Tag Archive: personal development


Bravery

I was watching a man sitting by himself at the cafe reading books on self-help and health. It set off a deep emotional trigger and got me thinking. No one else may have noticed it, but sitting by himself, taking notes, assessing his behavior, and faithfully learning and applying the material in those books, he was taking a big step toward changing his life. That’s bravery.

I admired him. I admire everyone who takes that terrifying first step when they know for a fact (because of their negative internal dialogue) that they are going to fail. I’ve been there. I’ve walked into the gym, overweight, alone, no clue as to what I am doing while the snooty little bitch behind the counter makes faces at me. Even after I got into fitness and became a gym rat, I never lost my admiration for the newbie. The size 2 fitness model doesn’t impress me. The person daring to change their habits, suffering through cravings and feelings of worthlessness but getting out there anyway–now that impresses me.

The person who is 5, 10, 30 years older than the average college student but who shows up to class, puts up with the stares and snickering, sacrifices time away from their children–that impresses me. The career change at age 50. The woman who leaves the abusive relationship. The person who decides its okay to be uncool–that bravery.

We put too much stock in admiring the people to whom things come easy. I’ve never had that luxury. I’ve been a human punching bag, I was a single parent going to college, I had to fight my cravings for chocolate cake while battling a score 0f 34% body fat. I know that the first step is the hardest, and requires the most courage.

So to all of you out there contemplating that first step, struggling while you’re changing habits, terrified to try something new, know that I support you 150%. I know its hard, and sometimes you feel like giving up, but don’t. Even if you lapse, and give in to that craving or those negative feelings, know that its okay. It’s a daily battle, but one worth fighting, no matter what your goals. You deserve a full life. Here’s to finding it!

We often identify superheroes as individuals with extraordinary strength, the ability to read minds and bend the elements to their will, time travel, and other talents that test the limits of biology and physics. Very few of us can claim such abilities. However, each of us does possess something that makes us extraordinary. Whatever that something is, that’s your superpower, the source of your strength, and what defines you as a superhero.

To identify your superpower, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What skill or knowledge set do people seek me out for? Do they ask me for advice on leadership, help repairing their vehicle, comfort in their time of need, or a tasteless joke to lift the mood?
  • What is my passion? What would sustain me, if money and fame and security didn’t matter. What could I see myself doing day in and day out? Is it surfing, writing, teaching, building, picketing, mentoring, painting, etc?
  • What sets me apart from others? Do I have a unique sense of humor, a new way of seeing things, the ability to put things into perspective for others? Have I simplified a process, developed a new strategy, uncovered a new idea, or improved on an existing product?

Here are the answers I came up with in my search for my own superhero power:

  • What do people seek me out for? My strength is my ability to listen to what a person has to say, then helping them put it into perspective and communicating to others. As a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant I have been able to help individuals and businesses identify their unique powers, find their place in the market, and hone their message so they can communicate their superpower to the world. I also apply that skill as a mentor to writers and women, especially mothers, which brings me to the next element.
  • What is my passion? I am caregiver and a passionate advocate for those without a voice. I can zealously debate anyone on the topic of motherhood and women’s rights, and often find myself concerned with the welfare of others. I am passionate about helping people find their own superhero voice, so they can lead fulfilling lives, and will advocate for anyone who has been wronged and deserves to be heard.
  • What sets me apart from others? I am able to communicate–not merely speak, but actually connect with a variety of people in a way that reaches the heart of an issue or idea.  This skill manifests itself in my writing, speaking, teaching, and more.

Take a few minutes and do the self-assesment above. If you’re having difficulty, ask a close friend or relative to help. Once you have identified those three things, start brainstorming ways to bring your superpower to light so that others may see the superhero in you.