Do You Struggle to Share Your Unique Genius?

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I never understood why I’d seem like two entirely different people.

Sometimes I’d be loud and outgoing and confident. And passionately share stories. And joke around. And dance crazily.

And other times I’d turn into a wallflower. Hiding myself away. Staying as quiet as I possibly could be.

“They’d love you if you just let them see who you are.”

It’s something I’ve heard endless times in my life. About someone introducing me to their friends. About meeting my now in-laws. About sharing myself and my work with new potential clients.

I grew resentful. I felt like a prize to be shown off. Like I wasn’t worth as much if I was quiet. And that I had to will myself to share some attributes—the only parts of me that people liked.

And I could never figure it out. Why was I suddenly so awkward? Why couldn’t I say the profound and deep and powerful things here?

Why didn’t I feel safe to share my unique genius?

It’s not easy to grow up so sensitive—or at least it wasn’t so easy for me. Because I’m constantly reacting to my environment. With little to no awareness of what’s causing these reactions.

And, when you’ve got little guidance on how to handle that sensitivity, you tend to internalize the shame and blame yourself.

“Why can’t I just be normal?” I’d ask myself.

Because any time I met someone new, or was around someone in a position of power or authority, or was in a room full of tension, or just felt judged in even the slightest way, I’d shrivel up. And my normally vibrant, confident, and outgoing self would turn quiet and deferential.

I didn’t feel safe to share my unique genius.

For so long, I thought that something was wrong with me. Or that I was just awkward. Because I could be the most confident and exciting person. And the more I spoke, the more genius came out.

And then it’d change in other situations, around other people. And I wouldn’t quiet know why.

I didn’t understand it for a long time—probably until we started the Sacred Circle—until I was in an undeniably safe community.

Unique genius needs safety to be revealed.

The tender genius of our souls can only come out in the safest spaces. In our best friendships. Or in our journals. Or in the privacy of a healing group like the Circle.

I’ve met so many people who write genius poetry only for themselves. Or sing only in the shower. Or talk excitedly only in small groups. Or dance only in front of friends.

All of that genius can only come out when it feels safe to do so.

It’s why all of my work is about safe communities, to be honest. Because I probably never would have really, really discovered and connected with my unique genius if I never had a safe space like the Circle. And I certainly wouldn’t have had the ability to share it in wider ways.

Because I didn’t feel safe.

In my experience, when we feel really safe to be ourselves—our full, genius selves—in some spaces, then we can slowly expand that out to other spaces. Until we share that far and wide.

But we can never connect with our own genius if we don’t feel safe to do so in the first place.

If we don’t feel safe to take chances and risk “saying the wrong thing” and experimenting with ideas and exploring, we’ll never get to experience our own genius.

If we feel judged or reprimanded for any wrong move, we’ll shrivel up thinking that we don’t have this brilliance to share with the world.

Unique genius requires risks. And risks require safety.

For so long, I was frustrated because I felt like I had this big thing inside of me that wanted to come out. And I didn’t know how to access it or get it out. And I felt sort of worthless. Like I’d just have to go through the motions of life. And never really thrive.

Never really feel like a genius.

And I remember that first Circle. Because, yes, I was the guide of the work. But I was—and still am—very much just a member, too. One foot inside the work and one foot outside at all times.

And I felt safe to dive deeper into the work. Into my own gifts. Into what I was actually doing. And others helped me to see that it was genius.

Which helped me to go deeper. And deeper. And I can tell you today that I’m still just going deeper in safe communities. Having more conversations that allow me to explore more parts of myself and the work.

That’s why I write every weekday. Because this genius is for me more than it is for anyone else. To feel safe to unpack and see the new layers of genius I couldn’t have seen before.

They couldn’t be seen outside of safe space.

And I want to be clear—to anyone who’s ever struggled to understand why you might be super open in one space and super closed in another. Or to anyone who’s ever felt like you’ll never find your own unique genius, I want you to hear me.

You need safety to experience your own genius. It’s only in the safest spaces imaginable that you can ever see and explore that genius.

And then you can begin to feel safe to slowly share it with more and more people.

I wish that someone had talked to me about this years ago. And told me that I’m not wrong. I’m not broken. I’m not fucked up.

I’m just a genius who doesn’t feel safe to see it yet. And everything—everything—changes when I can.

Do you struggle to share your unique genius?

Do you ever feel awkward in some situations? Or find it hard to share yourself? Or just struggle to know what that genius is that you want to share with the world?

Let me know in the comments or over in the Sacred Branding™ Facebook group where we can support one another.

Sending you lots of love.

-Mike

4 Responses to "Do You Struggle to Share Your Unique Genius?"
  1. Charles Nickerson says:

    I love your blog and your posts, Mike. Im curious. Has anyone ever told you that you may be empathic? Some of the things you say about yourself makes me feel you are highly in tune with those around you and their emotions. And you found a wonderful way to use it to help and heal people. Keep up the great work.

    • Mike Iamele says:

      Hi Charles — Thanks so much for jumping in here. Glad to have you here reading.

      Yes, of course, I’m definitely empathic *and* intuitive. Very sensitive to people around me and their emotions. It powers so much of the work that I do now.

      Like everyone else, my greatest shame — or the things I thought were most wrong with me — ended up being my unique genius and superpowers!

      I’m curious back atcha — what’s your unique genius? Or, maybe easier to answer, what are the parts of yourself that you’ve been ashamed of?

      In my experience, that question opens up a lot of doors.

      • Charles Nickerson says:

        Ive never given it much thought til I started reading your blog. I am also empathic and for my entire life Ive struggled being around others in general. I was like a sponge and for some reason everyone around me always felt like releasing their burdens with me, and by doing so I would take them on. I felt like I was broken, I still kinda do sometimes because why would my moods shift so suddenly? Why would it be when a friend tells me something heavy, they felt 100 times lighter but I felt heavier. And group situations are a scary ordeal. Im sure you understand what its like to feel things and wonder “Is this how I really feel or others feel”. And because of this do I ever get to know who I am. So I was always ashamed that I wasnt normal. I know theres really no “normal” but to me, being me, was not normal. Hooe this makes some sense.

        • Mike Iamele says:

          Charles — That’s why I like these questions. They make us think about things we maybe haven’t given much thought to (myself included).

          I totally get that being empathic and struggling to be around others. For so long, I had no idea why my mood would just randomly drop, and why I’d suddenly become miserable. It’s really hard to be so sensitive without having any context to understand it.

          Feeling broken? Yep. Been there — too many times to count.

          One thing we talk about in the Sacred Circle is this idea of containers. Just like I need a glass/mug/cup to drink water, we all have containers for energy. If we have a really weak or porous one, we don’t really get to drink or receive a lot of our own energy medicine. And there are all types of containers — relationships, friendships, this blog, homes, wardrobes, morning routines. All different things to CONTAIN energy. But the most personal container is the one we have with ourselves.

          It feels like there’s something in there for you to chew on. Not sure if you’re in our Sacred Branding™ group, but there’s a video that explains the concept a little more fully in there: https://www.facebook.com/groups/sacredbranding/.

          First of all, all normal ever means is that you’re in alignment with the hegemonic norms of a society. By definition, I’m not normal either. I really don’t comply with a good chunk of those norms. But I totally get what you’re saying. It’s so hard to know what’s you and what’s others when you’re that sensitive.

          It’s why my work is focused entirely on subjectivity — fully understanding what is you — and then using it to de-condition yourself from all the crap you’ve internalized that was never yours in the first place.

          Glad we can hold space here for you to unpack this. And you’re always welcome to that Sacred Branding™ group if you’d like to dig in deeper :).

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