Over the past few weeks, I’ve been carrying around a notebook (technically I do that all the time anyway) and I’ve been going through an exercise to uncover my super power. What I discovered confirmed what I sorta already knew and uncovered some kryptonite too. Remember the blog post a few weeks ago where I gave myself this writing assignment – How do I figure out my super power? – the process worked!
Before I get into what I discovered, let me give you a brief overview of how I did it.
I first dusted off my resume and started with a list of all my former jobs, then added any special projects or events that I was involved in over the years. Add in volunteer activities, associations, and a list of my closest friends. Then I started filling in a few bullet points for each of those things on the list.
- What was I responsible for and did I enjoy those tasks and what was I really, really good at doing there?
- What did I hate doing at that job or on that project?
- What awards or commendations did I receive at that job or on that project?
- Did I ever get in trouble for doing something wrong?
- What things do all these jobs or projects have in common?
- In my businesses and side projects – what do I excel at? Where do I fall short? What do I enjoy? What do I dislike?
Next, it was time to think about the people in my life. Friends, family, colleagues, associates – thinking back to interactions with the people in my life of the past and those I interact with now. In some instances, I actually asked those people to help me uncover some answers.
- What is the last thing that person asked me for help with? Was I good at helping with that thing? Did I enjoy it?
- What do I dread doing when asked to help with something?
- Even years after I regularly interact with someone… what do they still come to me about?
Then it was time to evaluate all those pages of bullet points. I searched through the lists and highlighted things that were similar. What stood out as being in the same category and what patterns emerged that
As you might imagine, the little notebook filled up quickly and this project ended up taking a lot longer than I expected it would take. But it was an enlightening experience to figure out my strengths and weaknesses – and a fun trip down memory lane. But now let’s talk about what I actually discovered about myself, shall we?
Super Power 1: vision and logistical planning
I have a strong skill of seeing the end of a project or goal. I can visualize it as it will actually happen and then sort of walk around in that vision to see how it all works together, spot any flaws or snags and realize which things need a more specific plan. Sounds abstract and hoaky. I know. But this skill came in handy when I had a business doing event and wedding planning and it helps me now as I work with clients on large scale event design projects.
Super Power 2: understanding complicated topics and teaching it to others
I think I first discovered this with my blog about my weight loss surgery journey – Journey to a Healthier Me. I have never studied more topics of biology, science and macro/micro-nutrition than I did when I had my guts rearranged in the name of living a healthier life. And once I researched a topic and understood it, I wanted to record it somewhere – so I wrote up a long blog post about it and published it on my bariatric blog. Mostly that was information for my own reference, but then people started telling me how valuable that was for them too. I also have the ability to teach people how to do art or craft projects that they don’t necessarily have the skill to do without help.
I also have the ability to teach people how to do art or craft projects that they don’t necessarily have the skill to do without help. For the past 20 years (I try to quit but my mom won’t let me) I’ve taught a craft class at my Mom’s church for an event she organizes called Gal’s Day Out. A couple hundred women and girls come together for a day of crafting, lunch and Bible study. It’s treated school style in that you “enroll” in three different craft classes, rotate through the classes and lunch hour throughout the day and ends up together for the big “pep rally” to listen to a special speaker. I’ve taught a class at this event for years and it’s always …. uh… shall we say… an adventure. But it’s not just hands-on crafting classes I can teach. I have helped many people who want to start a business by teaching them the step-by-step process they should take to be successful. Or teaching interns at work how to create graphic design projects using the best practices of the design industry.
My kryptonite is routine and lack of variety.
Just as I discovered what I’m really good at through this exercise, it also became obvious what I was terrible at. My kryptonite is routine and lack of variety … doing the same thing day in and day out with no challenge and no need for creativity. I get restless and need to find a creative outlet. Sometimes I can deal with this type of routine-based job if I have something else in my life that gives me the creativity I crave. But knowing that I have this particular weakness is helping me understand what I should focus on as I move forward with the next chapter of my life.
I’d love to hear if you have gone through this same exercise. What did you discover as your super power? Did you also uncover your kryptonite?