Tapping into your unique superpowers can lift you up as well as others. We have so many traits and skills that make us amazing, but we also have a tendency to focus more on the things we lack and the things we’ve not done yet. Our quest to be Superpower and meet the demands of our busy lives takes us away from this and is where the Superpower complex begins.
When we think of superpowers, we think of our strengths but strong can mean many different things. It can mean the lifting-burningbuildings kind of strength we see in the superhero movies. It can also mean the courage to stand up to bullies or say no to something because you’re overloaded.
It can mean the determination and grit to finish a race, strive for a promotion or stand your ground on something you believe is morally right. It can be someone who speaks out about their passion when they’re speaking against the majority. It can be when we show our vulnerability or persist in the face of setbacks. It can also be the things we’re good at, the experience and skills that give us strengths that help us in life.
Because we’re good at something, we tend to think everyone else must be good at it too – so we don’t value it, we don’t think it’s anything special. It’s why we struggle to answer the question ‘What are your strengths?’. If it’s effortless and easy (as strengths generally are), we don’t think it’s worthy of a mention.
If I ask you to name three strengths, you might take a while, you’ll struggle to come up with them, you’ll not be sure they are actual strengths and unless someone else has told you it’s true, you’ll doubt your answers or diminish them in some way and it’ll feel uncomfortable talking about them. However, if I ask you to come up with three weaknesses, the floodgates will likely open.
Our brains are predisposed to think more negatively. It’s how we’ve evolved and used to keep us safe. If we’re constantly scanning the horizon for the worst that can happen, we are able to react and prepare for that, which helped us survive back in the days of sabretooth tigers. However, in our modern life, this translates to noticing all the things we don’t like about ourselves and what’s not gone well for us at work.
Confident, capable and resilient also featured highly in the responses. Other notable words included honest, compassionate, powerful and determined. It seems intuitive that strong and courageous would feature at the top, but composed was a pleasant surprise. Especially in a world where so many of us feel overwhelmed, busy and unable to think straight. One of the questions that most intrigued me was, ‘What do you admire most in others?’ The top answer was kindness, followed by calmness and confidence. Kindness is a skill that has been underrated for too long but we’re now starting to understand its strength and value.