Sound the alarm! Lizzo and Chris Evans are flirting online again
Sound the alarm! Lizzo and Chris Evans are flirting online again

Sarah Finnan

Disney’s attack on Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow lawsuit is incredibly gendered
Disney’s attack on Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow lawsuit is incredibly gendered

Jennifer McShane

All things seaside, from shells to starfish, are making a splash
All things seaside, from shells to starfish, are making a splash

Holly O'Neill

‘I did it for me’: Simone Biles triumphantly takes Bronze at Tokyo Olympics
‘I did it for me’: Simone Biles triumphantly takes Bronze at Tokyo Olympics

Jennifer McShane

DreamWorks has just hired their first female composer – and she’s Irish
DreamWorks has just hired their first female composer – and she’s Irish

Sarah Finnan

WIN a Fitbit Sense health smartwatch, with tools for stress management
WIN a Fitbit Sense health smartwatch, with tools for stress management

IMAGE

Tom Ford’s new leather scent is as sophisticated as they come
Tom Ford’s new leather scent is as sophisticated as they come

Holly O'Neill

How to deal with failure: 4 tips on how to recover from a setback
How to deal with failure: 4 tips on how to recover from a setback

Colette Sexton

The ‘Friends’ cast just launched their first official limited-edition merch collection
The ‘Friends’ cast just launched their first official limited-edition merch collection

Sarah Finnan

A shared gold medal and an Olympic knitter: The most heartwarming moments from the Olympics so far
A shared gold medal and an Olympic knitter: The most heartwarming moments from the Olympics...

Sarah Finnan

Image / Editorial

WATCH: Irish Paralympian Ellen Keane Nail A Brilliant TedTalk


by Jennifer McShane
25th Jun 2017
blank

Confidence, in work, in relationships, about our bodies, comes from acceptance. Accepting that you were hired because your boss truly believed you were the best person for the job, that the person wanted to see you again because you were you with all your obsessive quirks, that your body was different to the others, but that was okay. It sounds so easy when you read it on a page, but self-acceptance can feel like a never-ending quest. Because it isn’t easy to accept the flaws or the good stuff and let the confidence flow, depending on the person you are.

“If only I had x, then I’d be confident.” For years, my x used to be replaced with, “normal body.” Or I used to switch the sentence. “If only I didn’t have a disability, then I’d be confident.” The fact that I have mild Cerebral Palsy has taken me years to accept. Knowing that I would always be different has taken me years to accept. When I was younger, I had a few good days and mostly bad days. On the good, I would think having the CP was the reason I would always try so incredibly hard to do something meaningful with my life and be happy, and on the bad, I used to think that the CP was the reason I felt stuck or the reason I’d yet find a plus one who wanted to be with me – without minding that I would never walk like the other girls. My acceptance of my otherness brought the confidence. I know that I would have been a hard worker regardless and I tend to be unlucky in love but that’s because it isn’t my time yet, and not due to the disability. As I’ve grown up, the good days have more than outweighed the bad.

It’s because of my own feelings that I empathised so much with Irish, three-time Paralympian Ellen Keane when she gave her powerful Ted Talk My Lucky Fin back in April. An athletic champion and self-assured at just 21-years-old, during the eight-minute talk, she spoke of how this wasn’t always so. Born with no left hand and forearm, she explained she had to change the way she looked at her disability before she could have confidence in who she was. “Now I love the fact that I won’t easily be forgotten,” she says. “I hope that this can inspire anyone who is struggling with who they are. Everyone?has an insecurity or a quirk, but this is what makes you who you are.”

She explained that her moment came when she decided to roll up her sleeve in a cooking class after years of wanting to keep both arms hidden so that no one could or would tell the difference. The singular action, she said, changed her life. And anyone who has ever felt at odds with themselves can and will be inspired by her powerful words and story.

Her message is one the world over can relate to: Bite the bullet and roll up your sleeve. It could change your life.


Also Read

blank
EDITORIAL
You don’t have to love football to have been affected by the tragic scenes at the Finland Denmark game

There were heartbreaking scenes as footballer Christian Eriksen was given CPR at the European Championship game Questions have been raised...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
Setting mental health boundaries: ‘I didn’t expect the level of anger it caused’

The entitled backlash when someone tries to set their own boundaries is concerning, writes Amanda Cassidy “One particular friend just...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
IMAGE WRITES
The sexist commentary at Wimbledon still remains a problem

Wimbledon in 2021 and once again female athletes are singled out on the playing field, a great deal of the...

By Jennifer McShane

Has society become more tolerant of the idea of dating interracially?
premium IMAGE WRITES, REAL-LIFE STORIES, RELATIONSHIPS
Interracial dating: “People kept asking ‘where is she from?'”

With diversity on the rise, what struggles do interracial couples continue to face today? Filomena Kaguako speaks to three couples about their experiences.

By Filomena Kaguako

toxic
EDITORIAL
How to let go of toxic people, and the signs to recognise

By Niamh Ennis

blank
EDITORIAL
This is what happens when you hypersexualise young girls growing up

Who is demanding the fetishization of young girls anyway?”When I was working in my early twenties, and even my late...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
“A slap in the face for all the victims”: Outcry over Bill Cosby’s release from prison

This is why rape victims think twice before coming forward, writes Amanda Cassidy He was once known as “America’s Dad”...

By Amanda Cassidy