#046 [Neurodiversity Week] The Long Road with Nadja Cereghetti

The Long Road podcast episode about adult diagnosis ADHD and gifted with Nadja Cereghetti

It is Neurodiversity Celebration Week and we are diving into neurodiversity and what it is like to figure out you are neurodivergent as an adult.

Today I’m speaking with Nadja Cereghetti, host of Unleash Monday podcast, about her journey over the last year. She too has been investigating her neurodivergence and it hasn’t all been roses.

Hear about her journey of exploring ADHD and giftedness and tune in to her podcasts and community!

Hit play and let’s get started!

Memorable Quote

“And that’s, I think the most important thing, you don’t need to prove to anybody you’re gifted.

Like you don’t need an IQ score to be part of this community and to learn and to take the things that work for you.” – Nadja Cereghetti

“I looked at myself and more in a negative light…  I was really good at school… Why am I struggling? … Why can I not just be like others? I knew there was some kind of discrepancy, but I always thought of myself as less than, or it’s my fault. It’s my personality traits. Something I need to change. I need to adapt. And, that was also the narrative, like all my life.

Even though I was in the beginning, like primary school, I was really good and I really wanted to learn, I even had this drive to learn, to read and write. Before going to school and asking my mom like to teach me. And she’s like, no, no, no, you’re going to be bored at school. So she didn’t teach me, but I really had this drive to learn. But then once I was in school, actually the teachers didn’t like me so much because I was questioning the teachers and ask them any questions…

I was always scolded and I spent like half of my time at school, in front of the door. That’s how you get punished here in Switzerland. If you talk, you get sent in front of the door and you spent the rest of the lesson, by yourself in the hallway. So that’s where I spend a lot time.

And so constantly there was this negative feedback that I got about my personality. Like, hold back, be more quiet, sit still. And I always thought, yeah, it’s me. I need to change. I need to adapt.” – Nadja Cereghetti



Bio – Nadja Cereghetti

I am a Multipotentialite with a great passion for Science and the Marie Kondo Method. Learning new things and talking to people is what I love. I want to share these great stories with the world.

Recently, I stumbled across the topic of unidentified gifted adults and it changed everything! And now it’s time to talk about it!

Have you been called “too much”, “too intense” “too sensitive”?

Do you just hate inequality? Do you suffer from imposter syndrome?

Do you have difficulties finding your career path because you are a multi potential person who has a 1000 ideas and 500 projects… all at the same time?

Do you have a weird evolved sense of humour?

Do you suffer from dyslexia but are fast at grasping new concepts?

Do you have a hard time fitting in and sometime feel like a minority of one?

Then this show is for you! Unleash Monday!


[00:00:00] Sophia Elliott: I am super excited today to be talking to Nadja. Cereghetti host of unleash Monday. Nadia and I actually started our hosting podcast journeys at a very similar time, like within a couple of months of each other. And we, we met shortly after that. And so we have had an interview before. But that was like over a year ago.

[00:00:24] And so I’m really excited to be catching out with Nadja today and having this conversation because I feel like, oh my goodness, how much has happened since the last time we caught up and that conversation was kind of like, how’d you get into this? How did you get into this? But, so Nadja welcome. Welcome today.

[00:00:44] I’m so excited.

[00:00:46] Nadja Cereghetti: Thank you Sophia. I’m so excited to be here too. And yeah, it’s been a wonderful journey and very, I think parallel journeys uni and always like catching up and exchanging. And I’m really excited to be back on your podcast.

[00:01:01] Sophia Elliott: It is really exciting. It’s kind of like a kindred spirits from the other side of the planet, and I’m always referring, grownups and, and parents of gifted kids to unleash Monday because you have wonderful guests, really interesting.

[00:01:16] And I catch all the episodes myself, and it’s really wonderful to hear people’s stories because I think in this journey, what I’m really quite passionate about is we share the stories of the lived experience. And that enables us to see ourselves in others, because I don’t know about you, but before I started this journey, I thought I was just like normal, whatever that means, like normal, whatever that means.

[00:01:49] I thought I was just, I was always like probably quite a high achiever and I was responsible and organized and a people pleaser. Absolutely. And I was a kind of person that, people would, would, she’s responsible and you, you, you would give me things to do because I would get them done.

[00:02:15] And, and there’s this, this kind of identity around being that kind of person, but fast forward to now, and let’s let, that’s a whole new pitcher. So I’m keen today to talk to you about your journey. And so my first question is. Were you two years ago? Do you know what

[00:02:42] Nadja Cereghetti: I mean? Yes, I can share that.

