What’s Your Superpower?

The summer movie blockbuster season is definitely upon us. And with it, comes the inundation of superheroes, each with their own strength and approach.

When I was growing up, I remember the heroes and villains were often presented as uni-dimensional, all-good or all-bad. They were fun, but they were far-from realistic.

Superheroes are instead like us – a blend of good and bad – only their traits are exaggerated for our entertainment.

In a meeting this summer, my principal challenged each of the teachers present to name their superpower. Some didn’t surprise me – the counselor who is good at building relationships, the coach who excels at motivating others, the creative teacher who is good at encouraging others to try new things.

But some were eye-opening. In some ways, I learned more about my coworkers through that brief exercise than I had in two years worth of meetings and trainings.

I noticed something else, too. As each person named and described their superpower, they grew a little taller in their chair. They were no longer passive recipients in a summer meeting; they had become agents of change and growth in the organization.

Right now, on the evening of my fourth day back with kids, I’m feeling anything but powerful. I’m beyond exhausted. I’m sure there’s a word for that, but even the thesaurus is too much for tonight. Yet, when I sat down at my home computer to respond to messages, I saw this title sitting in my drafts, waiting to be written. I remembered that day, several weeks ago, when I described my own superpower. And I suddenly felt a little less drained and a little more motivated to use my superpowers with the kids again tomorrow (after some couch time and some sleep!).

We’re all so good at the negative self-talk. We never hesitate to tell ourselves where we’re lacking or berate ourselves for our weaknesses.

When was the last time you named, much less celebrated, your superpower?

How about starting now?

What is YOUR superpower?

 

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4 thoughts on “What’s Your Superpower?

  1. Ooohh. Good question!! Finding it difficult to think of one that’s actually positive rather than self-berating (“my superpower is biting when ex baits me”, or “drinking too much in company that I really shouldn’t be in but rather than leave, letting FOMO take over and saying something I shouldn’t have”). Something to ponder on, me thinks 🙂

    1. Isn’t that interesting how our brains so easily land on self-criticisms but struggle to identify strengths? I hope your pondering leads you to some insight – I KNOW you have a superpower (or three) in there!

  2. I am resilient, and my kids have seen that, becoming resilient themselves. It is amazing that after living in 6 countries in 16 years, after living for a year in a socialist country, after leaving behind so many friends and family members, after changing schools 8 times, in the case of my 14 year old daughter, and 3 times in the case of my son, after enduring a bad, verbally abusive marriage, for 8 years, and after my recent separation from their dad, we still have the ability to laugh and enjoy ourselves. I am very proud of myself and my kids.

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