And why the future belongs to multi-potentiality!
The expression multi-passionate is being used more and more, especially for us millennials. Multi-talented, multi-potentiality, scanner, polymath, renaissance person, and generalist are related terms: all are used to describe people with multiple interests who have difficulties settling on a career. Thanks to Marie Forleo, this term is becoming common knowledge.
Are you a multi-passionate person?
It all starts with doing many different, unrelated, things and being criticized for not focusing on just one.
If you feel lost when listening to other people telling you about the one particular thing they are pursuing or if you can’t imagine anything more boring than a niched/ specialized position, then, no question about it, you are a multi-passionate!
Juggling different hats is what fills you with joy and a feeling of accomplishment. A multi-passionate individual is someone who finds it challenging to answer the question, “what do you want to become in the future or what particular career do you want”. Having varied passions, hobbies, and talents that you genuinely enjoy, makes it difficult to prioritize one and give up the others: there is just so much you find interesting!
Example of Multipassionate Entrepreneurs
Marie Forleo, Jenna Kutcher, Melyssa Griffin, Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and Richard Branson are good examples of multi-passionate people in today’s business environment. I would go so far as to say that almost every successful entrepreneur is a multi-passionate… I even would dare to say that in order to be an effective entrepreneur, you need to be multi-passionate.
So, if you are multi-passionate, why do you not step into your full potential and finally start your own business or begin taking your career seriously?
This is what’s holding you back as a multi-passionate…
Society nowadays is built for and around specialists, people who specialize in one field/skill and build a career around it.
It all started with industrialization and the need for optimization processes by giving each worker one specific task. Back then this seemed like a great innovation, but now, in modern times, it has been shown to be a major cause of anxiety, depression, and the feeling of not being able to fully contribute. It’s fair to say that mental well-being and the personal sense of purpose may not have been at the forefront of many companies.
However, just as specialists have their strengths which can make the workplace more vital, so do multi-passionate people!
You have superpowers you may not even be aware of.
For example, you’re a genius when it comes to seeing the big picture, aka holistic thinking. You’re also pretty good at transferable skills, which means you can apply any of your skills anywhere and anytime you need it. And, you’re a wiz at making innovative links and thinking outside the box, which the specialists are not so great at. If specialists are mad scientists, we’re mad creatives!
That doesn’t mean that you are not good at logical thinking, or at math. On the contrary, my dear, you are good at all of this. Whenever you have understood the process of how to become proficient in a specific skill, proficient enough to know how to link it with other fields, the process stops for you. Your interest is not how to become the very best in one specific area: your interest and desire is to understand how we can make this world a better place.
Obstacles to overcome
Sadly, many multi-passionates are also troubled by low self-esteem. Distracted by the belief that they are ‘supposed to’ find that one thing that they will then do for the rest of their life, and driven by outside pressure to become a version of themselves that makes sense to others, they frequently suffer from an innate lack of confidence. But you know better: if it doesn’t feel right, it’s not right. Unfortunately, the emotional side of learning is something that has been widely left out of the school system. So you are left with true knowledge but a silenced voice.
This is what multipotentialite must do:
(And yes, this is a real term.)
3. Build trust
You need to trust yourself and trust that all of your detours will make sense in the end. You go through life collecting knowledge and experiences, often not knowing how they fit together – and yet you just have to trust the process. Because if you stop, you will not find your why and your purpose. The last thing that you need is to look back at your life with regret and open questions.
2. Build confidence
Building confidence is the second pillar of a successful life as a multi-passionate. That means that you need to start recognizing your achievements, your individual talents and the accumulation of skills and interests and constitute your full potential. Defining a career or business (I rather prefer that path – more about it later) as the one that you are meant to create for yourself.
3. Build a community
I know that at times it feels like the entire world fails to understand you. That includes those who know and love you. But please, don’t give up. Instead of dwelling on the fact that you are not understood, start extending your own community to make sure you do not lose your multi-passionate magic. You are not alone – there are plenty of us out here. This is your big advantage. And being among others who are also not following set structures will help you stand out in the crowd. This is your key to reaching your dreams, the ones you were born to turn into reality. Only you can do it.
