It’s been three and a half years since I’ve quit my corporate job to explore the (frightening) world of freelance and find my one true calling. It was and still is one of the most terrifying decisions I’ve ever made; one that I had to sleep on, cry over, and pray for for about a year. It was a difficult time for me and I thought finally leaving would rid me of all my stress and anxiety (from keeping a job I didn’t love), but boy, was I wrong.
The self-discovery journey was off to a great start. I was able to really focus on Sweet Mamita and since I had full control of my schedule, I was able to work on more projects on the side than I did when I was working full-time. However, a year into the freelance world, I hit a bump in the road when I realized that I still had absolutely zero clue about what I was really supposed to be doing with my life. I was completely disheartened. I was doubting myself a lot and I felt incompetent, but that was only until I learned about Multipotentiality (read full story here). Once I had come to terms with my being a multipotentialite, everything fell right into place and that’s when things started to look up.
“It must be awesome knowing how to do everything,” someone told me once. First of all, obviously I don’t know how to do everything because that’s impossible. I just have a lot of interests and I try my best to pursue each one, one way or another. I guess to some people that’s already considered doing “everything”. Secondly, truth be told, being able to do “everything” is not always as cool as it sounds. Even now with a more solid self-identity (and because this is real life) it hasn’t been smooth sailing for me. As with everything else in this world, being a multipotentialite does have its downsides.
Society thinks I’m weird – When I tell people I don’t have a regular day job, they give me either a:
- curious, interested-to-know-more look (this usually comes with a high-pitched “oh?”, eyes wide open and/or maybe even a head tilt), or
- a judgy, what-are-you-doing-with-your-life look (usually comes with a “hmm” and a squint)
“What do you really want to do with your life? You have to choose one and stick to it.” “You have no direction.” “You just haven’t found your one true calling yet.” Per society, we have to specialize in and focus on only one thing. Growing up we were always asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” While some children are very sure of their answers and consistently say the same thing, there are some whose answers would change every so often depending on their mood. The grown ups would say they couldn’t do that; they have to pick just one.
I recently had a conversation with a few people in which I talked about my multipotentiality and I knew by the way they responded that they couldn’t understand the concept. To them, I just really haven’t found my calling yet. They think I’m still feeling everything out; still indecisive, immature, or lost. Most people believe that if you’re a Jack of all trades, you’re a master of none. They think that in order to be great at what you do, you must focus and invest all your time and energy on that one thing. Furthermore, most measure success based on vertical development i.e., stepping up the work ladder/getting promoted. Jumping from one interest to another is often frowned upon because it delays that particular process.
But who are they to say that I cannot be outstanding at everything that I choose to do? Who says we cannot be great at many different things? Why is it that we are expected to specialize in one thing?
I’m not confused. I’m not lost. I NEED the variety. I WANT to do all these all at the same time. It’s really just how I’m wired. I cannot imagine a life where I would have to do just one thing and people are just going to have to accept that about me.
Actually referring to myself as a multipotentialite – Although I have been aware of my multipotentiality for quite a bit now, it was only until recently that I’ve actually started calling myself a multipotentialite. I was (still a quite a bit, to be honest) embarrassed to call myself one because I feel that it seemed so, well, arrogant. Introducing yourself as a multipotentialite to people who are not familiar with the concept of multipotentiality could sound, “Hey, look at me! I have so much potential! I’m so talented! I can do everything!”. That doesn’t really leave a good impression. Recently, however, I realized that if I don’t completely embrace being a multipotentialite, which entails referring to myself as one, then I contribute to the stigma.
Being (extra) prone to failure – Okay, this sounds so discouraging, but what I just mean is delving into many different projects obviously increases my probability of ending up with duds. Not necessarily because I’m incompetent (certainly hope not), but you know, “more entries, more chances of winning!” 😝 It’s just the truth of the matter. That being said, this is something I constantly have to condition myself for. If I want to be successful as a multipotentialite, I cannot and must not be easily discouraged.
I’ve learned that the key to help keep failure at bay is a good sense of self-efficacy. Don’t be hasty or impulsive when starting new projects. Ensure you know what you’re good at first. Know your skills and that should help you carve your path easily, with minimal bumps in the road.
Pressure (lots of it) – Pressure to prove society wrong; to prove that you can indeed thrive in this way of living. Not just for the sake of proving yourself, but for the sake of encouraging and inspiring those who are afraid to embrace their multipotentiality and of showing them that IT CAN BE DONE.
There’s also pressure to constantly up my game and look for new ways to improve my skills. Pressure to be nothing short of exceptional so I could be accepted as a multipotentialite. While pressure can be a good thing because I get to improve my different skill sets, to be perfectly candid, the pressure swallows me whole sometimes. Although I’d have modest victories here and there, somehow sometimes I still feel that I’m not achieving enough. Mostly because I occasionally still get the “you need a day job” from a few people. I know I shouldn’t care so much about society’s opinion of me, but that’s easier said than done.
Despite these struggles, however, I have zero regrets. Finally understanding how I am wired was a long and grueling process, but I would go through it all over again if it meant that I’d end up exactly where I am right now, knowing that this is who I was meant to be. I enjoy everything that I’m currently doing and feel much more fulfilled than I was a few years ago. I love being able to learn new skills and explore new opportunities on a regular basis. Every thing I put out and share to the world is 100% from the heart and seems to really serve a bigger purpose this time. I wouldn’t trade my freedom to explore and enjoy my multipotentiality for anything else; not for job or income security.
Don’t let your talents and skills go to waste just because people say you need to focus on one thing or that you need a regular day job (*roll eyes*). Don’t let other people limit you. Explore your interests. Pursue your passions. Go and shine in ANY and EVERY way you can! ✨