----------- soulful transformation through the stars. -----------

29 Feb 2012

refuse to choose

That pressure to choose a career, a path, one skill or talent to hone, especially pushed by the school system, brought me a lot of anxiety for more years than I care to think about.

But embracing our innate personality, and then learning how to work with it relieves us of pressure.


"What you’ve assumed is a disability to be overcome by sheer will is actually an exceptional gift. You are the owner of a remarkable, multi-talented brain trying to do its work in a world that doesn’t understand who you are and doesn’t know why you behave as you do."




Do you have thoughts like these...?

“I can never stick to anything.”
“I know I should focus on one thing, but which one?”
“I lose interest in things I thought would interest me forever.”
“I keep going off on another tangent.”
“I get bored as soon as I know how to do something.”
“I can’t stand to do anything twice.”
“I keep changing my mind about what I want to do and end up doing nothing.”


Then you and I share a style of approaching the world and all it has to offer.

We're Scanners.
(Although when I learnt to accept my zest for variety I called myself a Renaissance girl.)


"Scanners are endlessly inquisitive. ... often describe themselves as being hopelessly interested in everything .... doesn’t want to specialize in any of the things she loves, because that means giving up all the rest."

Although I have been cultivating a little more focus in my life, the list of what I am 'hopelessly interested in' is probably long enough to wrap around the world at least twice.

And it's all okay, it's who I am. If you're anxious that you don't have a single focus, you can Refuse to Choose as well.

55 comments:

  1. ha, I blamed it on being a Gemini so far, knowing that that was bullsh**, of course. Renaissance girl works, too.

    I will try to get a hold of this books (no Kindle version, and since I'm already getting ready for yet another move I won't buy any more books!) I'm slowly coming to terms with being a scanner, but much like for you, it was a long struggle.

    thanks for the tip!

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  2. I'm like that too. I'm lucky that I have been able to use it in writing professionally, but it also means that I didn't focus my writing career and get famous for just one thing. But I don't mind at all.

    At school they used the expression "butterfly" and that is nice, I think.

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  3. Haha! Recognise so much of that in myself lol. And like Petra I've always blamed it n being a Gemini!

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  4. yes Monica I have thought like those, all the time. All my life. Thank you for this post.
    Now I know at least what to call myself ; )

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  5. Renaissance girl - I love that. And the idea that we have to hone one skill, it's so depressing isn't it and still abounds. To be honest, I'll say I wish I could relate more directly to these sentiments. Each one a sign of someone who is passionately, actively creative. Right now, parenting feels like a bit of a sole focus because the baby is so young and the sleep is so lacking. But if that time had passed, I suspect I would have lost some of that hunger for several things all at once. Less inquisitive than I once was perhaps..wanting to get it back.

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    1. i used to envy those people who just knew exactly the one thing they were put on this earth for. some from a very young age. still fascinates me. fortunately i came around to seeing my way as just different, not inferior.

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  6. This is fascinating--something I must share soon with my daughter! Pretty sure I'm a Scanner...

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  7. When I started reading this post, I thought you were a mind reader and had written this personally for me! It looks like a lot of us creatives have this butterfly life in common. :)
    Jess xx

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  8. This one hits really close to home for me and couldn't come at a better time...Thanks for the insight!
    ~Andrea~

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    1. welcome andrea! good to see you here.

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  9. Brilliant. I refuse to choose!! My day job is in Corporate America, which I love... yet I'm a wholeheartedly creative gal, artist, writer, daydreamer who writes screenplays while I drive.

    Just like you said...it's who I am, I can have both, be everything & just be me ;-)

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    1. excellent! love that you write screenplays while you drive (just be safe! lol)

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  10. Monica, I am a scanner too. I quit my day job to try and figure out what it is that I like but you're right, it may be multiple things. It's a pity that making money has to get in the way...

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    1. i think that many scanners end up with ordinary jobs so it can pay the bills and leave them time to do all the other many splendid things afterwards. ;)

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  11. I am the same way... Pixie Campbell recommended the book Refuse to Choose by Barbara Sher

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    1. hi Lenora, yep, that's the one i started to read and link to in the post.