4. Complete Your Goals
Ok, this is the hardest part: the time to take one idea and run with it.
To date, you may have worked in many different roles, in many different industries, but now it is up to you – and only you – to take an inventory of your experiences and skills and pull all your courage together to take the next step.
- Allow yourself to remember your crazy big dream
- Draw up a strategy around it and visualize how a career or business that allows you to achieve these goals will look like
- Stop questioning your ability
- And, because nothing feels better than success, GO FOR ITt!
Because nothing feels better than succeeding and proving everyone wrong.
You weren’t born to conform, but to break free and create the unimaginable.
Let’s break some myths…
Stereotypes and stigmatizations, often used as political weapons, are what hold most societies back from developing. Because multipotentialites are like sponges, myths and stereotypes affect us even more. It can take years to undo this damage (sometimes also necessitating help from a professional), but you can do it.
I remember my godmother telling me once that I have always been different and I will never be normal. It did hurt at the time, but it also strengthened the rebel in me. In truth, I had never intended to be normal or live a regular life, so why not embrace her endorsement?
In case you are still working on dismantling every belief that is holding you back or trying to come up with clever responses next time someone tells you that you are a lost cause, please present them with these fascinating facts:
Multipassionates learn skills that transfer across various types of areas, including different trades. Such broad experience means that you know how to apply your skills to whatever project you’re assigned to. Even, if you must use your talents in a drastically different way for each project. You have the ability to transfer knowledge like no other.
Indecisive or having issues focusing isn’t your problem. You just like to know and You are not indecisive or have issues focusing. You just like to know and expand your knowledge more than a specialist. And experiences such as travel and extreme sports are an extension and a way for you to push the boundaries of your mental capacity. Basically, you want to know and try everything and to live wide.
You are not lost or confused. Society has been just pressuring you to become someone that you are not. Allowing yourself to embrace who you are is the first step towards healing and finally stepping into your full potential. There is nothing wrong with you. Society has been pressuring you to become someone that you are not. Allowing yourself to embrace who you really are is the first step towards healing and towards finally stepping into your full potential. Being a multipotential is a positive part of your character: a trait and the way your brain works. (By the way, yes, I believe that more women are multi-passionates, but more on that later).
Life is not a serious matter.
It is actually ok to discover and explore. The greatest inventions and stories in history have been created by multi-passionates. Katharina the Great, Leonardo da Vinci, MichelAngelo, Ada Lovelace, Margaret Knight and are just a few. We like to learn a lot of things that seem to be disconnected, but in the grand scheme of things, everything comes together.
You don’t have to choose one thing. On the contrary, you would be killing the essence of your gift by choosing just one thing.
This is what happens if you finally embrace your true potential!
Once I made the calculated decision of living life my way, it took me some time to put all the pieces together. It’s not a quick process and patience is certainly something that you will need.
But once you make the decision to not care about other people’s opinions and just do what you feel you want to, your life will be filled with so much more happiness and joy. You will be truly impacting the world in a positive way.
Don’t give up. Keep on moving forward!
- Emilie Wapnick’s amazing TED talk for “multipotentialites” (about how some of us don’t have just “one true calling,” but many callings).
- Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher (Barbara calls us “scanners” and her book is full of helpful definitions and actionable techniques).
- Liz Gilbert’s talk on Oprah is about how you don’t have to have one single passion, but follow your curiosities (she calls us “hummingbirds”).
- 1. Make a list with everything that you have achieved.
- 2. Make another list with everything that you still want to do.
- 3. Explore what values in life matter to you
- 4. And start stitching your talents together. Which skills have you been using the most in all these different areas of your life?
- 5. Start allowing yourself to rediscover your crazy big dream again!
I really hope that this article gives you hope and motivates you. Remember, you’re not alone, there are many multi-passionates out there, and I work with many of them: my team consists mostly of multi-passionates. You have one of the greatest gifts and it is up to you to show it to the world.
If you know someone who needs to read this, please forward it to them.
And if you are ready to embrace your multi-potentialite nature and step into entrepreneurship please feel free to check out my 90-day incubator for Multi-Passionate Women Who are Ready to Take Action.