Recently, I visited a spinal cord injury facility here in New Zealand and saw a flyer on the wall for what’s called the “Disability Iceberg”.
It’s quite amazing as it provides a visual representation of the varying ways we may typically “see” people with disabilities.
In this case it’s referencing a Quadriplegic, Paraplegic, and Walking SCI Person, like myself!
Visible disabilities you’ll notice with a Quadriplegic include:
- May use a power chair
- Reduced/no hand function
- May use a ventilator
Visible disabilities you’ll notice with a Paraplegic include:
- Uses a manual wheelchair
And visible disabilities you’ll notice with a Walking SCI Person include:
- May have a limp
However, the INVISIBLE difficulties you see for all of them are the same:
- Pain (Constant, Intermittent, Occasional)
- Muscle spasms & tension
- Fatigue & difficulty concentrating
- Increase effort in daily life
- Bowel/bladder issues
- Skin (pressure areas/sores/sensation loss)
- Psychological (ie. depression)
- Accessibility & Inclusion in society
To this day, minus difficulty concentrating and depression, I still experience ALL those invisible symptoms as a Walking SCI Person on a DAILY basis, only nobody usually knows that’s what I am struggling with beneath the surface.
For me, through living with my disability and through my mental health journey, I feel like having lived with such hidden challenges has helped make me become more empathetic towards other people, because we rarely truly know what hidden challenges someone else is dealing with.
When we think about what is required to develop a confident and empowered mindset, empathy towards ourselves and others is one of those key factors to help us not become so frustrated that we get upset, angry, or down on ourselves when something doesn’t seem right.
For example, because of the pandemic, I think there are many people living with “invisible disabilities” who struggle beneath the surface.
Perhaps you broke up with your partner and now feel “broken” like you have a “Relationship disability“.
Perhaps you are in poor financial shape and now you feel “set back” like you have a “Financial disability“.
Perhaps you lost your job and are now working in a place you may not necessarily love, and so you feel like you have a “Career Disability” or “Identity Disability“.
Maybe your physical health, mental health, or simply your relationships have changed, and you don’t feel the same as you used to. As a result, you struggle day to day with your mental confidence.
Today I challenge you to consider what “hidden disability” you may be living with, how might you be able to be more empathetic towards how hard you are on yourself, and especially towards others in considering that we may not always see the weight people are carrying in their day to day lives beneath the surface.
We all have our own internal battles we are working to overcome. Some just might be more visible than others.
I haven’t shared with you yet, but I just launched some new material on my homepage incorporating models into the work that I do. Expect to see more of this type of blog content going forward as I slowly release The Hero Mindset Blueprint and lean into a new way of teaching.
If you have any thoughts or feedback, I would love to hear from you!
By employing empathy towards yourself and others is just one more example of how small things make a big difference to help you become a hero in your own movie.
Whenever you are ready here are the best ways, I can help you:
Connect with me on LinkedIn – This is where I post my best content to help you shift your mindset to drive results and embrace change. Click here
Hire me as a speaker for your next event – Watch my keynote demo reel on The Hero Mindset to see me in action. Click here
Work with me privately – If you would like to work with me and my team privately to help strengthen your commitment towards the change you are experiencing, increase your mental resilience, and perform with relentless stamina, just send me a message here and let me know the important details about your business and we’ll take care of the rest.