Being a multipotentialite is great, but even if you recognize the benefits that come with being interested in many things, you’re probably only too familiar with the negative emotions that come with not being able to stick to one thing.
There you are, bumbling along, excited about the project you’re working on, and then WHAM! Suddenly you’re hit by a shiny new interest or idea, and you have a hard time keeping your attention on the thing you’re currently working on.
After battling for a while to keep your old passion going, you eventually admit defeat, drop it, and go after your new interest.
Starting the new project is really exciting, but it’s kind of tarnished with the disappointment you feel at not sticking to your old interest. You feel guilty, your confidence is knocked, and you reinforce the belief that you’re a quitter.
How To Stop Feeling Guilty
The problem in this situation isn’t so much our changing interests as it is the feelings and beliefs we associate with these changes.
Starting a new project or picking up a new skill is fun, but we don’t let ourselves enjoy it because we believe we should feel bad about dropping our old ones. It’s the result of growing up in a world that favors specialists.
Struggling on with this cycle of resistance and disappointment is exhausting. It leaves you feeling bad about yourself, forcing yourself to do things you hate, and wondering when the cycle will stop.
What if, instead of struggling on, you could get rid of the guilt and enjoy your new interests? What if you didn’t have to feel bad about quitting?
The good news is that you can. And not by changing yourself or your multipotentialite patterns, but by changing your mindset. Here’s how to do just that.
Accept your multipotentiality
Stop trying to change the way things are, the way you are. Stop trying to resist your change in focus.
Instead, accept that you are a multipotentialite. Accept that you will always lose interest in old hobbies and get excited by new ones. Acknowledge this as a fact about yourself.
Expect your interest to wane
Instead of being surprised every time you lose interest in a topic, expect that shift. Know that, after putting in a certain amount of time or effort, or reaching a certain level, your interest will wane.
Enjoy an interest while it’s there, but plan for its disappearance. Keep a would-like-to-learn-list or a bucket list. Get hold of a copy of the evening classes at your local college. Jot down ideas for future projects. Be prepared, so that, when the time comes, you can move onto something else straightaway.
Throw yourself into your new interests
When a new interest does come along, let yourself enjoy it. Instead of resisting and resenting it, allow yourself to be excited by it.
Let yourself dive right into it. Get a load of books out of the library. Sign up to a class. Subscribe to lots of blogs. Don’t hold back out of guilt.
If you feel sad about dropping your old interest, tell yourself you’ll come back to it in the future. You could even put a reminder in your journal to check in with yourself at a later date to see if you’re ready to go back to it yet. It’ll still be there when you want it.
You don’t have to stop leaving things behind to feel good about yourself. You just have to understand that this is how you function, anticipate change, and go with the flow when it changes direction. It’ll feel so much better, I promise.
Do you try to make yourself stick with interests that no longer do anything for you? Have you found a way to stop feeling guilty about your changing interests?
Joanna L K Moore (Jo) is a thinker, writer, maker, and doer. She writes about self-awareness and living a life that suits who you are at JoannaLKMoore.com. A multipotentialite through and through, Jo’s also a linguist, a runner, a powerlifter, a virtual assistant, the creator of DIY Self-Esteem: How To Start Liking Yourself, and an aspiring LGBT chick lit author.