[00:02:45] Of course I was not the organized person. I was actually the quite contrary. I was, well, let’s say organized in terms of like, having like a messy room, like this kind of like, I wasn’t organized in my space. And I think that’s where actually my journey probably started when I learned about the Marie Kondo method.

[00:03:08] And that kind of really changed my life of like, oh, there’s actually a method how you can, can be organized in your space and organizing your space organizes also your mind. And that was really something that kind of started a little bit my entrepreneurship and kind of like. My thrive to help and empower other people outside of my job.

[00:03:35] And so during that journey, I started helping other clients and it wasn’t as much fun. I must say, working with strangers with my friends, it kind of worked quite easily. And I think it’s only looking back that, I surround myself with quote unquote like-minded people. So probably over, also in the neurodivergent space.

[00:04:00] But yeah, I actually was a person at work that I had so many different interests and my career was not straightforward. It was a little bit of here and a little bit of there and kind of like six sacking and just using opportunities that presented themselves. So I did that. I consider myself a success or a high achiever.

[00:04:27] I was like, why is work-life so hard? I was in school. I was good, especially in the beginning school and learning came easy. But then when I was a little bit older in school and I had to actually sit down and study, that was when things got more difficult because I never learned to actually study a book or like, study French.

[00:04:54] That was really hard. So actually I dropped out of one of the schools later on like high school. And I had to like repeat years and go to a different school, but then I was motivated and I, I found my path, but because of that history of, having bad grades in school, I never thought I was gifted or specially intelligent.

[00:05:19] Yeah, I kind of like, look my looked at myself and more in a negative light, I would say, like, I was always comparing myself with others, especially people that succeeded in their career and like, got promotions moved up in the career ladder and it kind of didn’t appeal to me, but I also was a little bit,

[00:05:43] not concerned. That’s not the right word, but, looking at my bank account and was like, well, I’m not, I was really good at school. Why not? Get forward in life here. Yeah. Why am I struggling? Making a better income for myself where I see others that were in the best in school, like my peers at the time, they’re really succeeding at this career ladder path.

[00:06:06] And so, Why can I not just be like others? So I knew there was some kind of discrepancy, but I always thought of myself as less than, or it’s my fault. It’s my personality traits. Something I need to change. I need to adapt. And, and that was also the narrative, like all my life. Even though I was in the beginning, like primary school, I was really good and I really wanted to learn, I even had this drive to learn, to read and write.

[00:06:37] Before going to school and ask my mom like to teach me. And she’s like, no, no, no, you’re going to be bored at school. So she didn’t teach me, but I really had this drive to learn. But then once I was in school, actually the teachers didn’t like me so much because I was questioning the teachers and ask them any questions.

[00:06:54] So it’s that kind of person. But again, I was always scolded and I, I spent like half of my time at school, in front of the door. That’s how you get punished here in Switzerland. If you talk, you get sent in front of the door and you spent the rest of the lesson, by yourself in the hallway. So that’s where I spend a lot time.

[00:07:13] And so constantly there was this negative feedback that I got about my personality. Like, hold back, be more quiet, sit still. And I always thought, yeah, I, I it’s me. I need to change. I need to adapt. That’s the answer, your question.

[00:07:31] Sophia Elliott: It really does. And that is so incredibly insightful because there’s so many things you just said that I heal from parents of gifted kids like that, that’s almost like the classic gifted kid snapshot, like being that kid who asks all the questions, but gets in trouble.

[00:07:51] Teachers actually don’t like them because they’re challenging. You get bored. You never learn how to actually learn. And then you struggle and you looking around going, everyone else seems to be doing this life thing. Why can’t I do the life thing? Like, and there’s everything you said there is just like gifted 1 0 1 and it’s.

[00:08:17] Yeah, we sh I just, I sometimes feel, it’s just like, we shouldn’t have to get to our age to figure that out, and that’s what I want to change for our kids. Like the new generation. They shouldn’t have to get to our age before they figure out actually it wasn’t them. It was the system. And so, so, so now where you are now, do you, do you know that, do you feel that like,

[00:08:47] I actually, it wasn’t you, it was the system.

[00:08:49] Nadja Cereghetti: Exactly. And that was, I think that was the whole emotional part. Once you learn about this topic, because it’s not something I. And thought answers for, obviously I, I actually did, but I think in the wrong places, I went to like, women’s networking events, like women career support and all these like very high driven, high achieving career support systems.

