Have you noticed how the things we are most embarrassed or scared or feel shameful about are often a big-fat-red-sharpie arrow pointing us in the direction of growth and passion?

I struggled with disabling dyslexia throughout my childhood and it still has a significant impact on me today. My classmates often teased me, assuming I was unintelligent because I would stumble over words while reading aloud. As a result, I suffered from low self-esteem and anxiety. I often feared that their judgments were correct.

It was not until my second year of grad school that I approached one of my professors about my writing.  I told him that with a year until graduation, I still didn’t know how to write effectively. I knew that I was being held back from fully expressing myself and communicating my ideas.

Being the brilliant professor that he was, he asked me, “What do you want to do about it?” I said that I had no trouble writing pages and pages, but what I really needed to work on was quality. I suggested that I write two paragraphs and each day revise them so he could see my process and teach me how to improve. He agreed.

One day he unexpectedly read my paper in class as an exemplary first assignment. We continued to improve my writing ability throughout the quarter.

I had always wanted to be an author, but this seemed impossible because of my struggle with written expression. I am now about 200 pages into my first book. What was once a source of tremendous pain I have transformed into my strongest passion.

I have learned that if I love something enough and am willing to do the work, I will find a way through. Whether that is a skill, a relationship, or a circumstance, it is in our power to change it; all that is required is curiosity and a voracious tenacity.

In the end, once you find what truly speaks to your heart and soul, you no longer have a choice to turn away–you have been changed for the better.

What currently feels like a painful growth edge? What if you could transform it into one of your greatest strengths?