Your Superpower is Your Greatest Weakness

I used to think I had this really special skill. I had a Superpower, I could go Invisible – not literally but in a sense I could fade into the background and become the fly on the wall, the listener. I could take in everyone around me and know all their strengths and weaknesses while never revealing my own. I thought this was powerful. I thought: “I have a Superpower they don’t know about. I can do this thing. I can be Invisible.”

While some of these aspects are good skills to possess, (like being an excellent listener) the overall thought process behind it was my biggest weakness. I realized that while I was sitting there taking it all in, perhaps judging all those around me, while never revealing a thing about myself, I had a massive barricade around me and my walls were completely up in protection. I had this Superpower out of FEAR. I found out that people were actually perceiving me as a snob, someone who was sitting there judging everyone else; and I guess in some respect I was because unconsciously I was afraid of being judged by them. So, thinking I was Invisible to them was safer.

I have seen colleagues throw their braininess around, spewing all their degrees and knowledge to try to make others feel stupid. But, of course, laying in their unconscious is really their own lack of self-worth.

I want to be clear – when I talk about this Superpower I am not talking about gifts that we have, gifts such as being incredibly smart; a math wizard; a talented debater; a wonderful artist, actor, dancer, singer, photographer; an incredible doctor, etc. It is when we take these “gifts” to the limit, and use them to make up for an unconscious inadequacy we are feeling, that we stumble.  I’m sure you are familiar with the person who has to know the most about politics who always has to start a major debate, and must win at all costs to show how well informed and passionate they are; or the person in every meeting who has to ask questions, just to be heard and seen, not because they are actually adding any value but because they need some sort of validation of their existence. I guarantee you that every single one of these “Superpowers” get major eyeball rolls when they aren’t looking. Even my invisibility Superpower gets eyeball rolls. (“Oh, here comes that snob again”…eyeball roll) To further my example, being a good listener is my “gift” – because I am an excellent listener. But when I take it to the limit of thinking that if I am even more quiet and more well-hidden, that I have something that puts me above others, is where I stumble. Do you see the difference?

Back to my Superpower – as I began to free my mind I began to step out of my comfort zone and just be me, without a care in the world about what people thought of me and incredible things started to happen. People became drawn to me, endeared to me. They couldn’t help themselves; I became like a magnet. I stopped caring whether I was too loud, or too goofy, or had an opinion that someone didn’t agree with. It felt so freeing to let it all hang out and guess what? The exact opposite of what I feared would happen actually did happen! People didn’t reject me; they wanted to know more about me! What makes me tick? What makes me so interesting? Wow.

Each of us has this Superpower that we think makes us strong. And yet, when you have the mindfulness to step outside of your bubble and see yourself as others do you can see this is actually the biggest thing holding you back from happiness and from connecting with the rest of the world.

Try this exercise:
Write down all the items that you think are your strengths and then take a look at the list.
Which are your go-to items that you consistently rely on?
Which is the one you think is a secret Superpower that you and only you possess?
Then do amplification on it. What other items could it represent?
Are there negative aspects of this Superpower?
Perhaps ask someone close to you, whose opinion you trust, what their thoughts are on this aspect of you.

It took me a long time to realize my Superpower was my greatest weakness, and I still rely on it when I am new situations. I haven’t overcome it completely because it is my comfort zone; but I’m aware of it. I can make the decision to let my barrier down and to let my walls down and be that person who attracts people to me, like flies on honey because I decide to be vulnerable instead and have an open mind and an open heart.

What’s your Superpower?

joanne newborn
Joanne Newborn is CEO & Founder of Newborn Evolution LLC. She is an Executive Leadership Coach and Consultant working with Organizations and Dental Practices around the globe. Her Superpower: Interpreting Senior Leadership’s vision and strategy and translating it to achievable goals to ALL levels of an organization from C-Suite to Middle Management to Individual Contributors. She and her team are Transforming Organizations’ Visions into Results through Leadership Coaching,Training and Consulting. Using a unique blend of Eastern & Western Methodologies in her Coaching practice – she combines hardcore Business Strategy with Jungian Theory and Eastern Philosophy. She has Coached clients on every continent with the exception of Antarctica and has her MBA from Penn State, her ACC from the International Coaching Federation, is a DiSC Certified Practitioner and a DEI Certified Coach. She can be seen speaking at conferences on Leadership around the US and at Universities and Colleges. You can connect with Joanne on LinkedIn or visit her website.

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