You know what superheroes are great for? Helping you fake your balance when everything threatens to tip you right over.
Here is the mug a dear friend gave me a few years ago. This friend took a chance on my writing when she started her magazine. When she gave me the mug she said,
"You are a Wonder Woman to me, Lela."
EVERY TIME I USE THIS MUG I REMEMBER THOSE WORDS AND THEY ENCOURAGE ME.
I rarely feel like Wonder Woman, but to someone else I might look like her some days.
I want to identify with a superhero. I want to call on her in my darker moments, so I'll have one more tool to make me feel that 'I can do this thing!' energy we all sometimes need to power through. Wonder Woman is worthy, and what a sweet compliment from my friend.
But I'm not so sure Wonder Woman is the one for me. Minutes ago, she was covered in crusted chocolate. The result of an unfortunate microwave hot cocoa incident. Seems like Wonder Woman would know better. Or do better. Or jet off in her invisible plane to a land where cocoa never runneth over.
BUT A SUPERHERO, SHE CAN TAKE IT.
Product confidence coach, Erika Lyremark teaches us to create custom "compact superheroes". These are different personalities you can fit in your pocket. Each has unique superpowers to get you through any situation.
If you struggle with vulnerability (ahem) you might create Surrender Sabrina who is always open, never defensive. She trusts without being a fool and connects easily with others because she lets them see her. Surrender Sabrina reminds you that it's okay to open up and let your guard down. That's a badass superpower.
Nely Galan tells a story of negotiating for financing by channeling her old Jewish boss. He taught her her to always ask for five times the money you think you’ll need.
When it was time to make the big ask, across the table from the powerful Hollywood producer, she was ready. She act the part. Nely got so into her character that she actually asked for the money in her old boss’s accent.
I like the idea of calling on the heroes and powers you need for a given situation. Still, I want the one. My special supergirl.
What I don't want is the busty, half-naked comic book femme fatale who fights crime. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but she doesn't feel like me.
Check out Wonder Woman. She is fierce. She is an Amazon.
I am an awkward, say-the-wrong-thing, tiny girl. I like to do yoga and read personal essays.
My superpower is spreadsheets. Not very dramatic, or literary, or conducive to cool costumes. A few months ago I got too excited about a cleaning cloth. Not my best moment. But on this side of 45, I can own all that. And thank goodness, right?
Because I must now qualify as middle-aged despite my determination to live to 100. And ladies of a certain age, while we don't have to grow up (oh, but, never!), we do have to give something back. We do have to be comfortable in our own un-super skin.
But which superhero will serve me well?
Not going to lie--I love a good pleather legging, but Cat Woman is a bit too graceful for me.
Batgirl and Supergirl feel too young.
Jessica Jones is awesome, but I'm not that mad.
Perhaps I need to look beyond the pages of Marvel and DC Comics. Maybe I could pick a real life superhero like Jane Austen or Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Maybe Coco Channel or Rosa Parks. Indra Nooyi and Mary Barra surely have powers beyond my own.
But those women are all real. I still want my superhero to be a fantasy.
I want her to be fearless and adventurous and kind. I want her to got where she ever dreamed of, and end up back at home in the end. I want her to lead. I want her to fight for injustice. I want her to skip around in a flouncy dress. And not care that she looks kind of ridiculous.
And truth be told, I want a little dog I can carry around in a basket.
I want Dorothy Gale.
You know, the girl who traveled all the way to Oz to find out her powers were inside her all the time?
Dorothy may not have traditional super powers, but she leads a motley crew through an unknown land. She helps each of them find what they desperately desire. She doesn't put up with any crap from flying monkeys or bad witches or the man behind the curtain.
That's the kind of power I'd like to tap each day.
And sparkly shoes.
Dorothy, it is.
Maybe someday I'll grow up to be Glinda the Good Witch.
But not yet. I still have a lot of traveling to do.
If you're ready to tap into your own creative and connecting superpowers, I can help.