Let's Celebrate Our Secret Silly Superpowers, Shall We?
I’d like to introduce you to a new superpower I have recently come to value: I am great at moving to, exploring and integrating into new places. So good at it! You’re right, I should be proud, but this isn’t really very important at all. Exactly!
Not every superpower has to be ‘horse whisperer’ or ‘physics prodigy’. Some superpowers are just natural talents we have that are pretty silly and often remain secret because they seem too unimportant to acknowledge.
Why do we do that shit? We should fell good about recognizing our own strengths and special skills. But we have hella blind spots because humans.
I’m issuing you a challenge: what’s one sorta silly secret superpower you have? Let me know in the comments and we’ll jam about it!
But first, let’s talk about me again for a minute. For educational purposes and whatnot...
As you may already know, moving to a new city is a doozy as far as Big Life Changes go. Moving at all is a big endeavour. If you are moving or about to move or just moved, Girl, I feel ya! My last move before this one was down the street and around the corner and it was still hella disruptive. This time I was in a whole new city, one that is “so far away” from my old city, according to my friends who live there (spoiler alert: it is certainly not far away at all). Anyway: Exciting! But also confusing. And overwhelming at times. Where is the everything? Which was is home? Which park is the best park? (Yes, this is a legit concern of mine. I take frolicking in parks very seriously.) These and other queries can take up much mental real estate.
There are many great tips out there for integrating into a new place, whether it’s a new neighbourhood or a new city, but I wasn’t aware of that until just recently because I’ve got my own system, that just sort of organically sprang from this silly secret superpower . This dawned on me the other day while I sat In the park, that this isn’t the way everyone operates. Basic stuff I know, but we all forget that what is natural to us isn’t to others. And that assumption also prevents us from seeing how we are special and unique.
But there’s another blind spot to watch out for: your own brain’s dumb, outdated stories. When you buy into your own stories and don’t spend the time to review them every so often you end up with ideas about yourself that aren’t quite right. It’s like a stereotype about yourself, that you believe.
I used to tell myself this story about my relationship with change, particularly Big Life Change and it went like this: “I’m no good at change! I don’t like it. I’m an even keel, stuck in a rut by choice and no one can budge me kinda person”.
I do like to feel grounded and I prefer my keels even, but I’m pretty good at change. I didn’t used to be good at it, but I developed the resilience, mindfulness and emotional intelligence I need to get through life’s chaotic seasons. Moreover, there are lot of other parts within ‘change’ and no one person could be good or bad at alll of them. So my story is partially true, and used to be truer, but no longer. Once I was able to see the holes and inconsistencies I was able to start letting go of it.
So while too much Big Life Change does make me something something SIMPSONS SOMETHING SOMETHING, my philosophy about settling into a new place is “Exploring is fun!” The more efficiently I explore my new space the more settled in I feel, which helps me get back on an evener keel. Since moving is so uprooting I make this a priority because it helps me feel grounded and comfortable and integrated into my community.
In the interest of helping others have fun exploring new places and not being freaked out, here is my system:
In my walks, runs and bike rides I systematically explore in one direction from my new home base. I try to do each excursion a couple times, with slightly different variations, so that my brain can get used to landmarks and stuff. I am not ‘gifted’ spatially so I do this is a way that allows my brain to get the information in without getting to confused. If you are more spatially gifted then of course you may want to explore multiple directions at once. Fancy! In any caseI feel strongly that getting to know your surroundings properly requires slow transportation. So you can stop and smell the flowers, so to speak. Or literally. You do you!
I’m a big fan of using social media constructively. And by constructively I mean ‘to go outside and do things instead of staying inside dicking around on social media’ Joining local Facebook groups, following local businesses and organizations, and connecting with existing social media friends and contacts to make new contacts in your area (if that’s an option). I’ve discovered many cool people and fun things to do that way. Just today I had coffee with someone I have a mutual friend with. Yesterday I had coffee with another entrepreneur I met in a Facebook group.
I like to make games out of things. Because games are fun (I hope that is evident, but it isn’t always to grown up types). When making an exploration game for yourself, it’s good to mash in stuff you already want to do to make it nice and easy. For example, I love visiting different coffee shops and I also need to get myself into other spaces to do certain types of work, so I’m playing a game with myself to visit all the coffee shops on my list of coffee shops to visit (basically all the places with wifi and dairy free milk. I am easy to please).
We all need to be on the lookout for our superpowers. We should be walking around town always asking, “How am I special and amazing? What am I kicking ass at?” instead of “I wish I were special and amazing” or “Look at other people kicking ass, I wish I could too” The first step is making the choice to believe you have superpowers in the first place, and then shifting your perspective to watch out for them.
We need to share our silly secret superpowers with each other. When we do, we can further develop our superpowers. Being curious about my environment was always a part of me, but being adventurous enough to go out and do the things that freak me out a little - that part blossomed (stubbornly) with persistent and gentle (and not so gentle) encouragement from a special adventurer in my life. So thanks for that (you know who you are!)
We all need to toot our own horns and get used to being okay with it. Am I funny? People say yes, and I happily accept those compliments. But do I tell people I’m funny? Oh my,no I wouldn’t want them to think I had an accurate read on myself or that I had self-confidence in my natural abilities! Rude! I challenged myself to start complimenting myself, out loud and in front of other people, and I’ll tell ya: it’s hard. It is. But like all things that are hard (or weird or both) at the start, it ONLY gets easier with practice. And if you don’t toot your own horn, who’s gonna? It’s YOUR horn, kid!