The Limiting Beliefs of Multipotentialites Who Want It All: Guest Post by Gallantly, Gal

I met Gal of Gallantly, Gal in the blogosphere a year or two ago. It started with us commenting on each other’s posts, learning we were very similar, and developing a fast friendship from there. I love her aesthetic and gentle but powerful voice, and she’s here today to discuss a pitfall many multipotentialites fall prey to. Take it away, Gal!

I always knew that there were so many things I wanted to do in life. I primarily consider myself a writer, but I also love to sketch, draw comics, sing, direct, edit, and so much more. All the possibilities make me feel like I am spinning around and around until I am dizzy and confused. It can be overwhelming to have so many interests. What if I only have enough time to be average all-around? I thought that I had to figure out a direction; I also thought choosing one path would close me off to everything else, which brought out my inner commitment phobe.

However, that second part is the limiting belief. Life and the people in it made me think I could only choose one direction in life and go from there. Why wouldn’t I fear commitment, then?

But then I realized they were only half-right for people like me, and it was refreshing to learn what exactly people like me were. Audra was the one to introduce the multipotentialite to me. She learned about it from Emilie’s Ted Talk. And I plan to pass it onto others, too. This type of information has to be shared! A multipotentialite is “someone with many interests and creative pursuits.”

That is me. And that’s totally okay! Perhaps that’s why writers, actors, producers Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling are my role models. The one path for life works for some and it doesn’t for others, like all things in life. There are rules and there are exceptions, and sometimes they even come in 50/50 ratios. I don’t know the percentage of multipotentialites in the world, but I believe that more and more are coming out into the world with some comfort and ease.

However, most of society still expects people to have one goal in mind. Multipotentialites are told, “You can’t do it all.” And this is not entirely wrong. I can’t be pulling myself into multiple directions maniacally. I get that. I am resigned to the fact that some interests will remain hobbies that I won’t ever truly excel at on an expert level.

At the same time, this is a limiting belief. It immediately stops me in my track. I allow it to hold me back. I get scared because I see all these paths before me. This is not a normal fork in the road. This fork has got 1,000 tines laid out before me as multiple walkways of life. I am told I can only go on one, and there may be no crossover with other roads. There just isn’t enough time and opportunity for that. After all, someone who drops their successful law career after fifteen years to open up a food truck is looked at as if he or she is completely bonkers. This is not a game with a reset option that allows me to materialize back at the fork to try a different pathway.

I know that in a way this is my own mindset limiting myself. I am exaggerating on what I am told or even using others as an excuse for my self-limits out of fear, but I am someone who finds words to be one of the most powerful things in the universe. Words are the ones that form limiting beliefs, and these limiting beliefs are the thoughts that dictate every single thing I do.

So I want to make an adjustment to the “You can’t do it all” decree. I want to turn it into something healthier and more constructive by adding just two words: “You can’t do it all at once.”

What I mean to say is, “You can do it all someday.”

The people telling me to pick one path were half-right. Pick one path for now. Have one goal for now. I also have to give credit to and have trust in the people who advise me that picking something right now is not an end all be all, because there are such wise people in my life, as well.

This is an oath I wrote to myself one day when I found myself drowning in self-doubt:

“I’m always saying there’s so much I want to do that I’m too overwhelmed to do anything. I don’t know where to start. But here’s the thing. If I don’t start somewhere, I won’t be able to get all of that done. Not even that I won’t get anything done—I won’t get ALL of it done. And I want all of it. And so that will be my goal—to do all of it. Not think of limiting myself, but finding a place to start. Then I will keep moving forward, conquering land north, south, east, west, until I’ve gathered and pulled into my circle everything I’ve ever wanted.

It is so easy to forget, to shrivel up, to want to give up, to just wallow in this emotion or that emotion, to compare, and more, but with this promise I will be who I need to be for myself.”

