Complex and Stuck – How to Let Go and Live

As gifted adults, we are complex people, and that characteristic, along with others, can very easily lead to us feeling stuck in our lives, our relationships and our jobs. So what can we do to let go and live?

Taking a look at some of the things that hold us back and what we can do to begin releasing them will be our first topic in our Facebook Conversation series. You’ll be able to connect with other gifted adults to ask your questions, share your experiences and gain some new insights into yourself.

Join us right here at 8pm EDT on Thursday, April 7, 2011.

Be sure to sign into your Facebook account early so that you don’t miss a moment of discussion!


One of our next steps is to find a new way to record our conversations, but for now you’ll be able to take a look at the last one like this:

·         Hi there everyone!

·         It’s 8pm so we’re going to get things started.

·         Our discussion today is meant to be about ways in which we are stuck in our lives and what we can do about it.

·         We can meet with challenges in our work life, our relationships, our social situations or even within ourselves.

·         The first step is figuring out exactly where we are being held back so we can begin to remove any blocks we have and start moving forward again.

·         What are some examples of areas where you or people you know find difficulty in moving past.

·         Hey everyone, sorry had some trouble getting in! What is everyone discussing?

·         Where are some places in life that you think people get caught up in?

·         We’re just looking at where people can be feeling stuck in their lives.

·         Nice to have you here, Manal!

·         I tend to get stuck in ANY area of my life when I’m overwhelmed…lately, it’s in business. I feel like everything has to be perfect before I can move forward so that I don’t mess up..what does everyone do to get past that?

·         One of the first things is to figure out what exactly you’re stuck with.

·         Is it doing a particular task, or does it occur when you’re faced with a certain situation?

·         We’ve encountered a certain type of situation before and it didn’t work out well the first time, so when we encounter it again we hesitate.

·         Sometimes we get help up because of things that have happened to us in the past that keep repeating themselves.

·         We’ve encountered a certain type of situation before and it didn’t work out well the first time, so when we encounter it again we hesitate.

·         The old thoughts and feelings get brought back up again and we begin to replay the situation again, falling into the same steps we took before.

·         hmm, not sure if that’s what’s happening with me..It’s possible I guess..When I have to do something that others are going to critique, I stop myself and evaluate and rethink and my thoughts loop over and over..

·         When you find that your thoughts are looping, what have you found helps to get you out of the circle?

·         I know for many people, writing out everything that’s going through your mind really helps.

·         definitely brainstorming with another person. Having a back and forth discussion and having my thoughts challenged.

·         When you have someone who can challenge your thinking that’s great.

·         Wherever you can find them is good – a friend, a neighbour, someone online that you talk to…

·         Getting everything out where you can reevaluate it is important.

·         When you do it with a friend you can gain new perspectives right away.

·         When you do it in writing you can also look at your thoughts from a distance.

·         That can bring clarity as well.

·         Manal, when have you found brainstorming to be most effective?

·         On what topics or in which areas?

·         If we choose to open ourselves up to other people, for brainstorming or otherwise, it’s a good idea to share with someone who can really help us to move forward.

·         I tend to brainstorm when I’m overwhelmed, which is not the best time, I guess. I just reach a point where I’m like AAAH I need to vent, and then I reach out. I need to figure out what things to look for before I get to that place

·         If you think back to times when you’re feeling most overwhelmed, what’s going through your mind then? Or what do you have happening?

·         I like to brainstorm in issues with my kids that I’m stuck on, or when I’m feeling down

·         Right now the big focus is the kids…there’s 4, and they are young, so it’s easy to have too much going on…especially because I’m very sensitive to noise, clutter, etc. And the other one is business..just moving forward and getting out there.

·         Getting clarity on what you really want makes a big difference.

·         When we can figure out what we want we’re more likely to get it.

·         That there is too much to do, too many people to take care of, appointments to remember etc.

·         LOL, I want my old blackberry that helped me stay more organized. Is that enough clarity?

·         Sure! Sometimes it’s as simple as that!

·         Do you have some way to keep track of everything now without your blackberry?

·         On a computer, or in a notebook, or on a calendar somewhere?

·         The blackberry goes with you wherever you travel which is nice, so something along those lines would be good.

·         Mmm. A big fridge calender, it’s not helpful though Kids kept wiping the marker off, so I used permanent and now it’s not coming off:)  The phone was perfect b/c it went everywhere I went

·         Especially if you found that working for you in the past.