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  12. well, you are wonderful at speaking out from your heart. and you have clearly been able to do that for quite some time. it's fun to have different passions. I just dipped back into playing piano after having dipped out for many years. I love coming back to it, because I can see how I've changed as a person in the meantime....

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    1. i bought a keyboard once! LOL
      at least it's getting use with my little girl now.

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  13. I have these same thoughts, almost on a daily basis.

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  14. “I keep changing my mind about what I want to do and end up doing nothing.” It's like you read my mind.

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  15. I am exactly like this! I haven't been able to choose one thing to study for a career and I'm always bored with something once I feel I've gotten some kind of hand on it.

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  16. but... but how do you make a living?!

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    1. there as many ways to make a living as there are people! lol

      but doing all sorts of things you love doesn't mean being poor, or not having a regular job. many scanners, choose one career they really enjoy but are happy to drop it for a whole new one.
      others work ordinary jobs to pay the bills and spend their spare time pursuing everything else they love.

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  17. There you are in my head again! That is SO me.

    I've learned to test everything that piques my interest. The ones that are still there after a while (and I mean months, not days or weeks) are generally things that I'll stay interested in for the long haul. Then, sometimes they percolate into concrete ideas, or perhaps even something worth investing time and/or money into. However, even if an interest only lasts a few hours, the learning process is still valuable and fun!

    That old saying, "It's the journey, not the destination" rings true to me.

    Put the book in my wishlist. :)

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    1. that's a phrase been long living in my heart. after accepting the scanner mentality, i realised exactly just why!

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  18. AAAAhhhhhh...Validation

    off to get the book :)

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  19. I like your response to nancy, monica - it's an excellent thing to celebrate and feel confident in moving fluently between our interests - they all have a place and sometimes they even come together and talk and unite. Some may lay quiet and hidden until their voice is strong enough to know what it wants to say....

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  20. This post could not come at a better time. I have so many things I want to do and too many interests for me to narrow it down. I'd love to have a career doing something I love. It's what I aspire to. But what is it? I don't know. My list of things is too long to count. Is there a way to fuse, at least, some of them? I don't know that either.

    I've always admired people who have so much focus and know exactly what it is they want to do. But I recently realized, my path is different. And that's okay too.

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    1. i'm working on a little focus amongst the variety. :)

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  21. Is there such a thing as a closet scanner!! LOL that is what I was until I busted out and began to indulge my interests...many people did not like someone they want to control who thinks and moves outside the box....excellent post...:)

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  22. making money doesn't have a thing to do with who i am. i make enough to eat and then...apparently i scan...live/see/try to infuse myself into the moment. what a shame that as a society we focus on defining ourselves by what earns us money. what anxiety we could release if we allowed it to be otherwise. well, i have finally allowed this in my forties. (i kiss my forties:)

    xo
    erin

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  23. This is why I have to be on a creative job, always doing new things, trying new things. I would go crazy doing the same thing over and over! Feels like waste of time and energy... I know this sounds selfish, as if the boring things should be done by anyone rather than me, but I also know that there are those who love to do what is expected, and walk the same track every day in order to feel safe. There's room for everyone, right?

    Even in my job I feel the need to recreate myself and find new things to do, get involved in different projects, or I end up loosing the will to keep going and find myself with nothing done for lack of enthusiasm.

    So, I guess there's a scanner inside me?

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    1. possibly! it's about liking many different and varied topics. otherwise it's likely just a creative fire within - most creative people like to be trying new things in their work/field.

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  24. I've been calling myself a Renaissance girl for some time -- I'm such a scanner. I get frustrated sometimes because for people like us, there's no one clear path. There's so much I want to do in life, so many projects I want to work on, and sometimes it's annoying I'm good at a lot of different things. But some time ago I accepted that this is who I am. My life won't be conventional and I won't necessarily have the security others do, but life will be exciting.

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    1. definitely can be very exciting! once we have accepted this of ourselves. otherwise we end up doing nothing and feeling frustrated.

