Have you ever considered where superpowers come from?
Hollywood tells us that Superman’s strength and speed are innate, Wonder Woman and Black Panther have mystical connections with deities, and Tony Stark dons a suit to become super.
We have to reject this cultural definition of superpowers however and redefine the story for ourselves.
I was recently told I have the superpower of bouncing back quickly after repeated challenges. And while I don’t disagree that I have the ability to look a challenge in the face and not get stuck in it, my outlook is not a superpower.
My ability to stay on the positive and forward current wasn’t given to me. I wasn’t born with it. And I definitely didn’t acquire it through a spider bite.
It is something I work on every single day. And sometimes every single hour. It is hard work, developed through confronting harsh realities, physically exercising, showing vulnerability, and readily experiencing heartache. It requires looking at challenges squarely in the face, seeing how awful reality can be, and developing the toolkit to navigate through that chaos — a toolkit of small steps.
Can I share a secret with you? I spend time every day learning to crawl. I literally crawl on my elbows and knees, up and down the floor of my living room. Why? Because in order for me to walk without a limp and as my body was designed to walk, my doctors tell me I have to master crawling first. Just as I learned to crawl and walk as a child before my brain injury.
It’s not sexy; it’s not pretty. It isn’t how you picture the CEO of a company spending her morning, but just as I used the alphabet board you see in the above photo to convey meaning while relearning to talk, I crawl because it gets me directionally headed where I want to go.
As we approach the second half of 2022, how can you start to develop your own superpower? Versus waiting for it to be given to you a la Superman or Tony Stark? Can you join me in rejecting the idea that what you are born with and handed, isn’t what you are stuck with?
Are you with me? If so, let’s move.