What’s your Super Power?
Having a super power is a real thing. Do you know what your super power is? Maybe you have never really thought about your ability as a “super power” but I think we all have one. Mine is having insight, insight into myself as well as into others. In a really helpful course I took online, taught by Brene Brown, a researcher, author and Ted Talk frequenter, I was asked to think about an ability I had that had served me well. Interestingly, she did not stop there. She asked her participants to then consider how that very “super power” might become one’s “Kryptonite” I realized then and there that my keen insight had a darker side; over-analyzing, over-thinking was the other side of that coin.
For years I over-analyzed myself. I peered so closely at my inner workings that my eyes became crossed and I could not focus. I amplified every little flaw and tried to iron out all the wrinkles by thinking critically about every tiny mistake or blemish I’d made or had. I got mired in the negative and was completely unbalanced. My super power (having insight) was blocked because I had zoomed in far too closely and had no true perspective of the bigger picture. The course that Brown taught helped me understand and discover the need to see both sides of my ability. I realized that insight is based on analyzing from a broad perspective.
Jigsaw puzzles are a great metaphor for this. If you take a single piece from a puzzle and look at it carefully – examine its shape, colors and tones, and any details it might provide as clues, you can then analyze how that single piece might attach to another. If you stay focused too long on that single piece or even a section of the puzzle, you are over-analyzing. Stepping back to look at the entire picture and using your insight about each piece brings the puzzle together.
In the past I looked at the pieces of my own life with such intense scrutiny that I was unable to appreciate the bigger picture. I am aware of this and so many other things now and better understand how to see details and color without losing the idea of how it all can fit together.
So I ask you again, what is your super power? What is the flip side or “Kryptonite?” How are you using them?