Why Every Multipotentialite Needs a Confidence Toolbox
Photo courtesy of Johan Lange.

Why Every Multipotentialite Needs a Confidence Toolbox

Written by Emilie

Topics: Confidence

From time to time I go through a personal development binge. I start watching Tony Robbins speeches on YouTube, reading books like The Magic of Big Thinking, and re-watching the ever amusing “documentary,” The Secret. I immerse myself in this stuff and go all out, in typical multipod fashion.

Usually my personal development binges happen after I’ve had my head down for a while, and I’ve been so busy with other things that I’ve neglected my usual confidence-maintenance rituals, such as taking mini-risks, giving gratitude, and keeping track of my Small Wins on a daily basis.

But building confidence is like bathing. You can’t just do it once and be done with it. You need to condition yourself regularly.

What is Confidence?

I like to start any conversation about confidence with a definition, since it’s one of those overly used words. I like how Matthew Hussey defines it as control:

“Our internal confidence is determined by how much control we have over closing the gap between where we are now and where we want to be.”

It’s a sense that you have power in this world to make things happen. It’s trusting that your character will carry you through and knowing that you can handle whatever life throws your way.

Why Confidence is so Important for Multipotentialites

Having strong internal confidence (and knowing how to get it back when it drops), is vital for multipotentialites. There will always be people in your life who believe that someone who is good at many things is good at nothing. They will repeat this mantra as though it is Truth, and not a socially-constructed idea, likely born out of the industrial revolution. They will repeat the jack-of-all-trades assumption without giving it a second thought or looking around at all of the brilliant people in our society who are breaking that mold.

There will always be irritating family members who make you feel like there’s something wrong with you for exploring your interests and following your heart. There will be people who don’t get this whole “smooshing” business and will tell you that mastery is the answer. Or maybe they’ll tell you to stop being immature, and do something practical with your life. You can “dabble” in your “hobbies” in your “spare time.”

Confident multipotentialtes are able to pursue their interests freely, because they know that the problem is with society, not them.

The naysayers and self-righteous specialists are not going away, so you’d better have a solid inner voice– one that believes in big dreams, and one that believes that your multipotentiality is a gift granted to you for some larger purpose like changing the world or bringing love and inspiration into peoples lives. Whatever your destinIES may be, you can bet it’s far bigger than merely mastering some singular craft.

Creating a Confidence Toolbox

I’ve got a number of techniques that I use to build up my confidence. When I was first doing this in my mid-twenties, I was literally correcting a lifetime of negative thoughts and limiting beliefs, and it took months before I started to feel good about myself. But now it’s just a matter of maintenance– regular “bathing” if you will.

Whether you’re starting at zero or at -10, building a toolbox of confidence rituals will help. It’s a matter of practicing your rituals on a regular basis, and of course testing and tweaking to find the practices that work best for you.

My tools include the ones I mentioned earlier, like taking mini-risks, practicing gratitude, keeping a tally of my small wins, taking on leadership roles, being assertive, standing and moving the way a supremely confident person would stand and move (i.e. body language), and just taking action on my goals.

I also immerse myself in the words of mentors who keep me feeling inspired. Daily doses of podcasts, a few minutes of reading or a YouTube video is enough. However, it’s important not to get stuck only consuming information without taking action, because it’s the latter that will really have an impact on how you feel about yourself.

The Power of Community

Finally, there’s community: the people that you choose to surround yourself with.

Having a group of people in your daily life who believe in you is monumentally important. I cannot stress this enough. The best way to create and maintain the confidence to live a multipotentialite lifestyle is by surrounding yourself with those who are doing the same.

This is the reason that creating Puttylike was such an important part of my personal evolution. It helped boost my confidence for two main reasons. The first is that I was taking action on a goal (action erases fear, while inaction magnifies it). The second is that this blog brought me into contact with you guys– other multipotentialites who believed in this vision, and in each other.

While I continue to get a great deal out of blogging, the Puttytribe is where I’ve really witnessed the power that community can have on people’s evolution. I see it more and more every day; Puttypeep becoming more secure with themselves and taking more and more action on their projects. Stepping into their multipotentialite selves, if you will.

