative effects. You will establish yourself as a rude coworker, you will burn a bridge with that colleague, and spoil your mood in the process. None of the latter method works in your favor if you think about it, so use intelligence and common sense, instead of second-hand, emotionally compromised advice.
Accept Your Disability and Know that It has Made You Stronger
The big difference between those that have to struggle every day even for daily activities, and those that have never even had to face such difficulties for a single day in their lives, is that that the former is used to struggling, fighting and winning against all odds on a daily basis.
In a real-life scenario when the pressures of education, career, family, etc. begin to press down on them both, the disabled individual’s long experience with struggling will make them better suited to handle situations that even the most potential and perfectly able candidate would likely give up on.
As long as you develop an intelligent mindset, strategizing for every phase of the problem, it will turn your resilience and experience with overcoming obstacles on a daily basis into a severe advantage over everyone else. Similar to how a muscle that has been worked on for years is stronger and better, your struggle with your disability has also given you the power to slowly grind through obstacles like no one else can. Believe in yourself to take on and complete tasks that very few people can.