I think a leader is someone who you can listen to and respect and if you don’t feel respect, it’s difficult to follow what some one is saying. I can almost taste this in people, it’s like a d-adar (disability radar) something that I sense because of the way I am and my synesthesia.
I can talk to people and feel and touch a sense of their words and understand if what they are saying is in any way hollow or false. A leader needs to be authentic otherwise following just isn’t going to happen.
For me, I haven’t ever seen myself as a leader. I was hidden for so long and if I hadn’t woken up one day and said ‘enough is enough’ and then talked to two people who gave me the nudge, gave me the permission, somehow, to be who I really was. That has to be leadership, surely, someone doing that for someone else, so they can step out?
The hiding years, of course were very much to do with how people treated me of being bullied and ridiculed when i was young because of my dyslexia and how i chose to feel about that - not worthy, not allowed and not important.
And now that’s all changed. I’m very much on the move and in a way I see myself more as a pioneer than a leader. I travel in spaces and into a range of arenas and I no longer fear authority or hierarchy in the same way I did because that fear really held me back in the past.
This new found confidence, with the permission I now have allows me to connect with people through my art, through what I have to share and I am so curious about what makes the people around me tick. It’s like hunting for fossils and turning them over to see what they are really like, something I’ve always done with inanimate objects.
I think I’m making up for all the years, I didn’t dare talk or speak my mind. Underneath it all, we are all the same just like in the film ‘I Robot’ - I experience people like that on the outside and I’m fascinated about what’s going on underneath our rubber exteriors.
Dyslexia and being Aspergic is not a disability for me and it never has been. It has always been people’s attitudes to the way I am, that disable me.
Of course your experiences shape your self confidence and self worth and because of that the hiding is about not wanting to come forward and expose yourself, who you really are because it has been so painful, but imagine, if you don’t take that risk and stay stuck in a place where you can’t do your life
I thought that I couldn’t join in with the world of words but that’s just not true. It’s just something that I had to shake myself into realising! I want to give other people permission now….You can choose to feel differently about your experiences. I’m on a quest.