Dyslexia and Self belief

10th October 2020

Its World Mental Health Day today so this is a little extra post to what I intend to be a weekly Friday posting.The emotional side of dyslexia can be just as disabling as the physical one. Such as:

  • Lack of self belief
  • low self-esteem and confidence
  • frustration
  • anxieties and worries
  • lack of concentration
  • negative thoughts

It’s okay to feel all these emotions, they are normal, they are part of you but NOT all of you! Imagine a set of scales with your strengths on one side and weaknesses on the other. YOU can tip the scales with your thoughts in either direction. Which one will it be? You are in control.

Now on the subject of control. Ask yourself this question:

“Do I think I am in control of my life plan, can I control what happens to me?”

Ever heard of the psychological theory of ‘learned helplessness’? Now I won’t go into this into much detail, but look it up if you so wish. Only I would warn you that the experiments they did 50 odd years ago on animals in pursuit of this theory would not be allowed nowadays (thankfully). Basically it’s when humans, or animals, feel they have no control over something so they begin to feel helpless.

“Theres nothing I can do” = “I might as well give up now”

Does that sound familiar? No-one is born with this feeling it develops over time due to experience.

I do feel that’s it is important to identify a child with this thought process early on. It is always harder to demolish this barrier to learning when it gets too established. However, teens and adults out there, you can still work on defeating that army of negative thoughts in your head talking to you when you enter a challenging situation.

Guess what? You are in control and you maybe surprised at the possible support out there you can grab in your battle against that army.

Going back to my previous post you need to really get to know yourself. So many people focus on their weakness without ever really identifying their strengths.

I hope you have been thinking and now maybe are aware of your strengths (look at your hobbies and interests that may help).

  • Look to your strengths and use them more often. Celebrate your successes.
  • When you hear that self critical voice, imagine what a supportive friend would say.
  • Or turn that around and think what you would say to a friend who was having the same critical thoughts. I imagine you would be supportive and encouraging?????
  • Take building blocks in your learning, or in a challenging task. Learn/do one thing then the next. Don’t try to take on too much too quickly.
  • Set goals that you can achieve.
  • See how other dyslexics have dealt with and overcome a certain issue.
  • Take deep breaths! I imagine you may feel the fight or flight response to challenging circumstances?

racing heart = can’t concentrate/panic

frozen = can’t motivate yourself into action

Deep breaths help, slow your heart down. Helps you relax. Take a few minutes to steady yourself then try again.

Going to shock you now…. Mistakes are good! Its a skill all of its own to be able to make a mistake, accept it, learn from it and move onwards.

Even the most intelligent people are sometimes unable to develop any further because they would prefer to stay in their comfort zone rather that take a challenge and maybe make a mistake.

I loved this book, well worth a look if you are interested, very interesting. Have you read it, what did you think? If you do decide to read it let me know any comments.

My last post had an Einstein quote, I can see a pattern appearing here, here’s another one:

Now if you judge that same fish by its ability to swim in the sea???????

Look to your strengths!

A lot of dyslexics have learnt to mask their difficulties in an attempt to not stand out from their peers. Finding their own strategies to help themselves. That is great, well done. However, sometimes they are hiding their emotional feelings too which maybe is not so great.

My last thoughts, on this day, is to be open and talk to others it can help. You are in control and your future is positive with a positive outlook.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Be back next Friday.

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