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The day I finally believed I could

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Danny Raede

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It was the Spring of 2013. I was sitting in a chair on day 3 of a 4 day seminar on spreading your message as an expert. At that time, Asperger Experts had really only reached about 100 people or so (mainly my mom’s friends) and I WANTED to do great things in the world, but I really didn’t believe I could.

Then that day, I “got it”. Finally I was in a place where people could see I was doing great work, I felt appreciated, and more than that, I had guidance.

The speaker on stage was telling his journey of spreading his message. He was where I was, and he ended up where I wanted to be. So I listened. I took notes (which was extremely rare for me). I endured rah-rah sessions of loud music set to Macklemore. And for the first time in my life, I believed I could.

But this story isn’t about me. It’s about us. It’s about the fact that sometimes all we need is someone to take us by the hand, put their arm over our shoulder and say “I’ve been where you are. Let me show you the way.”

I genuinely wish someone had done that to me as I was growing up with Asperger’s. It would have made my life so much easier.

Everyone with Asperger’s that i’ve talked to has shared at least 1 goal, hope or dream with me. The problem is, most of them think it’ll never happen, so they never try.

What I’ve found is that they just need some encouragement and specific guidance. Someone to help them believe they can. Someone to listen to them, and encourage their dreams, not shoot them down.

So today I invite you to become that person. Either for yourself, or for someone else.

And whatever you do remember: You aren’t flawed. There isn’t something wrong with you. People do the best they can with the emotional capacity they have. If you are struggling, it may be time to focus on taking care of yourself and finding some space so that you can gain the emotional capacity you need. We believe in you. We know you are more that you appear to be.

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