*Guest post by Kimberly Beaman.

Every morning I watch one music video when I wake up. The video lights a fire in my belly and, therefore, helps me focus on the day’s priorities. I had to literally write down my morning routine because it doesn’t come naturally and it isn’t always the first thing on my mind with two kids in tow. How can a music video help? Well, I have always been a visual thinker. I dream in images, I think in images, and I write songs in images. The music and visuals get me pumped up and in a place of love and passion.

As an individual who was diagnosed as a child with dyslexia and ADHD, I thrive on the use of my strengths in any given situation. I didn’t always understand this gift. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I wished it away because I wanted to be like all the other kids who read more quickly at school. And I didn’t want to forget my locker code yet another day. In high school, I would literally have regular nightmares about being lost at school or failing school.

School seemed insurmountable at times, but that was only until I truly found my voice. My inner self confidence was always sitting there, idly on standby, hoping for a chance to shine. From time to time, this inner “knowing” would come to the surface only to shrink back down to what felt like oblivion. Invisibility. I kept repeating statements to myself like, “ I will never be good enough,” “ I’m not smart like them,” and “I’m not going to catch up.” 

“School seemed insurmountable at times, but that was only until I truly found my voice.”

On the long, winding road home from my weekly vocal lessons, that voice would quite literally come back to me, as I belted music from the depths of my soul. My self-talk would turn from self-hatred to self-love and a realization that I have gifts to offer the world. Many of the songs I played on repeat offered the same messages of hope and empowerment. 

This girl will conquer.

And this, my friends, is exactly what I wish for people with hidden differences who have struggled with low self-confidence and/or low self-esteem. The journey may seem daunting, but it is a journey that is yours to take — you have the power and ability to turn things around. Regardless of your environment and genetic make-up, you can find your voice. People around me were cheering me on and my family was always by my side, but the one person who really had the power to unlock self-confidence was me. 

Self-assurance is natural until we are met with resistance or barriers due to our struggles. Self-confidence is built on trust. And, often times, trust is broken in the academic and work environment for people with hidden differences. Everyone needs to be given the chance to shine, not to be muted. Remind yourself of that when trust is broken. At the end of the day its truly their loss. It is your gain to know that you deserve only the best.

So, what music resides in your soul? If you were to close your eyes right now and imagine yourself in a life you dream of, what would it look like? Hold onto that vision, embrace it and put it on re-play. You have the power to create your own story, and so does your child.