😲 𝐈 𝐖𝐀𝐒 𝐃𝐈𝐀𝐆𝐍𝐎𝐒𝐄𝐃 𝐖𝐈𝐓𝐇 𝐀𝐔𝐓𝐈𝐒𝐌!!! 😲
I use to consider myself a very introverted person, very shy, and very set in my own closed routines. I was more of a thinker than a doer and more of a dreamer than a leader.
𝘊𝘢𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵? 𝘖𝘳 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘰𝘧 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘸𝘩𝘰 𝘪𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵? 🤔
Being diagnosed with Autism was probably the starting point for me, the point where I confirmed to myself who I was: something is just ‘wrong’ with my brain. 🧠
“𝙄 𝙝𝙖𝙫𝙚 𝘼𝙪𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙢. 𝙄𝙩 𝙚𝙭𝙥𝙡𝙖𝙞𝙣𝙨 𝙬𝙝𝙮 𝙄 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙡 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙮 𝙄 𝙛𝙚𝙚𝙡. 𝙄𝙩’𝙨 𝙟𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙖 𝙥𝙖𝙧𝙩 𝙤𝙛 𝙢𝙚; 𝙄 𝙘𝙖𝙣’𝙩 𝙘𝙝𝙖𝙣𝙜𝙚 𝙞𝙩.” 🤷♂️
But even way back in 7th grade I remember feeling like I didn’t want to be labeled like this. I saw the label before me with all its negativity, a label I needed to object and rebel from. 👊
𝐈 𝐬𝐚𝐰 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐠𝐦𝐚𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐥𝐚𝐛𝐞𝐥 𝐛𝐞𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐲 𝐫𝐞𝐚𝐥𝐢𝐭𝐲, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐨𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐈 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐫𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐢𝐭 𝐫𝐞𝐟𝐥𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐩𝐞𝐨𝐩𝐥𝐞’𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐡𝐚𝐯𝐢𝐨𝐫𝐬 𝐭𝐨𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐦𝐞 𝐢𝐭 𝐟𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐝 𝐦𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐞! 😨
I have vivid memories from school where I refused to accept special accommodations because of the new label. I was now being given opportunities to have additional time on tests, opportunities to leave the classroom to ‘cool down’, and every single time I refused. 👎
I know it was done with good intentions. But what bothered me the most was that I was being treated differently. I had enough self-consciousness trying to fit in with my peers; now I had to worry about what adults were thinking about me! 😩
𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐝𝐧’𝐭 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐝, 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐦𝐲 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐥𝐚𝐛𝐞𝐥 𝐢𝐭 𝐬𝐞𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐈 𝐡𝐚𝐝 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐝 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐲𝐞𝐬 𝐨𝐟 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐞𝐥𝐬𝐞! 😟
𝘏𝘢𝘴 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘴𝘢𝘪𝘥 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘬𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘸𝘢𝘴𝘯’𝘵 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘦? 𝘋𝘪𝘥 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘸𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘫𝘶𝘮𝘱 𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘥𝘦𝘧𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘢𝘺: “𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘣𝘴𝘰𝘭𝘶𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘕𝘖𝘛 𝘛𝘙𝘜𝘌!” 🤬
Well, with my new label I was constantly reminded about my new-given identity: what I couldn’t do, what my limitations were, and what struggles I’d have the rest of my life. Essentially, who I was could now be entirely summarized upon a set of pathological descriptions out of a diagnostic book! 📖
𝐀𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐚 𝐌𝐀𝐉𝐎𝐑 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐦! 🚨
In psychology, the term is referred to as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy. In sociology, it’s referred to as the Labeling Theory. To put it simply: 𝘐𝘧 𝘢 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘥𝘴 𝘢 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘧 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘦𝘭𝘴𝘦’𝘴 𝘧𝘶𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴, 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘶𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘤𝘪𝘰𝘶𝘴𝘭𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱 𝘪𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘧𝘭𝘶𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘰𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘶𝘭𝘧𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴. 🤔
For example, if a parent holds a child to very low expectations the odds are very likely the child won’t ever go past the expectations the parent set for them. They will only achieve the most minimal, the expectations set by the parent. 😲
𝗦𝗢 𝗙𝗢𝗥 𝗔 𝗟𝗢𝗡𝗚 𝗧𝗜𝗠𝗘 𝗜 𝗨𝗦𝗘 𝗧𝗢 𝗟𝗘𝗧 𝗢𝗧𝗛𝗘𝗥𝗦 𝗗𝗜𝗖𝗧𝗔𝗧𝗘 𝗛𝗢𝗪 𝗜 𝗪𝗔𝗦 𝗚𝗢𝗜𝗡𝗚 𝗧𝗢 𝗟𝗜𝗩𝗘 𝗠𝗬 𝗟𝗜𝗙𝗘…😔
But then at one point I finally decided I was going on my own path. These past few years I’ve continually learned that everything starts with Me: 𝐈 𝐦𝐮𝐬𝐭 𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐭𝐫𝐨𝐥 𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐫 𝐦𝐲 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞, 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐈 𝐜𝐡𝐨𝐨𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐢𝐭, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐨𝐰 𝐈’𝐦 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐥𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐢𝐭. 𝐎𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐰𝐢𝐬𝐞, 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞𝐨𝐧𝐞 𝐞𝐥𝐬𝐞’𝐬 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐝𝐨 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐞. 👍
📌 Dale Carnegie explained it in his principles on How to Win Friends and Influence People.
