25 June 2012

I Ain't Stupid!: Discovering the Artist Within

The way we imagine ourselves to appear to another person is an essential element in our conception of ourselves.  In other words, I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am.
I am what I think you think I am.

~ Robert Bierstedt
or years I believed I was lazy, unfocused, stupid, scatter-brained, and perhaps a little ADD.  I would sit and try to focus on a task, but one sentence, one word, and my mind immediately made ten different associations.  And those ten led to ten ideas each.  And so on.

Then I found out that I had a higher than average IQ.

Ok, so what? The knowledge of my brain capacity didn’t help me feel any less stupid.  Why couldn't I just follow directions?  It’s simple, stupid ~ just go from A to B to C to get to D.  It didn’t matter if I reached the correct conclusion or answer just by looking at the problem; I had to show the steps I had taken to get there.  But that only led to heart-scarring angst for a pupil who longed to please, and frustrated teachers who saw great potential, but were not educated about personality types and the different ways children learn.   As hard as I tried, I couldn’t tell them how I got the answer, I just knew. 

The Crystal Ball, J.W. Waterhouse

Add “smart-ass” to my list of labels.

Many moons later, I was given the Myers-Briggs personality test and discovered that I was an iNtuitive.  And that I was among only 1% of the population.

A whole new life opened up for me. 

I continued to dance to my own music, but this time with a freedom and confidence I had never known.  Finally, I could be at peace with my identity/personality.  Now, that doesn't mean that I don't feel lazy and unfocused at times, but now I have a context.  I understand how my brain – both the neocortex (sometimes called the rational brain) and the limbic system (commonly called the emotional brain) works and how I uniquely process and use the information I take in.

Consequently, I could also now be more patient with others with different personalities.   Just like I lived with the mismatched labels that had been stuck on me, the other fifteen personality types also had mismatched labels that I had given them. 

Sensitives still manage to get on my nerves ~ patience is not one of my virtues.  But with my new-found knowledge, I no longer view them as slow and stupid; rather, I recognize that they are more detail-oriented and methodical, two strengths which I don’t always tap into.

And I’m still a smart-ass.   

But now I’m a confident and creative one!

Oremus pro invicem,
~ Mikaela

Next week, we look a little deeper into an iNtuitive’s so-called faults and how to use them to unlock creativity.  In the meantime, share with us: were you mis-labeled? How did you cope?  And what led you to realize your gifts and strengths?
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