Are You Brilliant but Things Still Suck?

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Are You Brilliant but Things Still Suck?
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There are people out there who are just brilliant. Their brains are amazing. Their art is gasp-inducing.

But they can’t seem to achieve their goals.

These are the people who know twenty-two languages, have maybe five masters degrees, and shrug it off like it’s no big deal.

They can quote Derrida and Angela Davis in the same breath and make the connections between the two.

According to writer/blogger Jessica Wildfire, some people are ‘too good for their own good.’

She calls this the Cold Mountain Effect.

She writes:

Someone can know too much. They can be too talented. They’ll turn any project into an epic journey through the Himalayas. They don’t get tired of working. They don’t want to see the end. They’re not even perfectionists. They just love their work too much.

This stems from the story of the writer of Cold Mountain.

It made history in 1997 with a 61-week run on the New York Times best-seller list, moving 3 million copies.

Based on its success, Charles Frazier got an $8 million deal for his second book, with nothing more than a 1-page proposal. Cold Mountain swept the award scene that year, and went on to become a hit film that earned seven Academy Award nominations.

Sometimes it takes an intervention.

You probably don’t know that Frazier spent almost a decade working on Cold Mountain. According to lore, he couldn’t stop.

One of his friends finally snuck an unfinished copy of the manuscript to a literary agent, who signed Frazier on the spot. That’s the only reason anyone knows anything about Charles Frazier. It’s hard to imagine how long he would’ve kept revising it.

It’s not perfectionism that keeps them going, she argues, but the fear of their own success. Or it can just be the joy that they get from creating and doing and not wanting that joy to stop.

Susanne Babbel MFT, PhD on Psychology Today’s blog talks a bit more in depth about this fear. She’s dealt with a lot of clients who are afraid of success. Many of her clients had PTSD.

She wrote

For them, the excitement of success feels uncomfortably close to the feeling of arousal they experienced when subjected to a traumatic event or multiple events. (This feeling of arousal can be linked to sexuality, in certain cases where trauma has been experienced in that realm, but that is not always the case.) People who have experienced trauma may associate the excitement of success with the same physiological reactions as trauma. They avoid subjecting themselves to excitement-inducing circumstances, which causes them to be almost phobic about success.

There is another layer to the fear of success. Many of us have been conditioned to believe that the road to success involves risks such as “getting one’s hopes up” — which threatens to lead to disappointment.

And many of us — especially if we’ve been subject to verbal abuse — have been told we were losers our whole lives, in one way or another. We have internalized that feedback and feel that we don’t deserve success. Even those of us who were not abused or otherwise traumatized often associate success with uncomfortable things such as competition and its evil twin, envy.

She suggests this exercise.

Recall an event where you were successful or excited when you were younger, and notice what you are feeling and sensing in your memory. Stay with the sensation for five minutes. 

Recall an event where you were successful and excited recently in your life, and notice what you are feeling and sensing. Stay with this sensation for five minutes.

Now tap into the sensation of a memory of an overwhelming situation. I suggest not to start with a truly traumatic event, at least not without a therapist’s support. Start with something only moderately disturbing to you. 

Now, go back to visualizing your success story. Do you notice a difference?

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

You have to be brave sometimes and show your work to the world. Don’t get stuck endlessly tinkering because you love a project so much. You’ll love another.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Don’t be afraid of hope. Bad crap happens but even if you’ve been abused and lived in the pound, you can find that success and excitement and the joy again. Us dogs do it all the time.

LET’S HANG OUT!

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HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

It’s my book! It’s coming out June 1! Boo-yah!

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

https://carriejonesbooks.blog/dogs-are-smarter-than-people-the-podcast/Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 260,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the weird, dumb, strange things people eat. And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about the the how to make your story thrilling and Carrie learning that people sunbathe their testicles. We’re classy like that.


And Carrie has a new book coming out! In June! You can pre-order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

Resources

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/somatic-psychology/201101/fear-success

https://www.msn.com/en-au/lifestyle/smart-living/the-cold-mountain-effect-explains-why-the-most-talented-often-dont-reach-their-potential/ar-BB1cNpoV

Author: carriejonesbooks

I am the NYT and internationally-bestselling author of children's books, which include the NEED series, FLYING series, TIME STOPPERS series, DEAR BULLY and other books. I like hedgehogs and puppies and warm places. I have none of these things in my life.

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