160: How to Discover Your Superpowers | Tanya Dalton
February 4, 2020   |   Episode #:

160: How to Discover Your Superpowers

In This Episode:

Superpowers are often confused as something that’s reserved for our favorite superhero characters in comic books or on the big screen. But what if I told you that you can harness your own superpowers, but it’s up to you to discover them and use them for good? In this episode, I am sharing how to figure out what superpowers you have by looking at your strengths, passions, and focus, and how to use them (and why it’s essential). I also dive into reasons why you should hone in on your own strengths and skills rather than looking at what other successful people are doing. Your journey is unique, and if you understand what superpowers you possess, your path to success will be filled with more ease and joy.

Show Transcript:

The Big Idea

We all have superpowers.

Questions I Answer

  • How can I figure out my superpowers?
  • How can I find out what I’m good at?
  • How can I spend more time doing what I love?
  • How can I stop imposter syndrome?

Actions to Take

  • Take some time to use the download as a tool to help you learn, acknowledge, and embrace your superpowers. Then, make a commitment to further your natural abilities, own them, and use them to your advantage to make great things happen in your life.
  • Sign up for my course, the liveWELL Method, to take a deeper dive into discovering your superpowers and applying them to your real life.

Key Topics in the Show

  • Making use of your superpowers

  • Blazing your own trail on the path to success

  • Stopping yourself from comparing your journey to the journey of others

  • Examining your strengths, passions and focus to determine your superpowers

Resources and Links

Show Transcript

This is Productivity Paradox with Tanya Dalton, a podcast focused on using productivity not just to do more but to achieve what’s truly important to you, and this season is all about you, You 2.0. To learn more about yourself, take Tanya‘s free quiz and discover your own productivity style at Tanyadalton.com. 

And now get ready. Here’s your host, Tanya Dalton. 

Hello, hello everyone. Welcome to Productivity Paradox. I’m your host, Tanya Dalton. And this is episode 160. We are right in the middle of our season on You 2.0, where we’re diving in deep to discover ways that we can make some small adjustments in our lives that will help set you up for the success, the happiness, and the contentment you truly do deserve. 

So this week I want to talk about something I think we’ve all wondered from time to time, and it starts with well, a pretty basic question. Here it is. If you were given some sort of superpower, any sort of superpower in the world, what superpower would you enjoy most? Would it be being invisible, or maybe a golden lasso like Wonder Woman has, or maybe the ability to fly, or something else? It’s a fun question to consider because we hear this word superpower and we automatically think it’s something that’s completely beyond this world. 

After all, we’re only human, mortal beings here on earth for a limited time and all that, right? So how could we possibly have a superpower at our fingertips just waiting to be discovered? But what if I told you that having a superpower is not limited to those characters we read about in comic books or see on the big screen? In fact, I’m here to tell you today that you do have a superpower, or even two or maybe even three, just waiting in the wings for you to discover and make use of it. You see, we all have superpowers, but it’s up to us to discover them and to use them for good. 

So today I want to talk about how to discover your superpowers. I want to take some time to lean into exactly what a superpower is, and why tapping into yours is so important when it comes to leveraging success and happiness. I want to give you the tools to know how you can bring them forward so you can start using them as you push along on your journey towards your goals and your big dreams. Sound pretty 

good? I think so because here’s the truth. You do have a superpower. I know you’re thinking to yourself right now, “Oh, maybe everybody else does, but not me.” But I promise you that you do. 

And before we dig into how we might go about finding our superpowers, 1 want to first touch on exactly what a superpower is for us here in the real non fictional world. Because I’m sorry to say, we are certainly not talking about a superpower of x-ray vision or reading minds. And I want to touch on why finding your superpower is so important as you work to climb the ladder of success, whether that’s in work, or growing your own business, or whatever it is you’re doing. 

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Sol want to go back a little bit and I want to start with the comparison trap. We’ve talked about this idea before, way back in episode 69. It’s a trap that we often fall into as soon as we start comparing ourselves to everybody else. You know, all those other people who seem to be killing it around us at work, on social media, or wherever it is that you are. And not only is it a hindrance to us in terms of our goals and our productivity, because the longer we spend comparing ourselves to everybody else, the longer it takes for us to overcome our fears of getting started on our own goals. 

But here’s the other thing. It also stands in the way of us tapping into our real superpowers. You know, what we’re talking about uncovering here today. And here’s why this holds you back. You see, we see these people posting their success stories, specific to themselves or their business or whatever else it is. And we automatically assume that we should be doing exactly the same thing in order to get that same level of success. And so we try and we do what everybody else around us is doing to be successful and to feel our best, and we fall flat on our faces. Because reality check, what’s important is not looking over at your neighbor, or your friends, or some stranger on social media trying to stuff ourselves inside of a box that’s not really tailored for us. We are so busy trying to do what everybody else is doing, we lose sight of our own unique strengths that make us great. 

