A concern with using our intellectual capabilities “fully” and in a “respected” talent domain may stand in the way of finding an ultimately more satisfying life path.
An honors graduate of Harvard Law School, Tama J. Kieves left her practice with a large corporate law firm to write, coach and lead workshops on reaching meaningful self-expression.
In her book “This Time I Dance!..” Kieves encourages the honoring of our intuitve wisdom, and releasing constraints based too much on reason alone:
“Trust the process. A calling calls to remind you to enter the mystery of instinct and the metamorphosis of an inspired life. Honor your passion to emerge. Say yes to a supernatural, all-natural self within.
“Then let creativity transport you to the borderless places, the magical spaces, where caution cannot tread.”
Many gifted women – and men – may have constraining experiences because of gender, such as being seen as threatening to others in positions of authority.
Some may feel pain at being different from “the way women are supposed to be” and have a need to hide their abilities to “fit in” with more “normal” society.
A wide range of personal characteristics may accompany being exceptional — qualities that impact how gifted people see themselves, how others respond to them, and how fully they are able to realize and express their talents.
Qualities may include wanting to move fluidly from one pursuit or interest to the next; having impatience toward those who are less gifted; engaging in self-critical labeling as “scattered,” having unusual excitability, high energy level, emotional reactivity, relentless curiosity, and other characteristics.
Some women experience being called “gifted” as an uncomfortable burden, and will avoid even allowing the thought they may, in fact, be gifted.
One fairly common reaction is feeling oneself to be an “impostor.”
Jodie Foster said in a tv interview [CBS, 1995] that before her Oscar-winning performance in “The Accused” she felt “like an impostor, faking it, that someday they’d find out I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t. I still don’t.”
Continued in my article Gifted Women: Identity and Expression.
A couple of related articles
Being exceptional may cause a variety of reactions; some of those responses are supportive, but others can discourage or discount one’s talents. …
Diane Lane: “I got that whole precocious thing [as a child]. I had no reason to doubt my own abilities or not share my opinion.
“The adults were offended, and the kids were resentful. I was persona non grata in both camps for quite a while.”
Over the years of reading about and interviewing creative people, one of my main interests has been in the lives and perspectives of gifted and high ability women in the arts, including actors, writers and other artists.
Also see Creative Women posts on The Creative Mind site.