8 Courageous Concepts You Learn from Having a Disability.

"The Adversity Flower" by Grace Hart
“The Adversity Flower” by Grace Hart


“Courage is the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear or being deflected from a chosen course of action.”

The word ‘courage’ stems from the Latin word ‘cor’ – which means heart. And it’s true, courage is a state of the heart.

Here are some courageous concepts you learn because of having a disability.

1. The Courage to Live a Life of Integrity.

Integrity is the only path in life where you’ll never get lost because of your disability. Integrity is about aligning your deepest values, what you are doing, and who you are being in the world. If you say your going to do something, do it. Don’t use your disability as an excuse to not keep your promises.

2. The Courage to Dream.

You’ll never be able to have your dream job or live your dream life unless you find the courage to look past your disability and identify what it is you truly want out of this life. Don’t let the fear of having a disability keep you from achieving your dreams.

3. The Courage to Be You.

In a world that insists on conformity, it takes courage to be you. Never pretend to be someone you’re not just because you have a disability. Express yourself fully and authentically. Don’t suppress your true you. When you fail to be authentic you keep from others that which makes you most attractive; you.

4. The Courage to Speak Up.

You are your own best advocate. Speak up for yourself and your disability. Don’t wait for someone else to do it on your behalf. It might never happen. Voice your concerns, your feelings and thoughts, and engage in conversations that you’ve been hesitant to have before. Don’t choose the option of never addressing an issue or fulfilling a need because of the possibility of having an awkward conversation.

5. The Courage to Persevere.

Overcoming the setbacks and failures associated with having a disability will bring you a great sense of achievement. Face the challenges your disability presents you with a deep determination to staying the course. Resist succumbing to your challenges in the face of adversity. It’s through perseverance in the face of adversity that the ordinary become extra-ordinary.

6. The Courage to Let Go.

As a human being you crave control. Having a disability means you can’t control much. Give up resisting what you can’t control and go with the flow. This allows you to live in the present moment. Having the courage to let go will not impede you, it will enhance you.

7. The Courage to Lead.

Leadership is not a position; it’s a choice. The essence of leadership is inspiring people to move in a direction they may otherwise not have gone, to accomplish more than they may otherwise have sought to accomplish, and to grow into someone they may otherwise not have become. Instead of moping around feeling sorry for yourself because you have a disability, choose to inspire others by leading them down the path less traveled.

8. The Courage to Suffer.

Your disability causes you to suffer physically, mentally, and emotionally on a daily basis. You have the choice to be weak or strong during these times. So put on your prettiest lip gloss, and sport a stiff upper lip. Remember, what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.


Autumn Tompkins is the head sass-master at ink well copy. She is a skilled copywriter who creates dynamic copy that captures her clients’ expert voices and generates genuine sales, turning maybe’s into most definitely’s.

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6 thoughts on “8 Courageous Concepts You Learn from Having a Disability.

  1. Hope says:

    As someone living with visual and hearing disabilities, a mental illness and also chronic illness I loved the dynamic vision of disability in this post. In particular the points addressing how we need to avoid the temptation to use disability to excuse us from commitments and how disability genuinely does deprive us of control of some aspects of our lives spoke to me. The breadth of issues addressed gave a clearer view of life with disability than so many posts on the subject. And hinted at too is the fact that despite all the suffering and disappointments that go with disability, it can also be a gift. We do grow stronger just by every day we manage to survive our disabilities with integrity. And we learn many spiritual disciplines along the way. I would never have chosen my disabilities… But I don’t regret them.

  2. Chris Traynor says:

    Whoever came up with the innocuous statement “Whatever doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger” was, clearly, never driven down by chronic pain, immense lifelong loss and physical disability. What if someone beat Oprah Winfrey to within an inch of her life … requiring corrective surgery, leaving her weak and a shell of her former self? Would she then be stronger as a result or is it just a ridiculous platitude that’s said to make the speaker feel better – not the injured or disabled. Ultimately, its just a selfish statement that does nothing but harm.

    • Autumn Tompkins says:

      I absolutely agree with you. It can cause harm. But I wear that statement as a badge of honor along with ever scar I have because of my disability (muscular dystrophy). Surgery after surgery. Hospital stay after hospital stay. Bully after bully.

      I’ve been in guarded condition at a hospital multiple times in my life. I’m stronger because I know what’s it’s like to receive Last Rites..to truly know life is fleeting…to never take a single second above ground from granted.

      But I’ve triumphed over obstacles people couldn’t dream of defeating.

      My immune system is stronger. My spirit is stronger. My determination is stronger. All because nothing has killed me. Yet.

      I truly believe “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” can apply to everyone. Even Oprah.

      When you’ve been through Hell and lived to tell the tale, it does make you stronger. And it gives you a new perspective on life.

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