If you’re reading this, you have a superpower.
You might not feel like you do, but you do. Everyone does. You just may not have uncovered it yet.
A superpower is not just a strength. A superpower is where your strengths overlap and are applied to something.
It’s important to uncover your superpower because that’s where your career magic can be found. Working in your superpower is where you will find your greatest success and work happiness. It’s where work won’t feel as much like work.
The saying “love your work and you’ll never work a day in your life” — isn’t entirely true. Work is still work. But it will feel more effortless when you’re able to work in your superpower.
If you’re thinking “Sounds great, but I don’t know what my superpower is.” here are 5 ways you can uncover your superpower:
What Is Effortless To You?
Your superpower is something that comes easily to you.
It may be so effortless that you lose track of time as you’re working in that space. You could work in this zone for hours in a flow state and you will end the work feeling energized, not drained.
Because your superpower feels effortless, you may think that everyone has the same ability, but they don’t.
Listen To Feedback
Outside perspectives can often see your superpowers before you can.
What do people tell you you’re good at? What are the compliments you consistently receive?
Think about the last five times someone has come to you for advice, either personally or professionally. If there is a correlation between the asks, that area of overlap is your superpower.
Take positive feedback and lean into it. When you’re working in your superpowers, you will get positive feedback about the work that you’re producing and you will be reassigned to similar tasks. Your career will advance quickly as you are seen as an expert in that field or that task.
List Your Strengths
Superpowers are strengths applied and overlapped.
Creating a list of all of your strengths will help you see how they overlap. Pushing on themes or places of overlap can unlock your superpowers.
As an example, if one of your strengths is the ability to focus for long periods of time (congrats to you! I would like that strength!) and another strength is an imagination that allows you to come up with creative stories, your superpower could be writing fiction novels.
My strengths are working with people, seeing creative connections between disparate ideas and presenting those connections in approachable, easy to understand ways. Oh, and I love health and wellness. I’ve overlapped those strengths for the last 10 years, working in fitness franchising on global brands like Gold’s Gym and Club Pilates and then creating my own brands, KickHouse and FlexSociety. I am grateful to be able to work in my passions and I’m passionate about trying to help others find their way.
According to a CliftonStrengths study, people who have an opportunity to focus on their strengths every day are six times as likely to be engaged in their jobs and more than three times as likely to report having an excellent quality of life in general.
Marcus Buckingham, author of “Go Put Your Strengths to Work” recommends deliberately putting yourself in situations where you can play to your strengths. If you’re able to volunteer for projects that play to your strengths or even start a side hustle that leverages a strength, you’re more likely to experience strength overlap and uncover your superpowers.
You can identify your superpower by listening to your inner corrector or the critical voice in your head.
What does it consistently correct?
Let’s say you are hyper critical of your teachers in school. Maybe you see them presenting information in a way that is making it more complicated than easy to understand. That may be a sign that you should go into teaching.
If you re-write advertising copy in your head as you drive past billboards, that is a clue that you could pursue some sort of copy-writing or creative pursuit. Listen to your critical voice as it could be a catalyst to pursue something you otherwise hadn’t considered.
If you still feel disconnected from your superpower, let alone your strengths, continue to dabble in different things.
Pursue new hobbies. Take classes in something you’re interested in. Ask for work outside of your current role. Volunteer in your free time. Connect with people that are outside your network. Expand your knowledge base.
As you’re experimenting and expanding, pay attention to how you react to different things. What leaves you energized and interested in learning more? What leaves you exhausted and bored?
Whichever self-discovery path you choose, finding your strengths is invaluable to your happiness and engagement in life and at work. Where you uncover a strength or a superpower, push on it. Focus on it. Invest in it. Tell your friends and colleagues about it and shift as much time and energy toward it as possible. When you’re working in your superpower, you will bring the most richness to your days and you will find your greatest happiness.