The Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) can be somewhat of an enigma when it comes to interests, passions, and careers. As I’ve learned more about myself as a sensitive person, I’ve found that my multifaceted interests are more of a benefit than a hindrance. But, I didn’t always feel this way. Several years back, I worked with an HSP Coach who suggested I was a multipotentialite. I hadn’t heard of the term before and it intrigued me. After I learned more, the monaker seemed to fit me nicely. Then, I started noticing that many HSPs I encountered also shared some of my ‘jack of all trades’ interests. As I’ve written more on sensitive people, I started wondering, is there a connection between being highly sensitive and being a multipotentialite?
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What is a Multipotentialite?
A multipotentialite, according to various sources including Wikipedia, is a person with diverse interests and aptitudes in multiple fields. They do not have one true calling or specialty, but instead, pursue many paths either sequentially or simultaneously. This is different from polymaths who are distinguished by their mastery and expertise in several fields. One of the first people to coin the title, Emilie Wapnick, gave a TED Talk called, “Why some of us don’t have one true calling (see video below).” The talk resonated with over 8.6 million people. Wapnick realized she was onto something big.
She went on to create a large community group of “multipods” (easier to say and spell than multipotentialite) through her online offer, Puttylike.
How do I know if I am a multipotentialite?
You might be wondering, am I a multipotentialite? Good question. We put together this list to help you walk through your personality and work proclivities to see if you are a multipotentialite.
Here are some signs that you might be a multipotentialite:
- You have a wide range of interests and hobbies that you pursue with passion.
- You get bored easily with routine tasks and prefer to switch between different activities to keep yourself engaged.
- You have a hard time choosing a single career path or academic major because you are interested in many different fields.
- You are often described as a “jack of all trades” because you have a diverse skill set.
- You enjoy learning new things and are constantly seeking out new experiences and challenges.
- You have a tendency to start many different projects at once and struggle to finish them all.
- You are comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty and don’t need a clear roadmap for your future.
- You are often seen as unconventional or non-traditional in your approach to life and work.
- You have a strong sense of curiosity and a desire to explore the world around you.
- You feel energized and fulfilled when you are able to use multiple skills and talents in your work or projects.
You can sign up for emails over at Puttylike to have access to the multipotentialite quiz.
Is multipotentialite ADHD?
Many people with varied interests often wonder if they have Attention Deficit Disorder or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Both are clinical conditions that need a medical diagnosis from a mental health professional such as a psychologist, psychiastrist, or a general medical practitioner. Emilie with Puttylike shares more about her ADHD and offers helpful advice for those struggling with the diagnosis.
Many people who identify with the Highly Sensitive Person trait wrestle with ADD and ADHD, whether they have a clinical diagnosis or simply feel easily distractable. While not everyone has clinical ADHD, it can feel like the overstimulation that happens when you have the HSP trait can act similarly as an attention disorder, but it’s not the same.
5 Best Practices for Working with an HPS Coach
What is the connection between HSP and multipotentialite?
While there is no direct connection between being a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) and being a multipotentialite, some people who identify as both HSPs and multipotentialites may find that their sensitivity and curiosity lead them to explore many different interests and career paths. Can you relate? I know I can.
HSPs are individuals who have a heightened sensitivity to their environment, including emotional and sensory stimuli. They may be more easily overwhelmed by loud noises, strong smells, or bright lights, and may be more attuned to other people’s emotions. HSPs may also be more introspective and reflective, and may need more downtime to process their experiences.
Multipotentialites, on the other hand, are individuals who have a wide range of interests and talents, and may struggle to choose a single career path or area of focus. They may enjoy exploring new topics and hobbies, and may have a diverse skill set that allows them to excel in many different fields.
Some people who are both HSPs and multipotentialites may find that their sensitivity and curiosity lead them to explore many different interests and career paths. They may enjoy learning about new topics and may be drawn to creative or non-traditional career paths that allow them to use their diverse skills and talents.
Whare are some frequently asked questions about multipotentialites?
You’re not alone if you’re asking questions about how to navigate life as an HSP multipotentialite. It can feel overwhelming just to think about all the interests, hobbies, experiences, and career objectives you’d like to pursue. It’s easy enought to become interested in something and get stuck pursuing it until you wake up one day and realize that you weren’t as passionate about it as you once were. Overall, the pressure you might feel to discover your one big purpose in life can be, well, debilitating.
Here are some additional questions you might be asking yourself:
- What are the advantages of being a multipotentialite?
- What are the challenges of being a multipotentialite?
- How can I pursue multiple interests without feeling overwhelmed?
- How can I explain my diverse career interests to others?
- Can a multipotentialite be successful in a single career path?
- How can I use my diverse skills and interests to my advantage in the job market?
- How can I balance my various interests and commitments?
- How can I stay motivated and engaged when pursuing multiple projects?
What are some strategies to navigate your career when you’re an HSP multipotentialite?
It can be tough to make a go of employment or self-employment when you enjoy doing a lot of different things. Some careers seem to have variety built-in; others are more mundane. We recently shared 25 careers that would be good for HSPs, many of which are self-employed or entrepreneurial ventures.
Over at Puttylike, Emilie Wapnick shares her own awesome strategies for navigating work for a multipod. She offers four models:
Model #1 – Group Hug Approach
This model is where you group many of your interests and passions into one multifaced career.
Model #2 – The Slash Approach
This approach is where you have multiple unrelated part-time positions that tick the variety box so you never get bored.
Model #3 – The Einstein Approach
This approach is based on Einstein’s experience of having a boring/non-taxing day job that allows you the mental space to pursue your passions on the side.
Model #4 – The Phoenix Approach
The model is based more on having seasons in your working career to pursue something fully for a few years, then move on to the next opportunity to master and tackle.
For a more detailed description of each of these models, visit Puttylike.
Overall, it seems fairly common for HSPs to also be multipotentialites. In fact, when I discovered I was both, I felt relief in finding others like me because I didn’t feel so weird anymore.
How do I know if I’m a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP)?
This is a great question. Many people who are highly sensitive feel that they were not understood as children. They were frequently told they were too sensitive or cried too often. You can reference our list of HSP quizzes to see how you score and this can inform whether or not you are a Highly Sensitive Person.
How do I know if I’m a High Sensation Seeker (HSS)?
Some Highly Sensitive Persons find that they often get bored with the status quo. They seek unique and exciting experiences on a regular basis to be able to reach an experiential high that feeds into their work and relationships. This online quiz can be a good litmus test to find out if you’re a High Sensation Seeker.
Be sensitive, be free
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