[00:09:21] And I just tried to like, copy, I don’t know techniques and how to do, but it wasn’t about myself. It was more like learning, again, more things to adapt. And so it was more a coincidence that I stumbled across this topic. Do you want to share, do you want me to share a little bit about that? Yeah, please do.

[00:09:46] Yeah,

[00:09:46] Sophia Elliott: absolutely.

[00:09:48] Nadja Cereghetti: So it was actually a friend of mine who was struggling. She’s she was a pain patient and she was in therapy. Because of that, she was on medication. And once she told her therapist that she was struggling at work with coworkers and the therapist just in passing said, well, it has nothing to do with your pain or your medication.

[00:10:11] That’s because you’re gifted and she’s a coach. She, she didn’t really understood what he meant. And so she speaks friends. So it’s, it’s, it’s kind of like high potential translated into English and. So she was too shocked to ask the questions at the time. So she went home and she Googled and she went down the rabbit hole, she read a book and she couldn’t relate.

[00:10:36] And then she was like, oh my God. But it cannot be, I was never the best at school. I cannot learn things by heart. And her story is very similar to mine. And that’s why she confided in me. She’s like, but naughty, I think you’re, you’re one of us. Oh no, no cannot be. And so she actually went and got like an assessment and, and got, she needed, she needed that proof to really digest his.

[00:11:02] And she was one of my first guests for my podcast. And when we started talking and I asked questions like, so what was it that you were able to relate? And by talking to her. I could relate to what she was experiencing. And I also started looking into this topic, which was really not something I saw it, with this prejudice of gifted, being super smart and having everything figured out in life is easy.

[00:11:33] If you’re a genius, basically. So that was not something I would have, connected to my struggles. And it was very emotional. The first few days it was, there was a lot of crying and it was like relief unbelief. And this kind of like, why hasn’t anybody told me this? And I was like, oh my God, I need to make a podcast about this.

[00:11:55] Because as you said, like you wanted to share this story for parents and kids. For me, it was Mike. I wanted to share this with people like me, who don’t have maybe kids or people who have kids that are gifted, but. Usually then the parents are not being told well, unless they listen to your show gifts.

[00:12:17] And even now, when I talked to a lot of my guests, they were identified as kids at school and they thought that something you grow out of it or something that only has to do with, with school, it hasn’t anything to do with your, who you are as a person. And so, yeah, it was, it was really a big shift and I kind of think it changed everything.

[00:12:45] It was really life-changing and yeah. Now the narrative really has shifted for myself. I’m a thing. Yeah,

[00:12:53] Sophia Elliott: absolutely. And so that in itself was very much the first part of your journey and I, and I, that resonates with me slightly different, but similar. My eldest child was identified. And I guess over the years that followed that researching the topic to help my child.

[00:13:19] I, the thing started to resonate for me. And I think that happens to a lot of parents that suddenly like, oh this could be a thing. Right. But no one really wants to say that because the label gifted, I think is just not really helpful. No, one’s going to say, oh, I’m gifted too. And, but, but you can’t help, but kind of go, yeah, I’m really sensitive.

[00:13:44] And I’m really this, and I’m just as important and all the things, of course, because my child is, is, is like a mini me. They, were genetically linked. So, so I was at this place where I’m like, Okay, statistically, I’ve seen, I’ve read the research. There’s the chances are that I am also gifted, but struggled to really claim that because I wasn’t like yourself.

[00:14:09] Yeah, like, yeah, I did well at school, but in, in my final year of high school though, the rails fellow for beat, and I did really well in a couple of subjects and bombed in a couple of other subjects with hindsight. Totally not surprising, but so, so there’s parts of that, that I I’m like.

[00:14:29] Yeah. Okay. Probably, but I can’t really resonate entirely with that, but nonetheless, it explains a lot. Right. And so I think parents can get to that point. What I think is really interesting. And I think the second part of the journey that we’re going to talk about today is. What we’ve kind of both experienced over the last 12 months, which is happens a lot.

[00:14:53] First people go, oh, I think I might be gifted. And then people go, wow. So there’s gifted and there’s twice exceptional. So I might also be dyslexic, dysgraphia, just calc Coolio ADHD, autism, any number of things can go hand in hand because we now know that giftedness is being, neurodivergent not just being smart.

[00:15:20] It’s, it’s like a whole package thing. And so tell me a little about the last 12 months and your journey of exploring some assessments. Oh, yes.

