Thousand thoughts and no one comes out

What is published here, is based on how I function as gifted, even though I know that everyone who is gifted doesn’t function as I do. Among other things, when it comes to the speed of thoughts and speech and this with being “too much” that I mentioned in a previous episode. There are those where it is not visible or heard as much on the outside, what is going on inside. Below is an example of a situation where the difference can be clear.

Thinks of more steps than others
To my colleagues and my boss, I have explained how I function during problem solving or idea generation in group. It sounded like this when I explained “You know at a meeting where we sit and talk about something. Meanwhile someone talks, you can think of a couple of steps forward, based on what that person says. When the person has finished talking, one could say what you thought and the others around the table have sometimes thought about similar paths, or a couple of steps in another direction.

When we sit and talk, my thoughts rush off, not just two or three steps but maybe seven, eight steps. And then when I open my mouth and say how I think the eighth step, it will be for most completely unrelated. Although in my mind there is a red thread that leads to what I say.

When this happens, that I say something that cannot be understood based on what we are talking about, tell me! Tell me so that I can try to explain step by step.” A lot of times, colleagues have done so, and then it works for me to work in a group.

Careful thinking of everything takes time
There are gifted people who, unlike me, want to consider all the options carefully before commenting the subject. Based on a question raised at a meeting, they can find that there are ten possible solutions to it. Not only that. They also think of every possible solution from ten different perspectives. Weighs pros and cons. Thinking through the consequences. Then when they thought about all the options, they go through everything again to make sure they did not forget any aspect.

This means that when most people have thought about a few options, the person has carefully gone through ten times ten options. Thoroughly. A statement from such a person is really thought out. If he or she gets the opportunity to say so. That is if the discussion haven’t already gone on to other topics.

Being a person who considers subjects so thoroughly must sometimes be annoying. Especially as quickly and loudly, are often rewarded in meetings. Imagine yourself thinking about the matter more than everyone else and you will not be able to say what you have come up with. Or if it’s already made a decision that you know wont work. Or what it’s like to be such a person?

Are you gifted and work in that way? How is it? For me it’s hard to imagine how it may be, so please describe! I want to understand. What do you think is the best thing about functioning as you do?

See you!
Vera

 

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Performance anxiety? No, I’m not like that!

Performance anxiety. I know that some get it sometimes, and for others it may ruin life in total. I have planned to address it in a section later on. To describe it carefully and refer to different articles and others’ advice on how to handle it. Because I’m not such a type of person who gets performance anxiety. Not at all. I’m more laid back and cool.

The fact that more than two weeks has passed and did not record episodes as planned, it has nothing to do with stressing about the post. I have thought. Until today when I told two of my loved ones that I got stuck with the recordings. The response was immediate. “But mom, just do what you say we will do when we get stuck.” That’s when I remembered that I’m certainly a person who gets performance anxiety. Even if I do not like the idea, it has happened before.

The unrecorded episodes have haunted and rattle their chains in almost everything I’ve done last week. And took all the energy out of me.

Why right now?
One factor that might be of significance is that I received amazing feedback on the posts I published. I just got the response I was hoping for when I started thinking about a blog. Some of you who look or read have met me “in reality” recently, and only then the penny has dropped. Thus you who are looking on youtube exist in reality. Thus you’ve listened to some of what I said.

Surely it’s strange, when I hear that I’m contributing something, I start making new demands on me. Obligations to perform better than hitherto. No one has said, “Vera, now you have to snap up and get better” and yet that’s happening in my head.

Well, what happened?
Okay, anxiety is probably a too strong word. What happens is that I postpone the recording. Make up a lot of reasons to postpone it. Not only do I think about the recording, lots of other things pop up and aspire as important things to worry about. And when I put all my energy on something else, there is no chance of performing any recording.

The advantage of postponing it is that I do not need to see if I reach my new higher level of demands. The downside is that it takes so much energy and I get nothing done. Not even the things I usually do without any effort. I do nothing and yet feel completely exhausted.

Six advice for managing performance anxiety
Here are the advice I usually give in terms of performance anxiety and now it’s time for me to listen to them myself. Some of them have I received from others.

