Your Superpower Comes Naturally
“When you are born, your work is placed in your heart.” ~ Kahlil Gibran
Your superpowers are right in front of you but you may not see them. They come so easily to you that you take them for granted. You think everyone has them, too. They don’t.
I didn’t realize I had musical talent until I was forced to compare myself to other graduate students during a music perception test at Princeton (where I was studying to get a Ph.D. in psychology). I was surprised to learn I’d scored off the charts. That discovery led me to ditch my career as a psychology professor and follow my dream to become a rock star a few years later.
Princess Diana (Wonder Woman) possesses super strength and combat skills because she was born an immortal Amazon. What about you? What do you think your superpowers are?
In her 2012 TED talk, which became the second-most-popular TED talk in history, Amy Cuddy said, ”Nothing makes you feel more powerless than having your core identity taken away from you.” She related how a car accident left her with a significantly lowered IQ after she’d always been a gifted student. No one had expected Cuddy to succeed, but she did anyway. One of her superpowers is her amazing resilience, which she used years later to successfully refute criticism of her research on power posing.
Cuddy found that adopting the Wonder Woman power pose — hands on hips, feet wide apart, shoulders back — for two minutes can make you feel powerful. This postural feedback gives you the experience of being a laid-back alpha (i.e., a superhero). When you need a jolt of power, try it. It works! If you’re a guy, just pretend you’re Superman or Thor when you do it.
Like Cuddy and myself, you lost your core identity when authority figures questioned or blocked your innate abilities. I didn’t register that I could sing or write songs because I felt pressured to be a good student and pursue an academic career. Having musical proficiency fell outside the limits of who I was allowed to be.
Most of my workshop participants have had similar experiences. I imagine this probably rings true for you, too.
The abilities you express without even trying are your superpowers.
So, think about it for a moment. What are you naturally good at? What comes easily to you that you do better than others? Running, teaching, drawing, accounting, schmoozing, cooking, or something else? Compare yourself to the people around you and find out.
What makes you different makes you strong.