Last week I posted an interview that was a compilation of my conversations with gifted adults. Today, I want to build on that topic a bit. How many of you gifted adults have been afraid of making a mistake – of failing? My experience with both myself and the gifted adults with whom I speak is that this is a very common feeling.
Like gifted children, adults struggle with allowing room for error, interpreting it as a measure of failure instead of the learning curve that it is. Many gifted adults spend far to much of their energy “shoulding” themselves – you know, “I should have done this” or “I should have done that”.
Being a writer has given me first hand experience with this particular aspect of giftedness – profoundly so. As with most gifted adults, I am talented at many things. I am driven and have learned to channel that aspect of my personality in a way that enables me to achieve pretty easily in the workforce.
For this reason, I thought I would “master” writing with similar ease.
I work hard – very hard – to learn this craft and understand an industry I have little previous knowledge of. I struggle with the internal voice of doubt that speaks so loudly at times that nothing shuts it out.
The problem isn’t related to skill in writing – the problem has to do with my own perfectionism as it relates to giftedness.
So, what do I do? How do I remember that it is through our failures – our own learning curve – that we grow?
For me, it is a conscious decision I make daily (heck, sometimes hourly) – a deliberate act of reminding myself that it is through the perceived hard things that I grow. Failure, once looked at as a sure sign that I was not as talented as I thought, is now an indicator that growth is on the horizon – that I am challenging myself in new ways. Perfectionism, once looked at with disdain, is appreciated as the driving force behind my work ethic.
Does that mean I never have off days? Those of you with whom I speak on a daily basis KNOW I have very off days at times – just like anyone. But I have found a way to use the logical aspects of my giftedness to assist the more emotional sides of my personality – and for me, it works.
Most of the time.
What do you do? Do you every have these kinds of feelings?