Owning entrepreneurship when you live with a disability

If you didn’t know already, I was born partially deaf. And I have definitely allowed that fact to impact my life more that I should. I previously held the notion that life wasn’t fair, you know. Growing up in a silent world, where you can’t hear what’s going on around you, was a constant challenge that has led me to feel ousted from society nearly all my life.

But mindset is a powerful thing. I got it over it, and realized I was dealt a pretty good hand, compared to a lot of other people. To an extent, I countered it, and for someone who is hearing impaired and majorly introverted, I have done pretty okay with my life. I am proud that I have been able to get as far as I have. I have managed to move through a world where I cannot always hear what’s going on, and have brought a lot of my dreams into fruition, just through sheer perseverance and passion.

But the bar has gone even higher. Especially now that I am AIMING higher. Immersing myself in a world so different to the one I grew up in, a world where opportunity is golden, and absolutely anything is possible – isn’t just helping me grow as an individual, but it has revealed to me my true purpose. It’s not just about ME anymore. Deep down inside I have always felt a burning desire to reach out to people. To help and inspire. To nurture and guide. To love and uplift.

But here’s my problem – you cannot hope to make a difference, and help people, when you are busy hiding from them. Like I was. It isn’t fear that stops me from trying and giving it my one hundred percent. It is my mindset about my hearing disability.

And that’s about to stop.

Since me and my partner have taken on our own business, one thing is becoming increasingly clear. That when it comes to NETWORKING, I cannot use my lack of hearing skills as an excuse. It has to be done. There is basically nowhere for me to hide. And rather than let it bog me down, I have resolved to find another way to counter it.

This point was rammed home to me when our Team Co-ordinator scheduled a coaching call for me and my partner. He was going to call us on the phone, and go through part of our phone training with us. Being as fired up as I was, I thought I could handle it. I had the script down pat, and even practised diligently and repetitively. But when I would randomly call my partner from work, and attempt to practice with him, I would struggle to hear him. I would end up either constantly asking him to repeat himself, or stammer and stutter over my own words. This wasn’t because I was nervous. It wasn’t because I was scared. It wasn’t because I couldn’t remember what to say. It was simply because I could not hear what he was saying.

Unless equipped with the appropriate technology and aids required to communicate effectively, putting a deaf person on a standard mobile phone call is like putting a person who is half blind in the front of a shop, and expecting them to operate the till. Especially if it’s a business call. It’s a no-brainer, really.

That’s nothing on our Team Co-ordinator, either. He is a beautiful and humble man who is passionate about helping others. He has found a way to make and instill change in others, and is showing us that way. For that, I respect him hard. But in saying that, he has his ways that work for him and a majority of others, but I have to find my own way, that will work for me and, overall, my family.

And I will find a way.

I skipped out on the call in the end. To be honest, I felt a little bit mad at myself for doing that. But rather than let it dampen my enthusiasm, or let it make me feel inferior – the fire just rose up even higher.

Because when obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal. You do not change your decision to get there.

In this day and age, we all have something that we feel holds us back from being the best possible version of ourselves that we can be. But then again – its mindset. MINDSET.

success-mindset

That’s something that’s really resonating with me right now. The journey I am undertaking to educate myself on self-awareness and personal growth has made me understand that the biggest obstacle known to man isn’t external at all. It is all INTERNAL – and basically starts in that little squishy thing in your head. Its got nothing to do with being deaf. It’s got nothing to do with being blind. It’s got nothing to do with being in a wheelchair. Living with a disability just means that your capabilities may be limited, but the sky is not. It is abundant and limitless, if you believe it is, deaf or not. The same applies to those who let their fears stop them from living a beautifully rewarding life that is waiting for them on the horizon. If only they are willing to step outside of what is safe, and work for it! If you figure it out, find a way, believe one thousand percent that you can do it – you absolutely will.

 

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