When you’re exceptionally talented or skilled in an area, people do tend to take notice and not necessarily because they are happy for you.
Were you one of those people growing up who seemed to gather more criticism or jealousy for your talent than encouragement and support?
Recently I spent some time among some people who fit this description and I’ve decided to share my experience with you.
Find out more in today’s VOX Daily.
Last week I spoke at a conference for some young ladies who are about to enter high school. My topic was the business world and how I navigated my way through the various stages of life that brought me to where I am today.
These girls were eager to listen and take in my experiences along with a number of parting words that I hope will stay with them for a lifetime.
That being said, there was something different about this audience… this audience had been identified academically as “Gifted.” The Gifted Girls Conference in London drew over 50 girls in seventh and eighth grade from across the Thames Valley District School Board and featured a number of speakers ranging on topics specific to their particular challenges and needs.
While I wasn’t singled out as “gifted” as a child, I could certainly identify with the girls when it came to having a special talent that caused me to stick out from the crowd… and not necessarily because those around me were pleased with how I was able to perform.
For me it was singing. Being too loud, having too much natural vibrato in my voice, my diction was too crisp and I didn’t “blend” in.
For some of the girls present, it was being “too smart” which in some cases deters them from participating in class, not fully applying themselves in their gifted subjects and the stress of having to measure up to the high expectations of parents, teachers and others in all areas of their academic life whether they be areas of concentration or not.
We Are All Gifted
What we must realize is that being “gifted” doesn’t mean that you can be all things, know all things or succeed in all things. Gifts are particular and often can be used for the benefit of others in addition to the individual themselves.
I believe that there are different kinds of intelligence. Some people are emotionally intelligent whereas others are musically so. The traditional view of intelligence typically circles around being academically bright, however, I know that all people have special gifts to share with others and we should celebrate those gifts. Our communities are built upon the collective strengths of those who willingly contribute and share their gifts.
What About You?
Sticking out in a crowd can be hard but if you are doing what you do best and also what you love, these growing pains can be part and parcel of the experience that only makes you stronger and more determined to excel and eventually to give back.
What unique gifts have you developed? I’m interested to hear your story.