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  25. Hiya Mon! Been without the puter for 4 days, felt like forever! Glad to catch up on a post that speaks to me for sure. Though Renaissance Girl is likely not the label for me. More like ADHD..ha!

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  26. This is just SO comforting! Thank you!

    xx

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  27. I found the book at the library yesterday and have already implemented the Daybook. I am relieved to just write-out what is inside. I want to put a stop to over-analyzing and judging. This book is a statement to myself that everything has value and deserves a voice, deserves to be accepted. I will simply flow :: flow with the river that I have running through me.

    Bless you Monica for speaking up! <3 Janae

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  28. Hi Monica, such a great post; you’d think that just being who we are should be the easiest thing!
    The book sounds fantastic, i wil definitely get it.
    hope life is beautiful, x sandra

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  29. I really enjoyed reading this post, it's so inspiring. You have a talent with writing!

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  30. ~can i save this post...print off to remind myself its ok...and to share with my love...we just had a similar conversation about all of my interests...all i like to do...want to do and need to do...he said "whats your niche" i replied why do i have to have one...why do i have to chose only one thing to focus on??? because that is how someone becomes good at what they are attempting to do...i beg to differ!!! this went on and on until we both decided it was a useless conversation as neither were seeing eye to eye...i laughed while reading these words cause the describe me so very true...

    i wonder if we connected our ropes...how far they would go then...thank you for shedding light on my maddness that everyone seems to think is going on in my brain!!! confort you have given me...much love light and blessings~

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    1. yes! you point him here and set him straight! lol

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  31. This post came at the perfect time, so perfect it's almost unbelievable! A friend of mine called me a "Renascence Girl" just yesterday after looking at my blog. hahaha! I have one of those lists of interests that is miles and miles long, as well, and keep grappling with the thought that I will never excel at anything unless I choose one. I was agonizing over it again this morning when I flipped on the television and saw a film with an actor I love. And, it dawned on me that he plays music, writes, acts, and who knows what else. My point...he didn't choose just one thing. I'm starting to notice that so many creatives don't choose just one thing. I'm joining you in refusing to choose!!
    One more thought...It's so comforting to have a term to use to define this zest for life we have. Hooray for Scanners!

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    1. it IS comforting, just makes what we know instinctively more concrete, and thereby we're able to let it all bubble to the surface and be fully conscious. hooray for us! lol

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  32. Holy wow! Amazing! I've had this topic on my mind for what seems like months and it has a lot in common with a theme in the blogosphere here lately. I love this post. LOVE IT

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  33. This is wonderful... It never worried me I was this way, kind of frustrated me at times, but I love getting that feeling where you can totally relate. This I can relate to.

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  34. oh, I am definitely a scanner. it's somehow comforting to have a name for it! choosing just one path is a source of anxiety and compromise: maybe I don't have to? I'll definitely be reading this. thanks!

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    1. that's it. i just feel compromised and restricted.

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  35. Thank you for the thoughts and inspiration. I have been toying with the idea of going back to school after getting a useless degree (math). The truth is that at the time I felt like I had to choose, but one choice was totally unfulfilling. Economics, Computer Science, Finance, Geology, Weaving, German, I want to study it all.

    I'm going to include this post in my monday inspiration tomorrow. Thank you :)

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  36. Oh my Monica, I could have written this post myself!! Now I know there is nothing wrong with me but I am just a scanner!!! :) seriously, I am trying to , as you say, cultivate some focus, but I am also trying to enjoy my "multitasking mind"that seems to be endlessly engaged in thousand different things. I just think life in general is so interesting!!

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  37. Yup, definitely have a tendency that way, though doing a PhD in one tiny teeny area of something is a good way to focus the mind... Although perhaps my scannerish tendencies are a reaction to that period of enforced focus! ;)

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  38. mmmm hmmmm to all of it! my husband is always at a loss about why i can't choose one thing to 'be'; he's said i have many talents but wishy washy when it comes to choosing that one thing to pour my heart + soul into. honestly, i don't think i could ever be that person~ i'm happy to just create, whatever strikes my fancy + i accept it. life is more fun with variety :)

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