If you tell someone who isn’t gifted or talented that being gifted isn’t always a gift, they probably won’t believe you.
You were born into a world that hasn’t figured out the best way to nurture gifted and talented individuals. As a child, you may have seemed so self-sufficient that your parents mistook your advanced talents for evidence that you were ready for adult responsibilities in every area of your life. Maybe they hung their hopes and dreams on you, sensing how capable or special you were from a young age.
Being a Gifted and Talented Child, then a Gifted and Talented Adult
There are many benefits to being a gifted and talented child, but the challenges are often overlooked or taken for granted by others. Whether it was a world that didn’t know how to support you, a mental health issue like autism or depression, or something else altogether, life was certainly not always easy for you.
As a gifted adult, the pressure and disconnect with your family and peers can continue. The world doesn’t always understand that a gifted person can suffer from the same difficulties as others.
Low self-esteem, depression, difficulty making or keeping friends are all issues that can transfer from childhood to adulthood. Yet people may be more likely to wonder why someone who has so many gifts can struggle like that. Their reaction may make you worry whether something is wrong with you.
Nothing is wrong with you. Your feelings and struggles are valid.
Learning to Put Less Pressure on Yourself
There are ways to make things easier on yourself, but they aren’t intuitive. If you find yourself spending all your time on your career because it’s easier than other areas of your life, or if the feeling of responsibility to share your gifts makes it difficult for you to relax, know that there are other options available to you.
Putting pressure on yourself because you’re not thriving in every area of your life just makes things worse. Being brilliant in one area doesn’t mean you will be brilliant in every area of your life. Everyone is better at some things than others. It is just more obvious with someone who is gifted or talented because the juxtaposition between their gifts and less developed areas is more obvious. It’s easy to expect more than anyone else does of yourself, but it is counterproductive. It creates unnecessary stress that can hold you back in the areas where your talents would otherwise shine. It can also create undeserved feelings of inadequacy that end up making you feel even more isolated. The pressure to be good at everything is suffocating.
Therapy Helps You Fully Accept Yourself
How do you live your best possible life in a world that doesn’t have the insight necessary to understand and accept your extraordinary range? That you are normal in some areas, exceptional in others, and maybe even downright awful in still other areas. How do you convince them without allowing it to reflect on their perception of the contributions you make with your gifts?
By showing them the way. Other people take their cues from us. Learning to fully accept yourself, to embrace every aspect of yourself, helps others see you as a perfectly imperfect human, just like everyone else. Beginning with yourself, you can develop the nurturing environment you need to flourish in more areas of your life.
A therapist who knows not to expect perfection just because you are gifted and talented will help you to see and appreciate your range of abilities. They can help you to reconcile your teen or child’s gifts and talents with not being perfect in every area of your life. If you’re ready, we’re here to help. Reach out by email, text, or schedule an appointment online.