  1. What’s the purpose of what you want to achieve? At home it’s often questions about school work. The purpose might be to get a certain grade, to show the teacher that you master a particular subject or to make as little effort as possible and yet avoid failing a class. Remember the purpose otherwise you may make the task of something bigger and more important than it needs to be.
  2. Lower the bar. Did you have too high ambitions with the task? Dare to change purpose and lower the bar. You will get lots of new opportunities to perform at higher levels.
  3. Refuse now or never! Have you been told that it is now it’s about to perform? To get the grade you want, to get where you want and so on? Forget about it! So far I have lived that I’ve met people who managed to get where they want to, even if they failed their initial chances.
  4. Just do it! It’s usually more important to get it done, than to make it perfect.
  5. Just do it!
  6. Just do it!

Now it is done!
What a relief. Tonight I’ll sleep well.

Whether someone is looking at this episode or not, the recording has filled my purpose. I have finished the none-recording period. Now I can continue to record the episodes I planned and I can write new ones. I have lowered my own bar. And I think you and other people are usually kind and forgiving, you will give me new chances to share other things I’ve learned. Now I have done it!

Links and references can wait for later episodes of performance anxiety and how it can be managed. This episode is not at that level. When I think about it, the best thing is that nobody sees this post, because then I’ve achieved my purpose without anyone knowing that I’m one of those who can get performance anxiety. It’s the advantage of publishing post late at night!

Be kind to yourself AND to me!

See you!
Vera

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You’re just too much!

“You’re just too much!” I’ve heard that comment in all sorts of variants. “Stop being so enthusiastic!” “You can’t feel for everything.” “No one else cares about it.” “But it wasn’t that remarkable.” A lot of comments sometimes combined with rolling their eyes and deep sighs.

And I feel that I usually hold myself back. Should I express how I really feel, what they called my enthusiasm, would appear to be pale. And the pace I adjust to. Most people have no idea that it feels to me like the rabbit in Disney’s movie about the sloth (linked below).

When I started reading on giftedness and taking part of the experience of others, I understood that it is quite common to be “too much” when being gifted. One possible explanation may be what psychiatrist and psychologist Kazimerz Dabrowski calls overexitabilities. In Swedish, you usually translate it into intensities.

Five intensities
Dabrowski divided the intensities into five areas. The explanations below are my interpretations of what I read.

  1. Intellectual intensity. An intense attention and curiosity. An urge to understand how things work. Intellectual intensity is not the same as intellectual ability. Intensity is rather the engine that drives the gifted to want to know more and constantly learning new.
  2. Psychomotor intensity. The energy of the body that makes it necessary to be in motion. A capacity to be physically active and more energetic than most. It is seen in motion patterns, how you talk, sit, eat. In all physically there is a greater intensity.
  3. Sensual intensity. Increased sensitivity of all the senses. Which makes everything feel, hear, smell, taste and look more.
  4. Intensity in fantasy / visualization. Higher ability to imagine what’s not yet created, associate freely, daydream and visualize, and to “disappear” in other thoughts.
  5. Emotional intensity. Intense feelings of joy and concern, extreme heights and valleys emotionally. Greater responsiveness to small shades.

HSP – highly sensitive persons
Some of the intensities are in line with what is called “High Sensitive Person” HSP. This is an area I haven’t read much about, but it often appears in talks with gifted people who say HSP gave them new insights.

Have you heard or felt that you are too much in different ways? Do you hold yourself back? Or not?

See you!
Vera

 

Link to more information about Dabrowski’s overexitabilities
http://sengifted.org/overexcitability-and-the-gifted/

With the link below I have not said that my pace is more right than anyone else’s. Just that we have different pace:

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Dangerous with too little stimulus

If there isn’t enough new learning, the stimulus sinks below a critical level and you begin to feel bad. In one of the linked lectures, a researcher reports that new neurons are formed in the hippocampus for as long as you live. What contributes to neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons) is exercise and learning things. Certainly, it should also mean that if the possibility to learn is removed, the growth of new neurons decreases? Which in turn means that it’s really bad for the brain to lack the fair amount of stimulation.

