Now that New Year’s resolutions are about over, let’s think about something we can do that could be the key to an amazing year, if not for yourself, then for others who probably need you.
I wrote last week about choosing a word to define the different areas of your life that you would like to change.
The one I heard the most is that many people say they want to enjoy life to the fullest, so think about a word that would be your anchor to remind you of your commitment to enjoying life. The word I would choose to say is freedom. That word expresses my desire to enjoy life to the fullest, so when I am thinking about what I’ll do this weekend to enjoy life, I’ll pull on a pair of boots and find a freshly plowed field, then get my metal detector out and start walking. The joys of hearing my detector go “ping” would be freedom for me.
I was pleased that I had a lot of great feedback on the idea of “choosing a word for aspects of your life in 2016,” because it is an easy way to commit to following through on the changes many want to make in their life, but without all the rules that tend to get in the way and make us stop and ultimately give up.
So I want to take that idea of you dusting off or polishing up your superpower one step further, and here is my thought: If you knew how to really use your superpower (and you do have one, by the way), what is it, and what can you do to strengthen it and make it lightning powerful, so it makes a difference in your life and in the lives of those around you?
I like to say that my superpower is encouragement. You’ll notice my new Mini-Me here in the newsletter, with my Superwoman look and the “E” for encouragement, as I rip open my shirt to show you the inner power of my powerful persona.
I’ve always been an encouraging person; I like to see others do well and succeed. I’m trusting enough to believe that all boats rise with the tide, and that helping others doesn’t dim my light; in fact, it makes the fire brighter and warmer for all of us! I feel that leadership can be a lonely path, so when I can bring others along it helps fill the time and makes the journey more interesting.
When I started my radio show I had the focus of public speaking skills, and while that is my passion, it didn’t seem to be the passion of my listening audience. So, by listening to what was being asked of me, I changed the direction of the programming to be more thoughtful and encouraging, which was an easy transition because it’s who I am, and I’ve known instinctively that people need to hear an encouraging word to build their foundation strong to withstand the storms of life. Although a show with a theme of encouragement was not my original intent, it ended up being the right direction, and I am so grateful for those who pushed me to take the road less traveled because I can truly say that it has made all the difference in my life. Let me tell you, focusing on a positive message week after week changed me–changed me for the better in so many ways that I can’t begin to describe them all. And, by the way, I consider that life-changing direction one of the most amazing gifts that I’ve ever been given by strangers and friends.
So, how about you? What do you think is your superpower–your best skill in developing yourself and helping others see the light in their life? Now, before I move on, let me clarify something. It is important that you know what you can do for yourself and for others, however, I don’t want you to think that this is all about others. Yes, that is important, but at the end of the day, I’m asking about your time and your talent because, friend, you matter. And when your cup is full, you can fill others’ cups, but the reality is that it is hard to do when you’re running on empty.
So, first and foremost, your superpower is about you and for you, and then you can help others. You may be thinking, “Helping others? Goodness, I need all the help I can get myself.” And while that may be the case, trust me on this, I have found that once you have found and filled your space, if you will lend a helping hand to others (even those you don’t particularly like), it is a strange phenomenon in our spinning earth’s trip around the sun that, by your reaching out to help others steady their footing on our swiftly moving planet, someone, somewhere, somehow will help you or will give you a sense of assurance in your life’s direction.
You may be asking, “How do I know what my skills and talents are that will help me so I can help others.”
Let’s start with what you like to do. You don’t have to go too deep here. I’m simply asking what is something you do that, when you reflect back on it, you realize that it electrifies your whole being? Not just your heart or mind, but your whole being?
For me it is when a client gets the idea of threes in speaking and then is able to re-craft their message to incorporate the new idea that, from a speaker’s point of view, changes everything. Just sitting back and watching and listening to someone change their humdrum talk into something more useful and interesting is a real kick for me as a coach.
I also have really enjoyed coaching Pee Wee kids in sports. After a Saturday morning game where the little bumblebees clumped together to follow each other up and down the field, I felt a sense of belonging and appreciation from the little sweaty hands and heads. After a long week on the road or with clients, those little rascals brought a sense of all is right in the world to me.
One thing I’ll always cherish is serving on city council where, by the power of my office, I was able to help those who had no one to come to their aid; just the opportunity to make things right for the right reason, without excuse or blame, was a great feeling.
I realized early on that I have a few gifts and talents that make my life easier and one of them is the ability to get things done. Is there a word for it to put on a wall? Maybe I’m still thinking about it, but I can tell you that the feeling of accomplishment is imprinted on my heart and mind, and for me that’s a lifetime lesson.
How about you? What are the things you do that really leave you feeling settled, useful, good, healthy, powerful to help the powerless, a voice or shoulder or strong hand to make things right or at least as right as possible.
See, the exciting thing is this: Anyone can build on the superpowers they have and then sharpen them to be a gleaming sword to cut through the chaos and make things right.
If you need to strengthen your core to be the man or woman you want to be, then do what it takes to own your power, and stop wasting time. You’ll find that space to build your strength is most likely in your alone time. No one can do it for you. So, this year, push the bounds on being bigger, bolder and more assertive in life than you feel comfortable with, because I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to grow into your new sense of self very quickly.
Just a thought–don’t be put off by others who might offer you a suggestion of your strengths, because many times your friends and family can see the goodness in you to help you on your path of self-development. Don’t ignore or discount their positive comments about you. Listen and you might learn something about yourself you didn’t quite embrace before.
What I’d like to know is that your shoulders are strong enough, your mind is ready and your heart is set to carry the mantel of publically embracing your superpower, and here’s why. We live in a world where a lot of people need a helping hand. Not just those who are down on their luck, but your friends and family who are dangerously close to being down on their life.
I don’t say that lightly.
If you’ll look long enough or deep enough at your kids, your spouse, your family or your co-workers, you might be surprised, and not in a good way. And if you are in that lineup, be strong enough to step away from the edge and get the help you need. There is no shame in getting help; the shame is in thinking you can do it alone when you can’t, because asking and accepting help takes amazing strength and power.
I know it is easy to look the other way because we all have our burdens to carry, but, friend, you might be the only voice that someone will hear and listen to, and if you’ll change out of your street clothes and put on your supercape, you may just save the day.
Don’t be afraid to show your superpower. Use it for good for yourself and others.