[00:15:34] Nadja Cereghetti: Yes. So yeah, once I got into the topic and I started inviting people onto the podcast and starting, to learn more about this topic and yeah, if you talk to one gifted person, you talked to one gifted person, but there was, there seem to be some similarities that some of them were kind of more organized.

[00:15:58] And, like I just felt like there was more to me or different that even though I, I get highly related to the giftedness, I always had this urge to talk a lot. And I got a lot into trouble at school, as I said for talking. And, and so I was like, maybe. Maybe there’s more to it. Maybe there’s maybe there’s some ADHD in the mix.

[00:16:30] Once I learned about the twice exceptionality and, autism and ADHD and ADHD and adult women, again, looks different. That what we’ve been told, the stereotype here is, young boys. And once I learned a little bit about the topic, I was like, Hmm, maybe there’s something that, that could be true for me here.

[00:16:56] And so I actually thought out an assessment here in Switzerland with a university and I’m sharing this because I had a very horrible experience. Let me just say that because I went there and I said, look, I think I’m twice exceptional. They’ve never heard the term before. And then I said, I think I’m gifted at.

[00:17:23] I probably have ADHD. Can you tell me, where are the overlaps? Where’s the intersection of this? What, what is giftedness? What is ADHD? So I basically went there to seek answers and because they weren’t really exploring that topic themselves yet, they just had, the standard DSM-V questionnaire.

[00:17:45] And as we know, giftedness, for example, it’s not part of the DSM-V. So yeah, I got an ADHD diagnosis and they were then asking me, oh, if I have any further questions at the end or no, basically they didn’t, they didn’t tell me the, the result yet. But then they asked me at the end, if I have any more questions and I said, well, whatever comes out of this report, Can you then tell me, what is the gift in this part and what is the ADHD part?

[00:18:21] And they’re like, well, has it ever been assessed that you’re gifted? I’m like, no, but talk to me. And then they’re like, well, we can, we can do a IQ test. And again, that’s why I want to share this story because it was, it was actually a horrible experience. And I learned from talking to other people, really working in this field of giftedness, that if you’re an adult, doing an IQ test, the standard IQ test might not be the way forward.

[00:18:52] But then I was like, but I have a podcast. This is like an opportunity for me to actually experience this. And so. I, I went and at the time I also need to say that, I had issues with my eyes side. I had cataract on one side, I had only 10% , which only developed over one year. So there was, there was some things that happen at the same time that they wouldn’t take into considerations and just gave me that test and quote unquote, I failed that Q test because it doesn’t play into my strengths at all.

[00:19:27] And I knew that beforehand, because I knew a little bit, what’s going to go into an IQ test. So basically at the end they were saying, well, you’re not gifted, but you have ADHD. And I was like, okay, who am I doing my podcast about giftedness, like a short crisis. And then I reached out to Jen from inter gifted and she’s amazing in my opinion.

[00:19:51] So I was like, Jen, can I get an assessment with inter gifted? And she’s like, yes, of course you can. And. Basically what came out of that assessment was that, I’m not highly gifted, but I fall into the gifted category. And what she then told me at the end was, ADHD in her experience looks a little bit more different if I ever looked into overexcitabilities before.

[00:20:23] And I was like, no, but let, let me look into that topic. So now I’m still, I’m still exploring. I’m still figuring out who I am, but I also kind of learn to think like, okay, labels is one thing. It helps you, if you can identify yourself and if you can vocalize your needs. And if you know a little bit like what you need in terms of support, but the labels itself.

[00:20:56] For me personally doesn’t really mean so much. Obviously, if you have an official ADHD diagnosis, you get, you get access to medication, for example. So that’s why if somebody comes to me and says, Nadia, where can I get, assess for giftedness? Or like, where can I do an IQ test? I was like, why is it important?

[00:21:18] Like, can you get support through such an official diagnosis or not? So for some, for a lot of people, it’s important to have a diagnosis if they need access to medication, or as you said with children, you get access to special programs. If you don’t, if you’re not diagnosed, you might not get that.

[00:21:36] But as an adult, a lot of it is also for, for yourself to really understand yourself. So my journey is still going on. That’s what I’m saying. I’m still figuring out, but I realized that. Probably there’s more to the overexcitabilities then ADHD, because what I learned is that if you’re ADHD, you might forget appointments, you show up late.