·         If you have a phone now, does it have any kind of calendar feature?

·         I think I have a planner, I will use again. I’m totally not thrilled about it though. I think having one central “planner” is what I need

·         It does, however this phone has technical troubles, and is a touch screen that I struggle with : – S

·         Staying organized was the very first thing I did on my journey to sanity… About 8 years ago.

·         So it’s a matter of learning how to use a new phone and getting it to work correctly?

·         Anyway, I have to step away for just a few minutes and I will be back. Arash, I’d definitely appreciate tips! Keep typing and I’ll catch up. Thx

·         Arash, what did you find worked for you?

·         Well, there isn’t a black and white answer. Saying you need your Blackberry sounds a lot like when I picked up my first camera…

·         I kept saying “I can’t take good pictures until I get a better camera”…

·         When really, I had to become a better artist before worrying about the equipment…

·         That’s a great point.

·         Sometimes we use the tools as an excuse not to do the job.

·         So my advice about staying organized is to focus on seeing things in lists first.. Then worry about what equipment you will use…

·         So you organized your time? What about your work space and those kinds of things?

·         I’m a techie and love my gadgets but I discovered that I do my best planning with a pencil and paper… Totally Sonia!

·         Ooh… I have a good one for that, brb

·         One sec, let me google the link

·         Actually, that’s a lot like me, too. I love the computer for example, but when I want to do something really important I prefer to do it with my hands.

·         That’s something to think about. Then why was it working so well when I did have the right tool? I don’t see it as an excuse. What woudl the benefit be for me to be disorganized and miss my kids’ appointments etc

·         sorry, yes I did say I was going, and I am. lol I’ll be back

·         The tool can make the difference if that’s what’s missing for you.

·         I think it’s a matter of being aware of whether or not it’s really the tool that you’re looking for or if it’s something else.

·         If you find something that works, keep doing it!

·         What works for you can be something very different than what works for someone else, so it’s a matter of choosing what fits and getting rid of the rest.

·         It can go both ways – you can have the tools and be missing the skills, or have the skills and be missing the tools.

·         The biggest thing is just to notice what’s working and what isn’t.

·         I can’t find a link for it… There was this great article in GQ that addressed organizing workspaces that really helped

·         Do you know more or less what it suggested?

·         I did get a lot of great ideas from the 4 Hour Workweek and the Getting Things Done methods

·         Well, there was a process involved… 1st you had to purge what had piled up on your workspace

·         dump it all out on the floor

·         Then go through it 1 by 1… If it took less than 2 minutes, DO IT

·         If it took more than 2 minutes, you’d add it to your TO DO lists…

·         ‎1 list for things around the office, one for things to be done at home… one list for “out and about” and another list for things to do on the computer

·         What about prioritizing the lists?

·         Was there something that worked for you about choosing what was most important?

·         Some people suggest having all of your most important things done by 11am.

·         that was a tough one… I discovered that as I kept prioritizing, I’d find more creative methods of functional procrastination

·         So you just did things in the order in which you had them listed? That worked best?

·         The GTD method can help with that… Personally, I started leaning towards the Tim Ferris (4 Hour Workweek) attitude: Get 2 things done per day

·         I try to just pick the most urgent project and try to finish it from begining to end by tomorrow

·         When you can see that you’re making progress, whether it be 2 things per day or the top of the list, it keeps you motivated I think.

·         I do A LOT of things and breaking the projects up into smaller peices was actually hurting me, I discovered

·         And that’s what gets you unstuck in so many ways. Not only getting the tasks done, but feeling like you’re using your time well.

·         So bigger chunks worked better?

·         I started repeating to myself: Getting 2 things DONE is better than planning 10 things

·         Totally.

·         Yes, for me at least

·         How did you factor in your longer term goals, would you say?

·         I write them into a list marked “down the road”

·         That list has many casualties.

·         And steps toward them come into what you do each day?

·         This is where so many of us get stuck I think. That we need to work toward longer term goals even if they’re dramatic, or seemingly impossible.

·         They used to… Lately I’ve slowly switched gears to being more ruthless and staying focused on the thins that are yeilding the most results

·         Yes, I have done Getting things done, and still do work with that ‘system’ more or less. I also really loved Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern.

·         I think for us as gifted people having those long term plans is important to so that we feel like we’re making some kind of contribution to a big picture. What do you think?

·         But I realize after you said what you just said that that is becasue I unstuck myself last year

·         Could you share what you did?

