Why I struggle to focus on just one thing.
I was told I have to pick a “niche” if I want to be a writer. Each website and video I researched told me the first step in becoming a freelance writer is to build a profile tailored to my “niche.” I struggled to wrap my head around what this even meant. The idea of picking just one thing, one topic, one interest to invest my time on was daunting to me.
The whole reason I wanted to become a writer was to express myself honestly and artistically. Every job I’ve ever had up until this point in my life (which is a lot) has not allowed me to do this. I have always felt boxed in — like my true potential and individual expression were limited, and sometimes even suffocated.
The weird part is: I never hated those jobs. I may have felt limited and boxed, but I seem to be good at every job I try — from my part-time gigs in retail and event management (to name a few) to my current full-time gig in private security following my graduation from college. I have performed well; and, for the most part, I have enjoyed the tasks given to me. Bottom line is: I have been content and comfortable with my job choices thus far. Yet, I am still bothered by the idea that I am choosing the wrong job to pursue. I haven’t been able to figure out what I really want.
In trying to find what I am meant to do, I find myself caught in a cycle. My “pursuit cycle” goes something like this:
I find something to pursue (like a job), get comfortable, perform well, get bored, quit pursuing, find another, get comfortable, perform well, get bored…etc. etc.
With my current job, I am in the beginning stages of the boredom stage. This seems like a negative outcome considering I just started 3 short months ago. But why? What keeps happening? Why am I like this? Why did each job seem like a good fit, but not quite right? This is when I start to feel like I am crazy.
Whenever I am looking for inspiration or answers to my questions, I turn to a trust-worthy source — TedTalks. I have watched endless amounts of TedTalks spanning across all topics of conversation and they have never failed to inspire me. This time around, I used to keyboard “career” in my search. This search brought me to Emilie Wapnick’s “Why some of us don’t have one true calling” talk from TEDxBend. In this Talk, she taught me a new term — MULTIPOTENTIALITE.
A multipotentialite is essentially an individual who has many interests and creative pursuits.
We become very consumed on something, begin feeling like we found our calling, and then we let it go for a while or get bored. This is exactly how I am wired.
Over 22 years on this Earth, I have found many callings. I thought I was meant to be a pro athlete, a cop, a firefighter, a writer, a photographer, a lawyer, and so much more. My possibilities have always seemed endless.
In attempts to further define a multipotentialite, Emilie goes on to explain 3 superpowers that multipotentialites use: rapid learning, adaptability, and idea synthesis.
- Rapid Learning. We like trying new things and we absorb everything we try……*fun fact: my mom has called me a “sponge” since I was kid for this exact reason.*
- Adaptability. We adapt easily into what we need to be for each new thing we learn, taking on new roles for various pursuits.
- Idea Synthesis. We bring everything we have absorbed to every new thing we learn, synthesizing the ideas. We excel at combining ideas to create innovation.
With each of these superpowers embedded within me, focusing all of my time on just one pursuit would be a waste of my potential and talent. And, instead of viewing the “pursuit cycle” negatively, I should view it as an endless cycle of learning opportunities. With each new pursuit I try, I absorb, adapt, and synthesize.
Sticking to one thing has never and will never work for me. I will always want more. Therefore, to each of those websites and videos telling me I have to pick a “niche” to be a writer, I say: fuck that.
If my possibilities to pursue are endless, my niche should be endless.
I am done limiting myself. I am done locking myself into a box. It is about time I put my multipotentialite superpowers to use while showcasing the most honest and artistic parts of myself.
Wapnick, E. (2015, April). Why some of us don’t have one true calling . Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/emilie_wapnick_why_some_of_us_don_t_have_one_true_ calling