[00:22:02] I am sometimes late, but if, if it really comes to an important appointment, I’m always on time. I don’t forget appointments. I’m not, it’s not, it’s not as scattered as I think ADHD, but there’s a lot of impulsivity and a lot of intensities. And so I’m still exploring the topic of overexcitabilities.

[00:22:28] Sophia Elliott: Okay, well, so there’s so much in that, right. First, shall we let’s start with IQ tests and. I’m sure I’ve said this before in the podcast and here in Australia, it’s too. So here in Australia, if you’re trying to get help for your child in the education system, you basically have to do an IQ test because without that, it’s the only measure of giftedness and it’s, it’s not great because it measures how well you do an IQ test on that particular day.

[00:23:08] And as it’s a set of questions in a, in a certain environment, and there’s so much that it doesn’t allow for. And I know on your podcast, you actually had interviewed someone who was even creating a new kind of. Test that was more suitable for gifted people that took into account the complexities of answers and all that sort of stuff.

[00:23:33] And even in my experience with one of my children has had to IQ tests for a few different reasons. And in those two tests in two different categories, there was a, I think a 46 point and a 54 point difference. Whoa, I know, right? Like that’s huge. That’s like going, it was like going from, I think it was like the 23rd percentile up to like the 78th percentile was one of them.

[00:24:05] And the other one was like in the 50th percentile up to 90 something. Right. So that’s vastly different. And that was because on that day, They didn’t feel well. And that was it. That was it. And, and that’s a complex kid with other stuff going on, but that’s what we need to keep in mind. I Q tests they’re kind of like the best we’ve got at the moment, but they’re, they’re not, they’re not everything they’re, they’re, there’s, if you’re good at doing that kind of thing.

[00:24:41] Great. But if you’re not feeling well, if you’ve got other stuff going on, it measures what it measures. Right. So, and, and I think for me, the IQ test it’s trying to measure intelligence and various other things. But I just feel like giftedness is so much more complex than that. It’s about being neurodiverse or neurodivergent, and it doesn’t take into account the overexcitabilities, the sensitivities, the the need for justice, that rage to learn.

[00:25:17] And if you look at the research from grow gifted research outreach, the American organization who has done all this research on the brain, the gifted brain, it actually shows us that the gifted brain is different. And these traits that we become familiar with are result of the brain being wired in this particular way.

[00:25:37] So it’s like, and, and that IQ test just measures this tiny little bit, and it’s so fallible and you’re, and you’re lucky if you kind of get an outcome from that, that you’re looking for, because it’s so easy, not. And I think like that’s, that’s the first thing. And,

[00:25:54] but I think even more than that, I I’m, I think what your story shows is just the complexity of it. We’re trying to simplify something that is so complex. Like we’re trying to simplify the brain into gifted IQ, test the ADHD, but you’ve got to tick these boxes. So if anyone listening, the DSM can’t remember exactly what it stands for, but it’s like a big manual for psychologists.

[00:26:26] And if you’re going to get diagnosed something, it has to be in this book and it has to adhere to these certain checklists. And so ADHD is in an autism spectrum disorder is in it, but giftedness. Any version thereof is not in it. So it’s not recognized as a neurodivergence according to this book. And I love your story because I think it really goes to the heart of trying to explore a neurodivergent brain within these checklists that we have at the moment.

[00:27:01] And how hard is that to know, like, we can’t even tell is that giftedness, is it ADHD? Will you do that? But you don’t do that. And it’s like, well, who says a gifted brain that has ADHD, doesn’t do that remembers really important things. And I think what’s really interesting. And let me know if this resonates at all with you.

[00:27:24] So last year I was diagnosed with autism and giftedness and. What I realized, and I I’m going to refer back to that person. I thought I was at the beginning of the podcast, like the organized high achiever, responsible kind of person. And what I realized is now, like I am responsible show, but, and I did not have managed to achieve.

[00:27:51] But I think because of my brain but I have never been organized and like I have project managed things and I have, organized. But what I realize now is that wasn’t easy for me. It took an awful lot of energy, which, which I had before I had kids. And now that I have kids and my energy is so depleted.

[00:28:18] I can see the cracks and I can actually look back and recognize that I wasn’t organized. I just worked really, really hard. I just worked a million miles an hour, which enabled me to stay ahead. But, but it wasn’t because I had these great organizational skills. And, and, and I had these challenges in certain areas, but I, people didn’t see that because I just worked so goddamn hard at it and covered it up.

[00:28:49] And I didn’t even realize I was doing that. And I think that’s the complexity of the brain. Yeah.

