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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Trouble With Bright Kids

Chances are, if you're a successful professional today, you were a pretty bright fifth-grader
By Heidi Grant Halvorson

It’s not easy to live up to your fullest potential. There are so many obstacles that can get in the way: bosses that don’t appreciate what you have to offer, tedious projects that take up too much of your time, economies where job opportunities are scarce, the difficulty of juggling career, family, and personal goals.

But smart, talented people rarely realize that one of the toughest hurdles they’ll have to overcome lies within.

People with above-average aptitudes — the ones we recognize as being especially clever, creative, insightful, or otherwise accomplished — often judge their abilities not only more harshly, but fundamentally differently, than others do (particularly in Western cultures). Gifted children grow up to be more vulnerable, and less confident, even when they should be the most confident people in the room. Understanding why this happens is the first step to righting a tragic wrong. And to do that, we need to take a step back in time.

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