Speaking up for yourself and advocating for your needs as an adult dyslexic can feel like admitting that you have a problem or are causing problems. However, it is paramount to recognize your strengths and know that advocating for yourself is the key to success. This week we are exploring ways to create confidence, see your dyslexic strengths, and ask for what you need (without feeling bad).
Become Confident in YOU
The first step to asking for what you need starts with you! Only you can identify and challenge negative self-talk. How you talk to yourself colors how you see yourself. Negative thoughts lower your feelings of worth. It is hard to ask for what you need when you don't feel you deserve it.
On the opposite side, it is time to celebrate your successes and accomplishments, no matter how small. When you celebrate, you reinforce how awesome you are (plus, it is fun).
Here are a few great tips:
Create a "great things" email folder full of compliments from others.
When you finish a big project, put down the work and celebrate (coffee, drinks, a new handbag, dinner date, etc.) Looking back is sometimes more important than looking forward (to all the work you missed while finishing the project).
Call your mom/partner/kids and brag! It can feel hard to brag to coworkers; try starting with people in your circle.
Speaking of your circle of people, look at who you surround yourself with! Every one should find a tribe of people who support and believe in each other. There is a saying that you are your 5 closest friends combined, make sure those people closest to you are worthy of being there.
Your Differences are your Strengths
It is time to narrow in on YOUR dyslexic strengths and talents. Every job/situation is different and will pose various challenges. You need to be ready to find your strengths and struggles at a moment's notice. If you need some help, here are 4 of our favorite blogs:
Speaking of finding strengths, it is time to embrace them once you do! For example, if you identify with excellent dynamic reasoning skills, you don't hide it. Your boss says, "You always anticipate what I need" You respond with, "Thanks, that is my dyslexic pattern recognition skills at work." Lean into what you are good at!
Quit comparing yourself to others! Break free of the idea that everyone is the same; they are not. When you embrace, your individuality is when you will start to soar. Knowing who you are is the first step to asking for the help YOU need (not what your boss thinks you need).
Get the Support YOU Need
To advocate for yourself, you need to know your rights. By rights, we mean getting educated on your government's assistance programs and discrimination laws. In The Hive, we recently chatted about a man who could get his tardiness to work written off as an accommodation. Things are constantly changing, so be sure always to be learning.
Be clear and concise in your needs. Don't beat around the bush. If you need two monitors, don't ask for them; say you need them. Not "Can I get a second monitor" but " I need a second monitor to accommodate my dyslexia." Be clear and assertive.
Seek out support groups or organizations that can provide resources and guidance! Dyslexia in Adults has The Hive (our paid community), but we also have an incredibly active Instagram account. Groups, like Made by Dyslexia and Understood.org are all great places to start. The more we talk about our lived experiences, the more we grow.
Wrapping things up
Being honest here, advocating for yourself as a dyslexic adult is HARD. You can navigate the world successfully and achieve your goals by finding your confidence, accepting your strengths, and getting the support you need. Remember, you are not alone, and resources are available to help you succeed.