If you’ve never given any thought to whether or not you have Super Powers, you do! Using your Super Powers is good for you, good for your business, and super fun.
There are two main ways to discover your Super Powers: objectively, using external assessments, which is explored in part 2 of this series (read it here http://kristinecarey.com/discovering-your-super-powers-objectively/), and subjectively, introspective explorations, which is today’s topic.
Below are three of my favorite ways to look into yourself and learn about your Super Powers.
Something to note: Most of the suggestions below will work best if they’re done someplace other than your desk or wherever you normally perform tasks. Being in your usual surroundings restricts your thinking into a narrow band, more business-and-life-as-usual type of thinking, and what you’re after here is to see things from a different perspective. These exercises will produce better results when done in as open and expansive an environment as possible; this frees your mind and makes it easier to see beyond your usual filter. Find a cozy chair, go to the beach, grab a coffee at your favorite café, sit in the park, browse a bookstore, visit an art museum, or relax in a room with high ceilings – any place that allows you to feel expansive and unrestricted is perfect.
Take a trip down memory lane
The seeds of your Super Powers are evident right from the start. Go someplace where you feel comfortable and inspired. Grab your journal or voice recorder and let your mind drift back to when you were a child.
Make note of the following things:
- What sorts of things did you enjoy doing? Running, reading, cooking, talking, writing, making up games, working on cars, watching movies, etc.
- Where did you enjoy spending your time? Playground, library, at your Dad’s office, in the kitchen, downtown, in the country, etc.
- What five traits did you like in yourself as a child? Being curious, fearless, adventurous, studious, thoughtful, etc.
- Who did you like to hang around with? Friends, teachers, adults, pets – anyone whose company you enjoyed. What were some of their traits?
- What were your favorite chores, tasks or things you were good at? Doing the dishes, playing with the dog, selling lemonade, building things, solving math problems, etc.
Review the notes you made. What thread runs through your list? Do any patterns show up? Write down these threads, patterns, and anything else that occurs to you as you review your notes; these are evidence of your budding Super Powers. Post this list in a place where you can see it often over the next few weeks and see what other goodies the list reveals to you.
Looking to others
Look at those around you, people who are your champions and supporters – you can learn a lot by talking with them and reflecting on their qualities. Make sure to only do these explorations with people you trust, as this may feel vulnerable. Be gentle with yourself and when you speak to others ask them to be gentle with you, too; this is not the time for constructive feedback or fixing your faults.
Try these exercises:
- Conduct a survey of five friends. Set up a meeting in a comfortable location where you can talk. Ask them what they see as your Super Powers, take notes about what they see in you, and say thank you. This is not a debate; be gracious and accept their positive comments.
- See your friends and family as a mirror, reflecting those things inside yourself which may be hard for you to see. List the traits you see in them that you admire. Look over the list of traits, making note of those that resonate with you the most.
- Looking out into the larger world, who do you feel drawn to? Ghandi, Oprah, your second grade teacher, Eleanor Roosevelt, Richard Branson? Jot down those things that you find compelling about them, again noticing what draws you in.
- What Super Heroes do you love? Superman, Wonder Woman, The Shadow? Describe their powers and what you like about them.
Pulling the qualities from these lists, assemble them into one long list and post them where you can see them. Looking at these traits over the next week will call forth the ones that are most compelling to you, giving you hints as to what your Super Powers are.
Follow Your Energy
When you feel like you’re in the groove and things are going well, chances are you’re using your Super Powers. You may also be experiencing a state of flow, which is a phrase coined by Hungarian psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi. You know you’re experiencing flow when you’re completely engaged, hyper-focused, and time seems to stop. The challenge in front of you is equal to your skills, and you’re immersed in what you’re doing.
Here are several ways to notice when you’re following your energy:
- Think back to the most recent time you were in the flow. What were you doing?
- Carry a notepad with you for two days. Jot down everything you’re doing, making note of whether the thing you’re doing is giving you energy or draining you.
- Think about who you spend your time with. With each person, are you feeling energized or drained? Note who the person is and what’s happening, and how that’s affecting your energy.
Combine the notes from the time you were in the flow, what you were doing when you felt energized, and who you were with, highlighting any similarities and thoughts this sparks. Hidden inside are clues to your Super Powers.
Combine what you discovered from the three different types of exercises into one comprehensive list. Are you noticing traits you possess, circumstances and/or people who help bring your Super Powers to life? What picture is emerging that defines your Super Powers? Spend time with the comprehensive list, allowing it to show you what your Super Powers are.
Taking time to discover your Super Powers using subjective means is time well spent – it’ll allow you to focus more on what you’re good at, enjoy your days more, and be more effective in your work and relationships. Enjoy discovering your Super Powers!
This is Part 3 in a four-part series. In Part 1 we look at what Super Powers are and why they matter; Part 2 looks at how to discover your Super Powers objectively, and Part 4 explores how to use your Super Powers in your life and business. Links will be added as the other articles are released.
You can read all four parts here: (urls updated as the posts are published)
Part 1: http://kristinecarey.com/do-you-have-super-powers/
Part 2: http://kristinecarey.com/discovering-your-super-powers-objectively/