“Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and, above all, confidence in ourselves.
“We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this something, at whatever cost, must be attained.”
Challenges of adult giftedness
She writes, “The experience of the gifted adult is the experience of an unusual consciousness, an extraordinary mind whose perceptions and judgments may be different enough to require an extraordinary courage.
“Large numbers of gifted adults, aware not only of their mental capacities but of the degree to which those capacities set them apart, understand this.
Discovering our unusual mind
“For many, however, a complete honoring of the self must begin with discovering what sort of consciousness, what sort of mind they possess. That their own perceptions and judgments are unusual may have been obvious since childhood, but they may have spent their lives assuming that this difference was a deficit, a fault, even a defect of character or a sign of mental illness (Lovecky, 1986; Alvarado, 1989). Thinking independently may seem foolhardy or antisocial.”
She adds that “Mind makes us human; mind makes us individuals. From childhood through adulthood, to be themselves, to value and honor themselves and lead fulfilled lives, gifted adults must understand and come to terms with their own — unusual — minds.”
The cost of lack of self-knowledge
But in another article, Self-Knowledge, Self-Esteem and the Gifted Adult, Tolan writes, “Many gifted adults seem to know very little about their minds and how they differ from more “ordinary” minds. The result of this lack of self-knowledge is often low, sometimes cripplingly low self esteem.
“Most have never been formally identified as gifted, and even those who have may disbelieve the identification or have difficulty incorporating it into their sense of themselves.”