Take a good look at this picture…I was trying to capture an image of a little frog in this puddle. To no avail! I must have shot the picture 10 times. Then I realized what was blocking my shot…I couldn’t move away from my own reflection despite my best attempts…What a parallel to life!
Our kids with learning disabilities are always living with their own reflection. When people talk of being stuck, or can’t move forward, those of us in the helping professions look see what is blocking them from their desired progress. Sometimes the blocks are self created – internal blocks – and sometimes they created by our situation – external blocks.
The internal blocks are often made up from our own beliefs and habits that can cause problems because we are so used to them we don’t even know they exist. In this case my reflection was so familiar I didn’t even know it was blocking the shot! The same thing happens with beliefs and habits in everyday life.
What can you do about the familiarity with your own habits and beliefs? Becoming aware of the assumptions and default patterns you or your children subscribe to and examine them more closely is a great place to start. This can be tricky but well worth the effort. People with learning disabilities do so much better when they become aware of their habits and beliefs. Here are some examples of habits and beliefs that could be blocking progress for a person with learning issues:
- “I have weaknesses that hold me back!” This is a belief. Weakness demand to be understood along with what you do about them. We aim for having the child with learning issues be able to say, “That is hard for me AND this is how I would rather accomplish that task”. Do you see the beginning roots of self-advocacy? Unseating the limiting belief allows the opportunity for self-advocacy to grow.
- Avoidance is a sneaky habit for folks with learning disabilities. Let’s be honest, it is hard to engage in tasks that are hard! Yet, being aware that the habit of avoidance can create low-level stress and feelings of lack of competency might have a person with learning disabilities choose not to avoid things. Replacing avoidance with “Doing the hard thing first” can boost feelings of competency and remove stress. Becoming aware of the avoidance habit is the challenge here. The fix is motivating and easy!
How can you find out about your limiting beliefs and habits? Ask for help from those you trust. Simply ask, “What do you see that I do that gets in my way that I may be unaware of?” As a parent, redirecting negative thoughts and actions is a great way to build healthy habits and beliefs. Start early and employ this strategy often to help build healthy self-esteem in your child.
As always, reach out if you have questions around the concept of limiting beliefs and habits. You will soon see how uncovering these will make noticeable improvements in you and your child’s life!
Come visit us at The Navigator’s Way for more inspiration on how to live well with learning disabilities!
HOT NEWS: The Navigator’s Way is a participant in a new compilation of blogs for the Learning Disability Community. Come see LDAction: Creating Possibilities