Do you know anyone with dyslexia or other learning difficulties? If so, please encourage them to read the following two articles, as they were written especially to remind them how wonderful they are and to help them cope with some of the special difficulties they may face in life.
But whether or not you may have such difficulties yourself, please read these articles too and put them into practice yourself. You too are a wonderful person, and you too will sometimes face difficulties that may cause you to lower your own self esteem. Remember it doesn't have to be this way!
1) Look at your experience as a whole. Recognise the significance that your learning difference has for you in your life. Do not blame or put yourself down in any way for any difficulties you have had or still have.
Always give yourself credit where it is due and never underestimate the value or significance of any of your achievements.
3) Recognise that you have faced difficulties and come
through them no matter how imperfect you may sometimes
judge your performance to be.
4) Never fear failure, simply acknowledge it as feedback.
If something doesn't work out use the experience as an
opportunity to learn what is needed in order to change the result next time.
5) Be flexible in all things. Realise that there is not just one way to succeed and win in life. Find what your talents and abilities are and nurture them.
This will help to build a strong foundation from which you can move towards what is for you success and a fulfilling life.
6) Set realistic goals and break tasks down into manageable chunks.
This will help you to progress in a steady and consistent fashion and experience an increasing sense of achievement.
7) Be your own judge and determine your own values and standards.
If you are true to yourself and make your sense of self-worth independent of external factors you will greatly enhance your self-esteem.
8) Make a commitment with yourself to use affirmations, visualisation, positive thinking or any other technique that works for you to build and reinforce your self-esteem.
9) Make a firm commitment to be kind to yourself.
Appreciate your strengths, acknowledge your weaknesses and learn from them but don’t dwell on them.
Give yourself the priceless gift of unconditional positive self-regard.
10) Accept ups and downs and be aware of change so you can adapt and move with it.
Most of all keep applying and living the Ten Steps to Self Esteem as only through working at them and believing in them will you gain the reward of life-long higher self esteem.
John M. Parke, ©1997 (dyslexic)
Counselling Adviser to the Adult Dyslexia Organisation (UK)
What do you like doing? What are you good at?
Make a note of your strengths.
Try to become aware of yourself and the way you work or carry out everyday tasks. People usually cope best when they know about themselves.
Be aware of how you feel and what happens when you are tired, or stressed, and work out how to cope with it. People with Specific Learning Difficulties are more prone to stress and tiredness - these can make it worse.
Therefore develop your coping strategies - do not give up on writing cheques or memorising phone numbers. Have a go at alternative ways of remembering things. Carry 'aids' around with you such as checklists, Post-Its etc.
Consider what you find difficult.
Realise that there are things which everyone finds difficult.
Sometimes people push themselves too hard.
However if you really cannot (for example) do maths, then don't try for a job which might involve a lot of adding up or measuring.
Have an aim and go for it - on a small scale or on a large scale.
This helps focus the mind in work sessions.
Be aware of what you are aiming for and where you are going.
Think positively; expect to succeed.
Or at least, do not expect to fail - a 'failing complex' can quickly lead to failure. Sports people talk about developing the 'inner game' - they go out and expect to win and this gives them more confidence.
Decide if you are going to tell people about your Specific Learning Difficulties, and think about how you will say it, for example:
“It’s a different way of thinking and working”
“My spelling is a bit unreliable but I’m fine using a spellchecker on the computer”.
Remember there are things that you can do (due to the way you think and how you see things) that other people find almost impossible ….
Adapted by Melanie Jameson from an information sheet by Dorothy Gilroy, Bangor Dyslexia Unit