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What is Your Superpower?

What is a Superpower?

We often think about fictional heroes with special characteristics or abilities when we think about superpowers. These characteristics or abilities help them overcome their obstacles to achieve the goals that they have set out to accomplish. Similarly, sometimes we attribute people with modern day jobs, such as a firefighter, with heroic qualities such as bravery or strength.

As with fictional heroes, superpowers can vary drastically and sometimes can also go unnoticed. For example, a fictional superhero with heightened senses might be less noticed or even dismissed compared to a fictional superhero with a more noticeable ability such as flying. Can we think of any unnoticed superpowers in our reality? What about the abilities to connect positively with children, solve logical puzzles with ease, or even the power to say or do the right things when consoling others during a difficult time? These superpowers are in no way an ability that all people possess and can be extremely valuable especially given the right situation. How hidden are your superpowers? Do you recognize what they are?


Why is it Important to Recognize Your Superpowers?

What happens to us when our superpowers are on display? Do you feel any combinations of excitement, valuable, important, achieved, or joyful? Are there any other feelings? How motivated are we to have our superpowers on display again? Now, if we have a difficult time acknowledging or recognizing our own superpowers, how might this change how we feel about them? For example, if we dismissed our superpower of dependability as anything but special, how much are we minimizing the value of our power? How might this diminish some of our enjoyable feelings and affect the way we carry ourselves in general? Would we be less motivated, less joyful, and feel less important?

When we can recognize our superpowers, we can also recognize that they can also be our kryptonite (think Superman’s weakness). Our superpowers can make us vulnerable. Here are some examples of superpowers, and how they can be used against us.


Superpower          Potential Kryptonite

Generosity            Fear of saying no, or fear of caring for self at the expense of others

Bravery                 Driven by feelings of responsibility or guilt, others may be reliant

Cautiousness       Missed experiences or relationships

Perfectionist         Difficulty letting go, exhaustion, or loneliness


What to Take Away?

Noticing and celebrating our superpowers can help enrich our lives in many ways. They can provide clues as to how we make meaning or purpose. For example, how well do your superpowers align with your work or personal life and how might this correlate with our sense of satisfaction in life? How much are our superpowers on display and how does this affect your own experience of life? I encourage you to reflect on your superpowers how it has made you the person that you are today.


Steven Ngu, MC, is a Registered Provisional Psychologist with College of Alberta Psychologists. He has experienced in the area of stress management, plus many more.  For more information about Steven, click here to link to his full bio page.