Working in an environment with too little stimulation is like being forced to cycle very slowly. It will be swaying. Very swaying. An alternative to the difficult slow cycling can be to climb the walls, create problems for yourself or others, or disappear in daydreaming. All in order to ensure that the brain gets some kind of stimulus. So cleverly designed we are that the body tries to make sure to get what is necessary for survival. For example, stimulus for the brain. If the environment can not offer it, the brain will have to make it on its own.

Occasionally I hear the following statement when it comes to learning at your own level at school “Children must learn to be bored too”. In a way I agree, because I do not believe that children, or people at all, should be fed with stimulus all the time. Out of boredom, our own creativity and initiative can grow. However. There is a difference between boring and total lack of stimulus. The purpose of school is to teach students to acquire new knowledge. By definition, you can not learn anything you can already. To sit for the sake of sitting all day long in school is not boring. It is harmful lack of stimulus. And the kind of creativity and initiative that can be awakened in students who lack adequate stimulus is rarely appreciated by the school staff.

It is dangerous for man not to get the necessary stimulus. The children in orphanages in Ceauşescus Romania is an extreme example. Even adult people need the necessary stimulus, emotionally, bodily, socially and intellectually to feel good. A fair amount of stimulation. And a fair amount differs between us all. If we do not get it, we will go under, just as they neglected the children.

Many who have never been feeling bad because of lack of stimulus have difficulty imagining how it can be. They only say it sounds nice.

Have you experienced agony from too little stimulus? In what way and how has it been?

Take care!
Vera

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The right level of stimulus is different

Addendum: When I would get the relevant links to this post I realized that my knowledge of this is not up to date. Theories that people with high intelligence have more receptors I read about 10 years ago. Over time, this has become a truth to me. It’s crappy to realize that I can not find good scientific articles that clearly reflect what I thought is the truth. I would really like someone who has more current knowledge to share it here. End of the extension.

 

Our brains therefore need stimulation to work. Impressions that it can process. In a fair amount.

It’s just that “fair amount” differ. For a normal intelligent person, the pace and content of daily activities, adapted for people with mental retardation, would be far too little stimulus. On the contrary, normal work could stress a person with mental retardation.

The distance between what is appropriate stimulus for a person in the middle of the intelligence curve is equally large both to the right-hand end of the curve and to the left end. Highly intelligent people need completely different and more complex stimuli than normal ones. And when it is missing, as in school for my part, the brain gets physically damaged. The communication system gets nothing new to work with and then the same happens with the brain as with the muscles you do not use. It doesn’t feel good.

More receptors
All sensory systems use different types of specialized receptors, which are found everywhere in and on the body in order to gather information. An explanation that gifted need more and other stimulus, is that we probably have more receptors and therefore perceive faster, more nuanced and intense than others.

More receptors lead to increased activity in our communication system and increased activity generates more receptors. Therefore, the receptors become more if you train the brain and the more receptors you have, the better the brain’s functions. The more I learn, the greater the need for new stimulation gets in order to maintain a proper level of brain activity. That’s how it works for everyone.

But a fair level of new to me might be a level that isn’t healthy to others. It’s not always my fair level, when it comes to learning new, is consistent with the pace it is possible to learn new at work. In addition, the “fair level of new” accelerates as the brain’s communication system is being trained. But oh what it is wonderful when it’s possible for the brain to work at a perfect level of new!

How is it for you? How does it feel when you are at your perfect level of stimulus? In what context does it happen?

See you!
Vera

 

Link to the page Brainfact
http://www.brainfacts.org/

Here you can find interesting articles about brain research

 

Reference
Marylou Kelly Streznewski “Gifted grownups, the mixed blessing of extraordinary potential” Chapter two, pp. 25-34 provides good and more in-depth information on how the high-intelligent brain works. In this book, I first learned how the brain works. The book explains well, but it has several years on the neck, and the links around research about receptors are deficient. Read the book anyway! The absolute best thing is to get to listen to the over hundred gifted people interviewed by the author. Human experience stands out over time.

 

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