By Emilie Wapnick
The other day, someone mentioned that throughout their life, they’ve used their multipotentialite pursuits as a way of growing their confidence.
In other words, by diving into new things and acquiring new skills, they’ve learned to believe in themselves more as a person.
I’ve never thought about it that way, but it makes sense.
It’s pretty damn hard to develop your confidence if you’re not pursuing your passions.
Getting out and exploring your interests helps you feel better about yourself much faster than sitting at home and trying to convince yourself of how rad you are.
My basic theory is that there are two forms of confidence: there’s contextual confidence, which means believing in your ability in one particular area (driving a car, drawing, public speaking, etc.)
Contextual confidence comes with practice. You start something new, suck for a while, and then with practice, you get better, stop sucking, and start feeling good about your proficiency in that area.
And then there’s core confidence: the way you feel about yourself as a person.
Core confidence is knowing that even if a path is totally new to you, you’ll find a way. You might not know how to do it yet, but you’ll figure it out. It’s trusting that your character and resourcefulness will carry you through.
Having core confidence allows you to take more risks and try out new things. You know that you’re going to fail at first, but that doesn’t phase you because failure in one area doesn’t impact your sense of self-worth as a person.
Of course, the two types of confidence are inextricably connected. It’s hard not to feel a bad about yourself as a person when you get laid off from a job or when a relationship ends.
We’re only human. But from what I’ve seen, people who believe in their self worth apart from the things they have in their lives, tend to bounce back faster when those things disappear.
Having strong core confidence is super important for multipotentialites since it’s what allows you to try new things more often (to “fail fast and iterate,” as they say). When you have core confidence, you’re more likely to pursue your interests in spite of the fear, and thus develop contextual confidence in that area faster.
As you develop skill in that new area, that contextual confidence can then be transformed back into core confidence. Think about it like a bank account. Say you’ve got a number of subaccounts in your savings account.
As you accumulate money, you can choose to leave that money in those subaccounts, or you can transfer it to your main savings account (your core confidence).
It’s the idea of stacking your small wins. Take every small accomplishment in your various pursuits and change the meaning from “gee I’m pretty good at _______,” to “look at how I took myself from point A to point B!” It’s not about that specific accomplishment, it’s about what it says about you.
How has your confidence affected your multipotentiality, and vice versa?
Your pal and fellow multipotentialite,
Article from her newsletter – republished here with permission.
Emilie Wapnick says: “I don’t like labels, but if I had to describe myself, I’d probably use some combination of entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and coach. I also play the violin, I’m developing a television pilot, and I occasionally design a website or two. But all of this could change tomorrow…” (From her site.)
Emilie is author of the program: Renaissance Business – Designed Specifically for the Multi-Passionate Entrepreneur.
Added by Douglas Eby:
Photo at top from Inner Entrepreneur post Creating money: The inner and outer work of financial goals by Molly Gordon.
Over the years of reading biographies and interviews with many highly talented and creative people, it has often struck me how many of them talk about being self- critical and having poor self-esteem.
For example, writer Larry Kane commented about his bio on musician, singer-songwriter, poet, writer, visual artist John Lennon: “People would be surprised at how insecure he was, and his lack of self esteem. Throughout his life, even during the height of Beatle mania, he had poor self esteem, even though he exuded confidence.”
Lennon reportedly said about his conflicted feelings, “I’ve always been a freak…all my life and I have to live with that, you know…Part of me suspects that I’m a loser, and the other part of me thinks I’m God Almighty…You’re just left with yourself all the time, whatever you do anyway.”
Quotes from my book Developing Multiple Talents – The personal side of creative expression.
Photo from post Gifted and talented but with insecurity and low self esteem.