So believe that you can do it–all of it. Whether your dreams are to be an astronaut and professional equestrian… Okay, wait. Yeah, sure, why not? Don’t let the limits of age, education, experience, social standing, or any of that stop you. Especially do not let people’s expectations of what is “standard,” “normal,” “practical,” or “to be expected” stop you, either. They can keep on flappin’ their lips while you dance toward your dreams as starry-eyed as you please!

Embrace all of your interests. Show each of them love and attention. Because they all make up who you are, and I know, without a doubt, you are wonderful and you can have all you ever wanted someday. As long as you start now.

Thanks so much Gal! I encourage you to check out her blog. It’s so pretty, and she has a lot of great insights and fun features.

Tips for the Multipotentialite Writer

About a year ago, I did a post about the Multipotentialite Writer, and while it was kind of useful and kind of cathartic, I was young and in the grip of a feverish writing phase. Since then I’ve…grown. I’ve fallen in an out of writing a couple of times since then, so I thought I’d share some of the new things I’ve learned in an almost year.

Writing as a multipotentialite can be difficult. It comes with a host of what most writing teachers and advice-givers would call problems. Namely, that if you’re a multipotentialite, you won’t want to write all the time. I don’t mean every day – few people really feel like writing every day – but there will be week- or month-long periods of time where you’re interested in something else.

It could be another writing project or something else entirely, like knitting or sailing or cliff diving.

And according to writing experts, in order to be prolific and write well, you need to a) write every day and, b) finish what you start before moving on to a new writing project.

I’m here to dispell the idea that we need to conform to general advice, because general advice for us in careers doesn’t apply, so why should this?

We don’t believe in sticking to one career, one passion, on interest, or one hobby forever, so why do we find ourselves feeling guilty when we dragged away from writing?

There hasn’t been much discussion about multipotentialities and writing specifically (apart from me navel-gazing, that is), so let’s dive in, shall we?

Step One

You need to make peace. Make peace with the fact that your writing process and journey is going to look different than the podcasts, author interviews, and craft books you’ve ingested. Make peace with the fact that it will take you longer to finish some projects, especially longer ones if you’re the type of multipotentialite whose interests vary quickly. Make peace with the fact that you will feel guilty for leaving projects undone, and it’s up to you to move with the guilt and the fear and the uncertainty.

You don’t walk away from fear, you walk with it.

Step Two

Figure out your system. This could be a rotating priorities board, specifically set up for writing projects, or even a simple calendar. It could be that you can hack your own interest system and schedule enough varied things to keep yourself from getting burned out on any one thing. 

Let’s say you know you like blogging, writing stories, and working on RPG design (ahem, me). So you schedule certain days for one thing and certain days for another and allow some wiggle room so you don’t feel constrained. So this week, I scheduled at least twenty minutes a day on writing my story, which comes out to around 500-1000 words a day. That’s a good pace for a novel. Then three times a week I schedule time to write a blog post or work on a longer one that needs some research or just time for the ideas to percolate. Then I make sure I work at least once a week on RPG design, to keep my creative skills flexible. 

But let’s say that one week I get really invested in my RPG stuff while my story has hit a snag and needs some time in the ol’ subconscious factory to work itself out. Do I rigidly stick to my schedule? Nah. I could, and it might be an excellent plug for willpower and self-discipline and all that, but I’m going to capitalize on the fact of my interests and make as much headway with the RPG stuff as I can. 

This all comes from one very simple idea. 

Know yourself and know your interests. 

I know that I love story writing more than any other kind of writing. RPG is definitely third on the list of my writing projects. But it’s still on there, and every now and then that bug will hit harder than the others. It won’t stick around forever; eventually, story-writing will come out on top again as usual. That’s how I operate, and I know I operate that way because I’ve been living in my head for so long. Living and observing. If I wasn’t aware of my own modus operandi, I wouldn’t know how to make this schedule. So if you’re just starting out, try out the rotating board before you make a schedule, and maybe keep track of how often you rotate. 

