“Too much” it’s just the way it’s supposed to be

The episode I published last week, the school principal’s speech, got such a spread and amazing response, which I couldn’t have reckon. What I understand is that there are more hearts than mine that beats in harmony with those who struggle.

The response started up a tombola of emotion into me. Deep joy, gratitude, expectation, fear of influencing and saying wrong things, the desire to compete and see what I can find to get even more spread, and I end up in performance anxiety.

Again, I remind you that the advice I give you is the advice I need to hear. All the material I publish is what I wanted to say to the younger version of me. Obviously, I need to hear the advice even now.

My advice then? (from the episode about performance anxiety)

  1. What’s the purpose of what you want to achieve? Well, it’s not getting as many viewers on YouTube as possible, even though the response of the previous episode triggers that ambition in me. The purpose is that you who are gifted and struggling, would get some kind of benefit and enjoyment of what I share.
  2. Lower the bar. I wonder what the mechanisms are that make me always want to raise the bar? Lower. Lower. Lower. Damn, it’s that difficult!
  3. Refuse now or never! Just the advice I needed to hear. There are more chances to jump at.
  4. Just do it! Ok. Here comes the episode:

“Too much” it’s just the way it’s supposed to be
Whether you’re told that you’re too sensitive, too fast, too intense, think too much, have too much energy or feel too strong, it’s not true. For all you are and all you feel is ok to be and feel. Just as much as it’s impossible to request someone to feel more, if that someone isn’t able to feel more than she does, nobody can say you should be less intense when it comes to one thing and another. However, it is not always smart to react based on how it feels. But that’s another matter and I’ll delve deeper into that later. What you feel is okay. How you feel is ok.

Being “too much” can simply be a part of what it is to be highly intelligent. See previous episode “You are just too much!”

Trust your own feelings – they are yours
Knowing yourself is a foundation for building the life you want. It’s a part of what’s in your backpack, which you carry with you. Knowing how you function as gifted is another part of what you have in your backpack. To know how you feel and to trust your own feelings is basic and something you carry with you too.

When it comes to this, I have understood that people are different. Some people know their own feelings well and have always done that in an obvious way. I learned early that if my feelings differed from others in a given context, it was the experience of others that was the true one. They were more. Nowadays I have more self-esteem and can often find that I and others experience and feel different and rest in that it’s ok. It’s ok to feel in different ways and it makes neither my nor other’s feelings less true.

Accept what you feel
It’s only when you’re aware of how you feel, you can choose to accept that you feel like you do. And acceptance of how you feel is part of liking yourself. In terms of self-esteem, the author Petra Krantz Lindgren has described it so well. Quote from her book can be found further down.

3 initial steps on the road towards enjoying being “too much”

  1. Get to know your feelings. Observe yourself. Take notes or use voice recorder on your cell phone. When you are more intense – how does it feel in the body? What thoughts and wishes do you get? Put words on the feelings. Or do flow charts, mind maps, comic strip or photo collages that describe how it feels for you. Or find the perfect mathematical formula for what you experience. In order to be able to observe yourself in this way, you need to decide not to act on the basis of your feelings. Just observe and study.
  2. Accept that you feel, think and experience as you do. Whether it’s a feeling you think is good or not. For all the feelings you experience are there, and those you least want to be aware of, are often the ones who chafe the most. Accept those feelings too. Accepting is about acknowledge that the feeling is there, not evaluate it, just letting it be there.
  3. Surround yourself with others who also have strong intensities. As long as you are the only one being gifted in your environment, it can be difficult to trust your own feelings. This because your feelings might be so intense compared to most others. In an environment where your way of being is perceived as the normal, it may be easier for you to affirm the whole of you. Then, if possible, find other gifted to meet.

Does it sound commonplace? The fact is that it works. When I first asked other gifted how they had done to not feel like UFOs all the time, several responded that they like being UFOs and that it’s only about accepting themselves. Easy for them, I thought. They had never felt as weird as I did. Nevertheless, I began to do as they said.

And maybe others think I’m still too much. But I have begun feeling that I am completely as I should be.

Are you urged not to feel like you do? Do you dare to trust your feelings? How have you worked to accept your intensities? Please share your experience and comment below.

Kindly
Vera

Ps. I lowered the bar by just making one recording and publishing it, although in my opinion it was not perfect. But published it is, and then I reach the purpose.

“No, I do not look down, I look up to the sky.” Laleh

More interesting to read

Petra Krantz Lindgren “Nurturing Childrens Self-Esteem”
The whole book is very good and I have had great use of it. Read Chapter 1. Self-esteem! Here is a quote from the beginning of Chapter 1 that simply and accurately describes self-esteem. The quote is translated by me from Swedish.

