Have you ever had those days where your confidence is off the charts and you are knocking out amazing work?
The thing is most days we hesitate to unleash our superpowers. We hold back because we are afraid of the backlash that might occur.
The more you hold back from expanding the trust within yourself the less great work that you will do. I’m not talking about letting your ego get out of control. I’m talking about having trust in your gifts or superpowers.
I was afraid of many things as I came out of college. I wanted a brilliant career filled with adventure. I ended up working for a valve company. Not exciting at all.
I floundered around trying to figure out how to connect my passions with my work. What was missing was my focus. I loved poetry, but it’s hard to make a living. I loved teaching, but not math or other government required material. I loved speaking, but I had to build my superpowers before I could make this leap. I wanted to thrive, not just survive.
I’d been writing something almost every day since freshman year of college. So I’ve been writing on a daily basis for over 18 years. When you write that much you pass the 10,000 hours mark and you gain a lot of skill.
My problem was it still wasn’t a superpower until a couple years ago. I realized that I needed to write about concepts that I was passionate about, could stay focused on and played to my strengths. That’s when writing became a superpower to change people’s lives.
I now coach people that need help with their career and consult with small business owners on how to make their employees happier, more engaged and productive. I’ve learned to incorporate teaching into my career. I run workshops and give presentations all around work happiness.
I know I couldn’t have reached these goals without understanding my fears and actually using them to develop my superpowers.
How to use your fears to your advantage
You have dormant superpowers that need to be unleashed. You just have to figure out how to discover, practice and harness your powers to do great work.
1. Drill Down
Many of my clients don’t take the time to drill down into their needs. They feel that they need to master their products and marketing before they master their needs.
When we dive into what makes them happy we find patterns that we can learn from.
The best way to drill down is to begin by asking yourself “why?” until you get to your core needs. Toyota likes to call this the “5 Why Method.” You may need to go deeper than 5 and if you do that’s a good thing. You’ll be uncovering your fears and desires so you can learn how to harness them.
When you notice yourself holding back from taking action try this technique.
Example: Why am I not taking action on this project? Take a moment to listen for the answer. You may need to give yourself some time because your resistance will be strong. Once you have the answer dig a little deeper and ask yourself “why” again. Keep doing this until you uncover the real reason you aren’t taking action.
2. Find Out What’s Holding You Back
Now that you’ve drilled down you have to decide what’s real. You may not think you are a good leader at work because you take things too personally, but this can be the awareness that you’ve needed to help grow.
You are allowing your fears to hold you back from what will make you enjoy your work.
If you take things too personally you have to be playful and allow yourself to open to the fun in breaking through some mental barriers.
3. Play with Your Fears
I believe many people take their fears too seriously. They see their fear as a protector instead of a limiter.
This is the worst perspective a person can have. It fuels their fears. Yes, your fears are trying to protect you. Protect you from being happy.
Let’s go back to the difficulty of being a leader.
People love to second guess the person in charge. This is natural, but if you want to move up in a company or leap out and start your own business. You have to learn to enjoy being a leader.
You have to learn to be playful with your fears. Don’t let them dictate your choices. If you are a manager that needs to convey a message to your team, you must try different angles that work. You can try doing it straight forward the way you always do or you can have fun with it by trying to show your team a clip from an inspiring movie then talking about your situation.
This small little change in tactics can help set them up for a certain idea that makes them more willing to listen and discuss with you. This idea might not fit your personality, but the idea is to try different ways of connecting with your people until you find a path that works for you and your team.
4. Use Your Superpowers Every Day
Once you understand what works well for you, it’s a superpower. You’ve unleashed a skill that aligns with your passions, focus and strengths.
That’s why being playful with your fears is so important. Most superpowers lay dormant because our “arch nemesis” (resistance) likes to hold us back from reaching our full potential.
Whatever you are afraid of might help you grow. Every day is a chance to explore your superpowers, so you can improve your value to others.
Putting it all together
You aren’t here because you like to be average. I don’t know anyone that would prefer to be average. The thing is you act average because you are afraid.
Don’t be afraid of your amazing superpowers. If you are you are letting fear dictate your choices you are limiting how far you can take your career. Use your fear to discover those superpowers that will bring you happiness, success, and stronger relationships.
What are your superpowers? Share with us in the comments!
Image by ^@^ina (Irina Patrascu)