How are giftedness, achievement, and guilt related?
I’m glad you asked.
People find all sorts of ways to define giftedness: High IQ, exceptional talent, 10,000 hours of practice, task commitment, academic achievement, high test scores, straight A’s in school, Nobel prizes, eminence, etc. Typically, high achievement is the main requirement.
If you don’t fit into the high achiever category, your teachers, relatives, therapists, and pets may not think that you’re gifted. And you may agree with them.
Not so fast, sweetie pie. Can I call you sweetie pie?
In my humble opinion, based on my many fabulous years communing with gifted kids and adults, high achievement may or may not be part of the picture.
And what is high achievement anyway, I ask you. Wealth? Awards? Good grades in school? Celebrity? iPhones? But I digress.
The gifted humans that I know were born with their rainforest minds. Whether they’re creating masterpieces or not, they’re highly: sensitive, intuitive, empathetic, curious, perfectionistic, analytical, creative, smart, and emotional. They’re obsessed with learning when they’re interested in the topic. And, their interests are many and varied. They’re fast, deep, and wide thinkers.
So far so good?
Here’s where the guilt shows up:
Pressure. Expectations. “If you’re so smart why aren’t you…rich, famous, like Elon Musk?”
Feeling like you’re disappointing your parents and teachers. Being impatient with slower people and excelling at everything you try. Changing jobs every 2-5 years.
Not living up to your own high standards. Not living up to your potential. Not saving the world.
Those are just some of the reasons for guilt.
And, yes, even gifted “high achievers” can feel guilt. Such as: When is your achievement high enough? With all of your success, why are you still depressed and anxious? If you’re so smart, why are you so lonely?
See what I mean?
The achievement-thing, the guilt-thing. They’re tricky if you have a rainforest mind.
So here’s one idea:
Having a rainforest mind, being gifted, may involve designing energy-efficient electric cars and sending rockets into space. It may involve intense compassion, empathy, intuition, and generosity.
That all sounds like high achievement to me.
And, I promise not to feel guilty about it.
To my bloggEEs: How do you define achievement? When do you feel guilt related to your smartness? Can you describe how you deal with pressure to achieve “greatness” because you’re “so smart?” Thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts and feelings. I’m writing a little less often (I’m feeling guilty!) because my body has been tweaking out a little from all of the sitting/typing. But know that I’m still thinking about you.
For those of you who’ve read my book, I’d be so grateful if you’d write a review on Amazon. It doesn’t need to be long or perfect, ok? And you don’t need to feel guilty if you don’t do it… 🙂
If you want to read posts from other bloggers about giftedness and achievement click here.
And, finally, please know that I’m not saying that you shouldn’t find your work/purpose in the world or you needn’t make a significant contribution. I’m just suggesting that your giftedness isn’t dependent on what you do. It’s much more about who you are.