“…So often, expectations of worldly success are hung like a dead albatross around the neck of the cognitively gifted, when what we really need is permission to become ourselves in unencumbered weirdness. My favourite humans — the ones I’ve learned most from — are gloriously, heroically, and unapologetically weird...” dw
I am not suggesting you are weird, by the way. (Unless, we define weird as smart and creative.) You may feel that way, however, because your cognitive abilities along with your sensitivities are well beyond the average range. You may feel that way because your intuitive experiences and creativity are not mainstream. You may think you are weird because no one else you know understands string theory, adores learning new words (Are you bafflegabbing?), or can appreciate the many layers of your mind palace.
It is lonely.
“It’s a lonely venture. I’m desperately trying to self-generate that permission right now; the effect is not dissimilar to yanking my own bootstraps. It’s clear I need to go into the world and find a few more people willing to mingle their light with mine, and perhaps, if the occasion suits, take a turn about the mind palace.” dw
Self-generating that permission can be daunting. That is why I am here. Why we are here. Until you locate those few more people, mingle your light with me. With us. After all, I see that mind palace of yours and it is truly magnificent.
And, as you feel that connection with us, as you breathe it in, you will be able to take some steps toward removing that dead albatross.
How? you might ask.
What if you start by setting these goals: Let go of the traditional definitions of success. Ignore the pressures to be a super achiever. Be gloriously, heroically, and unapologetically yourself.
I know. Easy for me to say.
There might be a few obstacles: You may feel pressure from family, teachers, social media, and yourself. You may not know what *being yourself* means. You may have grown up in a family steeped in trauma and need to spend time in therapy repairing your broken heart. You may crave worldly success and be a high achiever and wonder why I’m writing about this. You may be used to the albatross and would feel weird without it.
Letting go of expectations and pressures can be tricky. Being unapologetically yourself takes time. Granted, you are a fast learner. But this process may take a bit longer than learning your fourth language or mastering your next musical instrument. You will need to be patient.
Here are two exercises you can try that may help. They are adapted from the soon-ish to be published book Saving Your Rainforest Mind: A Guided Journal for the Exceedingly Curious, Creative, Smart, & Sensitive!
- Create a mind map. Put your name in the middle of a page with the question: Who am I? Then go crazy with all of the possible answers, the big and the small, the obvious and the subtle. Use an app for the mind map, if you prefer. Include who you were when you were younger and who you will be when you are older. Be creative and impractical. See what you find.
- Take time to get quiet. Imagine meeting a wise inner advisor. This person might be your future self, someone you admire, an animal, or a spiritual guide. What do you want to ask? Write your question. Then write a response without thinking or trying to control the answer. If this is difficult, you may need to practice a few times before you can relax into the process. Your advisor might tell you how you can define success for yourself or describe how dearly you are loved.
As you can see, managing expectations and pressure to be a super achiever, when you are gifted, is, well, complicated. After all, you do have a pretty spectacular mind palace. It does need to be seen and known. You do need to be seen and known. But on your terms. In your own time.
In your glorious, heroic, and unapologetically, unencumbered, weirdly rainforested way!
To my bloggEEs: How do you deal with the pressure and expectations? Did you try the journal techniques? How did it go? And, thank you, as always, for being here and for your shining light and love.
(Note: Thank you to the dear blog reader who contributed the beautiful quotes that I changed just slightly.)