I first met today’s guest when he enthusiastically shared some of my animated shorts on 2E experiences. We have followed each other, and I’m a big fan of his advocacy work. Join us to learn more!
Dr. Matt Zakreski is a psychologist who works with gifted and twice-exceptional folks. We have connected over social media, and I’m excited to talk to him today and introduce him to the Embracing Intensity audience.
- How Matt is intensely passionate about his experience as a “grown-up gifted kid,” helping people through therapy and training, ultimate Frisbee, craft beer, Bruce Springsteen, and comic books
- Why Matt’s personal brand of intensity means that he wants things to be “this way,” and has a tough time when they aren’t; he wants to know expectations ahead of time
- How Matt learned to embrace his giftedness later in his school years and had to find his people in the arts
- Why Matt speaks the language of caring and wants to be around people who care about something
- How even with ADHD and giftedness, Matt appreciates authenticity in himself and others
- In his school experience, Matt realized how to “flex” his gifts in language arts but struggled in STEM classes
- How Matt advises families to learn from his mistakes to “work smart, not hard”
- How Matt felt responsibility and a lot of expectations as the oldest child in his family
- How Matt felt the divide in high school between living in the sports world as an athlete and the arts world
- How Matt tried to tone himself down and embrace his leadership style of being second in command
- How Matt felt his intensity out of control significantly when he was bullied in 8th grade
- How Matt uses his fire for good by helping kids learn to lift others up instead of tearing others down
- Why getting in touch with his emotional world and being vulnerable have helped Matt harness the power of his intensity
- Personal habits that have helped Matt use his fire positively are taking time daily for long walks, podcasts, and music
- How Matt helps others use their fire by helping them be their best selves
- Why it’s energizing to make time for yourself
- Parting words from Matt: “If you are too much for some people, then those are not your people. Do something for you, and do your version of it. Have the confidence to put your own spin on what self-care looks like for you. We have to value putting ourselves in inspiring and charging situations instead of draining ones. You are worth putting yourself first.”
Find Matt on Facebook.