July 15, 2012

What’s Your Superpower?


Have you ever thought about what it would it be like to have a super human ability?

Ha, that’s one of those cheesy first date questions—but of course you did, back when you were a kid.

Perhaps you had socks on your hands and you were rubbing them against the carpet, watching the static and picturing yourself sending bolts of electricity at people. Were you healing or were you hurting? Perhaps it was a little bit of both.

We grew up a bit since then, learned a thing or two. We learned we had certain likes and really didn’t enjoy some other things. We learned that it really irritated us the way some people said certain things to us. We liked some of the other things that people said.

People started to compliment us on various inherent traits that we were just born with. Sometimes we’d take the compliment, sometimes we wouldn’t. We developed certain certain styles, certain idiosyncrasies. Our relationships progressed and either accelerated or hindered our dreams.

We went off to college or got a job or perhaps we got derailed. We developed good and bad habits. We learned about our place in the world and found a place to grow strong enough in.

Okay, so here you’re reading this. You’re safe enough for now.

Now what?

What’s missing between you and your real life superhero?

What is a real life superhero?

Here’s another bad first date question, but a really important question to answer for ourselves: what would we do if we couldn’t fail? If money didn’t matter. If no one judged us, they just appreciated us for what we are?

As soon as I began to pursue that thing (writing) that I would do if no one judged me, I suddenly realized that there was a whole new world of things of value that I hadn’t yet known I wanted to give (coaching, speaking, etc.). All of a sudden—possibility.

It was impossible to know I was going to be excited about something that I didn’t even know existed yet.

So, let’s start with: “what would it be like if no one judged us?”

First, why does it matter if anyone judges us? Doesn’t it only matter if our judgement of their judgement matters to us—basically, if we judge ourselves? When we love ourselves regardless and don’t judge ourselves, there’s no failure.

So then what? It’s about the creation. Creating that thing that we want to create. It may suck, but it’s that sucky thing that we wanted to do, and that’s pretty f*cking cool.

But let’s be practical here. Let’s not go nuts and just build an ark or something. Unless your heart says do that. I mean, but what are you qualified for right now?

Think back on your life. What were you just naturally good at when you were younger, the things your teachers or friends or family would say something to you about? In high school? College? What things are you really boss at at your job now? How about your last job?

Maybe it’s the way you deal with people, your ability to call people on the phone… write reports… process notes.

Think of all your best skills from your whole life. Now combine them into one package.

Those are your superpowers—and using those superpowers makes you a real life superhero.

So let’s aim that at what you would do if you couldn’t fail. Let’s get help, so we can start to try to figure out a way to give our superpowers all away, like superheroes do.

I mean, granted, we need to keep working on our skills—how to jump through a window and land gracefully, all that. Gotta get Aunty Em to sew us a cape. But I mean, I saw a homeless man with a pigeon the other day. I learned he had been caring for it for three years. The guy was definitely not “all there” by some people’s definitions, but the dude was definitely a superhero.

Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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