“I don’t think I’m even close to fulfilling my potential.”
Actor Kerry Washington goes on to say, “And I think also that, unlike a pianist or a flutist, an actor has an instrument that is constantly changing.”
Washington earned a Presidential Arts Scholarship to attend George Washington University and graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa.
Read more about her and other multitalented creators like Gordon Parks, Julia Cameron, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jane Seymour, Natalie Portman, James Franco, Mayim Bialik, Jeff Bridges, Viggo Mortensen, David Lynch and others in the post: “Multitalented Creative People” [an excerpt from my main book].
The ‘gifted’ label & the pressure to deliver
In his book “Your Own Worst Enemy..”, psychologist Kenneth W. Christian, PhD delineates some of the most prominent patterns of thinking and behavior he has found that may lead to undermining and underachievement as adults.
“Without explicit demands and support, being labeled ‘bright’ or ‘gifted’ is akin to being conferred an aristocratic lineage — a heritage that exists independently of what you do with it.
“The difference is that the labels ‘bright’ and ‘gifted’ come with implicit demands, and when appropriate explicit demands are lacking, the labels sit there like ticking bombs.
“On the one hand, these labels tell you that merely being bright or talented is enough, but on the other hand, the longer you go being praised for talent alone, the more anxious you become about the time when you will be required to deliver.”
Hanging on to a limiting self-concept
Another aspect is how our identity and self concept informs personal development.
Christian notes: “We can be particularly resistant to change when it threatens to alter what we believe about ourselves. In his 1948 book, The Theory of Self-Consistency, Prescott Lecky argues that people prefer retaining a consistent view of who they are to changing that view, even if the change would be positive.
“As we have seen, the idea of who you are resides at the center of your sense of reality. It is part of the glue that holds your reality together.
“You believe that if you know anything, you know yourself. And you feel you know the way you behave and what is possible for you.” …
Choosing new actions
“The problem is not, has never been, and never will be, who you are. The problem is always what you choose to do.”
He describes how “Self Limiting High Potential Persons.. etch enduring pathways over time by repeating their characteristic self-defeating methods… this tendency can evolve into a general self-limiting style…
“Certain actions you have taken habitually have short-circuited your success. Change begins with noticing your ability to choose new actions and then acting.”
[Some of these self-limiting patterns are described on the page Self-limiting.]
Self development – A thrilling odyssey
Christian says “Pulling back from your potential, at the most fundamental level, is a kind of abdication, an abandoment of your own best interests.
“Achieving self-development, on the other hand, is not only life’s central mission — it can also be the most thrilling odyssey there is.”
Striving for achievement – my interview with Kenneth Christian.
Video: Break out and Achieve Your Potential
Get free access to Ultimate Success Blueprint training videos by Kenneth W. Christian, Ph.D.
Lower photo (“shooting in the foot”) from article: How do beliefs produce “driven,” compulsive behavior, by Morty Lefkoe. – “Why are so many of us “driven” compulsively to seek or do things that frequently aren’t in our own best self-interest?”
The Smart Gap
How do you feel about your abilities and your self, your identity, when you confront a deep gap between what you would like to accomplish, and what you believe you can?
Psychologist and creativity coach Eric Maisel describes this kind of pain:
“It is a poignant feature of our species that we can contemplate intellectual work that we can’t quite accomplish.
“A person in possession of an IQ of 160 is not a better person than someone who possesses an IQ of 120 but she is better equipped to do abstract math.
“However, she herself is less equipped than someone with an IQ of 180; and that person is less equipped than a person with an IQ of 200. That is all natural.”
He continues, “It is also natural that we will experience emotional pain when we recognize that the work that we would love to do, whether it is physics at the highest level or constitutional law at the highest level or psychological fiction at the highest level or biological research at the highest level is, if not completely unavailable to us, just unavailable enough to make it doubtful that we can proceed and just unavailable enough to make our efforts feel like torture.”
Read more and see video in article: Brainpower and The Smart Gap.
Also, see information about Dr. Maisel’s Academy for Optimal Living online course:
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Originally posted 2011-11-04 17:50:26.