So, last Thursday I had the pleasure of meeting many other addicts like me. Multi-passionate addicts that is : )
I gave my talk at Antenna in Nottingham, to a fantastic group of women who all came along to hear more about being multi-passionate (link to the talk to follow). There was an amazing mix of women from all different walks of life, each with their own story and own reason for wanting to hear more about being multi-passionate, as well it being an opportunity to meet other women like them…like us!
So why am I an addict? I can’t really speak for anyone else, but I’ve often likened my own multi-passionateism (!) to being addicted to something, and I discussed this with the women I spoke to. As a psychologist I can see many similarities with that of basic ‘addiction’ models. Now bear in mind, not all addictions are necessarily harmful. But by their very nature they conjure up negative connotations. The main reasons for its similarities to an addiction I feel would be because:
– Doing lots of things is how I feel balanced and happy – even if it seems bizarre/destructive and downright tiring to everyone else.
– I’m often thinking of when I can get my next ‘hit’ – when I can do the next thing?
– I’ve hidden this from people over the years – parents/ex-partner/friends.
One of the key things that stand out for me here is that I have felt a need to hide my behaviour from other people, as if this was harmful or dangerous in some way?
What I’ve learnt over the years is that negative reactions from people haven’t always been because people were worried for me as they may have alluded to….’Serena, don’t you think you’ve taken on too much?’…’Serena are you sure you can deal with that and expect to do well in X’, the list goes on (which I’ll be discussing some other time). No, their concern, criticism or negative comments haven’t been because they were worried because I have been taking on too much or because I would be compromising something that I was really good at. Often these comments have been thrown at me in an attempt to make me stop, because no-one likes to see a tall poppy, as they say.
I’m certainly not saying that everyone is the same! I can think of many people who have always supported me, even if they haven’t understood or agreed with what I was doing. I’m sure if you too are multi-passionate, you can think of similar people in your own life. The nay-sayers versus those that have been your biggest cheer-leaders.
The fact is that, we sometimes need to limit our interaction with negative people. People that bring you down and discourage your passions from being fulfilled. Know who your friends are. Know who supports you. Always listen with an open heart and open mind. Sometimes, we do need to slow down, stop or take a break. The people who truly love and respect us will say this in a way that nurtures, not causes us to flinch as if you we are doing something wrong.
If you the person before you is telling you stop, slow down and warns you that you are taking on too much, and without good intention, then trust your gut. Know that that your greatness is THEIR issue, not yours.