Ever been told you are “too sensitive,” “think too much” or are “too much of a perfectionist”?
In a society that doesn’t appreciate them, creative abilities can be labelled and experienced as liabilities, says Mary Taylor, LCSW, of the Creative Intelligence Centre.
“Highly creative people often face a lifetime of hardship and psychological pain because they do not see themselves or their abilities clearly,” says Taylor. “The abilities of highly creative people are frequently hidden under… emotional, occupational and relationship difficulties.”
While the [creative] person is all too aware of their problems, they are often unaware of their abilities.
This, allied with the fact that they live in a society that prefers linear, rational thinking and behaviour, makes them try to fit into situations that don’t suit them — and then blame themselves when that doesn’t work out.
Hence: “I’m too sensitive”; “I’m too much of a perfectionist”; “I think too much”.
These erroneous conclusions can do “major damage” to self image, says Taylor. “Attempts made at correcting a problem from this vantage point are frequently unsuccessful because the initial interpretation was in error.”
Over time, self-blame and lack of understanding leads many bright, creative people into marginalized lives as adults – underemployed, dissatisfied and often in tremendous psychological pain.
Taylor calls this the “double-edged sword” experience of being a highly creative person.
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