How I Turned My “Disability” into “Loving Defiance” in Three Steps

Only you can determine who you are and what you are made of.

In late 2015, I began my journey of self-discovery.

I started reading social media posts and watching online videos. I was on a quest for any information I could find to get unstuck from this definition of “disability” and find my way to the life that I so desperately wanted.

I was born with a developmental disability.

When you are born with a disability or a chronic illness, it is always with you. From childhood to adulthood. You are conditioned to believe that it is just a part of you that you cannot change. You have to learn to live with it.

However, on my quest, I started to see a common theme.

It shook me. I was left standing at an unexpected fork in the road. The idea was consistent. Along the lines of “your life starts now” and “you are enough.” Are you serious?

Now for someone like myself who has a permanent disability, this opened an energy drink jumbo size can of questions for me. The most obvious being, “I’ve lived with this disability my whole life! How can I alone be enough? And, how the hell am I just supposed to ‘start’ now?”

So, as you can imagine, it took me a while to open my mind.

What to do with the stories and the thoughts keeping me stuck? Moreover, starting today what would define the rest of my life? After digging deeper and doing more soul searching, I decided that I was done staying in the tiny box society built for me. I was done!

“The breakout” happens when you take these 3 steps: 

1. You Do You

People will never stop trying to define or label you. So what. Go out and do things that make you feel good. No, you can’t control what people think of you, but you can control how you live life and love your life.

2. Love Yourself 100 Percent

Know your flaws and challenges and call them out! You are taking ownership of those things, which in turn, takes away anyone else’s power to use them against you. Love your flaws. Everyone has them!

3. Self-care

Self-care is very important and helpful on the road of self-discovery and defiance. Self-care is like your charging station or your safe space to go when things are NOT going well. Activities like a walk outside, yoga or light exercise every day help you clear away that so-called “stinking thinking”. It is healing and gets and gets you back on track and going in the right direction.

Remember, labels are for clothes and not for you.

Only you can determine who you are and what you are made of. Your past is a part of you. But, your past cannot define or determine your future. Only you can do that! Believe that — let that define you! Society’s labels won’t stand a chance.


Nicholas J Cobos

Nick Cobos is a thought leader and writer at McGill Media. He loves to share his words and songs of encouragement with all the dreamers and doers of the world. He published his biography "Dreamer's Don't Quit" in 2003.

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Michelle MoultonDarlene ReseGing AbelaNancy BartholomewNicholas J Cobos Recent comment authors
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So ture how inspirating I needed to hear this article and on how well your doing fantastic keep up the hard work doing amazingly well

Darlene Rese

I really enjoyed this article Nick. You have grown so much and I admire you. Keep strong.❤

Ging Abela
Ging Abela

One has to love himself first, before he can love others….. thank you for this article.


Love — Labels are for clothes and not for you! Thank you!


I was inspired for all what you’ve said.,and you remind me those things that sometimes I need to do.Thank you so much for your inspiring story.God bless.❤💙💜💛


An amazingly beautiful arrival that I feel touched a part of each of us in a different way. I absolutely agree with these three steps and just loved hearing the last point on self care, such an important thing for each of us to do as we move forward into the best version of ourselves. Thanks Nick!! You rock!!


Thank you Nick! This was one of the most inspirational things I have ever read, it really spoke to me.

Melissa Rose Rothschild

Nick … this is awesome! Thanks for being such an inspiration. Love 💕 my royal bro

Mayuri Rana

You are truly inspiring and I loved this wonderful article..It completely resonated with the world today and how important it is to stand in our own light and not fall victim to the box created by the people around us.. Thank you so much for sharing..Much Love <3

Suzan Muhialdeen
Suzan Muhialdeen

Very inspiring and great article .
I noticed that sometimes the mindset and the way of thinking could cause disability and prevent the person from getting any kind of progress or getting development in his life, because the negative thoughts which is more worst , but with good believe, confidence, hope, … will turn any disability to strong ability. 🧗‍♂️🤸‍♀️🤹‍♀️⛹️‍♂️