When you feel like you don’t deserve an opportunity…

Presenting at Best Buddies Leadership Conference

I felt like an imposter when I realized I was giving a presentation I thought others at the conference were more qualified to give. This was at least 15 years ago when I was building my reputation as a presenter in the autism niche.

I spent much of that morning attached at the hip to a mentor of mine and shared the conflict I was having. “Why am I presenting on the subject of relationships and the autism spectrum when there were big-named presenters there who could do it?”

“No one breaks it down like you do,” was her response. I’m embarrassed to say I’d forgotten that important insight until recently, and forgotten what a superpower it is. My synesthesia helps me see every note and every space in the music of communication and relationships.

I often close my eyes so I can feel the nuances of what someone is saying, detecting where things are off-pitch, so to speak. I do the same when I’m speaking so I can better feel what I’m saying, which helps me better choose the language I’m using. I’m often told I seem to know exactly what to say; that’s why.

The bottom line: It’s not about having all the answers or being the most renowned expert in the room. It’s about bringing your unique perspective and skills to the table, not in a competitive but complimentary way.

For me, it’s about using my synesthesia to break down complex concepts into understandable, relatable pieces. I continue learning the value of embracing my individuality and the power it has to connect with and educate others.

Remember, your unique approach can make a world of difference to someone trying to navigate their path. Let’s celebrate our complimentary differences and use them to foster understanding and growth in our communities.

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