Using Your Multipotentiality as a Test, and the Power of Human Connection
Photo courtesy of Aiden Jones.

Using Your Multipotentiality as a Test, and the Power of Human Connection

Written by Emilie

Topics: Confidence

What do you do when you meet someone new, share a bit about your projects, and they react negatively or seem uninterested? Do you take it personally, or could their reaction just be a sign that they’re not right for you?

I had two experiences over the last week that got me thinking about the connections we make by opening up about our passions.

Another thing occurred to me after making this video. It’s important not to let other people’s reactions harden you to the point where you stop allowing yourself to open up. Imagine if I had taken situation #1, projected that out onto the rest of the world, and assumed that the second woman was going to react the same way as the first did. I would have minimized my passion for what I do, and we never would have connected on that deeper level.

Stay vulnerable and lead with your heart. It is the only way to feel joy.

Your Turn

How do you introduce yourself to new people, and has your approach changed since becoming more comfortable with your multipotentiality?


  1. Thanks Emilie that is just what I needed to hear right now! I was wondering if it was good to be vulnerable and trust my heart, and your post reassured me.

  2. Jo says:

    This is actually related to an experiment I’m working on, which I should be posting today. I know that I’m too bothered by what other people think and by wanting everyone to like me.

    I generally condense things. So people used to ask me what I was studying and I’d say ‘languages’ rather than ‘French, German and Slovene’. And now, I’m studying the language of sexuality in German and Slovene but I just say ‘German’.

    I’ve also got to the point where I just push the question away. My friends ask what I’m going to do when I’ve finish my degree and rather than explain all of the different projects that I want to have a go at, I mutter something vague about trying to find a part time job and not get too settled.

    I think this is because I don’t believe in myself and my abilities. I think that I’m going to fail at everything so I’d rather not tell too many people so that it’s not as embarrassing when I do. I’m working on this at the moment, for example by telling people in the Puttytribe what my plans are and knowing that they won’t judge me. The more I get used to doing this, the better I think I will react in face to face situations.

    Also, Emilie, I know you’re working on your public speaking but you were so eloquent in that, especially considering the fact that you were excited and also had Grendel playing on your lap!

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Jo,

      I think you’ve identified it, and that’s half the battle. Belief is so important. The thing about not believing in yourself is that that lack of belief gets translated into taking less action, which in turn results in you getting fewer results. At that point, it’s easy to say “see, I was right,” and the whole thing repeats. Now that you’ve identified it, you can break it. For me, the key is in congratulating myself when I open up or put myself out there regardless of the reaction.

      And thanks for the nice words. I guess that’s the thing with public speaking. I know that I could be really good at it. It’s just when the nerves come up that throws me off. So I’m trying to practice. And having Grendel on my lap helps. :)

      • Jo says:

        Yes – that’s bang on! Keeping the fear/lack of confidence under control can make or break things, I guess. I’m working on making them :)

    • Caz says:

      Thank you for this post! I struggle with this everyday! People just seem to look at me like I’m crazy when I’m unable to give a single answer to what I want to be or do for a career. I hated it so much I just used to pick the industry that most interested me at the time and suggest vaguely I might enter into it when I finished my studies, before promptly changing the subject. Being surrounded by steadfast divers like engineers, lawyers, and accountants who just don’t understand, your blog is one of the only things keeping me sane!

      I just visited your website for the first time and I love it! I wish I had been able to read How to Use the Things You Hate to Get a Life You Love before dropping out of uni – it certainly would have given me something to think about. I had/have the same problem with failure. Mine came from wanting to be the best at what I did – and with so many different interests that is a huge goal to live up to. So I stopped telling people what I was doing and it left me pretty closed off. I imagine it would be nice to share your new goals and projects with someone who offered encouragement and inspiration, rather than just “oh… why are you doing that?”, and having to try and justify who you are to someone who can’t understand. Hopefully I will be able to gather a group of a few such people in my life now that I have decided to put my own happiness first, and stop trying to fit myself into the “accepted” mould to silence the critics! It is terrifying to feel like I’m starting all over again, but also extremely exciting to finally feel passionate about life again, and all the opportunities out there still to be taken. (I’ve also found it helps to lessen my carrer anxiety by creating a “career bucket list” of projects I’d like to work on and people I’d like to work for instead of thinking in terms of industries I want to work in!)

      • Jo says:

        Oh wow. I’m so glad that you liked it! So it was you who liked YA on Facebook!

        Though it kind of contradicts that post, I admire you for dropping out. I don’t think most people would have the courage to do that. I started looking into that during my current degree but everyone I spoke to said that I’d be stupid to quit…so I gave in and here I am, avoiding my dissertation!

        I can totally see that. I’m used to being the best academically so it’s hard when I’m not in other things. Maybe we can chat about that at some point? I’m not too familiar with comment etiquette so won’t post my e-mail address here but you can contact me through my blog if you want :)

        You sound pretty similar to me! I’ve not really told anyone about all of my online projects and no one knows about YA yet. I don’t feel like my friends would understand – none of them know anything about lifestyle design and they’re all pursuing their one road careers etc. On the other hand, your career bucket list sounds awesome! What a great idea!

  3. Sarah says:

    Oh my goodness, how adorable is Grendel being in this video?

    I’ve recently been challenging myself to talk to more people. When they ask me “So what do you do?” I answer “I’m interested in a lot of different things that fall under the umbrella of having an adventure everyday!” and that usually gets them to ask more specific questions. Or just confuses them completely.

    Have fun at music camp!

  4. I love this! I know I’ve expected people to be excited and interested in what I do, and it can definitely be a letdown when they’re not. But you’re right that it’s okay, and we shouldn’t let that stop us from sharing more about ourselves.

    Will Grendel still be available by email while you’re gone? :)

  5. Thea says:

    Since I’m still in university, I’ll usually say that I’m a student, at which point we’d talk about psychology and I pull a joke (it’s the same one every time, and I never get tired of it! :) ). If they laugh right away, I know we’ll get along.

    Lately, though, I’ve been taking archery and fencing lessons, and so the usual question at those isn’t so much “What do you do?” as it is “So, why are you taking ____?”. For fencing, I just say that I’ve wanted to try it out for years and now I finally have a chance to do so but, for archery, I tell them it’s because of a fantasy series I’m writing and they’re always like “Oh, so you’re a writer?”. Sure, let’s start there. I’m cool with being an iceberg. :)

    Enjoy music camp! :D I’ll be gone for a teen/young adults camp when you come back, so I’ll just wait until I’ve returned to send you hundreds of emails. :P

    • Emilie says:

      Nice! It sounds like you’ve found a couple good leads into having a conversation. That’s how I like to do it too– convo over pitch. And I found that saying I was a student was great, that is until I got to law school. People always had weird reactions. They were either really impressed or wrinkled their nose. I didn’t like either. It’s like to them, me being a law student told them everything they needed to know about me. Ugh. I was super happy to graduate and be able to introduce myself differently. Though I guess I could have done it differently back then like you’re doing.

  6. Leslie says:

    I live in a country that often defines careers pretty narrowly, so when I introduce myself I often keep it within the bounds of those expectations at first. I totally agree with you that people who have no interest in diverse interests in passions probably aren’t a good match.

    Have a great day!

    • Emilie says:

      Yeah, I hear you Leslie. Sometimes when I say “I run an online community,” people are just like “cool,” and that’s the end of it. That works. But most people will ask me what kind of online community, and then we can go deeper.

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