By: Becky Curran, Guest Contributor
How do you react when you see something or someone different from what you’re used to seeing, for the first time? Have you ever thought about asking a question before making an assumption or obvious reaction? Think about how you would feel if you were in their shoes and what you could learn from them if you ask a question.
I ask these questions because every day when I walk around in New York City, where I currently reside, there are most likely more than a handful people who see me, a little person, for the first time in their lives. This means that what they learn on television and in movies is the information that they have when they view me for the first time. This could be either a negative or positive impression from the media. I prefer when people come up to me and ask questions. No question is offensive to me. It’s much easier to answer questions than field points, laughs, and stares. Limiting beliefs cause these negative behaviors to exist.
My parents taught me independence at an early age. They didn’t want me to miss out on discovering the endless possibilities that life has to offer. Even though I underwent eight surgeries during my childhood years, I didn’t let this stop me from going after what I wanted. One surgery kept me out of school for 29 days. I had the choice to stay back a year but this wasn’t going to fly by me. I wanted to find a way to stay on track with my class. After graduating from Providence College, I made the decision to move across the country to California. I thought I had a job that ended up falling through when I got there, however this didn’t prevent me from staying. By overcoming limiting beliefs, I sent out over 1,000 resumes and went on 100 interviews, over the course of my first six months there. I could have given up after that but I confided in a few temporary placement agencies that then set me up with a job at the leading entertainment and sports agency. People often asked my parents why I moved so far away and how would I survive on my own. If I let other people’s limiting beliefs and limits get to me, I would be missing out on all that life has to offer.
Limiting beliefs can hold you back. Even really confident people have limiting beliefs that they are not even aware of. There are benefits and rewards of letting go of those beliefs and giving ALL people a chance to stretch beyond even what THEY think they are capable of.
People often ask me: “If you had the choice to be born again, would you still choose to be a little person?” I always respond by saying: “Yes, but I would change the way that others react to my difference and the limiting beliefs that they place on me before opening up their minds to what I’m capable of achieving.”
Those individuals with physical differences are used to trying harder than the person next to them, however we still struggle most with the limits that others put on us. If you overcome your own limiting beliefs, then it’s more likely that you’ll stop putting limits on others. If you think you can’t do something that you really want, ask yourself why. What’s stopping you and limiting you from doing what you want with your life? Once you learn to embrace yourself, you will experience the joy of embracing others. Anything is possible!
Let's Chat! What are some beliefs that hold you back? Think about steps you can take to change them and inspire others to do the same!
About Becky Curran
Born with achondroplastic dwarfism, Becky aims to find a way to change how little people and all people with differences are perceived in the media, and the opinions of society as a whole. She encourages people to change their initial negative perceptions of people with differences by proving they're as capable as anyone else, and also motivates all people to move past self-defeating thinking.