As a person with dyslexia, I’ve always found it funny—and frustrating—that the word “dyslexic” is so hard to spell! Whoever comes up with medical terminology should have consulted with someone who deals with it everyday...
A parent of a child with dyslexia asked me recently how I can succeed when reading is sometimes difficult and my spelling is erratic. Doesn’t it affect running my business? The answer is yes and no. Being dyslexic does offer challenges—but it’s just one of many challenges of owning a business! (Sometimes my inability to spell is the easiest part of my day...)
There was a time when I was embarrassed by my dyslexia and I became superb at hiding it. But now, I’m very open about it. I ask for help when I need it. I surround myself with people who have the skills I don’t and I get their help—including what you’re reading now. The thoughts here are mine, but my writing guru makes sure my sentences are readable and error-free.
I admit, I struggle when I’m given a blank piece of paper. It takes me longer to read a book, or an email, than most people. I struggle to spell what others may think of as simple words. Thank heavens for smart phones—I don’t have to dial phone numbers anymore!
And dyslexia has its upsides. I think I may see things more clearly than some people, because I have to focus, to zero in on what’s in front of me. I think it makes me more creative. When you have trouble deciphering a paragraph or spelling a word, you get creative. You go around the obstacle and come up with a better answer—a closer look at the meaning of the paragraph, an even better word to use in what you’re writing.
I’m inspired by some of the great and incredibly creative people who’ve accomplished amazing things—with their dyslexia along for the ride: Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Steven Spielberg, Richard Branson, and more.
Dyslexia won’t stop me, it’s part of who I am. It’s made me what I am—determined, inventive, and resourceful. (I usually don’t agree when people say it can’t be done. It can be! I’ll find a way.)
When I compare notes with other people who have dyslexia, I advise that they ask for help; to not be embarrassed by it. To focus on what they enjoy doing. To accommodate the reading and writing challenges, and step around them. To think outside the box—or ignore the box! And don’t let anyone put you in a box.
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” – Albert Einstein