Because here’s the hard truth. There’s no magic button, there’s no secret formula for success. I know, kind of a bummer, right? But here’s the thing, what works for others may not work for you, and that’s okay. There is more than one path to success. You need to blaze your own trail. And let’s use your superpowers to make that happen. 

What’s important is doing what feels successful and specific to you. It’s about customizing the way that you work to your own unique personality and your talents, keeping those in mind as you create this path for yourself. After all, when it comes to productivity, you’ve heard me say it about a million times, I’ve said it time and time again, it only works if the systems you’re using and the path that you’re taking is customized to fit you. Not everybody else you see on social media, on the street, or anywhere else. 

And I think too, it’s important to remember that when we see others being successful in life, or in business, or wherever it is, it’s not at all because they’re following along to the beat of someone else’s drum. That’s usually what we like about them and why we want to emulate them, because what they’re doing, if you stop to think about it, is what feels good to them. They’re using their strengths and their skills, the ones that come naturally to them. They’re honing in on the areas that then they can put to the best use. So this in turn is what helps them stay the course on their goals, it helps boost their productivity, and it leverages their success. And that can be your takeaway when looking at what other successful people are doing. They are playing to their own strengths and their weaknesses. And when we are spending all of our time comparing our journey to theirs, we’re not really playing to our real strengths. 

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So, I want to pose this question before we really dig in here, and I want you to be thinking about it as we move along because I’m going to circle back to this in just a minute. And here’s that question. What do you think could happen if you discovered your superpowers and you put them to use? How might your life change if you started honing in on those hidden powers, and you use them to guide you towards your bigger goals? Think about it. And like I said, we’re going to come back to this idea in just a minute, but I want that to be percolating in the background of your brain while we keep talking here. 

Because I want to dive into what exactly is a superpower, if it’s not x-ray vision or the ability to walk through walls, what is it? Well, if we peel back that first layer of the word superpower, what we find is that a superpower at its very most basic level is a dominant strength. Something that comes easy to us but might be a challenge to the person next to us, but maybe kicked up a notch or two. So, consider Superman and Spiderman, for example. Both superheroes, right? And both have their own unique superpowers. Where Superman has the ability to fly through the air, Spiderman’s power is a little bit different, right? He can walk up walls and he can sling webs. And where Superman has his x-ray vision, Spiderman uses his spidey sense. 

But at the bottom of these differences is the common ground, the common goal that they both share. They’re both aiming to save those in need and using their strengths. They both have their eye on using their powers for the common good, right? But you don’t see Spiderman trying to fly through the air or wearing a cape. And you don’t see Superman trying to walk up walls. So sometimes we look at others and we assume that we need to have the exact same skills, the exact same drive, the exact same passion for the things that they do in order to be successful. 

Well, that’s not true. That’s not true at all. And while some of us do have very similar goals, and maybe we follow a very similar path, variety, my friends, is the spice of life. The way that we approach our projects, and our goals, and our lives very likely won’t be exactly the same as the person next to us. Every single one of us is a unique individual with our own strengths and our own talents to bring to the table. Our own superpowers. 

And if we’re looking at this from a workplace perspective, then where one of your colleagues might be great at public speaking, you might find that your biggest strength lies in how well you write. Now, clearly you both work for the same company and the vision there is the same. But what you and your colleague bring to the table is very different, as it should be, and that’s a great thing. 

So our first step here is let’s do away with comparisism. Let’s stop worrying about what everybody else is doing and let’s start focusing in on you. You 2.0, finding those superpowers, understanding what it is that makes you tick in a way that is amazing, and unique, and will allow you to find that success and that happiness you’re looking for. 

And with keeping that in mind, doing away with worrying about what everybody else is doing, let’s focus on you and finding your superpowers. So how do 

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we figure out what that looks like? Well, a superpower is a combination of your dominant strengths, plus your passion, and your focus. Which again, are all unique to you. And what I want us to do today is I want to discover your superpowers. How do we find our dominant strengths, whether that’s writing or public speaking, or maybe even listening, or whatever it is, how do we find that and make sure that it is aligned with our passion and our focus? 

I like to think of it in terms of a math formula. Basically, dominant strength, plus passion, plus focus equals your superpowers. And to simplify this even more let’s look at each of those pieces one by one. Now I know you might be thinking to yourself, “First of all, I don’t even like math, Tanya.” And I get it, because I don’t like math either. So here’s what I’ve done. I’ve made it even easier for you, I’ve created a download for you to use. Now, if you’re on my email list, you’ve already gotten this emailed to you in your inbox the day this episode went live. If you’re not, well, you should be. You can still grab it. Just go to Tanyadalton.com/podcast, head over to episode 160, and it’ll be right there for you to download. Because I really want to make this easy for you. I really want you to do this exercise to discover what is your 

superpowers. 

