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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.

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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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chell
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chell

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
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Darlene Rese

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

Ging Abela
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Ging Abela

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

NancyBartholomew
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NancyBartholomew

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

Ginadevera
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Ginadevera

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.❤💙💜💛

Bonnie
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Bonnie

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!!

Christy
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Christy

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

Melissa Rose Rothschild
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Melissa Rose Rothschild

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

Mayuri Rana
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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
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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. 🧗‍♂️🤸‍♀️🤹‍♀️⛹️‍♂️

Ghidaa
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Ghidaa

Thanks a lot

Fran Merkh
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Fran Merkh

I’ve been recently disabled by grief and knowing further grief is on its way. My son is dieing of cancer and the immense fear that brings has swallowed me. To be labeled as depressed by myself has led me to forego the facts and live in adventure, to feel alive again. I’m living out a bloody wound. You’re right with these 3 steps. I do my routines, I take care of self needs but there’s procrastination, and I need help in loving myself 100 percent. Society and family has labeled me as less than or unworthy. I have great worth and defie that label inward and outwardly while at the time, I do feel less than. That’s my label, less than, everyone is more important than I. I have a subservient disposition. Maybe I can allow this wound to teach me I’m not less than and live boldly to defer to others out of love and not out of subservience. Thank you so much for helping me.

Jo Franklin
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Jo Franklin

Nick!!!! Very strong and heartfelt points. Being more conscious of these is SO important. Thank you for sharing and giving perspective. Much love to you.

Vasudevan Bhattathir
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Vasudevan Bhattathir

this is an inspiring article we have to explore the possibilities always there is a solution in all circumstances and the answer will come within you
very good article . thank you

Kara
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Kara

Beautifully written I absolutely felt this to heart oh how I dislike labels they sure don’t get to define who anyone is we’re all unique
No one is perfect I agree so much of what you wrote I was told I couldn’t do many things but I do I forgot how far I’ve come I was born with a Retina Condition And this kept me in the Adoption system longer I was told but I really hadn’t thought much of it just what a pain it was but I went on with life I was supposed to loose all Vision so by now so it scared many adopters away who wanted perfect children.
I know I was probably more bothered by the fact I needed to be perfect to be loved I tried but failed terribly because there isn’t such a thing my friends loved me the way I was think
Glasses I had to wear they didn’t care I love those ladies till this day.
As we all turned the 40 together and were still connected and in touch thanks to Facebook.❤️
I just wanted to mention I felt nothing to wrong with who I was not all the kids were kind I would occasionally be asked if I could see the future stuff like that but still just kept going forward.
My Adoptive mom eventually let me know looks are important I needed contacts so I got the speclized Contacts I still struggled but it’s very true we don’t as people have to believe whet were taught I struggled with Eating disorders and more growing up trying to be better I thought but nothing was wrong with me until I started to believe I wasn’t as good.
I felt more awkward I didn’t even match my family I was Black they were White that didn’t bother me either till later when other people began really making a big deal somewhere my confidence got lost and distorted.
I till this day won’t let anyone tell me who I can’t be or what I can’t do I find a way it’s more challenging because yes I’ve aged eyes do the Changes aren’t positive I will have to learn and do many things different then I’m accustomed to but that’s ok.
I never thought it was strange I just did my best with what I had and if I’m two inches from a screen well ok.
It will be easier allowing people to help me get some education I didn’t have but I’m ok I am who I am I’m so glad to get to choose though how I will receive what others say I may not be good enough for Some but I’m good enough for my Closest loved ones and even especially God!❤️
I’m working hard at unlearning I need this or that or to be thinner or look perfect if people who judge their huge loss.
I’m Amazingly Me just getting better at it .🙏🏽🙏🏽❤️❤️❤️
Appreciate your Story of realness from your heart.
You helped me remember I’m not the lable someone put on my life from the beginning.
The unwanted Baby all that painful stuff.
I don’t care if I’m accepted anymore.
I just want to live Being happy and free from Imprisonment of the lies of who someone else says I am or should live up to.
I have a lot of Good and Stuff that I could let crush me.
Not Today AMEN🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽
God Don’t make Junk that’s a true Story !😉

Sorry such a long response this article touched my heart!

Thank you again

Pauline
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Pauline

Why when i trust God do i still worry.

Pauline
Guest
Pauline

Why when i trust god do i still worry

Fran Merkh
Member
Fran Merkh

I accept my flaws to a fault. I am wonderfully flawed, love by a gracious Savior, who is perfectly weaving His Purpose through us His flawed children.

Dorothy Garland
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Dorothy Garland

Hi very powerful God bless you in Jesus name amen xoxo

Catherine
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Catherine

Absolute lovely story , very inspiratonal.