Updated: Mar 18
Trigger Warning for discussion on racial injustice, racism, oppression, mention of trauma, cults, and sexual assault.
Your individual strengths are what you can leverage to succeed in life. You may be intelligent, witty, organized, or creative. Become self-aware and use what you have to improve your life.
Even though a SWOT Analysis is used for businesses, it can also help you with your personal development. This is our experience with doing a personal SWOT.
This is an exercise in self-awareness.
Strengths - What things make you unique and help you succeed?
This is a complicated question that can be difficult for anyone to answer. Unique is a relative concept and is personal. Some of the things that make us unique are being multiples. We experienced our first major trauma at the age of four. We are medically diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder. When trauma occurs before the age of 7, the personality is not fully integrated. Instead of integrating it splinters into what is called alters. Not only were we victims of a sexual assault, but we were raised in a strict religious cult. This led to a lot of trials and tribulations in our lives that many never experience.
This makes it unique.
Also, we are autistic and have various physical disabilities. We are multicultural being Black, White, and Native American. We are Nonbinary and proud to be members of the LGBTQ+ community. All of us make up a unique combination of diversity.
Diversity allows us to see many perspectives, relate to others, and empathize. We fight for inclusion for ourselves and others as advocates. Equal access, equal opportunities are vital to society. No one should be turned away from their goals based on not being part of the societal majority,
Opportunites - What doors do your strengths open for you?
Everything that makes you different, is what can open doors to your future.
Access to education, employment, and basic human rights have often been denied to us. Growing up oppressed has left its scars, but it allows us to be the advocates we are today.
We are in a unique place to be survivors and share our stories.
Truly, we always seek to increase our self-awareness, understand our emotions, and retrieve memories that we have lost through our struggles with amnesia. As survivors, as members of the disability community, we can contribute to making the world better for the next generations.
A million small voices join to make an impact. Every person's experience matters in the fight for equality.
Dreams, goals, and creating your best future will leave you content. Make a mark on the world large or small for the greater good.
Weaknesses - What barriers do you create for yourself?
This is not about what you are doing wrong. It is about building self-awareness and turning your challenges into strengths.
Threats - What in your life can stop you from succeeding?
Identify what external forces make your journey harder. We eliminated toxic people from our life. Anyone and anything that can stop you from being happy and thriving needs to be evaluated.
What did our SWOT show us about our goals?
BREAK THE STIGMA! Our advocacy is focused on breaking the stereotypes around mental health and developmental health diagnosis. Often people with autism are portrayed as nonverbal, savants, or even violent. This IS NOT the case! People with D.I.D are shown as villains, murders, “crazy” characters that should be feared. This IS NOT the case.
The disability community as a whole is ostracized, seen as a blight on humanity, and there are many implicit and explicit biases that people like us face every day. Being denied access to education and employment are major issues. We have been denied work because of our autism, we have been hired to meet a diversity quota because we are persons of color and have disabilities.
We have been called vile names in public, been asked intrusive questions about our physical capabilities, and denied health treatment because of our neurodiversity. We have been told that our lives don't matter because we aren’t “pure black.” We have been physically threatened at school by White Nationalists. Our blood relatives erased us from family records because we are “not white enough.” These experiences need to end for the next generation.
Inclusion and diversity is the end goal and this starts with building awareness to lead to acceptance of humanity as a whole.