Self-Doubt, Confusion, and Feeling Like a Mess When You’re a Multipotentialite

Self-Doubt, Confusion, and Feeling Like a Mess When You’re a Multipotentialite

Written by Emilie

Topics: Health

Are you a multipod with tons of aspirations and projects who sometimes (or maybe most of the time) feels like you can’t get anything done?

This week, I decided to record a video reply to Martina, who posted a question about this issue in the forums of the Puttytribe. Check it out:

Your Turn

How do you deal with feelings of self-doubt, confusion, and the general inability to make stuff happen? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

Got any burning multipotentialite questions? If you want a supportive community to bounce your problems and ideas around with, be sure to check out the Puttytribe.

We’re accepting new members today, September 26, for 24 hours only.

20 Comments

  1. Char says:

    I so get that- I also am torn between pursuits & the tasks that go with them, especially when I have a deadline. That deadline is self imposed, but I’m also frustrated for not “catching on” to this new material and venue as fast as I expected. I suffer from chronic pain- so get limited physically with computer time and content creation time. Then the daily things of life- like eating- get in the way- and the family members within our home. I think we all have limitations and challenges. That is part of life. Maybe just writing down 1 thing today to focus on and a priority of what is next will help navigate thru all those things. I am fighting “clutter” – it is my nemesis. I am constantly challenged about starting a new project before cleaning up from the one prior. That clutter also affects my state of mind. I wish I could join the PuttyTribe right now- but I’ve financially committed to a new blog venture… and will need to wait.

  2. Thank you, Emily.

    I’ve been having a few weeks of this self-doubt. Different than before.

    I’m struggling with self-confidence and your description of the process helps.

    You are a real inspiration to me. Thank you for being so courageously vulnerable.

    Have an awesome week!

    M.

  3. Nhat Nguyen says:

    I read, read, read a lot from books and sites like Puttylike, Quora, Medium…etc to find out solutions for myself. It seems like we are all struggling with these feeling issues, and they still keep coming back though. We have to deal with them every time. Thanks Emilie for sharing your advice.

  4. Nicole says:

    Well that was a lovely vlog to wake up to!! Thanks Emilie. It really helps me to hear things like this, it reminds me to just check in with myself a bit more regularly. I hope you enjoyed your walk xxx

  5. Anna says:

    Thank you Emilie….the same here……It`s a big chaos and cannot grab my Stars……kiss

  6. Merci ! Thank you so much, a great inspiring video to launch more in peace a new Co creative day :) very best to all !

  7. JC says:

    Hi Emilie

    Great post. I know this isn’t 100% related, but I wonder if you could do a post about wishing you were a specialist and how to deal. Because I can’t stop seeing multipassionate as a negative thing. Maybe it’s because I got bullied by career service people and other people telling me “you’re 29 and you still don’t know what you’re doing with your life??” etc

    I envy specialists, some have 20 years track record in their work, whereas I don’t. I hate being a multipod everyday and can’t shake it. I’d be interested in if there’s coping methods for multipods who wish they weren’t. I’m not looking to join the Tribe though. Hope you can help.

    • Emilie says:

      Hey JC,

      Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll see what I can do about addressing that in a future post. Curious though, do you have any multipotentialite role models? It might help to read up on people like this or anyone interviewed on this podcast or even the examples I included in How to Be Everything. I think the key to being happy about your multipotentiality if to witness some other models of success…beyond the 20+ kind.

  8. Seb says:

    Argh I -just- missed the join date, apparently. A friend of mine suggested your video on multipotentialites and I think I finally found a label to label all the labels. Thanks for this video! It already helps and makes me want to join.

    (Sadly, the mailing list button(s) don’t seem to work? Yet?) :)

  9. Kate Rosen says:

    I’m glad you addressed this, because I have been struggling mightily with my inability to sustain anything. I simply can’t look at my own personal history and tell myself that I’m only beating myself up, I CAN sustain things, dammit! Given the ubiquity of notions like “grit” and “mastery,” this conclusion is really demoralizing and depressing, and, I suspect, a reason why many multipods feel like failures. While slapping a happy face on it and proclaiming that you’re proud to be who you are may save you from despair in the short term, this site is valuable because it seeks to move beyond affirmation and toward real, workable solutions. I think identifying our unquestioned assumptions about character and success is a big part of it. Although I can’t pretend that I have successfully sustained much of anything, I can recognize that I have absorbed a belief that only through relentless pursuit of a single goal can we be valuable human beings. That’s not to say that such a pursuit is misguided or wrong, because clearly, it isn’t for the majority of “successful” people. But it is important to realize that there’s no denying that I am different from most people. I am more flexible, more comfortable with change, more able to improvise than the average person. This, truly, is an asset, and not a liability, and not one that most people have.