📌 Stephen Covey showed it with the Habit of Being Proactive.
📌 The Stoics taught it through their principles of self-control.
📌 The Existentialists shared it through the creation of meanings.
📌 Individuals like Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. excelled at it by example.
It’s the power of helping OURSELVES FIRST before we start trying to help the rest of the world. It’s about taking CONTROL over our emotions rather than letting them and our environment control us. It’s about living our lives for a PURPOSE greater than just ourselves. It’s about a “dream”, a vision of a greater future for all of humanity. 👥
𝐌𝐨𝐬𝐭 𝐢𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐭𝐥𝐲, 𝐢𝐭’𝐬 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐚𝐛𝐨𝐮𝐭 𝐘𝐎𝐔 𝐃𝐄𝐅𝐈𝐍𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐘𝐎𝐔𝐑 𝐋𝐈𝐅𝐄. 🌎
What I’ve come to realize again and again is that my past does not have to equal the future. I’ve realized I am more capable than what any label or diagnosis will dictate about me. 🙌
𝘏𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘯 𝘢 𝘱𝘦𝘳𝘴𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘵 𝘨𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘴𝘶𝘭𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘸𝘩𝘰𝘭𝘦𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘦𝘥𝘭𝘺 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘪𝘯? “𝘊𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘴, 𝘺𝘰𝘶’𝘳𝘦 𝘢𝘯 𝘐𝘕𝘍𝘑!” 😅
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐛𝐥𝐞𝐦 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐬𝐞 𝐭𝐞𝐬𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐚𝐫𝐞 𝐍𝐎𝐖. 𝐁𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐲 𝐝𝐨𝐧’𝐭 𝐭𝐞𝐥𝐥 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐰𝐡𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮’𝐫𝐞 𝐠𝐨𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐭𝐨 𝐧𝐞𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐥𝐲 𝐛𝐞 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐅𝐔𝐓𝐔𝐑𝐄. 🌟
We can change! We can mentally evolve! Autism may be a part of who I am now, but that doesn’t mean it will ever be my final destination! 🛣️
𝐀𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐬𝐦 𝐢𝐬 𝐚𝐧 𝐄𝐗𝐏𝐋𝐀𝐍𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍, 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐃𝐄𝐒𝐓𝐈𝐍𝐀𝐓𝐈𝐎𝐍! 🌟
I ultimately will define Me, not someone else, not a test, and definitely not a set of diagnostic criteria. I mean, I can choose to keep a fixed identity for the rest of my life…nah! 😉
So these past few years I’ve been on a mission to Transcend Labels. My intention is to show the world what’s possible, to show others the importance of looking beneath the surface, past the labels, past the stereotypes, and to see each other for the common humanity we all possess. 👥
I see lasting change in the world happening through the individual from the inside-out, not the outside-in. I believe that the better we can be for ourselves, the better we can be for others. 🌎
Gandhi said: “Be the change you wish to see in the world”. Everyone has an opinion, but there are fewer people out there setting the example. Will you join me?! 👌
I hope this resonates with you! If it does, I would really appreciate if you could share this someone you believe would also benefit from this message! If there are any additional areas I can add value to your life as well as in the LinkedIn community, please let me know! 🙂
My areas of expertise include:
👍 Detail-oriented, Thoroughness
👍 Quality-over-quantity Focused
👍 Analytical, Systemic, Bottom-Up Thinking
👍 Emotional intelligence (plus 10 years in Customer Service)
👍 Social media, Building Engagement
Donald “Ace” Arteaga ❤️
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