So here’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to walk through the steps of this download and you’re going to see when you have the download in hand, this is going to be a piece of cake for you to walk through. All right? So let’s start with that first piece of the pie, your dominant strengths. When it comes to discovering what your dominant strengths are, there are a few good questions you can ask yourself. And again, this is all on the download, but question number one, what comes easy to you? So I want you to think about all the skills you currently use at work, at home, and everywhere in between. Think about all the things you do well, whether it’s listening, or writing, or problem solving, or connecting with others, helping people reach their goals and so on. What are the things you truly excel at? What are the things that your friends, and your family, and your colleagues have complimented you on? 

You know, a lot of times these dominant strengths are things that we shrug off because we think it’s no big deal, this is super easy. Let me give you a quick example. My husband John is amazing at drawing. And when people comment on his sketches, he shrugs them off. And so I asked him one day, I said, “Why are you shrugging this off? Because these drawings really are amazing.” And he said, “Well, I don’t know. It’s really not that hard. I just throw a few lines on the page and it makes an image.” Yeah, not that hard. That’s what I think because I could never do it. See? But for him it’s just throwing a few lines on the page and suddenly there you have like this amazing sketch. It’s not hard for him. It’s easy. It’s a dominant strength. He’s good at it and he feels like he’s not doing much because it doesn’t require much effort. For him, that is, it would for me. 

So if it’s something you enjoy, maybe something that others have recognized that you excel at, and that you would love to develop further, dominant strength waiting to shine, just maybe with a little elbow grease even from you. 

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So now what I’ve done is I’ve posted those two questions and then I have on the download a nice long list of possible strengths. I want you to go through those two questions and then go through that list and circle anything that applies. Any of the strengths I have listed there that might apply, feel free to add some if it’s not included on that list, there might be things I’ve left off the list. I tried to make a very nice long list, but it’s certainly not every single dominant strength in the whole wide world. So don’t feel confined by it, but use it as a guide to get you started. 

So circle the ones that apply. Now, if you’re feeling stuck, phone a friend, throw out a lifeline, see what your friends think. They may see your strengths more easily than you do, just as you can see their strengths more easily than they can. So another thing you might want to consider too is thinking about some past wins. Think about some things that felt really successful and revisit what you did to make them a success. Then go back through that list and circle away. Okay? 

Do that, and then it’s time for our next piece of the puzzle, the passion. Sol want you to look at those dominant strengths that you circled. And I want you to 

think about which ones do you feel most passionately about, which ones bring you the most joy when you’re using them? So I want you to bear in mind that often the motivating factor behind your actions is passion. So if you look at your list of dominant strengths and you notice a few on there that you might have to work harder to get motivated to work on, it’s likely not really a strength you feel very passionate about, right? It’s probably not one of your superpowers. 

For example, you may be a great writer, but when it’s time to write, you dread it, you drag your feet a little bit. Clearly not a superpower. And we’ve talked about this idea before, but I want to remind you, just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you need to do it. What’s vital here is I want you to lean into the things that bring you the most happiness when you’re engaged. And again, it’s usually those things that come easily to you. Are there a few strengths on that list that you can zero in on and say, “Nope, that’s not it. I’m definitely not passionate about that.” Cross it off immediately and then go through the list again and ask yourself how much do I enjoy this, this strength that I have? If it’s less than a seven on a 10 point scale, probably not a superpower. Okay? 

So we’ve talked about the dominant strength, weve talked about the passion, and let’s tackle now that last element, focus. I want you to consider the strengths on your list, which of course I’ve been dwindling down a little bit, we started with a long list that we scale back with our dominant strength and we scaled it back a little bit more when talking about what we’re passionate about. So now looking at that list, I want you to think about the things that are on there that when you work on it, time seems to fly by. We get into this deep, focused work zone and you might find yourself doing this thing without meaning to. Like for John, who finds himself drawing anytime he’s on conference calls, or if we’re sitting at a table that has one of those tablecloths you can write on, he’s always sketching something with the crayons, even though it’s supposed to be for the kids. He’s doing that. 

