Gary Waldon (pictured below) is the author of Sort Your Sh!t Out and is a business transformation consultant who works with people at all levels from CEOs, business leaders and professional athletes. In this guest post, Waldon argues it’s time to stop admiting fictional superheros and discover your own powers to a better you…
Who wouldn’t want to be a superhero? Imagine a life without boundaries and being blessed with superpowers that let you do good and save the world. Regardless whether your favourite is Thor, Captain Marvel, Black Panther, Batman or Cat Woman there’s a common theme to superhero stories. There’s the battle with the super villain who wants to destroy the universe but also an internal battle the superhero must wage to defeat their self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy. Sounding familiar?
The way we understand and connect with superheros is often through their backstory involving personal loss, tragedy, unfulfilled potential and a belief that they were meant for bigger things. Thor was banished from Asgardian after having his Godly powers stripped, and Wonder Woman’s mom wouldn’t let her train with the other warriors alienating her with her over-protectiveness. In our superhero stories similar battles play out every day over domination of our internal universe, with our minds playing both hero and misguided villain.
To empower us to reach our superhero potential here are three things we can try:
- Accept our vulnerability
Our mind is where we interpret what’s going on around us and what’s happening to us. Because we review everything against our library of past experiences, beliefs, values, fears, genetic dispositions and desires, we end up with our unique conclusions or view of the world that determines our actions and behaviours.
It may be helpful to give your mind a name, I call mine Bob, so you can be more objective when they try to control your universe. Bob is like an overprotective parent who wants to protect me from all the evil in the world that could harm me physically, emotionally or psychologically. However, Bob often makes up fake news to play on my fears and phobias as he tries to control me. From experience we know that it’s useless trying to fight or ignore our Bobs, because like any villain they just seem to get more powerful if not dealt with. The best way is to firstly accept they exist and understand where their power comes from so you’re better equipped to call BS on them when their fake news gets out of control.
Activity: Give the voice in your head or your mind a name so you can objectively call BS on them when they get out of control. Who is the voice most like? My stepdaughter calls hers Miranda after Miranda Priestly from Devil Wears Prada because she can really be a B**ch.
- Unpack your superhero back story
Our Bob’s power comes from his intimate understanding of our weaknesses and fears. The only way to take back control is to be honest with yourself and uncover your superhero backstory to understand his power over you.
Activity: What’s your superhero backstory? Write down the things in your past, either real or perceived that have made you who you are today. Start with “I am the person I am today because of …..”
- Develop your superpowers
No superhero would go into battle without being appropriately prepared and understanding their foe. Anyone who has taken a couple of years off from exercise know that getting fit isn’t easy. Our lack of control around sweets and treats, binging on Netflix and avoiding any disciplined exercise program means that when we do decide to get fit, we’ll have to go through some pain.
Our crap is no different. We have overindulged in Bob’s negativity, gorged ourselves on the crap we created for ourselves and as a result our minds are out of condition and lost their edge. We need to start controlling what we take in, and get rid of the mind’s equivalent of the winter fat we built up during our mental hibernation. Your superhero mental fitness program should include:
- Identifying what to change and why it’s important.
- Be present to fight your inner villain. Stop living in, or blaming, the past and don’t wait for the future to deliver on something that may never happen.
- Breaking your old mental habits and addictions and creating new ones by replacing undesirable negative routines.
- Forgive yourself (and others) because guilt, blame and hurt can stop us sorting our crap out.
- Get outside your head by doing something that distracts Bob from playing the same track over and over again.
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