Make An Impact Monday – Hearing Loss

I don’t like to think I can’t do something. Telling me I can’t is basically just ensuring I do, I will…

But… the same way I couldn’t be in the military, I wouldn’t be very successful at being a telemarketer, bartender, customer service rep, waitress…. You know, jobs made INCREDIBLY difficult by a profound hearing loss.

For years I wondered how I was going to supplement my income to get myself out of debt and my student loans paid. With such limited options, I never felt like anything was really a good fit, and the only one that was – retail – would mean working all weekend like I did in my teens and 20’s.

And I considered it, but I weighed it out – was it worth it to sacrifice weekends and having free time for my family and friends? It might be better financially, but spiritually and emotionally, was it worth it? My heart told me no.

So I kept looking.

I truly felt trapped, with minimal options, all because my ears don’t work so well. That was a hard pill to swallow sometimes.

I kinda fell on this opportunity by accident. It was never supposed to be a way to supplement my income, until it was. I went into it wanting a discount. But something shifted and I asked myself “was this the opportunity for someone with seemingly limited options like myself?”

This opportunity has touched and enriched my life in so many ways, from keeping me accountable to unearthing my self esteem and my confidence, empowering me, and helping to supplement income, so I could get out of debt.

I have long said that I totally understand how people who haven’t lost a major sense can’t fully relate to the additional layer of struggles and frustrations someone who HAS suffered such a loss faces. So I understand that some people may balk when I say there aren’t as many opportunities, or that this is the best one for me. It is. And I want to show more people that it could be the opportunity for them too.

Helping people has helped ME.

It’s incredibly powerful to go from feeling trapped, like I CAN’T do something, to feeling like I CAN, to finding a way to make it work, and taking control of my future, instead of letting my ears hold me back. I am grateful for my steel-will, modern technology, patient friends, family and teammates, and the ABILITY to FIND a way.

Obstacles are your opportunity 😉

Motivation Monday – Famous Hard Of Hearing People

Helen Keller. Thomas Edison. Ludwig van Beethoven. Lou Ferrigno. Juliette Low.
All of these names are well known, because each of these people did AMAZING things. The most amazing of all might be that they all OVERCAME hearing impairments in pursuit of their goals and accomplishments!
I will confess, at a younger age, I thought my own personal hearing loss was a dead end for many things. I didn’t know technology was going to make so many things so much easier, and I didn’t realize that one could still be successful despite the loss of a major sense. The age I lost my hearing is a critical time for self development, and I will confess my sudden hearing loss left me mentally and emotionally crippled for some time.
But that was way back then… this is now!
Someday, I see my OWN name associated with success despite hearing loss. I KNOW I can do anything I want. I know I can achieve anything I set my mind to. I know I will face OBSTACLES, but those are simply my OPPORTUNITIES – to rise, to shine, to overcome… to find a workaround!
I know my hearing loss can’t stop me. If anything, I vow to let it propel me.
Obstacles into opportunities!

Wednesday Wisdom – It’s Not About Circumstances

One of my favorite Coaches said something on a National Wakeup Call that resonated with me…

She said that it doesn’t matter how you grew up or what your circumstances were, success isn’t just for a particular group of people based on how they were raised.

No, success IS for a select group of people, but this group consists of people who are WILLING to work for what they want; the people who are WILLING to rise above their circumstances, and put themselves out there, shining brightly even in the darkness. This group of successful people are for the one’s WILLING to say “that’s not how my story ends”…
And I WILL be one of them. My upbringing was awesome, and I am GRATEFUL, but truly, I always knew I had what it takes to make a difference, to be successful, to change my own life, but I just didn’t know HOW. I always wondered if I would just get by, until I realized in my core just how much I WANT to NOT just get by; I want to THRIVE, I want to HELP people, I want to change my OWN life, and the world… I want to do SO much.
And so I am working towards that. I am working on me, because I have some wrinkles to iron out. I am working on being okay with putting myself out there, warts, flaws, and all, and not being upset when I am not everyone’s cup of tea.
It’s okay to not be everyone’s cup of tea… some people prefer coffee! 🙂

Thursday Thoughts – You Get Out Of Life What You Put Into It

I think that if I wasn’t hard of hearing I wouldn’t be where I am now. It takes time to overcome a handicap. There are ups and downs and you can never be a quitter. I believe the maxim that you only get out of life what you put into it. – Lou Ferrigno

Well I for one LOVE this quote. And I agree with it. I’m sure my life would also be awesome if I didn’t lose my hearing, but I wonder would I have become such a determined soul? Would I be as tenacious? Would I be as empathetic? There are a million questions that I will never know the answer to, because I DID lose the majority of my hearing.
And I am okay with that. Have been for a long time. Yes, sometimes I gripe because something that’s so easy for others has about 10 additional layers for me, and I am still human, after all… but at the end of the day, I am always telling people to play the hand they were dealt to the best of their abilities, and I practice what I preach!
I am, after all, extremely blessed, and no hearing loss can take away from that. I accept the ups and downs of life and do my best to navigate them. After all, what else could I do?
you-get-out-what-you-put-in-to-life