Do you have a story about your superpowers? I did. And so do many of us, because our superpowers are revealed as much in our weaknesses as in our strengths.
Example: I am a storyteller. I don’t mean sitting on stage in a Daniel Boone cap folksy storytelling (though I’m going to be taking a “stage,” of sorts, in Chicago as a storyteller–minus Dan’l’s coonskin). I mean, I communicate and connect to people and the world around me through story. I talk. A LOT. Because I process things best when I hear myself think it through out loud. I write. A LOT. Because I am head over heels in love with words and always have been. Both come relatively easily to me. And so, for years and and years, I dismissed either as a superpower. In fact, I allowed others and myself to shame me with stories like:
I talk too much.
I talk too fast.
I’m a “facile” writer. If I were really good, I’d work harder.
Everybody probably wishes I’d just shut up.
Can I make a case for any or all of the above being true? Sure I can. And boy, I did. I beat myself up for years with that stuff. But here’s what’s also true:
I tell great stories that move people, make people think, and entertain.
My energy when I talk is enthusiastic and excited.
My writing connects with a wide audience precisely because it’s conversational.
For every person who might be wishing I’d shut up, there’s another person who takes something real and good from what I say.
What judgments have people had about you? What judgments do you hold about yourself? I think you’ll find that right there, in your worst fears about yourself, are also, if you flip them around, some of your greatest strengths.
What’s your superpower? Are you brave enough to claim it in the comments below?