When you’re multipassionate or a multipotentialite, it’s easy to get lost in your own mind. Often I think of so many options and possibilities, it’s overwhelming, and I end up suffering from self-inflicted decision fatigue. I abandon my projects or I have a hard time getting started in the first place because I can’t clearly see where I’m trying to go.
There’s no way to completely avoid this. It’s part of the process. Sometimes letting go of a project can bring a huge sense of relief, but in general, feeling lost and directionless is stressful. However, I’ve found that one of my greatest gifts as a multipotentialite can help me navigate this problem.
Tune Into Your Passions
When I come across something new, everything is exciting. I feel driven to do it all. But, if I sit with things for a bit, it becomes clear that some opportunities feel more exciting than others.
One of the things I like to do is to create a list of all the projects I’m working on (or subjects I’m learning about) right now. After making my list, I read it again slowly, one project at a time.
I ask myself:
Do any projects stand out as particularly exciting?
Are there any projects that create a strong feeling of “yes” inside of me?
Are any projects calling out to me more than the others?
The projects that are calling to me are highlighting the direction I need to go in. If you’re having problems checking in with how you feel about your projects, try comparing them to each other.
Which project on your list is the most exciting, the first one or the second one? The second one or the third one? (It’s like going to the optometrist…)
Mark the ones that stand out.
Then try comparing the ones you marked with each other to see what comes out on top.
I like to think that I’m multipassionate for a reason. What I’m drawn to or feel passionate about is creating a unique path for me. And as a multipassionate person, I only complete projects that I feel about intensely. Tapping into those feelings can help with navigating the confusion of making decisions.
Give Long Standing Interests Priority
Right now there are quite a few interests that are catching my eye. I want to try growing microgreens and I’m curious about fermentation. I’m working on getting my coaching certification, and I want to learn more about weaving. I would like to learn how to play the African finger piano, and lately the ukulele has been looking attractive too (I have a thing for portable instruments). But through it all, I give the most of my energy to writing and visual art.
I’ve been into both of these hobbies since childhood and they play a vital role in how I process and interpret my life. They are essential to my emotional health. So out of everything, I give projects that involve writing or visual artistry priority. Also I’ve been entrepreneurial since childhood, so I create space for that in my life too. For me, entrepreneurship has always been a unique way to connect and share with others, and to leverage my self sufficiency. It’s an interest that has never left me.
Are there any projects on your list that require skills you’ve been honing for a long time, maybe since childhood? In what ways do those skills add to your quality of life?
Things You Return to Regularly Get Priority
I have certain ideas for projects that resurface in my mind on repeat. The thing about ideas like these is that they are so easy to ignore. It’s like, “Oh, there’s that idea again. Whatever.”
I tend to dismiss them,so they can be hard to catch. But once in a while I notice one of these ideas as it appears, and I jot it down before it flits away. Ideas that cycle through your mind multiple times are so meaningful because these are things that you are feeling attracted to on the regular. They are calling you.
So if you can, indulge one of your repetitive ideas. Maybe things will work out with it or maybe they won’t, but either way, you’ll learn something that you can take to future endeavors. Overall, I like to give ideas like these priority because they often point me towards something I need to explore.
Be Aware of Your Preferences and Values
Your values and preferences can have a huge impact on the direction you take with your projects.
For example, with this blog. I could have set it up on WordPress or Squarespace and be totally fine. Honestly, I’m a big fan of Squarespace, and I find their website layouts beautiful. However, I deeply value digital literacy, and I desire to have an active role in understanding the underlying workings of my website. I also want to have the knowledge of how to tweak my site on a coding level. So I did the super nerdy thing and decided to host my blog on GitHub.
My values had a direct impact on what project I decided to take on. I went from building a Squarespace blog to a GitHub blog. Even something as simple as wanting to learn to play portable instruments ties into my personal belief that there is nothing more beautiful than the ability to make music wherever you go.
Do any of your projects relate to your deeply held values or beliefs?
Seeing the relationship between your projects and what you believe makes decision making so much easier because it helps you to narrow down the options to what is the most meaningful for you.
Be Ready to Let Things Fall Away
Whenever you say “yes” to something, you are saying “no” to something else. This is simply a result of having limited time. It is what it is. At first glance this can definitely lead to some serious FOMO. It’s like, “What if I’m saying ‘no’ to some really good stuff!!!”
Let me assure you, you are not missing out on anything. The things that fall away aren’t a part of your path. And why spend time on a skill or personal project that you only feel half-hearted about? Your energy deserves so much better than that. This especially goes for projects that you’ve invested a large amount of effort into, but deep down you feel like it’s sucking away your soul.
With projects like these, it’s best to cut your losses, tie things up the best you can (especially if others are involved), and move on. You will not only feel much better, but now you’ve created space for a brand new project, and you can direct your energy towards something that’s a better fit for you.
So if you’re a wandering multipotentialite right now, I hope you find these tips helpful. If you’re looking for more resources to support your multipassionate adventures, you may also enjoy my book: I Want to Do All The Things: Finding Balance as a Polymath, Multipotentialite & Renaissance Soul.