“I assume that self-esteem consists of two dimensions. The first dimension holds awareness of myself: about my abilities, my thoughts, my feelings, my needs, my desire and my dreams. The second dimension is about what acceptance I have for what I know about myself. A person with healthy self-esteem accepts herself and likes herself, just as she is. She feels she is good enough, with all her thoughts, emotions and needs. With all her desire and longing. With all her strengths, but also with her weaknesses.”

Here is a link to Petra Krantz Lindgren’s web “Another You”

David A Sousa “Some Strategies for Working with Students Who Exhibit Overaxcitabilities”
Read pages 38 – 41! Although the text addresses teachers, I think that you may benefit from reading it. The entire chapter is very interesting.
Link to the book the text is taken from
David A Sousa “How the Gifted Brain Learns”

 

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The principal’s speech to all truants

Dear nonattenders,
You are one of over 12,000 with repeated invalid school absence in Sweden. One of the truants, one of the candidates for the school’s award of bravery. I’m glad to pay attention to you today at the end of the school year. Pay attention to how you struggled during the year.

From the school’s management we want to give you this diploma “To you who fought the past year without visible results. To you who stood alone in school, in an overwhelming situation, and done as well as you could. To you who did not experience any other opportunity and therefore became a nonattender”.

The reason for your invalid absence is not important today. It’s only important when we’re going to work to find ways forward for you. Perhaps you are not entirely aware of the reason. But you have felt the anxiety in the evenings or known the stomach on everyday mornings. Known how it gets harder to breathe for each step you come closer to school. Or the migraine struck down already on the first lesson. You have tried to nerve yourself for what you know will happen. Harassment, or exclusion, or meaninglessness, or what is part of your normal school day.

Leave the diploma to you
Since I will not meet you here in the auditorium today I wonder if I may get past your home or if you prefer meeting in another place, the library or a cafe? Then I want to pass the diploma to you.

I also want to show that I see you. You are more than just a name of one of the school’s nonattenders. I have understood that truants are commonly accusing themselves of the situation. Think that you’re amiss, because you don’t get to school and stay there as the other students do. That accusation I want to lift off your shoulders, and say that I and my colleagues have failed to do what we should have done. We have failed to implement the changes you would have needed at school. And for you, maybe we would have had to ask for help from outside the school too.

I want to promise you a safe and meaningful school to come back to. Promise you to stop the bullies from harassing you, whatever it takes to make it real. Promise you to provide the adjustments you need in the surroundings or when it comes to speed of learning and level of difficulty.

When we have shaken hands, this school year is complete for your part. Do not care about opening the rating. Instead, hold the diploma high!

Then leave the school mentally. Do not think about it anymore. Or maybe you ought to be really mad or mourn. Be angry and sorry for all the good things at school you have not received. The comradeship among schoolmates, new knowledge, shared experiences and rewarding relationships with teachers.

To teachers who see and show that you care – thank you!
There is a teacher I want to thank, who managed to reach a truant like me. It is Ingemar Johansson. History teacher at De la Gardie School. Probably he has no idea what significance he had for me. I never told him. Even though I had high score on the exams, he showed that he saw me and my absenteeism. He showed that he cared for more than my achievements. He showed that he cared whether I was in class or not. Hopefully you will meet an Ingemar in the future, who can show by little means that he cares about you being in school!

The conspiracy about the importance of the rating for life satisfaction
Before I leave, I will disclose a secret that all school principals know, but cannot say. There are completely other things than the final grades in elementary school and high school that determine what life you can live. The straight roads, those with good grades, are perhaps the fastest, but there are always roads to where you want to reach. Don’t let one or more wretched school years stop you from reaching your dreams, whether it’s to be a technical physicist, a stylist, a horseman or a game designer.

With the wish for a good summer!
I wish you a benignant summer. Because the school is anchored in science, you’ll get an advice from scientific research. In order to have a salutary summer and be able to feel good you need:

  1. Something that brings joy
  2. Physical activity
  3. Be in touch with others
  4. A certain amount of effort

And you need all the parts every day.

The easiest variant: Look at cute cat photos on Instagram. Take a lap around the block. Write a chat message to anyone in the world you like. Solve a sudoku. Abracadabra. So you have scientifically created feel-goo-opportunities. Your feel-good-day variation lets you compose in a way that suits you. With all four ingredients.

Shrink the reality and dream unlimited
In conclusion, I give you a more personal advice. When life feels really hard, I usually shrink the perspective. This means that I focus on one day at a time. Focusing on creating a feel-good-day and thinks no further than so.

As I shrink the perspective of reality, I completely release and let the dreams sail to higher heights. To the heights that do not have to do with my reality. Where dreams can float freely and easily. Where ALL is possible for me. Because through those dreams, I am lifted up.

So dream! And finish the school year with the diploma in your hand and head high.

Have a good summer!

Kindly Vera (Principal for a day)

 

The facts and figures of more than 12,000 students with recurrent invalid school absence, I have taken from the report “School absence and the way back” published by The Swedish National Agency for Education

 

 

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