Many of us found Puttylike after struggling for years with our multipotentiality, though back then we didn’t know that’s what it was called. We just knew that society wanted us to stick to one path but that, no matter how hard we tried, we could never quite do that.
At first being a multipotentialite seems like a bad thing. You flit from one career path to another, never feeling like you’re getting anywhere. You spend way too much money on “flash in the pan” hobbies. Your friends and family despair. And you lose your confidence because you feel like a flake.
Every flaw comes with A flip side
It’s probably not just your inability to stick to one interest that has you tearing your hair out. I bet if I asked you to, you could come up with a pretty long list of your flaws. But if you look hard enough and you want to see the positives just as much as you want to see the negatives, you’ll be able to find a flip side to any “flaw” that you have.
I have a tendency to talk about myself too much. I’m a worrier. My eyebrows are so light they’re almost see-through. But my tendency to talk about myself too much saves me from awkward silences. My worrying about other people makes me empathetic. My light eyebrows are the flip side to my not having dark hair on my arms.
Each not-so-good part of you is paired with a pretty good part of you. The X-Men characters are great illustrations of this. As mutant teenagers, many of the X-Men characters struggled to control the powers that made them different from everyone else. When Rogue touched another person, she sucked their life from them, meaning she couldn’t touch anyone without hurting or even killing them. But (spoiler alert) later on, when she was dying, she was able to use this power to save her own life. There was a flip side to the part of herself that she hated.
This doesn’t just apply to personality traits and physical features. You can also find the positive in almost anything that happens to you. In her TED talk, Amy Purdy talked about how she had just started to feel like she was in control of her life when she lost both her legs below the knee to Meningitis. She was given bulky, metal, bolted legs and rubber feet and thought she’d never be able to snowboard again. But instead of focusing on the negatives, Amy realised she could adjust her legs to be as tall or as short as she wanted to be. She could change the size of her feet to fit the shoes on the sales racks. Her feet would never get cold again. And she could become a Paralympic snowboarder. She found the flip sides to losing her legs.
If you look hard enough, you can usually find a flip side to any personality trait or “flaw”. Any part of you that you consider bad is likely to make you very good at something else. Someone somewhere is probably coveting that trait.
The flip side of being a multipotentialite
Having a tendency to jump from one thing to another isn’t a curse. There are loads of great things about being a multipotentialite.
- We can almost always find something interesting to talk about with anyone we meet.
- We’re innovative because we spend a lot of time at the intersections.
- Our many interests enable us to meet lots of different people.
- We learn to pick up new skills quickly.
- We’re accepting of other people because we know what it’s like to feel like a misfit.
- We have to develop thick skins because we’re used to sucking.
- We question things.
- As long as we allow ourselves to let go of dying interests, we’ll never get bored because there’s always something new to do or learn.
- We develop a broad range of transferable skills.
- We can liaise between different groups of people because we’ve been in so many people’s shoes.
Heck, many of us would probably be really good on TV game shows like Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Who knows, maybe multipotentiality is the key to fame and fortune?
No personality trait has to be a curse. Every positive or negative comes with a flip side. Your multipotentiality can either be a good thing or a bad thing. It’s up to you to frame it as a good thing.
Why are you glad you’re a multipotentialite? What other flip sides can you think of?
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