Picture this: You find something to do that you really enjoy, so you dive in and completely, happily submerse yourself in learning all you can. You feel like you’ve found your “thing”.
But, after a while, you start to get restless. You wonder if this isn’t really your thing, after all, and your attention wanders.
All-of-a-sudden, you discover something else that ignites a spark in you! So, abandoning the first thing, you dive into this new thing and completely, happily submerse yourself in learning all you can.
But after a while, you once again start to feel restless…
I am here to reassure you that you are not actually “crazy” … or “flighty”… or “immature” … or “lazy”. You are, in fact, a multipassionate!
MULTIPASSIONATE: “a person who has many different interests and creative pursuits in life.” (aka: Renaissance Soul | Generalist | Scanner | Multipotenialite)
When I first discovered the concept of multipassionates, through reading “The Renaissance Soul” (Margaret Lobenstine), I was so relieved! Family had always told me I needed to “settle down” and “just pick something, already!” So, I was constantly at war within myself. It felt nearly impossible to choose one thing, and accept that this would be my fate. It scared me.
Yet, on learning that there were others who were just like me — that I wasn’t actually supposed to stay with one thing forever — I was overjoyed!
Back in the Renaissance days, studying in multiple fields was actually encouraged. It was a good thing to be interested in music, and art, and mathematics, and scientific inquiries.
And, check this out: It’s a very sought-after thing, these days, to be adaptable… to know a lot about many different topics is actually to your benefit! Employers love to see people who pick up new skills easily. You’re already ahead of those who don’t care to learn more, preferring to think they “know enough” already.
Here are just a few ways you can use this aspect of your personality to your advantage:
- Highlight your adaptability and flexibility when applying for jobs.
- Become a resource — share your knowledge wherever you see a need.
- Combine several of your loves to form a new path of employment for yourself!
- Appreciate the variety in your life — that you’re never stuck in one place, forever.
- Think about the many new people you’re getting to meet, in all of these different areas — this makes you a master networker!
So, be encouraged. Own the fact that you love a lot of things! Accept that you’ll always feel bored once you’ve “mastered” knowledge of a certain topic, and see it as a good thing that you’re ready to learn something new!
Have you ever gotten into something, realized it wasn’t the greatest fit for you, and then… accepted your fate and stayed put? Maybe you thought it was the “responsible” thing to do, or that, since you’d already invested this much time in it, you may as well keep going. But, what if I told you that it was okay to quit — to let it go?
So often, we blindly follow rules and perform actions without questioning why. We accept that things just are the way they are, because that’s how it’s “always been”, or we do things a certain way because it’s what is “expected”. The problem is, we then end up just going through the motions in life, and things continue to feel boring, or routine, or mundane. We continue to do and think things, but then wonder why we feel so unfulfilled.
Here’s a question for you: Who decided that you must keep doing things that way? What would happen if you changed things up? And, who said you can’t do this or that? What if you all-of-a-sudden just…did? (obviously, I’m not meaning anything illegal, or morally corrupt, okay?)
Seriously, though… I think far too many of us are left with unsatisfying and unfulfilling lives because we forget the following 4 things:
It’s okay — and even GOOD! — to question things; to ask “why”. Until I was in my late teens, I never really questioned my faith or the things I’d been taught in church, or even the way we did things in that church. Yet when I learned to question, I saw the flaws, and I realized I’d fallen into legalism. My faith has actually grown by leaps & bounds, ever since I learned to question why I do & think the things I do.
Despite what they say about our poor feline friend, curiosity won’t (normally) kill you. Instead, it makes life brighter, and it adds an element of fun! We are born curious… it’s how we learn! Which leads me to…
You know that thing you’ve been wanting to do, but you’ve put off doing out of hesitation? What would happen if you took a leap of faith, and just gave it a try? Sure, you might fail at it. Would that really be as bad as you think? Isn’t regretting chances not taken ultimately worse? Don’t let your fear hold you back, and leave you with end-of-life regrets. Take chances! Have an open-minded attitude. Decide you will try the thing, and if it doesn’t work out (or you end up really disliking it), you can just let it go and try something else! You have the freedom to choose. Use it! (and hey… maybe it will work out — maybe you’ll succeed — and you’ll have a blast! Only one way to find out!)
All too many of us (myself, included!) tend to forget that it takes practice to become good at just about everything. All of us start at Level Zero when we’re first trying something new. Every single one of us starts as a beginner — a “newbie”. And that’s an okay place to be. Why? Because you can only go UP from there! By practicing, you may never reach “perfection”, but you –guaranteed!– will see progress. Yes, it may take a while. The more you do a thing, however, the better you’ll get at it. Keep practicing, and you’ll keep “leveling up“! It’s the only way to succeed.
So, the next time you’re feeling stuck or bored, ask yourself if you need to throw out the old ways, and try something new. Be curious about how you can change things up. And, when you find something that does bring a spark back to things, accept your “beginner” status, and commit to practicing until you’ve gotten to your preferred level of excellence. And, don’t forget: nothing is ever permanent (except death). You ALWAYS have the freedom to make a different choice.
I love personality quizzes! Mind you, I’ve always been very self-reflective, and I love psychology (knowing what makes people do what they do).
Either way, I honestly believe that knowing my personality type has brought me freedom. Let me show you how…
A LITTLE HISTORY
I started learning about personality types back in 1997. Florence Littauer’s books were the first to introduce me to these, and from there, I have taken several others.
