As gifted adults we’ve got the intelligence and the perceptiveness and the intensity to succeed, so why aren’t more of us standing in the winner’s circle?
What holds us back from being everything we can be, and how can we get around it?
The tough answer is this – we hold ourselves back, and inside us is the solution.
If we were the school-loving type, probably for much of our lives we were praised for our academic successes. We won the awards and saw our names on the recognitions. We got the As and made parents and teachers proud.
At least some of the adults in our lives saw what we could do and applauded our results. But not everyone was as encouraging and supportive. Maybe for you it was a parent who pushed you beyond your limits, or classmates who were more excited to see you lose one mark than they were to get it themselves. Whoever it was, or whomever they were, they reminded you of all the ways you weren’t successful, their searing words burning a hole inside you that perhaps is yet to heal.
Being gifted, we’re already sensitive to what we can do and what we can’t, and striving to be better is a constant battle. So when others are quick to turn the knives of discontent in our hearts, winning in life becomes all the more difficult.
The first step in turning it all around is to recognize that what other people have to say about you is only hurtful if you allow it to be. You hear their words or see their actions and feel the emotions that rise up in you at the time, but what happens after that is up to you. If you think, “Yes, they’re absolutely right”, in your mind they will be and you will always live with that thought. If you think, “They may be right in some way, but I’m not going to let that stop me from learning and growing and becoming better”, then that’s the thought you will hold onto. And if you say both of those statements to yourself right now I’m sure you can determine which one brings forth motivating feelings and which one doesn’t.
We cannot control the events that happen to us in our lives, but we can certainly control how we interpret them and how we react to them. But of course, this takes practice. If we’ve spent our entire lives in reactive mode, acting without consciously thinking about how we’ve understood the happenings of our environment, then it will take some time before we’re really good at pausing after an event to filter it through a positive perspective and then responding accordingly.
Usain Bolt didn’t become the fastest runner in the world by carrying a bunch of baggage on his back during his races. And we aren’t going to get that gold medal either if our negative thoughts and emotions are continuously weighing us down. We have to find the lessons in the events of our lives, learn them, and then move on.
Sunshine is lighter than rain, so pull out the inner thunderstorms that have been clouding your success and replace them with brighter thoughts, feelings and expectations. Change your own weather forecast so that you can always find the rainbow through the showers, and have blue skies are your backdrop when you’re standing in the winner’s circle.