[00:28:58] Nadja Cereghetti: That resonates so much. And I always felt like. Even at work, if it doesn’t feel hard work, then it’s not really work. Yeah. In Switzerland. It’s really like if you, if you get grades in school, like people focus on the bad grades where you need to improve.

[00:29:18] So it’s always focusing on your weaknesses instead of focusing on your strengths. So that was also kind of the mentality. You always have to work and get the weaknesses, out of there basically. And so you’re always working on the weekends, so you’re always struggling no matter what you do.

[00:29:38] And I think it’s not just me. I think that’s everybody, but it’s really that focus on it on the weaknesses and, and having to make those two to get to an average point. So that, that was very difficult. And now I. Try to focus more on the strengths, like a strengths based approach. And I love strengths finder, but then I also have imposter syndrome, right?

[00:30:04] Like, who am I to say like, oh, I’m gifted. Like, as you said, nobody likes to say like, oh, I’m gifted. And so, and then I had this bad experience with this IQ test and I’m like, well, maybe I’m just not gifted. And, but then I was like, well, but if I has such a bad experience knowing quite a bit now about this topic, because I feel like even if other people learn about giftedness, because I had this podcast and talked to many experts, I felt like if even I have such a bad experience, how do other people feel?

[00:30:40] And then that kind of gave me my own permission to kind of like say, okay, I need to talk about this. If I have a bad experience, I’m sure other people also have a bad experience and don’t. You know about IQ test, where a bad experience determine who you are. And I also heard of stories where people thought they were gifted, had an IQ test done, like the Wechsler test and failed.

[00:31:11] And then basically were like, oh, I’m not gifted. And so then they dismissed the whole experience. As you said, the whole gift, the sensitivity, the intensities, like all the other things, because then they think like, oh, I don’t belong in this group. So I cannot take this for myself. And that’s, I think the most important thing you don’t need to prove to anybody you’re gifted.

[00:31:35] Like you don’t, you don’t need, you don’t need an IQ score to be part of this community and to learn and to take the things that work for you. And yeah, what I also heard when talking to. People about the IQ test is that if you have children, you compare different age development levels. So if you have somebody that’s eight years old, but can do math, like somebody that’s 10 or 12 years old, but once you’re an adult, like I’m 38, I think, I don’t know.

[00:32:08] There’s no difference between somebody that’s 28 or 48 in terms of math skill. I believe so. There’s no, there’s no developmental difference. So it’s also more difficult to compare adults in, in, in a IQ test.

[00:32:25] Sophia Elliott: And I think it comes back to that thing. It’s like, we’re not numbers. Where are these really complicated individuals with a really complicated brains and, and a number is never going to encapsulate that.

[00:32:38] And I think resonating with the lived experience is so much more important than sitting a test. Like, and coming up with a number and it’s like, if you are resonating with all of those gifted traits, if that gives you comfort and helps you understand yourself, then that’s, then you’re gifted, then that’s, that’s it.

[00:33:05] Because I think we know ourselves, we know what’s going on in our own personal lift experience. And when we hear those stories of other people and we go, yeah, that’s totally me. There’s your diagnosis. Because at the moment we do not have adequate, access to, I think, measures that are really going to encapsulate that.

[00:33:29] And I have to say the, into gifted one of the very few places who do a qualitative. That’s the right one, isn’t it? The one without numbers, quantitative like assessment process where they’re looking at more than trying to tick boxes about and checklists, they really trying to dive in there and which is I think a really fascinating way of coming up.

[00:33:53] We’ve probably a better picture of someone. And I think it really discourages me because

[00:34:01] people start to hear the lived experience of giftedness the traits, and then they’re resonating with that and that’s helping them understand themselves, but then they get put off that by, an IQ test or a number, and this idea of what giftedness is or genius is. Right. And it’s. That can be expressed in so many different ways.

[00:34:29] And those so many different ways are not encapsulated by an IQ test. And there’s some really great books out there like Paula probers rainforest mind or that other one, ah, hang on. What’s it called?

[00:34:42] Donna? I’ve got it here somewhere. It’s the gifted adults. Yes. They gifted. I don’t, which is another really great one in terms of trying to tap into what is the lived experience and is that my experience, and, and I don’t know, I, I’m still really curious and interested where these lines are between giftedness and ADHD and autism in particular, but also like dyslexia being dyslexic or having discalcula or those other, or even just anxiety, those other expressions of being neurodivergent it’s like, I just know I have, my gut says there’s a blurry line there and I’m fascinated to think, what would we know about this more in 20 years time that we don’t know now? Because like you said, you got an ADHD diagnosis, but then you’re like, well, is it gifted?