THE RENAISSANCE SOUL
Margaret Lobenstine has a book called “The Renaissance Soul“, and it describes me perfectly! When I found this book, I immediately recommended it to my sister, and she, too, feels that it perfectly describes her. She and I now frequently reference this aspect of our personalities. 😉
Tom Rath’s book, “StrengthsFinder 2.0“, had a code for you to go online and take the Clifton StrengthsFinder quiz. From that, I learned that my “Top 5” are Empathy, Connectedness, Input, Intellection, and Strategic.
This explained for me my love of keeping empty boxes around in case I might need them some day (Input), and my love of books & reading (Intellection / collecting knowledge!).
MYERS-BRIGGS TYPE INDICATOR
Through reading several descriptions online, I learned my MBTI — only to then take a quiz at 16personalites.com and have my findings confirmed. I am predominantly INFP (Introverted, iNtuitive, Feeling, Perceiving), but also ENFP (probably about a 60% | 40% mix).
[Fun fact: One who has a fairly even split between Introvert & Extrovert is called an “Ambivert“! Thanks, Pinterest!] LOL
I haven’t done enough research on this one, yet, so I don’t know enough about it. But, from the quiz I took, my Enneagram number is 5.
Generally, I tend to stay away from Astrology & horoscopes — they’re never very accurate, anyway. However, there are bits of the Sagittarius profile (my horoscope) that fit me perfectly … fiercely independent? Yep! A fiery temper? Not so much. I’m quite easy-going, in fact.
I also researched my core values, and came up with a list of my top 10 (plus a few extra). Suffice it to say, Freedom is my #1 core value, and SheWillRise has that as its overarching theme — the thread that ties all of my various interests together.
So, having done all of these quizzes (plus, a whole slew of the ones through BuzzFeed… Thanks, Facebook! LOL), I now feel I have a really good grasp of who I am, what makes me tick, and why I do what I do… especially on default/instinct, when I’m not really responding, but reacting.
LEARNING TO “SEE”
Because I know my personality type and core values, I can now see why certain jobs never fit me (mainly any of them where I work for an employer! LOL), and why I’ve acted as I have — or made certain choices — in the past. Knowing that I’m a right-brained creative, for example (INFP is “the Artist”), shows me why the left-brained, secretarial jobs I’ve had never worked out for me (I had 3 of them in 3 years!). I was trying to force the proverbial square peg into a round hole, so-to-speak… acting in a way that was in opposition to my type.
During the second of those secretarial jobs, I was super-stressed because of work, and decided to make up a list of all of the things I both loved & hated from all of my previous jobs. Doing this, plus taking into account my personality & values, I was able to make my next job a much better fit for me, even if it still wasn’t perfect. Of course, at that time, I still hadn’t realized the bit about my right-brained creative side (I knew I had it, but it’d been buried for years at that point). Therefore, I still didn’t see that secretarial jobs weren’t a fit for me. After all, I’d gone to college and had gotten a certificate in Office Administration! So, I assumed that that’s what I needed to (should) be doing! I knew that, eventually, when finances allowed, I wanted to start my own business — I didn’t know what business, yet, but I knew I wanted to work for myself. But again, finances at that time didn’t allow for that.
Well, fast forward nine months, and I found myself out of a job — again. And, being that the job market was pretty sucky (especially in the small town where I live), hubby suggested that I go through the government-run self-employment program (here in Ontario, Canada) and try starting up the business I’d told him I’d been considering (virtual assistance for authors). So, I did!
Since October 2013, I have been self-employed (yay!). As previously mentioned, I’ve always had a gut feeling that I was meant to be an entrepreneur — long before I got the chance to be one! I come from a family of entrepreneurs, actually (both of my grandfathers, two of my uncles, and my sister), so I like to say “it’s in my blood!” LOL
Mind you, even my first year-and-a-half of self-employment was a learning curve. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, the “virtual assistant” thing didn’t last long, partially because it was yet another secretarial gig.
I then thought about doing Life & Business Coaching and took the steps toward that, but I realized I’d need years of training first, which I didn’t have the time or money for. So, that got set aside…
Four-and-a-half years into my self-employment journey, I realized that coaching really is the thing I’m meant to do with my life. I was able to look back through my journals (from the past several years), and connect the dots. And it stood out like a glaring light… Plus, it helped that I found some Life Coaching courses on sale through Udemy, which I purchased, and am working through.
The biggest thing my path has shown/taught me, though, is first, to know myself (ala Socrates), and second, to trust my intuition. All of the various versions of my “business(es)” over the last few years have been me getting an idea, trying it, feeling that something was still “off” (not quite “it”), and then pivoting to the next thing. It’s been frustrating, at times, and somewhat discouraging, too. However, I was blessed to have an amazing business coach & friend who helped me work through all of that, as well as my sister — a business-owner herself — whose business is thriving!
Another thing that helped add to my feeling of “freedom” was going to an Art Journaling class once a month, via the local library. This helped me to reconnect with my creativity.
I used to spend a lot of time doing “creative” or artsy things, but motherhood pushed that (mostly) into the background for seventeen years.
I also met some great new friends, in the last couple of years, who are musicians and creatives, themselves — which helped me to realize (after having spent time with them) that they are my “tribe”, my people… the creatives and the dreamers are with whom I feel at home.
So, be encouraged. If you still don’t know what you are meant to do, just keep experimenting. And, if you need help, you can always book a FREE discovery call with me to see if we’d be a good fit to work together through my Business Coaching services. I’d love to help you get clarity!
Do you know YOUR personality type? (Share it here! I’d love to see what mix we have!) If so, how has it helped you?