Do you feel stuck in your work life? Afraid of a layoff, worried about income, scared to make a change in the midst of a tricky economy? If so, you’re not alone. But you also don’t have to stay stuck. By figuring out your own unique energies and special skills, you can make your work matter, better connect with opportunities that are right for you, and make a difference in your workplace and in the lives of people around you. In her new book, Bring Your Superpowers to Work: Your Guide to More Clarity, Confidence and Control, career coach Darcy Eikenberg says we all need to spend a little time channeling our childhood selves, who believed we could don a red cape and change the world.
Eikenberg says this “red cape revolution” at work is important because “our working world is crying out for more — more of our talents, more of our brainpower, more of our energy, more of our hands and legs, more of our caring and love. We spend so much time and energy at work, and yet the world still hungers for solutions. The challenges … out there are waiting to be solved and are too important to allow any one of us to sit still, hiding our abilities instead of embracing our superpowers and taking them with us to the office, factory, coffee shop, seat 24B, or wherever we work today.”
By joining what Eikenberg calls the “red cape revolution,” you gain the clarity and confidence to discover the “superpowers” you possess that can make a difference in the work you do and in the world around you.
Your “superpowers” are more than just your strengths; they are the unique, powerful things about you that allow you to make a valuable contribution to your world. They come from a combination of your relationships, your learnings, your failures, your assets, your gifts, your experiences, your community, and your resources, Eikenberg says. She offers six steps for finding your own “superpowers” to create the career, the life and the world you want. Here are four of the steps:
- Be crazy curious. If you find yourself interested in a new career, concept or volunteer opportunity, leave no stone unturned. Be willing to ask lots of questions and learn everything you can about the things that interest you. Your interest in the topic could be the beginning of a superpower that may make a difference for you and for others.
- Know your narrative. To determine your own true powers, be clear about who you are and where you came from. Understand your own story by asking yourself (and answering) questions like: What am I known for? What do I want to be known for?
- Sign your own permission slip. Rather than feeling guilty about taking time for simple pleasures or pursuing outside interests, give yourself permission to do the things that will make you happy, calmer, more interesting, and more well-rounded. Even if it requires a little time away from work or taking a day off from the gym, be willing to pursue those interests without feeling guilty. Give yourself permission to move forward and move beyond the things that are keeping you from finding your true powers.
- Talk to yourself. Don’t tell yourself negative things, such as why you’ll never get the job you want or why you don’t deserve to have the life you want. Instead, engage in positive self-talk, all the time, Eikenberg says. “When we talk to ourselves over and over again about the things we want, the things we are becoming, and the good things we already are, those words create new connections and patterns in our brains, and over time, become very, very real,” she says.
Why not start today channeling your own superpowers? There’s no telling what superhero results you may get.