[00:35:41] Is it ADHD? Is it overexcitabilities? Are they the same thing? Are they a different thing? And I, in my experience, I was like the, actually what set me off on my journey was actually thinking I had hate ADHD because there was all these things about that that really resonated with me. Like, what were they, it’s kinda like the, the classic kind of, I don’t have a to-do list.

[00:36:05] I have a to-do basket and my desk is like, if you could only see it, it’s, it’s creative, let’s say it’s creative. And and there are a bunch of just, just this idea of actually, I’m really not all good organized, and I do struggle with executive function and there were a number of ADHD, typical things that I really resonated with.

[00:36:27] So I thought, oh my God, have I got ADHD? But then I’m researching for my kids about autism. And then it’s like, oh my God, I have, I got autism. And, but the, the lines are so blurry between all.

[00:36:44] Nadja Cereghetti: Exactly. It’s tricky. Right. It’s really tricky. And that’s what I think, like somebody came up with a definition and just put a line there, but is there a line, as you say, is it blurry?

[00:36:56] Where are the intersection like that that’s the same thoughts that I have, or is it all the same thing with different varieties and kind of, it is a spectrum, right? So it’s kind of like, I don’t know. Yeah. I don’t know. And then I’m wondering, okay. Is it’s helpful to have a name, but somebody said, and I forgot who that diagnosis is not a prognosis.

[00:37:26] And so we shouldn’t also limit ourselves to whatever label is being put on us or that we put on ourself, but it’s just, it’s a starting point for exploring.

[00:37:39] Sophia Elliott: Absolutely. And I think, I think where I’ve got to is do you know, like two years or two years ago, or that was longer for me at the beginning of my journey.

[00:37:51] I thought I wouldn’t have had this language, but I thought I was near a typical. Hmm, exactly right. Yep. Okay. I just thought I was a typical human being and now I know I am not neuro-typical I’m your atypical. I am neurodivergent and I have a couple of labels, but it’s like, but actually what I know is that my brain works differently, because beyond that, the lines of blurry and, and it’s like you say, it’s sort of like, I think the label that is important for me, at least for me and for my kids is neurodiverse.

[00:38:34] It’s less about the subcategories. And it’s more knowing that there are some things that I have challenges and there are some strengths I have, and that’s because I’m here at an agent and they’re all. Okay. And if I know some of the subcategories, I guess sometimes, although, because the lines of blurry, not always can help me understand those strengths and those challenges and put accommodations in place, or just have confidence in it.

[00:39:06] Like, like yourself, I always had imposter syndrome and,

[00:39:13] I sort of had a Korea that was probably a bit patchy. And I always had a lot of insecure insecurity. Isn’t quite the right word, but I always felt. Lesser because I didn’t didn’t have a typical, I hate it when people ask me, what do you do and say, well, because my jobs are always like a bit different.

[00:39:36] Know I spent a decade in politics doing different things and, and different things, project management type stuff in the not-for-profit, but different things, and it was always hard to quantify that in a, a 32nd reply. I always just wanted to say, look, I’m an accountant or I’m a teacher, or I’m a thing.

[00:39:54] I’m a thing. But I could never find the thing, but now I’m like, actually I know I’m a generalist. I know I’m really good at getting across topics and content that I’m interested in. And I know that I, I really kind of socket executive function organizing. Like I have, if I could only show you. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 different to do like this and calendars right here in front of me for dislikes different purposes.

[00:40:32] And they’re all visuals that I can see them and cross things off in a bid to stay focused and achieve things each week. And I’m okay about that because, because I know that that I’m also very creative. I’m a great problem solver. I see connections that other people don’t see. And I get myself now and, and I didn’t have all that at the beginning of this year.

[00:41:04] Nadja Cereghetti: Yes. Yeah, it’s very empowering. I think just learning about this topic of neurodivergence and as you said, I think the most important thing is not, am I gifted? Do I have ADHD? Do I have overexcitabilities? Neurodivergent and as you said, that that’s the most important realization and it’s okay. It’s not me, my character, my personality that’s at fault.

[00:41:34] It’s my brain is wired differently, so I have different strengths and different weaknesses than the general population. And that’s why I think we click because our journeys are so similar and also like your patchy courier. And I had, I had, I had a, such an amazing guest on my show. I don’t know if you heard Sarah Beck, Sarah Burke, talk about hybrid professional identities and that’s another.