Step Three

Keep writing, every day. This one I keep going back and forth on whether it’s really a good idea or not, and I’ve heard so many opinions from so many people I think there just won’t ever be a good answer. Yes, as a multipotentialite we need to be allowed to let projects go and work on other things, but as a writer, I also know that leaving my writing for more than a few weeks makes me a really bad writer when I do start again. The time spent not writing is proportionate to the time spent getting back into a good writing state. My voice gets rusty, and it usually takes quite a while for me to find it again when I go too long without writing. It happened last year before NaNoWriMo; I hadn’t written anything between the Flash Fiction and October when I started prepping, and it showed. I tried writing a few things to warm up and they objectively sucked. I was out of practice and flabby. 

And the way to avoid that is to write as often as possible. So I’m going to say this, with certainty. If you want to become a professional* writer, you do need to write every day or at least every other day. Just as in any other profession. Athletes, singers, heck, probably even business people need to practice their skills all the time or they a) lose their jobs or b) lose their edge. How many Olympic swimmers take month-long holidays? 

People will still argue, so I say that you know yourself best, and you can decide (duh). But if you want to be prolific and write a lot of amazing books and hone your craft and edit like a champ…well, you need to be prolific. 

But never feel guilty for taking time off. Balance in all things.

If you’re a multipotentialite writer, where do you find yourself struggling? Like me, do you have both outside interests and other writing projects that distract you? 


*I realize that there’s a lot of debate going around about writing to make art and writing to make money, and how they should or should not cross. It’s an interesting discussion, and one I’m eager to get in to. Soon, friends. Soon.

Writing as a Multipotentialite

A writer's artfully messy desk.
Mess. Mess. MESS. It’s fine though, I styled it this way.

You’d have thought I would realize being a multipotentialite would affect me as a writer as well. You’d have thought I would see myself jumping ship on writing projects, having millions of disparate ideas, and being constantly interested in other types of writing and say, oh, right, multipotentialite. Duh…

You can see where this is going. I didn’t see it or say that. I applied the same old toxic thought processes I’d had for myself on a grand scale, back before I found out I was a multipotentialite, and ground myself in the mortar and pestle of guilt and shame about how I wrote.

Ever find these thoughts ranging about in your head like chickens?

“I have to finish this before I can work on that.”

“I shouldn’t be blogging now – I’m in the middle of a story!”

“I haven’t blogged in months, but I don’t feel like it. God, I’m the worst.”

“I want to work on this story, but I also want to write a D&D campaign, and I want to write in my journal, and an e-course sounds fun to write too…”

ad nauseam.

Sounds a lot like what you tell yourself about all your hobbies and career interests before you find out you’re allowed to have many passion, don’t it? Hmm? HMM? Yeah, I wasn’t too smart.

The thing is -and there’s always a thing, isn’t there – we don’t hear about multipotentialites in regards to things like writing or sub-sects of our own hobbies a whole lot. I get it; the entire idea of being an awesome multipotentialite/scanner/multipod/renaissance person is fairly new, so we just haven’t seen the explosion of advice on the internet. It’s a baby in the self-help world still.

But it affects it. And I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that it’s affecting painters and comic makers and sewers and other creative types as well. We’re varying our interests within an interest and it’s hard not to come down, well, hard on ourselves.

I’ll be writing a separate article about tips and tricks for writers, but if you’ve felt like me – in other words, constantly guilt-ridden over not following all the advice of writers out there – know you’re not alone. And know, just for now, that you’re perfectly wonderful and normal and you need to jump between writing projects as much as writing and life in general. Like, I don’t know, writing and professional knife-throwing. Or cliff diving. Whatevs. (Why do I assume other writers are so much more badass than I am? I write and, uh, knit. And play D&D. And wish for a cat. That’s a Friday evening for me.)

