The obsession (and alibi) with having to be a superhero

How many times have you asked someone to do more? And how many times have you heard the reply: “Look, I don’t have any superpowers!”

How many times have you asked yourself the same question and – deep down – you ended up giving the same answer?

During the workshops and the high-potential coaching programs, I often happen to be faced with this “killer” idea that, while confronting people with reasonable and valid arguments, yet creates obstacles and hinders where there shouldn’t be any.

We are all immersed in a culture that, idealizing superheroes, provides us with ideal models. Sometimes you just comply, colluding with such models, other times you react instead. For sure, sooner or later we all find out we are “normal” people. Sometimes we suffer because of it. And we find out that also the people we love are “normal” as well as those we admire at work. And those we hate.
All of us are normal, or to say it better, all of us are “human”, as any expressive possibility within ourselves is “human”. An endless range of possibilities: the other side of the coin of the superheroes’ statue-like steadiness.

Sometimes we suffer because of this. But not always: some other times this provides us with an alibi: “I can’t get everywhere…I am not perfect. Take me as I am”.

However, sometimes I also happen to think differently.
If none of us is perfect, then, in a way, we are all flawed. And if we are all flawed we can at least do three things:
1. Truly accept our flaws, our limitations and still love ourselves a lot. Because, most likely, those who love us do so also because they accept us the way we are;
2. Make a good use of our flaws, look at their positive side and express them without any restraint in those contexts where, instead of being a limitation, they can give us the edge;
3. Acknowledge the flaws we lack and that, together with the ones we have, make us more complete, more multi-faceted, richer.

So the next time someone tells you: “Hey, I don’t have superpowers” try and think what flaws that person is lacking and tell him/her! You do not need to grow any exceptional power, you just need to acquire some more little flaws. A little more selfishness would be a great step forward for some people! And some others? Wouldn’t they benefit from a little laziness? Or a little indifference? Or meanness? Or envy?

Think of those people who control everything, how much would they benefit from a little idleness or superficiality? And wouldn’t those who are too fearless need some cowardice? And those for whom everything is a matter of principle, a moral stance, wouldn’t they benefit from a hint of wrongness? …

So, I imagine the most conceited and snobbiest on duty entering, at least once, the office whistling one of Gigi D’Alessio’s songs. Or the crankiest guy in the company kissing, at least once, his colleague on the cheek. Or, again, the most nitpicker of all sending an e-mail with a typo …and being able to laugh about it.

These may look like clumsy attempts, small things or even risky paths leading to self-deterioration. On the contrary, this is about allowing oneself some permissions: embracing ourselves – even when we find out we are different from what we thought, discovering ourselves anew, rejecting the need to replicate the same things over and over and realizing that there are endless paths to explore for those who are curious and do not expect to be perfect at the first go… and not even at the second…and maybe never.

I like this way of thinking “the other way round” also for another reason: it prevents us from the trap of political correctness at any cost. Being alive also means accepting our shadows as well as our inner inconsistences and contradictions, those that are denied by our moralism along with too many truths.

I would like to leave you with this short video showing the quite intriguing point of view of one that, among other things, founded the Monty Python…

By | 2017-12-05T20:18:09+00:00 April 11th, 2017|Empowering People, Uncategorized|0 Comments

About the Author:

Co-founder of Torreluna, expert in processes of empowerment for individuals, teams and organizations.

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