Inspiring Story: Don’t Let Limitations Stop You! Use Them to Fuel Your Success!
Updated December 4, 2020 By STRONG self(ie)
No matter how young or old we are, we all have days where we need some inspiration… a reminder of what is possible when we stop listening to others who say “you can’t...” and, instead, start imagining “what if I CAN….”
If today is one of those days where you feel like you’re struggling… or doubting you’ll achieve your dreams… read on and be inspired by our friends, Grace and Holly, and how they are achieving success in spite of what some would believe are limitations.
How do you like school, Grace? “I love it!”
Have you ever had struggles that you need to overcome? “Hmmm…no. Well, wait…sometimes my brother bugs me!”
Do you ever feel doubt or not like your strongest self? “Nope.”
When do you feel strong and happy? “All the time!”
Meet Grace, also known as Honey by her family and friends. When we met Grace in 2018, she was a 7th grader at Hill Middle School in Naperville, Illinois. Now Grace is in high school and participating in a business with her mom. According to Grace, life is good…really, really good! She enjoys school where she looks forward to math and music. She has lots of friends and many teachers that help her if she has a question. Grace loves sports and is active in soccer, swimming and tennis. She has dreams of going to Disneyland and Las Vegas and loves getting her STRONG self(ie) gift boxes!
What you don’t know about Grace from reading this is that she has Down syndrome, a diagnosis that took her mom, Holly, and father on an unknown and unexpected journey... a journey Holly says has been hard, yet good… challenging, yet rewarding.
Challenges Of Living With Down Syndrome
While each person is different, in general, those with Down syndrome experience intellectual and developmental challenges as well as other health issues like hearing loss, ear infections, eye diseases, heart defects, and sleep apnea. (Source: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019)
According to Holly, the most difficult part has been navigating the unknown. That hasn’t stopped this strong mom from learning all she can about this genetic disorder and embracing her unknown future with every ounce of passion and… well… grace!
Grace is funny and kind and has big dreams so imagine learning that your beautiful, determined daughter has less than a 20% chance of being employed when she becomes an adult.
Statistics from authoritative sources like these can make us believe that it’s impossible to achieve our dreams. And many people would just give up. But not Holly!
Turning Challenges Into Opportunities That Fuel Their Success
Holly uses the information she learned to fuel success for her daughter, other kids who are “different,” and herself. She spends time speaking to students about Down syndrome and encourages kids (and adults) to ask questions. She wants them to be educated about this genetic disorder so they are not afraid of others that may be different from them. She wants others to know that Grace is just a kid that likes the same things they do.
“Disabilities and special needs aren’t always things you can see. ADD and anxiety are examples of things kids struggle with and educating each other about these opens the door to acceptance,” says Holly.
Acceptance provides new opportunities, and opportunities help us achieve our dreams.
She also wanted a business that Grace could be part of and eventually take over when she is older. Talk about "girls with goals," together they created 4 Coffee and Grace! It's an online coffee retailer that sells coffee and tea. Together, they create t-shirts, coffee mugs and other products which are also sold on their site.
What Inspires Us About This Story
Grace’s outlook on life comes from her mom. I’m not sure Holly is aware of it but her voice, attitude and ambition are modeled in her strong, determined daughter.
It’s a powerful reminder that, as parents and role models, we have a tremendous influence on how our girls perceive themselves and what they can achieve.
This mom and daughter are on a mission to bring positive awareness to Grace’s genetic disorder, spread kindness and make the most of every day. Grace is living her life to the fullest and she knows no limit! A lesson we can all learn from and aspire to!
In challenging circumstances, it’s often our fear of the unknown… what lies ahead… “what if I can’t…” that limits us. We forget how strong, creative and smart we are… and how much support we have from others to make it through challenging times.
We want to remind you that the possibilities are limitless. And amazing things can happen if we’ll ask ourselves more empowering questions like, “What if I can?”
With a little creativity, “impossible” becomes “I’m possible.” And once you realize you can achieve the “impossible” just once, you’ll never pay attention to limitations again.
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