·         Totally.

·         When I’m really overwhelmed, and recognize it, I find the very very best thing for me is to do a complete brain dump and then look at the list and choose 2 things that need the least amount of work but will make the biggest difference in my life.

·         I do the same.

·         That’s a good idea too. It combines motion, focus and priority.

·         So what would you suggest to someone who’s stuck right now? What’s the first step they should take today?

·         I would recomend doing a brain dump and then focusing on just getting started on one thing. Getting started for some reason is the hardest part.

·         It almost feels like avoiding getting started is our way of not committing to having to do it.

·         But when we start it, a week later we look back and say “that wasn’t so bad”

·         That’s true. It all starts inside.

·         That’s the hardest part because that’s often where we have to do it alone.

·         I totally think the first thing anyone who’s stuck should do is the brain dump. 100% the best, simplest thing out there. It will clear your head, and you will be able to delete a bunch off your list, delegate some of it, and prioritize what’s left.

·         I’d add to your suggestion to celebrate in some way when you’ve finished what you wanted to do.

·         That could be taking a few minutes even for yourself, or even simply acknowledging mentally that it’s dont.

·         haha! The more you do it, the more you find that just “doing” feels better than the celebration!

·         True. For me a lot of times, ‘doing’ IS the celebration.

·         The doing it BECOMES the celebration!

·         How’s that for thinking along the same lines!

·         I think we the gifted are work-horses!

·         ‎:)

·         I am ravenous for more work. Like a starving man in the desert. No matter how much I take on.

·         That’s true, too. It always feels like there’s so much to do, and we can fill every minute with something.

·         I just HATE wasiting my time on stuff that is not noticed or appreciated.

·         Have you guys read about the Emmanuel brothers?

·         I haven’t.

·         Rom was Obama’s right hand pitbull, his brother Ari is one of the most powerful people in Hollywood and the third I believe was the head of the CDC

·         Wow! All 3 of them are in strong positions.

·         What about them? (I haven’t heard of them)

·         I read about them in Psychology Today – 3 gifted brothers with Hypomania who had parents that encouraged them from childhood to go after big things

·         I totally see this happening with my kids.

·         Support makes a big difference.

·         I envy your kids, manal! What I would give to have had a gifted parent who was aware

·         How did their parents help prepare them to handle the backlash of aiming for huge things? Any idea?

·         I’m 100% sure my dad is gifted but he grew up in a different world and became a prisoner of his emotional baggage

·         A couple of things…

·         ‎1st of all, they actively promoted healthy debate in the family – there is a name for this in the Jewish tradition

·         And they would push everyone to work together on things… Like they wanted to build a rocket so the whole family went to the junkyard together to find peices

·         Aww, thanks. I’ll take it as a compliment…It’s possible my mom is gifted too, but same as you lots of emotional baggage and ‘issues’


·         sorry, hopE I didn’t cut you off..delayed response

·         no not all all, manal

·         So learning about yourself makes it easier to help others then.

·         Absolutely. Awareness is the key to a happy life.

·         When parents are aware they can help their children to a greater extent.

·         I have to get going… Can I just say something though…

·         Sure. We’re at the end anyway.

·         Thank you for sharing that. I will read it in a few.

·         Discovering the concept of “giftedness” has been like finding out that I have a superpower… And like the X-Men in their teenage years, I had to figure out how to control it.

·         I thought of it as a curse until I learned more about what it is… Now I walk into situations with this confidence… I’ll say to myself “I don’t care what you throw at me; I’m gonna figure it out.”

·         That’s so funny! I have used the same example!

·         The future looks so bright now. It didn’t use to.

·         haha!! Great minds and all that

·         I agree, just knowing giftedness existed, was like this “aha” moment, like NOW I get why I’m the way I am.

·         That’s great news, Arash. I hope we can help many other people do what you did.

·         I can now see what people have told me for a long time… The intimidation it must cause for the insecure people in my life whom I thought were more powerful than me

·         Thanks so much for being here Manal and Arash. It was a great conversation!

·         Anyway, it feels great and I am now so much more forgiving of people whom I used to dismiss as selfish jerks

·         It was! I will talk to both of you soon!

·         It was, I’m pumped to get back into planning. Thanks Arash for reminding me about the Getting Things Done book. I did enjoy that method.

·         Thanks guys! Goodnight.

·         Enjoy the rest of your day, and we’ll talk again soon!

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