Author Mary-Elaine Jacobsen writes about the experience of being exceptional:
“To feel like an outsider, to constantly pressure yourself to hold back your gifts in order to fit in or avoid disapproval, to erroneously believe that you are overly sensitive, compulsively perfectionistic, and blindly driven, to live without knowing the basic truths about the core of your being – too often this is the life of Everyday Geniuses who have been kept in the dark about who they are and misinformed about their differences.
“No one ever took them aside and explained: ‘Of course you’re different. You’re intense, complex, and driven because you’re gifted.’
“No one told them they cannot escape the fact that they will always be quantitatively, qualitatively, and motivationally different from most other people. Nor do they know that these very same things that are the basis of criticism are fundamental building blocks of excellence and Advanced Development.”
Excerpt from her book The Gifted Adult.
Also see articles by Mary-Elaine Jacobsen:
Arousing the Sleeping Giant: Giftedness in Adult Psychotherapy
Encountering the Gifted Self Again, For the First Time
Giftedness in the Workplace: Can the Bright Mind Thrive in Organizations?
Photo above: Elle Fanning in the movie “Phoebe in Wonderland” – about a gifted and sensitive girl, from post: Our high sensitivity personality: normalcy, wholeness, acceptance.
A few of many more related articles:
Challenged By Being So Smart – “My first negative experience of being too smart was in fifth grade.” Jeanette
Of course, being exceptionally intelligent and creative has many pleasures and benefits – for individuals and society – but there are often challenges that go along with that exceptionality.
Eric Maisel on The Challenges of Being Smart
(Audio excerpt from a video interview: Eric Maisel “Why Smart People Hurt” by PMintheAMBoston, WXBR www.youtube.com/watch?v=baAIdCayD0k )
Dr. Maisel comments: “I think that a lot of problems that we experience, things that we call depression and what-have-you, may in fact be the challenges of being smart…You need to make sure you’re not labeling yourself with a mental disorder, when in fact it may just be the natural challenges of having a reasonably good mind.”
[Related article: The creative experience: intensity or madness By Cat Robson. “As I discovered over the years in my own interactions with the mental health system, when someone with a creative personality is seen through the eyes of those who have a different temperament, such as scientists and doctors, the result can be mislabeling and misdiagnosis.”]
One of Maisel’s books: “Why Smart People Hurt: A Guide for the Bright, the Sensitive, and the Creative.
From the book: “Smartness is a smart person’s defining characteristic. Everything she thinks about the world—how she forms her identity, how she construes her needs, how she talks to herself about her life purposes and goals—is a function of how her particular brain operates.”
From the course description:
“As a coach who works with creative and performing artists and as a natural psychology specialist who helps individuals with their meaning problems, I talk to smart people every day of the week.
“These smart people include scientific researchers, genius award winners, bestselling novelists, Broadway actors, high-powered attorneys, active academics and emeritus academics. They include folks struggling to find an outlet for their intelligence and looking for a profession that will allow them to be as smart as they are.”
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