From the outside, giftedness looks like a dream – intelligence, creativity, depth of emotion, the ability to do anything our hearts desire. But from the inside, when we see that we aren’t sitting on the peak of the mountain of life, the view is very different…
Our eyes are always on the summit of experience. We don’t want an everyday life, or a regular vacation, or normal successes; we want an outstanding life, a phenomenal vacation, and life-changing successes. Anything less just won’t do. Not because we think less of people who want those things, as many people would try to make us believe about ourselves, but because we can envision not only what exists, but what is possible, and THAT’s what we want. To go beyond where we are now to something bigger, greater, deeper, almost but not quite…impossible.
Living on the edge revitalizes us, offers us the challenges we seek, and pushes us to become all that we can be. But there is a down side.
When we’re always looking onward and upward, we don’t notice where we are. We could have already climbed half the mountain, but what we see is the other half we haven’t yet scaled. And so we always feel like we’re behind, like we haven’t yet done anything.
From the outside it looks like we’ve accomplished a lot, and people around us may even remind us of our successes, but from our perspective it looks, and feels, like we’ve got SO much farther to go.
So how can we keep from feeling lost, or frustrated, or misunderstood? How can we change our sky-high plans and visions into something that we can feel good about and recognize our progress toward?
Mary-Elaine Jacobsen, author of The Gifted Adult, has some suggestions:
- Stay on track with important goals. Conceptualize and operationalize them from start to finish. Identify clearly what you want to achieve and then find people who can help you develop a step-by-step plan, who have gone where you want to go, and who can share with you what they have learned.
- Become a skilled negotiator. Find a counselor who can help you learn to do more than complain about or put up with the status quo. When you want to change something but are not the decision maker, come to the table with three things: a respectful attitude; a brief, positively stated reason for the change that sounds like a win-win solution; and a specific suggestion that others will find doable.
- Don’t let your strong reactions to unfairness lead you astray. Before you go off on a mission to correct some injustice, ask yourself, “Is this something I am willing to go to the wall for? Is this the right time? If so, what will be the probable versus the preferred result?”
- Get the mundane tasks out of the way without getting sidetracked by how much they annoy you. Save your energy for your greatest passion.
- No matter how many talents or interests you have, do not allow yourself to become scattered. Develop a self-care plan and practice a technique like meditation, yoga, guided imagery, or deep breathing to center yourself each day. This will help you spread your energy around and lessen the risk of coming apart at the seams.
- Look for and take advantage of opportunity and luck, but don’t expect them to come to you. Do expect setbacks and make room for them in your plans. Be prepared to have your dreams ridiculed and your hopes dashed from time to time—it’s what happens to creative producers. Tell yourself again and again that few things come about by chance. When you are knocked to the ground, get back up, dust yourself off, and keep going. Don’t let anyone tell you that the fulfillment of high potential works any other way.