Do you know what you superpowers are?
The gifts you were born with that make you uniquely you? The ones you were meant to share with the world?
Recently I was reminded of mine. And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect!
I was in the middle of a challenging situation with a colleague. I was feeling criticized and dismissed. As though I was just a number. A cog in the wheel. Nothing special.
The exact opposite of how I believe we all deserve to feel.
As a result, my confidence was taking a hit. I began second-guessing myself . And everything I said or did. I felt like I was walking on eggshells (always a bad sign for a recovering people-pleaser like me). I knew I was not acting in alignment with my true self.
My intuition was on high alert. My brain began screaming “danger, danger, pay attention!”
So I decided to take a step back and analyze the situation a bit more carefully. To sit with my anxiety instead of run from it. To see what my body – always a barometer for my soul – had to say.
It spoke quickly. As it always does when I stop to listen.
I was not feeling valued.
For who I am, and for what I bring to the table. In a nutshell, I was not feeling seen. Something I believe we all desire to feel deep down.
And that hurt. I deserved more. Especially as I knew I had been giving my all. It felt wrong. Unfair. Unjust.
In order for me to move forward, something needed to change.
And then something did. But not in the way I expected.
My coach challenged me to send an email out to members of my trusted tribe, asking them what they believed my three superpowers were. The natural gifts they felt I possessed, and had shared with them or with others.
At first I was reluctant to do this exercise, especially given how raw and vulnerable I’d been feeling.
But then I had a thought. That was exactly why I should do it. Because I was feeling so raw and vulnerable. Who knew what would come of it. What I might learn about myself if I was willing to take the risk. And I was.
I carefully wrote the email. Chose my list of recipients. And held my breath as I nervously hit the send button.
What would the response be? Would it seem like a stupid request? Would anyone even bother responding at all?
Within moments I had my answer. Feedback started coming in. First from my sister and big brother. Then from a friend and coworker. Even from a former boss. I was both nervous and excited to read their responses. To hear how they saw me. To learn what gifts they felt I possessed.
With each email I opened, I felt the love pour in.
I was touched by the generosity of their words, by the superpowers they saw in me. I felt my heavy mood begin to lift and be replaced by something else. By something much more powerful. An inner sense of knowing who I truly am.
I felt inspired and rejuvenated. I felt seen.
Those powerful emails reminded me of who I was at my core. My true essence.
I was not meant to be somebody’s puppet. Nor did I deserve to be devalued or treated like a mere number. I was more. Far, far more.
I was unique and special. Just as we all are.
The people who knew me, and really cared about me – my tribe – they got it. They got me. They saw me.
Over the next few days, more superpower emails flooded in from around the globe. From people I had known for 5, 10, 20 even 30+ years. They told me what I needed to hear. What I needed to remember.
That I am compassionate, caring, loving, inspiring, supportive, funny, loyal and intuitive. And that I had been there for them. Had listened to them. Valued them. Seen them.
I felt humbled. And ever so grateful.
I felt alive and reconnected with my true self. With my own sacred gifts.
My self-confidence, on a mini-hiatus up until then, returned. I put my imaginary superhero cape back on and stood tall.
I knew I was not going to let anyone take my power away from me.
While some (like my tribe) saw my value and worth, there were always going to be others who did not. Others who would try to stick me in a corner, and tell me not to shine my light.
And that’s OK. As long I don’t let their opinion of me matter more than mine does. Because mine is really the only one that counts.
After all, I know I have important work to do in this world. I have my superpowers to share.
(Now it’s your turn. Can you list one of your own superpowers and how you’ve used it to help others? If so, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.)