But I guess that’s just what happens when you’ve got a group of people around who understand you, believe in you, and want to help you succeed. In an environment like that, it’s hard not to feel good about yourself.

Your Turn

What tools do you have in your confidence toolbox?


  1. Dang Emilie. This was an inspired post!

    I hope the people I tweeted and “+1″ed this to will read it as well. I’ll tell ya what, a BIG tool I have in my confidence toolbox is the Puttytribe. You/we/us rock in there and the unwavering support from so many fellow multipotentialites really builds and keeps confidence. Every time I visit it’s like a mental bath that keeps me fresh.

    Perhaps my biggest confidence tool is simply my 32 years of life on this planet. Everything I’ve wanted, everything I’ve needed…I’ve received. Sometimes I tried to get it and other times it just fell into my lap.

    Knowing that this world and it’s people have treated me so well for so long gives me the confidence to know that there’s no reason this awesomeness will ever end.

    • Emilie says:

      That’s so awesome, Joel. Thank you!

      I think you’re on to something with this age thing too. Gaining confidence and awareness is one of the things I love about getting older. Each year, I feel like I have new insights and become more comfortable in my skin.

  2. Jenny says:

    Sounds like I need to join the tribe! And wow, I love that idea of bathing…a ritual, a routine for confidence.

  3. Bartek says:

    I cannot describe how grateful I am for your inspiring words Emilie.
    Secret ? – I watched it around 20 times :) Tony Robbins ? I am listening to him around 5 hours a day :). Your texts built me up many times just exactly when I needed it. When I was asking desperately “who am I with all those endless interests” -> I found your website with all those great answers.

    Thank you Emilie for another phenomenal article.

  4. Erin says:

    First, I love that definition of confidence! I think in my mind it’s always just meant being sure of yourself, which isn’t very clear. But this meaning can actually be a tool to figure out how to build confidence based on which area or situation we’re trying to close the gap in. Very cool. Must consider further.

    I don’t actually have a confidence toolbox…yet. I still get shaken very easily. Right now, it’s the Puttytribe keeping me afloat with all the support and inspiration and motivation zinging around in there. That, plus my decision earlier this year to get off my butt and start doing things, has been pretty helpful. And doing what I say I’m going to do, even if it’s something small, gives me little boosts :)

    • Emilie says:

      Yeah, and actually deriving confidence from “closing a gap” in one specific area, can help increase your overall sense of assuredness in yourself more generally. That means that multipotentialites can use their accomplishments in different areas to increase their overall sense of well being. Assuming you take account of your wins, that is. It’s like transferring funds from your checking account to your inner savings account. Heh.

  5. Lori says:

    This was a great post for me to read today. I’m currently at the bottom of the cycle where all confidence has disappeared, it feels like everything is going wrong in my life, I’m feeling anxious and overwhelmed, and I’ve forgotten how to take the first step towards getting over it and getting back to the flip side. I can say with certainty I have forgotten how important “daily bathing” is! Does anybody have a hose I can borrow? I have a few inches of mud to blast off.

    • Emilie says:

      Haha go Lori! Low points are sometimes essential to hit before you can start feeling better. So if you’re there, then that’s awesome. Time to start bouncing back.

  6. Ben says:

    Great post. I just listened to that Tony Robbins speech you linked to. It was so motivational! Now I want to watch Rocky again….

  7. Liz says:

    I guess I should stop merely “consuming” the gems here on Puttylike. I’ve been evangelizing about this site since I found it, but I’ve never reached out to connect with the other people like me on the site. Shortly before I saw your site, I listened to my first Tony Robbins session. Great stuff, I have to say. His thoughts really reinforced the stuff I’ve learned from writings by Martin Seligman. Two books that are the foundation of my confidence toolbox:

    1) Learned Optimism
    2) Authentic Happiness

    I highly recommend them to people who aren’t quite to the “bathing” stage and are still building a foundation of confidence.

  8. Belinda says:

    So true! It’s nice to find other multipotentialites out there who’ve battled the naysayers and found a community of support! Awesome, thanks!

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