“Your anger gives you great power. But if you let it, it will destroy you.” – Ra’s al Ghul
I have a firm belief everyone has superpowers; innate traits or abilities that make each of us strong and dynamically unique. Traits like work ethic, drive, even empathy are all super powers that can be a huge asset when harnessed and leveraged. Yet can these superpowers be destructive? Can the very traits that propel us forward in our work and personal lives be destructive and hold us back? Here are my three tips on how to identify three destructive superpowers and what you can do to overcome them:
The Ability To Suffer – We all say it, “I’ll get a new job when the time is right”, or “I’ll take time off when work isn’t so busy”. What we are really saying is “I’m scared of change and even though I’m miserable it’s less painful than trying something new.” The ability to suffer is an incredible superpower that enables people to stick things out for much longer than need be. We’ve all been in relationships, jobs, and situations that we stayed in for too long because it was just so much easier to “suck it up.” Yet, there is a much easier way: defy your destructive superpower and turn it into a strength. The ability to suffer is not a good superpower to have; having the resilience to not quit is a superpower you can use to your strength. What’s the difference between the two? Your happiness. You suffer when you’re not happy, yet you can be determined and driven when you are working on a project that you love and interests you. Next time you feel stuck at work, in a relationship, or any other situation think to yourself “am I happy?” if the answer is “no” ask yourself, are you settling by suffering? Or if you might be in need of a change or new opportunity.
Lack of Confidence – I like to say I’m part of the 30 under 30 club… 30 interviews under 30 years old. There was a time when I went on a TON of interviews. I went into each interview doing the exact same thing and expected different results every time. Naturally all I got was a big supersized “NO”. Looking back, after about interview number 5 I needed a confidence overhaul… big time. We all have that little voice in our heads that says “you might not be enough to get this job” or worse “you don’t deserve this job or promotion.” So how the heck do you get around this? Take a step back from interviewing and really think about your day, how far you’ve come, all of your accomplishments you’ve made up until this point; and celebrate your wins.. Every last one of them. Even if you got up and went to the grocery store, celebrate it, and feel good about it. Start building your confidence up, you’ll find your confidence superpower was there all along. Start to double down and realize all the amazing qualities your possess. It’s time to unleash them!
Ego – Our ego can come in extreme handy; it’s great to feel confident and we all take comfort in seeing someone who can lead and provide that assurance. Yet, when our ego gets out of control everything can spiral leading to self sabotage… fast. So how do you know when to tone down your ego and what are some signs that might distinguish between confidence (a solid superpower) and an inflated ego? I think the biggest sign of having an inflated ego is the inability to learn or really take in information at the highest level. What do I mean by that? You’re ego’s main job is to protect you from feeling… well like a loser. It wants to protect us even when we’re wrong (and even at times when we consciously know that we’re wrong) which is when we get defensive or downright angry. The bottom line here is that having an inflated ego is a bad recipe for working with others and cooperation within a community of people; whether that is at work, with an interviewer, or even in a relationship. Once an ego is brought back down to earth it’s the perfect combination of self confidence, humility, and assurance. A perfect trifecta of superpowers that can easily be used to your advantage.
Conclusion – We all have superpowers and with those powers come great responsibility. It’s so easy and even natural to fall into any of the above destructive superpowers. Always check in with yourself and assess how you are doing. Are you holding yourself back? Or lacking trust and confidence in yourself? Always connect back to your greatest superpowers; they will time and again consistently outweigh any of your shortcomings. What is your greatest superpower? How do you use it to your advantage? Have you ever had a destructive superpower? How did you overcome it? Let us know in the comments below!