University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School
The Non-Existence of Limits
Tell us about a peer who has made a difference in your life.
He busted through the black doors of the Taekwondo studio running around screaming. I caught him and told him this was no place for mischief. Consequently, his cold, hard saliva slapped me across my face and he took off.
He was not the first Autism-diagnosed child I had worked with, but he was the first to teach me this vital lesson: Nobody has a limit, no matter who they are or what condition they possess. After four failed attempts, I assigned the other instructor’s groups, and I took him. Alone. I had him repeat the combination continuously, almost giving up.
“I believe in you. You can do this!” I asserted, locking eyes. His face became solemn and his body tranquil.
He started again. I jumped up with a shriek and an exuberant "YES!" He was doing it with more power and precision than any other student!
Now, I never give him the opportunity to pretend he is incapable nor allow others to lower their expectations for people with barriers. I recognized that I, too, was being limited by my epithet as a Type 1 Diabetic and biracial female, being told my entire life that becoming a Fortune 500 CFO was impossible. I promised myself I would never be defined by those limits again. He, a 7-year-old, had forever altered my mindset. One...
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