“What’s you super power?”
I launched that question in the group of participants of the “Circling and Life” training I am currently leading, out of the blue. And one of them – all of them being brilliant creatures and smart cookies – volleyed it right back at me: “what’s your super power?”
My face instantly went red. I needed to gather myself for a moment, check in and then I blurted out: “I am really good at loving”. In hindsight that was a bit lame. Beautiful, but a bit mwah.
Having had time to think about it and feel into it I would now say: “my super power is that I see awesomeness and beauty in people, and I am committed to supporting them in bringing it out”. Sounds better huh?
Yet, why I am sharing this little story is exactly for this reason:
it is vulnerable to share what you are really good at.
Isn’t that fascinating? I know it is one of my favourite questions to ask, and yet, when put on the spot myself, it was pretty terrifying to answer.
I believe that is the case for most of us. We are afraid to fully own what we are good at. What we do best.
Why is that? For me there are a lot of layers in there. So I would love to unpack this for a bit.
Because I believe our super powers are our gifts to the world.
Our society doesn’t like super powers
“Don’t stick your head above the corn field”, “high trees catch the most wind”, “act normal, that is good enough”.
These are just a few literally translated sayings from the Dutch language that sum up our cultural bias towards being normal or ‘standard’. I know that is different in other cultures, but I believe in Western Europe this bias is pretty strong (my English friends could probably add a whole range of sayings to this list).
And yet, why would you want to be normal? What is normal? Why would you not want to shine your light onto the world as brightly as you can? And why is that not normal?
I know I have shared this quote before, but it sums it up as best as possible:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. ~ Marianne Williamson.
So why is it so terrifying to shine and own our light? Because it is vulnerable.
I know when I show up fully with what I am good at, I am showing up with an essential part of myself. It is my essence that I am showing to the world, and that is vulnerable. It is like saying to the world: look! Here I am, in all my nakedness. I believe it’s vulnerable, because of it being so intimately connected to me, being such an essential part of me.
And also because I assume people will have opinions about it, or even worse: reject it. Reject my beautiful shiny gift. And that would be painful, so I hold back. Or, and this is even more fascinating: they love it, and then it is hard to receive that, because some part of me simply does not believe that I am worthy to be loved just for who I am.
Writing all this I feel tender and a growing compassion for all us humans, warping our experience and behaviour to fit the boxes we think are most loveable (and we all have our versions of that).
I would love to call out all our unique beauty, preciousness and gifts, and create a space where our lights can shine fully.
Your super power is likely something you do not see
So: what is your super power? Try that question on. Sit with it. Feel into it.
It might actually be hard for you to distinguish. That is because it is so normal for you, you likely don’t even notice it. That is a super power.
I love the way Decker Cunov, a dear friend and brilliant Circling teacher framed it: “it is likely something you were really good at, already as a child”.
What is that thing? That something that comes so effortlessly, that it can actually be hard to see it? That thing you already did, or liked to do, even when you were little?
And when it is still unclear to you: ask somebody that knows you well. In my experience it is way easier to see other people’s super powers than your own. So ask a friend and they will probably be able to tell you what it is.
Your super power is not yours
Yes. It may be your super power, but is not yours. What I mean by that is: your super power comes from God. Or the Goddess. Or the universe. Or ‘somewhere’. Whatever works for you. It is the gift you have been given to serve the world. As my parents used to say: you were given a lot of talents, but it is up to you to do something with them.
Your super power is your contribution to the world. It makes you special. But not more special than others. We are all special. In our own unique way.
So give! Show up with your power! You will never run out. It is universally powered.
Own your power!
And when you find it: can you own it? Can you fully feel and stand up for your power? I feel excitement running though my chest and belly imagining that.
Maybe initially you do it just by yourself. Feel it, tap into it, acknowledge it, say “yes!’ to it. And then slowly start experimenting sharing it with others. It is a practice really.
I know I love it when people openly and honestly share with me what they are good at, so please hear that. Pause.
Yes, read that sentence again: I love it when people openly and honestly share with me what they are good at. So: can you drop the assumption that people will chop your head of? Can you try out if our society is really all that opposed to super powers?
Your friends will want you to shine! You want them to shine right? So. Go figure.
So: try it: what is your super power? Find it, share it, own it and celebrate it.
Give the gift you were meant to be giving.
(and yes, I did just practice my super power on you 😉