Top 4 Apps for Multipotentialite Productivity

As someone who loves, loves, loves productivity and, let’s face it, gets high off of self-help books and apps, I thought I’d share my list of the top 4 apps that have actually improved my life.

Being a multipotentialite means you spend a lot of time moving between interests, and it can make keeping up with one to-do list or project difficult. Keeping track of where you are, what stage you’re on, how many hours you’ve invested, etc., is never easy even with just a couple projects, but when you have as many as the average multipod does, it can be downright impossible to keep things organized.

I’ve tried a number of apps and websites and tricks over the years, but these 4 apps are the ones that have helped me make changes the most or stuck with me the longest, so take it from a seasoned mulipod/planner that these work!

1. Habitica

Image result for habitica

Photo Credit

Oh gosh, you guys, I can’t rave enough about this site/app. I’ve been using it for almost three years now, ever since I was in Korea, and it made to-do lists and keeping habits way more rad. Now, you kind of have to be a bit of a nerd to appreciate it, since it’s styled after old-school RPGs with cool armor, pets, mounts, and quests to level up, but come on…defeating a manic tree monster by slaying a to-do list? How awesome is that?!

Seriously though, it made tracking my habits, goals, and to-dos a lot more fun, which made it more likely for me to get on there and actually do it. Sure, I may have made a few throwaway to do things to cross off just for the heck of it (make Habitica account – check, check off make Habitica account to-do – check), but I’ve also used it to up my word count during NaNoWriMo and meditate almost daily (not counting that small period a few months ago…ahem).

To do lists are manna to me, but for some, they’re dreadful, responsible, tax-levels of awful that bring on shivers and convulsive hair-pulling. And I get that. But I suggest trying it out. You just might find conquering feral dust bunnies to be right up your alley.

2. aTimeLogger

Screenshot ImageScreenshot ImageScreenshot Image

Photo Credit – Google Play Store

This one is fairly new, and honestly, I don’t plan on using it for very long. It was more of a diagnostic app than a daily one. Basically, TimeLogger lets you track how many hours you spend a day doing various activities. You can make your own set of categories, and then see the cool pie chart that breaks your day into percentages. Yeah, work and sleep are going to be the major ones (50 hours of sleep…really?), but it’s the other stuff that I was interested in (17 hours this week on entertainment…that’s like a part-time job…on ENTERTAINMENT).

It’s the same idea behind keeping a food diary; being aware of your patterns will help change them. It’s been helpful for me to see how long I spend watching TV and mindlessly surfing the web compared with how little actual time I spent working on my goals. I thought I was spending at least five hours a week on goals – try one hour. Yikes.

It was a good wakeup call, and I’m going to keep it up for at least a month to get a more accurate picture. But it is kind of a pain to remember to start each activity and then remember to end it, so you don’t end up with 6 hours of bathroom time. Yeah, you can track whatever you want.

3. Stay Focused

Screenshot ImageScreenshot ImageScreenshot Image

Photo Credit – Google Play Store

This one goes hand in hand with TimeLogger, because it tracks app usage on your phone, as well as total time spent and how many unlocks. Mel Robbins said on average, people unlock their phones something like 150 times a day, and I wanted to see if that was true. I didn’t think it was for me, because I’ve never had a social media problem, but I was still curious how long I spent on my phone each day. I spend most of my time in the mornings (a problem in itself) or listening to music, but I still unlock about 50-80 times a day. Below average, but enough that I could cut down on it.

4. Daylio

Image result for daylio app

Photo Credit – Google Play Store

Daylio has taken the place of my mood tracking, which I was never great at anyway. I just didn’t see the point in tracking my mood, when I was tracking things like medication changes and panic attacks…but you can see how silly that is, right? Mood tracking is very important when you’re on serotonin boosters, as some can cause depression.

