A hero is someone defined by google as a person who ‘is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities’. We have probably all seen some superhero movies, there are a vast number to choose from and many of us will have our own personal favourite, whether that is Batman or Wonder Woman or any of the other caped, or otherwise crusaders. They are folk who would generally be regarded as doing good and are usually able to tap into to some pretty special abilities, being invisible, flying, being superstrong or telepathic. The other thing we’d probably all know about superheroes is that their identity is often a bit of a secret.
We also know that even ordinary people can behave like superheroes at times. Sadly, often at times of crisis when the chips are down, there are loads of examples of people exhibiting superhuman strength to survive inextreme conditions, or rescue others, enduring hardship or putting themselves in danger for the greater good. Given certain circumstances it seems maybe any of us could be a superhero.
While it might feel tempting sometimes to want to summon a superhero the fact is they are unlikely to pop into our lives to sort things out, generally speaking that is down to us, tempting as it might be to wish for a fairly godmother or genie.
So, let’s shift the focus a little and think about ourselves. We all have days (however rarely) when somehow everything feels within our grasp, no challenge too great, no obstacle that can’t be overcome.
Think about yourself on your strongest day – the ‘you’ that you feel proud to be. Then take a moment to flesh out his image. What are the characteristics about that ‘you’ that you admire, get in touch with how that version of yourself would react in different situations, the choices they would make, the way they would conduct themselves and treat others? Sometimes it can help to give your inner superhero a name and spend time noticing how it feels when you are that person and consider why it is you can behave or respond differently. If you can do that some days, in some situations then you know you have the capacity within yourself to ‘be’ that person. Part of you already is that person.
Then think about another version of you perhaps the one that can be snappy and irritable, or the you who lacks confidence, puts things off, perhaps is always trying to please others. The fact is even if we only see glimpses of that version occasionally it shows once again thatwe can BE that person.
There are different ways you can approach finding your own superhero. One way is to wait until you are faced with a challenge, even a small one, a traffic jam, a rude comment, feeling undervalued or feeling too busy, then decide to BE that admirable version of you. Or another approach is to make a conscious decision each morning to get in touch with that version of you.
Most of us have some kind of morning routine where we get ourselves ready for the day, possibly in a rushed fashion gulping down coffee on the run, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We can decide to prepare our mind for the day ahead just like we might prepare our body with a shower or breakfast. Like many things when we are starting something new it takes time for it to become a habit, we must get used to doing it and it might feel strange at first, it might require some effort, lots of things of value do require effort. Think about another change you have made successfully, and the effort it required at first. As with all change the first step is the desire to change.
How would it feel to be your own superhero most days, to ‘put on’ the metaphorical cape and be ready for anything? I imagine for many people it would feel good, like they were more in control of their own life, like they were able to meet challenges and know they could handle them. Which is exactly what ordinary people do when faced with those really tough times. Let’s be honest you have probably done it too. To date you have got through all the tough times you’ve had so far, so there is every chance you can keep doing this. But that, in many ways is reactive, you could alternatively decide to be purposeful and make a conscious decision to get to know your inner superhero and like those who put on their cape you can clothe yourself with those characteristics each morning as you begin your day.
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