Great Weakness or Great Gift?

~by Shannon Modrell

Do you ever suffer from comparison-itis?

Do you tend to avoid doing things because “it won’t be perfect”?

Do you ever worry that what you say or do won’t meet the approval of others? 

There’s an old saying about criticism and gaining the acceptance and approval of others and it’s a powerful mantra for kicking self-doubt right out the door. It’s called the 4 SW’s:

Some Will, Some Won’t, So What, Someone’s Waiting

I see too many people hiding who they authentically are and not sharing their authentic gifts in the world because they feel they don’t measure up to some standard of how they should be or how they should express.  Meanwhile the world isn’t getting the unique benefits of what they have to offer.

Brent and I watched a movie last weekend about the amazing Temple Grandin, PhD.  To say that Temple had obstacles to overcome is a gross understatement.

Temple is famous for having designed livestock handling facilities that are more humane, more effective and produce better meat for less money.  The systems Temple designed are used worldwide by major corporations.  Temple revolutionized the livestock industry!

But here’s the catch:
Temple is autistic.
And a woman.
A woman who effected massive change in a VERY male dominated, machismo, slow to change industry.
In the 1960’s, no less!

How did she accomplish this?  Her autism positioned her for several unique tendencies and abilities:

 1) Difficulty relating to people led to a deep kinship with animals.

 2) She possessed abilities to perceive patterns of behavior in the animals that enabled her to piece together clues to why current methods of handling were creating stress in the animals, causing unnecessary injuries, and eating up profits.

 3) She taught herself to draft the blueprints of her unconventional designs and translate those scale drawings into 3 dimensional form in exquisite detail in her mind, executing a completely operational and successful prototype – with no training or experience.  This was key in convincing ranchers to spend obscene amounts of money on systems that seemed outrageously ineffective by their own standards. (These are all common traits in persons with autism)

So what would seem to many like a death-sentence for productivity (they actually said that about autism back then) turned out to be the exact formula for Temple to create a massive contribution to the world.  BTW, she is now considered “the most accomplished and well known adult with autism in the world” (see her website) She’s the author of numerous groundbreaking and books and articles on animal welfare and autism advocacy.

What if Temple said “I can’t convince a bunch of ranchers to treat livestock more humanely, I’m autistic, I’m a woman, and I have no engineering experience!”  What if Helen Keller said “I can’t write inspiring books or fight for women’s suffrage, I’m deaf AND blind, no one will believe in me!”  What if Einstein said “I can’t influence the world of physics, I’m dyslexic and failed in school!”

What we think is our greatest weakness usually turns out to be our greatest strength

 So the next time you’re tempted to hold yourself back in life because you think you don’t have what it takes, or believe no one would benefit from your contribution, I hope you’ll remember Temple Grandin…and the 4 SW’s:

Some Will, Some Won’t, So What? Someone’s Waiting!

Peace and Blessings,


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Singer, Songwriter, Motivational Speaker Shannon Modrell changes lives and mindsets by performing transformational healing music at international conferences, holistic events, and at Unity and United Spiritual Centers all over the USA. 
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