[00:42:02] Really positive and empowering language that it’s like, you don’t need to have the single career. You don’t need to have like a multiplicity of careers, but we, we really create these hybrid identities and starting to see ourselves in a more positive light and getting our own languages around this and our own experiences.

[00:42:24] I think that that is really where my journey took me. It’s really disempowering. I still suffer from imposter syndrome, but I’m like, but it’s okay. So that, that’s kind of where, where I got in, in my journey so far.

[00:42:39] Sophia Elliott: And that’s I think that’s a really great thing. And I love that because I think we do need to celebrate what we can bring to the now, and I bring all sorts of experiences from different places and they enrich what I have to offer as a generalist, as someone who has done a bunch of different things and.

[00:43:00] And that’s, there’s a place for that, as well as, as the specialist. And I think that’s really important and like, I think you’re right. , if there’s something that I hope people take away from this, this conversation, this episode listening, it’s, it’s, let’s not get hung up on the labels, but don’t be afraid to find comfort in the fact that your brain’s different.

[00:43:25] And, and sometimes we can get a label that, and that helps narrow things down and determine that sometimes it’s a whole lot harder. I mean, even with our kids, it can take years and years and years to actually figure that stuff out. But don’t let that discourage you from things that resonate with you, that lived experience.

[00:43:47] Don’t let anyone tell you that. If you’re, if you’re vibing off people talking about gifted traits, if you’re going, yeah, that’s me or ADHD and gifted or autistic and gifted or whatever it is, don’t let someone with a checklist say, no, that’s not you, because if it’s making sense to you, if you then, then you take that and, and you let that make sense of your world and who you are for you.

[00:44:15] I think that’s what I want people to know.

[00:44:18] Nadja Cereghetti: Yes. Completely agree with that completely. Yeah.

[00:44:24] Sophia Elliott: And so I really appreciate you sharing your journey because do you know what, if I’d had your experience with the IQ test and doing like a gifted podcast? I would have imploded. So I, I empathize so much and I. And I think you’re so brave going, no, I’m going to call Jen.

[00:44:45] I’m going to dig deeper and still look because your lived experience is that you, you, like you said earlier, when you discovered the giftedness thing, there were tears of relief. That’s, that’s real and that’s who you are. And that made sense to you made sense of your world. And I just think it’s really brave of you to share that.

[00:45:06] And I really appreciate it. Cause I think it’s so important that people know all these things don’t always pan out. Don’t let an expert tell you, you’re not who you are. If that’s who you believe you are. Right. So thank you so much. And oh my goodness. I wonder, we do a podcast in a year’s time.

[00:45:24] What the hell, where we’re both going to be at,

[00:45:29] Nadja Cereghetti: for sure. For sure. I would love that. Yeah. I

[00:45:34] Sophia Elliott: feel like this needs to be an annual event of just kind of like catching up for what, what have you discovered? What yeah. What’s the last 12 months been for you. And so I want people to know that to, to hear more stories that you might vibe with unleashed Monday is brilliant.

[00:45:51] Now just podcast is amazing. I listened to all the time, so many interesting people and stories, and it’s a way of exploring. This for yourself and seeing what works for you and what makes sense to you because, and if you’re a parent listening to this, the power in this, the reason why this work is important is because in understanding yourself, you’re understanding your kids.

[00:46:16] Cause they’re like, they, you, right. And it gives you a language to then talk to your kids and understand their lived experience. So doing this work for yourself is important. I give you permission to spend time on yourself, fit into your day, because it will help you parent and it will help you certainly has helped me.

[00:46:39] So now, any final words now, Nigel, thank you so much for coming on today.

[00:46:45] Nadja Cereghetti: Thank you for having me. It’s always a pleasure being here and yeah. Permission to be different. I think that that’s what we hear to say and yeah. Really encouraging everybody to listen to unleash Monday. And I also have a community for gifted and twice exceptional women.

[00:47:04] So everything is on, on the website@unleashmonday.com. So, and I’m looking forward to next year when we catch up again on your podcasts, if you have,

[00:47:15] Sophia Elliott: I know me too. Absolutely. And yeah, exactly. Nadja not only has a podcast. She also has a community and that’s a way of meeting other people and exploring these differences and similarities and, and getting to know it all a bit better as well.

[00:47:31] So thank you so much for your time today. And I really look forward to catching up with. You too.

[00:47:37] Nadja Cereghetti: Bye. Bye.

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