What’s your superpower?

Image credit: © 2014 John Hain, from Flickr | used via CC-BY licensing

Do you know what your superpower is?

If not, you’re not alone. Few of us have stepped outside of the usual sway of self-criticism long enough to get in touch of our superpower.

Nevertheless, we all have at least one. We all have at least one thing that we naturally bring to the world around us that makes the world a better place.

The problem for many of us is that our superpower hides in places we never think to look.

Here are three common places where unidentified superpowers hide. See if you can discover where yours is hiding!

Hiding in plain sight

One superpower is very often something that naturally flows from who we are and is such an intrinsic part of us that we tend to take it for granted.

It’s likely something totally and completely obvious to everyone around us, but we are blind to it because it’s not something we have to work at doing. Expressing this kind of superpower will have a naturalness and ease to it because it is part of your authentic nature.

Instead of recognizing it as the superpower it is, we just assume that everyone must do this just as effortlessly as we do, and we therefore devalue it because it comes so easily to us.

It could be the way we encourage people, the generous way we give of our time and resources, our ability to see beneath the surface of the people around us, our practical skills that help others with life’s challenges, our way of listening deeply, or the peaceful space we carry with us into the world.

These are all superpowers that make the world a better place, and we can expand their impact by intentionally making use of them as the superpowers they are.

To look for this kind of superpower hidden in plain sight, think about the kinds of things that people frequently comment on about the way you operate in the world.

Do people often remark on your organizational skills? Your gentle way of encouragement? Your loyalty to those you love? Your strength in being true to yourself?

You may also find this kind of superpower in the kinds of requests for help that you frequently get from others. What skills do you have that others often need?

Do people come to you when they need someone to listen? When they need practical help solving a problem? When they need someone to help them fight for justice?

Embracing the superpowers that are hiding in plain sight in your life will allow you to make the best use of them in the world around you.

Hiding in our shadow

The second place our superpowers often hide is in our shadow, the parts of ourselves that we have been conditioned to repress.

It could be that our superpower is one that makes others uncomfortable, so we’ve learned to hide and repress it as if it is something shameful.

For example, if your superpower is a gift for intuitive knowing of things that makes some people uncomfortable because you see too much of what they wish to hide, so you’ve learned to dull your vision or ignore what you know.

Or perhaps your empathic sensitivity to the emotions of others has been derided as being overly emotional, so you’ve learned to hide that sensitive side of yourself behind thick walls that hide this superpower from view.

The challenge here is that every strength has its corresponding weakness when it is expressed in an out of balance way.

When we hide those parts of ourselves that are unappreciated or criticized, we often bring out the shadow side of these gifts without the benefits. This makes it very hard to see the superpower hidden away in the shadow.

What parts of yourself are you most critical of (or have others been most critical of)? What parts of yourself do you tend to repress or hide?

Those are likely shadow versions of your superpower. Explore ways that these traits can be transformed into positive gifts to the world through expressing them differently, bringing them into balance, or using them with greater intentionality.

For example, if you are often accused of being over-sensitive, how could that sensitivity be transformed into something that brings healing?

Hiding in our scars

The third place our superpowers often hide is in our scars.

As we heal our own wounds that life gives to all of us, the healing process itself brings our dormant gifts for the healing of others to life. But the fact that we associate those gifts with our deepest wounds may cause us to avoid expressing those gifts because we are ashamed of the wounds that fostered them.

In reality, our scars—which indicate the places we have healed—are a source of gold we have to share with others.

It is those who have been broken and are able to celebrate their healed wounds as sources of beauty and treasure that people are most drawn to. Their healed wounds shine out encouragement and healing to the rest of us.

Explore those places in your life where you have experienced the deepest wounding, be it grief, loss, pain, persecution, betrayal or some other form of brokenness. Look at what that experience has taught you as you have healed from it.

How has it made you a better person? How can you make use of what you have experienced to bring healing to others who may be experiencing similar wounds?

That gold you discover in your scars is another superpower you have to offer to the world. By embracing your scars and the healing that they attest to, you gain access to using that superpower much more effectively.

Discovering your superpower

Can you imagine a world where we all embraced our superpowers and consciously and intentionally used them to serve those around us? What a difference that would make!

I challenge you to spend time discovering your own superpowers and putting them to use. Be a part of transforming of your piece of this world to a better one.

What superpowers do you find hiding in plain sight, in your shadow, and in your scars? How can you make better use of those superpowers to make your world a better place?

I’d love to hear from you about what you discover!

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4 thoughts on “What’s your superpower?

  • October 14, 2015 at 8:26 am

    Kenetha! Thank you for sharing these words. I have never thought of myself as having Superpowers. I liked how you organized them: in plain sight; in our shadow; and in our scars with each category being identified with the word “hiding”.
    I think perhaps instead of the word Superpower I’ve used the word “gift”. I have a gift of being an encourager (hiding in plain sight”; a superpower (my new word) of intuition (hiding in my shadow); and, empathy (hiding in my scars).
    Blessings to you!

    • October 14, 2015 at 10:56 am

      I’m so glad you found it useful! I usually use the word “gift” instead of Superpower as well, but I’ve found that as I have recently begun thinking in terms of Superpowers that it somehow encourages me all the more to share my gifts with others. I love your list of Superpowers and where you find each one of them hiding! You and I have similar Superpowers. Thanks so much for sharing yours!!

  • October 21, 2015 at 8:01 am

    This is so important: knowing and respecting our superpowers. For me, I had one hiding in the shadows that I didn’t realize until I was in my 30’s. I’m extremely analytical which makes me (I think) non judgmental. There’s always another way of looking at things. Friends, family and coworkers/bosses would say I was over analyzing things but now I know how to handle those comments because I see as a gift. This has made my life a lot easier. Sharing.

    • October 21, 2015 at 11:10 am

      Good for you for finding that superpower hiding in your shadows! Being able to see multiple sides of issues is indeed a much-needed superpower in this world, and I’m happy to hear that you’ve embraced it as the gift it is. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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