Recently I got asked to write a blog about what advice I would give for self esteem and confidence relating to dyspraxia. Before I start this, just wanted to say it's defiantly still work in progress for me but I hope my experiences might help some of you and your children, also some of the self esteem and confidence issues people may have might not be directly related to dyspraxia/dyslexia.
This is such a topic so close to my heart, and in all honesty one of the reasons why I'm so passionate about what I do and why I love helping others so much, I simply would hate for others to have gone through I have and felt what I and my nearest and dearest did.
I can remember even as a little girl feeling not confident and positive about myself, feeling self concious and embarrassed, I even started stooping to stop myself from standing so tall next to others, probably not the best idea given that good posture is good for dyspaxics. Anyone else reading this blog who has experienced or who's child has experienced bullying knows the negative impact it can have on self worth as a child I was called all kinds of names for being different, one of the worst types is the emotional side, leaving people out, I see daily on facebook groups on how children have been left out from being invited to parties, I remember asking my mum as a young girl "what had I done wrong?" people with dyspraxia/dyslexia have so much to add and now as an adult I know it wasn't my fault.
If you've read my previous blogs you will know about my experiences of bullying and ignorance in the adult world of work, some of these are still quite difficult to talk about, but nobody deserves to be made out to be stupid or thick or careless because their brains are wired in a different way. I also have pcos and as any ladies who are reading this blog will be aware it can make you very self concious about yourself and your body and people can be quite mean in life about things like that. For a very long time I think because of a sensitive soul I am and my literal thinking, I blamed myself and I thought I deserved to feel badly about myself, my confidence and self esteem spiralled into anxiety and depression, and my confidence and self esteem crippled me.
I think one of the reasons why people with dyspraxia struggle with confidence is because of the lack of awareness and knowledge about it and the invisibility, wrong and negative assumptions about what we can or can't achive and do. People may not be understanding about mistakes made, or not understand why we may need more time to carry out tasks, or see the label not the person, or not see the many strengths a different way of thinking can have, it can have such an impact on self worth.
For me one of the biggest things which has had a huge impact on me is feeling accepted and encouraged, in my new job I am being motivated and told that I can succeed far, and that my own experiences of dyslexia and dyspraxia can help students. I also have the most amazing boyfriend and best friend who have stood by me and try their best to help me feel positive about myself when I don't. Also I am meeting and talking to other people like me, I've realised I'm not alone, and there's others who have experienced what I have. Finding one person who believes in you can make such a huge difference and is why I am so determined to help other people. If you're reading this blog and my story reminds you of you or your child, hold on, even though I have a way to go about fully feeling positive about myself I know I am worth happiness, health and life and so are you.
Spend time with people who accept you for you and make you feel good about yourself,
Focus on something you're good at and enjoy
Seek help to develop positive strategies in managing confidence/self esteem if it helps
Speak to others who may be experiencing similar you're never alone,
If you see someone who looks like they might be struggling, give them a little boost
There may be things which you struggle with but there will be things you will find as a strength too.
You don't have to be the same or have gone through the same as someone to encourage them,
Your words have such an impact on how someone feels about themselves, choose them wisley, be an encourager and use kindness.