    I think of it in the context of cooking. Why are cookbooks so perennially popular? It’s not because people crave new dishes — it’s because they crave recipes. They enjoy the process of careful planning and following directions. And by doing those things, they will probably turn out a pretty good dish — maybe even a great one. That’s one way of working, and that’s one way of being a good cook. Another way, one that most people don’t write about because it appeals to fewer people, and because it seems to require some kind of natural “talent” is to enjoy the process of invention. Some people eschew recipes and planned trips to the market in favor of making shit up on the fly, tasting as you go, and combining flavors and techniques based on instinct and inspiration. And by doing those things, they will probably turn out a pretty good dish — maybe even a great one. Would the dish be better with a little technique, a little knowledge, perhaps gleaned from… following recipes? Absolutely. We have a lot to learn from recipe-followers. But the world has plenty of recipe-followers. To me, it looks like life is easier for them; they know what to do, and they can do it pretty well if they must. But I know that they struggle with questions about their “originality” or “creativity.” They prefer consistency, and resist change. For them, the phrase “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” is an indictment, not an affirmation. So I guess what this (weirdly long) post is trying to say is that when we’re feeling like failures or like “ONLY-potentialites,” rather than “REALIZED-potentialites,” we have to try to hang on to the idea that our skills, our way of being, is actually NEEDED by the world. That just like we may need a little help guiding (or re-kindling) our exuberant, sometimes too-dispersed energy, the recipe-followers may need a little help stepping away from the book. The world needs that multipod energy to evolve and grow, but it can’t do it without the consistency of the more single-minded types who populate the success books. Could it be that our conception of what constitutes a valuable contribution is so ingrained that when we fail to conform to it, we lose faith in our own potential, and fail to give it the love and care it needs to thrive? Let’s not do that, okay?

    Thanks for doing what you’re doing, Emilie!

    • AnnaM says:

      Great analogy of recipes and cook books. I love buying cook books but when a recipe turned out wierd at the weekend I lambasted myself for never actually following the recipes, I realised that I never do other than a general idea! Thanks for helping me to see that’s just the way I am. You don’t always know how your words will chime with someone; yours chimed with me ?

  10. Kristin says:

    This is exactly what I needed! I am endlessly feeling like I just can’t get my s*** together and it really came to a head today. My “main gig” is being a middle school teacher and EVERY YEAR I tell myself that THIS is the year I am going to cut back on jobs, hobbies, projects, etc. in order to avoid this feeling of being completely overwhelmed, and frankly, unsuccessful (because of my inability to really get anything done the way I want to). Of course, EVERY YEAR I ignore myself and end up…here. It is so nice to be reminded that I am not the only one feeling this way, but also that it is ok. I also appreciate the advice on how to set more realistic goals and be kinder to myself. It is a work in progress.

  11. Nania says:

    Thanks Emilie, great vlog.

  12. Kate Rosen says:

    I’m glad you addressed this, because I have been struggling mightily with my inability to sustain anything. I simply can’t look at my own personal history and tell myself that I’m only beating myself up, I CAN sustain things, dammit! Given the ubiquity of notions like “grit” and “mastery,” this conclusion is really demoralizing and depressing, and, I suspect, a reason why many multipods feel like failures. While slapping a happy face on it and proclaiming that you’re proud to be who you are may save you from despair in the short term, this site is valuable because it seeks to move beyond affirmation and toward real, workable solutions. I think identifying our unquestioned assumptions about character and success is a big part of it. Although I can’t pretend that I have successfully sustained much of anything, I can recognize that I have absorbed a belief that only through relentless pursuit of a single goal can we be valuable human beings. That’s not to say that such a pursuit is misguided or wrong, because clearly, it isn’t for the majority of “successful” people. But it is important to realize that there’s no denying that I am different from most people. I am more flexible, more comfortable with change, more able to improvise than the average person. This, truly, is an asset, and not a liability, and not one that most people have.

    I think of it in the context of cooking. Why are cookbooks so perennially popular? It’s not because people crave new dishes — it’s because they crave recipes. They enjoy the process of careful planning and following directions. And by doing those things, they will probably turn out a pretty good dish — maybe even a great one. That’s one way of working, and that’s one way of being a good cook. Another way, one that most people don’t write about because it appeals to fewer people, and because it seems to require some kind of natural “talent” is to enjoy the process of invention. Some people eschew recipes and planned trips to the market in favor of making shit up on the fly, tasting as you go, and combining flavors and techniques based on instinct and inspiration. And by doing those things, they will probably turn out a pretty good dish — maybe even a great one. Would the dish be better with a little technique, a little knowledge, perhaps gleaned from… following recipes? Absolutely. We have a lot to learn from recipe-followers. But the world has plenty of recipe-followers. To me, it looks like life is easier for them; they know what to do, and they can do it pretty well if they must. But I know that they struggle with questions about their “originality” or “creativity.” They prefer consistency, and resist change. For them, the phrase “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” is an indictment, not an affirmation. So I guess what this (weirdly long) post is trying to say is that when we’re feeling like failures or like “ONLY-potentialites,” rather than “REALIZED-potentialites,” we have to try to hang on to the idea that our skills, our way of being, is actually NEEDED by the world. That just like we may need a little help guiding (or re-kindling) our exuberant, sometimes too-dispersed energy, the recipe-followers may need a little help stepping away from the book. The world needs that multipod energy to evolve and grow, but it can’t do it without the consistency of the more single-minded types who populate the success books. Could it be that our conception of what constitutes a valuable contribution is so ingrained that when we fail to conform to it, we lose faith in our own potential, and fail to give it the love and care it needs to thrive? Let’s not do that, okay?

  13. Francesca Paola says:

    I feel a mess and sad because I have no job because here in south Italy Multipotentialite doesn’t exist like idea or nobody knows what it is, here I am just superficial and can decide what to do with my life.

  14. DD says:

    Thank you for this post! It’s like a warm, friendly and understanding tap on one’s shoulder… You have no idea how better it made me feel! :)

  15. Catherine says:

    Thank you! This is something I struggle a lot! I got curious on what the Harry Potter quote was :D

Leave a Comment