What It Means To Be Gifted

What It Means To Be Gifted

Sometimes, the word “gifted” makes me cringe. There are many stereotypes around what that word means and sounds like to others. When I started and ran the Gifted & Talented parent association in my small town in Montana six years ago, I was confronted with many parents who thought their child should qualify. Every parent wants to believe they and their child are gifted. It’s understandable when you define gifted as:

  • Smart
  • Superior
  • Talented
  • Inventive
  • Exclusive
  • Bound for greatness

Who wouldn’t want their child included?

geekykid-giftedadultUnfortunately, the stereotype around “gifted” is not the reality of what it is to be gifted. I do not mean to say that there are not positives around the commonalities that “gifted” individuals share. There are many positives, the best of which I think is experiencing every moment of life in full color, 150% richer than the majority. There are, however, some very real drawbacks to giftedness.  This quote by Alice Miller is a good sum up of what giftedness entails:

“When I use the word ‘gifted’…, I had in mind neither children who receive high grades in school nor children talented in a special way. I simply meant all of us who have survived…thanks to an ability to [abstractly] adapt… Without this ‘gift’ offered us by nature, we would not have survived.”

I consider myself gifted. I write on giftedness and I work exclusively with gifted women to align who they are with their work and amplify their influence and message. This is because I believe to be gifted means you are also destined to lead. In all actuality, you have no choice but to lead. People see in the “gifted” something that inclines them to follow. This is not by anything the “gifted” do, it’s by virtue of the message and spark you carry.

In my summation, “gifted” = leader.

To be honest, it has been a past challenge for me to allow myself to be fully seen; to combine my professional life with my personal life online. I thought long and hard about whether I should share this post and in the end, my heart told me yes. Why? Because I am on a mission to be vulnerable. It’s my desire that through my nakedness you will see yourself and know who you truly are. If you choose to work with me as a coach, I am honored. I understand what it means to be “gifted” and the costs it is requires to step fully into the expression of yourself as a Leader. With that, I offer this from my personal journal…

What It Means To Be Gifted —

Some days are good. Most days are, in fact. I think thoughts…I become lost in them. I have 900 ideas at once. I hyperfocus on one, two or three at a time until the light goes out. I get a lot of stuff done. More than most people, in the same time frame…I can be fiercely hyperactive. Hyperfocused…and then, that’s it, the light goes out and I can’t turn it back on again. Today I am very sad. I feel like sh#%$t. It’s probably hormonal but that doesn’t matter when you’re in the middle of it. People would say, “That’s your problem Daun, you feel too much.” Yes, that’s true, I probably do. I feel the tears of a child a hundred miles away crying about anything. I feel for those in Africa with AIDS, the hungry child in Burma. I haven’t read about these in weeks but just thinking about their plight too much would bring me a half hour of emotional agony and tears. In fact, I feel for you..for you reading this, if that makes sense; your injury, your hurts… You don’t even have to tell me about them, I can read emotions. They soak into me like energy. I am charged with electricity. This is what it means to be highly sensitive…overwhelmed by stimuli. Thankfully, I only feel this way a couple times a month. Some others, I imagine live in this world of hypersensitivity all the time; when the slightest noise brings you to rage or your child’s voice rips your from your thoughts like trauma. You become so engrossed in thinking or feeling that you can’t shut it off. Giftedness, is like being naked in the Antarctic; an environment not fit for life. Being in this world is rude; like living in a place you were never meant for – simply having woken up in this harsh environment called humanity and earth. Naked. You can’t shut off and every whisper is a shout.
I feel ill equipped for life on this plane….

Can you relate to the over-excitability, hypersensitivity and abstract synthesizing thought processes involved in being “gifted’? It means you’re a leader. Embrace that and let it sink in for awhile.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments below.

Want to learn more about giftedness? This book is a good place to start, The Gifted Adult: A Revolutionary Guide for Liberating Everyday Genius ™

Coming Out of the Closet – Dealing with Disappointment

Coming Out of the Closet – Dealing with Disappointment

I sit in my closet. Don’t laugh.  It’s where I sit every morning, legs outstretched in front of me, heels on the bottom drawer of my dresser and my back against the wall.

My closet is where I think.

This morning, I was thinking about the what transpired over the course of this past week.  Processing. Where did I go wrong; where was I wronged? How can I move forward, how should I move forward?  Is there anything I need to resolve? What is mine; what is not?

If you aren’t in the know, this last week blew up into what was a very public coming out of information related to a coach I had hired; a coach I trusted, one who, in some ways trusted me.  Trust was broken.  I didn’t like the way I was being treated, I found information I never thought I would.  I asked a question and up rose hurt hidden in the hearts of others.  The tribes raged and feelings whipped about in a fury that bruised everyone involved.

Five days later the storm has subsided and we are left to clear the wreakage.  To sort through the rubble to find our own pieces – to pick them up, learn what we might and carry on.

It’s tempting, when hurt happens to, “grab some chocolate chip cookies, a puppy and hide out in our forts away from the world.” I laughed when I read this comment made by a friend, because indeed, I did spend time in my closet with my blankie on my head and if I’d had cookies and a dog I would have taken them with me.

Life is a big sloppy mess.  Mistakes are a part of life, whether someone slights you or you slight someone else doesn’t matter – we are all human, we all screw up. Out of our errors and the those thrust upon us,  we are faced with a choice. Allow and accept reality as it is today, or fight against it.  Life is as Glennon of Momastery says, “brutiful.” It’s as brutal as it is beautiful; as beautiful as it is brutal.

Anticipating the struggle is what makes the brutality beautiful.

It’s by acknowledging the pain of learning; knowing it’s a normal part of every journey, it’s by realizing we hurt others and we will be hurt that we can grow and become wise. Holding on to the reality of imperfection helps us to crawl out of our closet and take the blanket off our heads.  Accepting we will never reach perfection on this plane of existence eliminates the need to live in regret.

Humanity is imperfection.  

So, we sort through the aftermath, recognize our parts, clean them up as best we can and move forward.  We move forward having learned that when you’re riding your bike, turning the wheel so sharply or riding so close to the curb causes a crash.  We anticipate the fact that we will indeed crash again and that sometimes, we’re taken down and sometimes we take someone down with us.

As for me, it’s time to get out of my closet and back on the horse.  I’ve processed what happened, determined my part; left hers to her. Sitting here any longer nursing reality means wasting the chance to turn scars into gifts that can serve.

All My Love,