Self Esteem and a Positive Mental Attitudes

wagon wheel with vine growing on itThe Second  Foundational Step of Resilience is
a positive view of yourself and confidence in your strengths and abilities.

I came across an update on a gentleman named Nick Vijicic;  a motivational speaker from Australia who now primarily lives in the California.

If you have not heard of him he has no arms or legs.  He does have a small appendage that looks like a foot. He runs a non-profit organization called Life Without Limbs.  His tag line is ‘No Arms, No Legs, No Worry.’  He is married and recently had his first child.  

That reminded me of a gentleman I meet at an Experiential Education Conference in Washington State.

He was a paraplegic; paralyzed from the neck down.  He was in an electric wheel chair and had his personal caretaker with him.  This was the same way Christopher Reeves lived the last years of his life.

He tells his story of how he applied to the state of California’s Vocational Rehabilitation Department for training and services.  It was determined that he was too disabled to benefit from their services.

I was familiar with his writings and was thrilled to be able to meet him in person. When I meet him at this Conference he had just recently retired and was now doing speaking arrangements around the country.

He held a bachelor degree, a master’s degree and a doctoral degree in rehabilitation.  He had recently retired as the State Director of the Department of Vocational Rehabilitation in the state of California.

The same state and agency that denied him services because he was too disabled.

He was married with two daughters.

That lead me to fondly remember the one amazing year I spent managing the Scouting for the Handicap program for the Chicago Boy Scouts.  I meet amazing professional business people who had disabilities.

Today, as would have back then, I would have to stop and think what there disability might have been.  I rarely saw the disability as they helped me improve the Scout program in Chicago.

All of these examples are of people who had every reason to be negative and feeling defeated.

And yet they chose to take a positive view of their situation and develop a confidence in their strengths and abilities.

Wow, I just overwhelmed myself.