Daylio helps me keep track now. I’ve tried other quick-journaling apps before, where you can write a short blurb or even take a picture, but it was too much work when I wasn’t a picture-taker in the first place and it’s super irritating to write long things on my phone. Daylio makes it way easier for people like me by eliminating writing and pictures entirely. All you do is pick the smiley face that corresponds to your mood (from great to awful), and then pick the activities you did that day. It’s a bit like TimeLogger in that you can track what you did each day, but it’s not timed and there’s an option to write a note if you want.

I like the simplicity. There’s a reminder as well, which I set to 8pm, but I’ve found myself doing it a couple of times a day to get a feel for my mood as it shifts.

Aside from Habitica, these are apps I’ve started using only this year, so I can’t say for sure whether or not they’ll stick with me for the long-term. Regardless, I think they’re all incredibly useful for managing time, and not too involved to make using them a time-waster in and of themselves (something I’ve found happens to me a lot).

What are some productivity apps you use?




Quarter Life Crisis: Redux

Man Holding Pen

When I was around 23, I had a quarter-life crisis.  It’s a cute term for a terrible, terrible feeling that most people my age can relate to.

I’m feeling the same way now. Not growing, not grown. Stuck in limbo. Stuck in a pit stop that is, honestly, the pits.

I mean, some things are looking up. I had failed miserably in my habit upkeep for about three months, but I’m back on track now, working hard to stave off the inevitable psychic collapse.

Okay, that sounds dramatic. But that’s what it feels like. Underneath the hope in my new projects and plans, there’s this fear that they won’t work at all, that I’ll be stuck at my retail job for all eternity, that I’ll never find time to date and will end up alone, that my legacy will be a few happy customers and some good D&D memories. “Legacy…what is a legacy?”* 

I was at work the other day and had this thought that kind of helped and really hurt. I wrote it down on one of our memos so I wouldn’t forget it because I thought it was pretty good.

“Don’t confuse purpose with certainty.”

I used to confuse these two all the time or at least, kind of. I mean, I thought that if I “found” my purpose, then certainty would be a kind of tag-along, the other side of the golden purpose coin.

I thought purpose was the end all and be all of confidence and peace of mind. But the more I read about people who, in my opinion, definitely have purpose, the more I’m convinced that’s not the case. They all struggle with doubt. Famous authors who’ve written a dozen books before doubt their own ability. Famous YouTubers struggle. Everyone does. It’s not a case of the haves and the have-nots at odds over feeling peaceful. It’s a choice anyone can make.

In fact, I think the best caveat to my little quote there is another one;

“Purpose is a byproduct of action.”

That one may not be my own; I seem to remember reading it somewhere before…

And I can’t forget my own advice about a creativity crisis either, that sometimes the years go by with nothing to show but effort, but that effort is absolutely key to making a change.

Now, those actions. What actions am I currently taking and what actions will I take to get a sense of purpose?

Currently taking:

  • Keeping up with habits daily
  • Writing this blog
  • Not complaining about things I can’t change
  • Accepting negative situations and feelings (I consider this action, because it’s a purposeful choice every time I’m tempted to do otherwise)
  • Reading a hell of a lot of books

Will take:

  • Write daily (instead of monthly)
  • Do more art
  • Learn how to make websites
  • Parent myself to do the hard things (courtesy of Mel Robbins)
  • Be honest
  • Finish more to-do lists

I have a lot more actions to take regarding specific projects I’m working on, but I want to keep those under wraps for now.

The problem is, being a multipotentialite, I can barely stick with one course of action for very long before I need to move to another. I tried that rotating priorities board, but it didn’t really stick. Daily lists are more my style.

Anyway, plans aside, the crisis is well underway, or would it be continuing from those years ago? Does it ever really end, or is what we call the quarter-life crisis merely the full brunt of adulthood assaulting our tender hearts and spirits with the crushing reality that childhood dreams can never be realized? Or am I just waxing doleful and moronic?

We’ll never know.


*Lyrics from Hamilton, the greatest musical