Everyone Has A Superpower. What Is Yours?
What is your superpower?
This was the stupefying question I was asked recently by a fellow marketer during a networking event.
I paused for a minute not knowing what to say. I’d never been asked that before, nor had I considered that anything I did was extraordinary enough to be deemed a superpower.
Superpowers are usually considered rare and exceptional qualities only possessed by a few, right? If that were the case, I’m not so sure I had any.
Do I pick something from my resume? I'm a decent writer. Is that my superpower? I passed my Google Adwords certification the first try yesterday. Does that count? Maybe my superpower has nothing to do with my marketing or writing skills. I mean, I can eat half of an entire cheesecake all by myself in one sitting. That’s something isn’t it? Yet, I should be listed in the hall of shame instead of the hall of fame for that one.
Inevitably, I answered the question with, “I don’t know” then asked sheepishly, “What is yours?”
“Making things better,” she said. "In every job and role I've held, I always look for opportunities to improve things--make them better. That's what I'm known for."
That’s it? That didn’t sound out-of-this-world amazing, rare, or exceptional. In fact, I knew several people who were good at that. Maybe, a person’s superpower isn't about trying to be the best at something or better than someone. Maybe, it’s more about sharing your best self with the world, so you can make a positive difference.
In that case, maybe I did have one after all. So, I got to work to find it.
In doing some research, I found this quote on Forbes. Your superpower “is not a skill but a perspective, a mindset, a way of working that enhances everything you touch. It's unique, like a thumbprint.”
To determine my thumbprint, I answered these three questions from the article, "How To Find Your Superpower." To stay honest with myself, I wrote down quickly the first things that came to mind. They had to be real. They had to be my own.
This is what I uncovered.
1. What feels effortless to you?
Telling stories about real people, real things, and real events. I like creating ridiculous fictional characters, who are sometimes irreverent and unconventional. I like writing stories that show people’s flaws—raw and unapologetic truth that is often hidden from view. My best stories are those that help people, show them something they hadn’t considered before, something that was missing in their lives and contains the hope of making things better.
Now it’s your turn. What feels effortless to you?
When are you fearless?
When there’s injustice or wrongdoing. I have to speak and write about it. No sugarcoating and no pretending. I say it like it is. However, this has gotten me into trouble a time or two, because I decided to express myself to whomever, wherever, and however I wanted. There are certainly better ways to deliver the truth, especially if you want the outcome to be a positive one. My therapist taught me about TTD, so I wouldn’t keep getting into trouble with my mouth.
Timing. Anytime is not always the right time to express yourself and be heard. Pick a time to speak your truth when the chance for a positive outcome is at the greatest.
Tact. Tact is your delivery. How you say it. For writing, it’s your tone of voice. I had to learn how to deliver my truth in a way that didn’t attack the people that needed to hear it.
Dosage. When I get passionate about something, I tend to vomit everything I’m thinking and feeling. I’ve learned the negative effects of this the hard way. Patience dear one, I repeatedly tell myself. They can only swallow one piece at a time.
Now, your turn. When do you feel fearless?
How do you amaze others?
Being open about my imperfections and past mistakes. People are generally surprised that I'm as transparent as I am and don't mind candidly discussing my faults and failures. It's not that I'm self-deprecating. It's that I don't feel embarrassed or ashamed of them. I see my shortcomings as an opportunity to grow and become better. They also give me insight and empathy to help others who share the same struggles.
What’s the verdict?
I know I’m not the best writer in the world. At times I even question my abilities at all. But, when I share my truth in writing or speaking, it helps people. What I create may not connect with everyone, but it definitely matters to those it touches. Last year, I wrote an article about the challenges of getting divorced. I wrote it from a place of strength and wisdom, applying TTD. After it was published, the impact was immediate. It got thousands of claps on Medium, and a few single moms wrote back to say,
“Your article changed my life.”
“Now, I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.”
“Thank you for this. Please don’t stop writing.”
So what superpower did I uncover about myself?
Speaking my truth.