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Or for me, I’ll find myself teaching when I don’t mean to be because, yep, that is definitely one of my superpowers. So let’s think about it because we want to have all three of those elements here. And let’s use writing again for our example here. Maybe you have it listed as a dominant strength, and maybe it’s something you feel passionate about, which is great. Then when we zero in on the focus part of our superpower formula, how well does writing fit in with your focus? Do you find that writing is something you’re able to do for long blocks of time? Is it something that energizes you and brings you joy? If the answer is yes, great, you’ve likely found one of your superpowers. But if the answer is no, writing takes a lot of energy out of you and you’re constantly finding yourself struggling to stay focused on those tasks that require you to write, cross it off the list. Don’t feel bad about it, cross it off, move on, 

Remember, your superpowers are a combination of your dominant strengths, your passion, and your focus. And you might feel like you’re strong in a certain area, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a superpower for you. A superpower must be something you can tie into your passion, that you enjoy spending chunks of your time focusing on too. The strengths that you confidently said yes to, “Yes, this is something that comes easy to me. Yes, it’s something that brings me joy and that I’m passionate about, and yes, it’s an area where I’m able to focus in without much self resistance.” Those, those are your superpower. Okay? 

Here’s the truth, you’re going to have one, maybe two, possibly three, but we all have one. So before you stop yourself right now and say, “Well, I don’t know if I have one,” you do. It’s just a matter of digging in and finding it. Okay? 

So now that we’ve talked about these elements of dominant strength, passion, and focus, I want to revisit the question that I asked you way back a few minutes ago at the beginning of our conversation. What would happen if you discovered your superpowers and you put them to use to gain the success and happiness you really want in life? When we are true to ourselves, we have a natural habit of developing these unique superpowers, these unique gifts that we’ve been given. The problem is too many of us are unaware that we have these deep hidden talents to begin with. And when we get caught up in the comparison trap where we’re struggling to fit in alongside everybody else and do everything just like everyone else, we lose sight of who we are at our core. We lose our superpowers that make us amazing. 

So in order to get beyond stumbling blocks like the comparison trap or others that life throws at us, we need to dig in and reawaken these dormant superpowers, and then commit ourselves to developing them as much as we possibly can. 

So once you’ve narrowed down what your superpowers are, I want to encourage you to make a commitment to furthering these natural abilities. Maybe this means you’re studying more about the art of writing or whatever your superpower happens to be. You’re setting yourself up with some nice blocks of time throughout 

the week to develop your talents. Or you’re simply putting your superpower to further use by practicing it as much as you possibly can. Maybe you want to consider finding 

a mentor, someone you admire who shares a similar superpower. Take some classes if that feels good, stay on top of what’s happening in this field and give yourself 

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permission to step away from doing the same thing as everybody else so you can get back to doing the things that feel good and true to you. 

Give yourself permission to step outside that comfort zone and to tap into the superpowers that I know that you have inside waiting to be discovered. Because here’s the thing. When you stop blocking these powers you possess, when you truly 

give yourself a chance to own them and to use them to your advantage, great things happen. Not only can you take the necessary steps to becoming the ideal version of you that you’ve always wanted to be, but you also become a positive role model to everyone around you. And that, my friends, that is one of the greatest marks you can leave on this world. 

That’s what discovering and using your superpower is all about. So I really want to encourage you to grab that download, because I think it is so important to really know, to acknowledge, to embrace, to use your superpowers and I promise you that you have them. Go to Tanyadalton.com/podcast, go to episode 160, grab that download and work through it. The download is free, there’s no excuse for not discovering your superpowers and then putting them to good use. 

Now, while you’re at the Tanya Dalton site, why don’t you just go ahead, sign up for the email newsletter. This is our, what, second download in the last two weeks. You could have had both of them delivered straight to your inbox. What are you waiting for? Go ahead sign up, every week I send you an email about the podcast, any downloads or any extra resources to help you dive deeper are included. I promise you’re not going to get spammed. Sign up for the newsletter, you’re going to appreciate the fact you get these downloads delivered automatically. 

And while you’re on my site, grabbing the downloads, signing up for the email list, go ahead, do yourself a favor, check out the information on my course, The Live Well Method, because here’s the truth. You want to know your superpowers? Let’s dive even further into it with the course, because the course is designed to not only really discover your superpowers, your purpose, your passion, your priorities, but to really apply it to real life, to really make it so your ideal day is your every day, to get you to a shorter path to bigger profits if you’re growing a business, to go up the corporate ladder to the job you really want. That’s what the course is designed to do. So check that out while you’re on my site, definitely grab that download, but also don’t forget to check out the Live Well Method because if you’re listening to this podcast, I can promise you the course goes even deeper and will help you even more. 

All right, next week we’re talking about managing your moods. I’m really excited about this episode. The season of You 2.0 is well on its way, I’m loving these topics. They’re tying together so nicely. I cannot wait for you to give that episode a listen next week. All right, and until next time, have a beautiful and productive week. 

Thanks for listening to Productivity Paradox. Want to learn more about your own productivity style? Simply go to Tanyadalton.com to take her free quiz and get free 

resources designed just for you. 

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