What’s Your Superpower?

The term “superpower” often gets used tongue-in-cheek. I sometimes refer to my ability to burp-on-demand (despite frequent requests that I not use it) as a superpower. But real superpowers exist.


I met with my mentee, a big-hearted young man of 14, two nights ago. He talked excitedly about one of his favorite subjects: comic book superheroes. He reviewed their gifts, their challenges—superpowers always have a downside—and the need to train themselves to use those gifts effectively.

It suddenly occurred me that that was exactly what his upcoming CliftonStrengths test was all about—discovering and developing his superpowers.

In case your not familiar with it, some decades ago, psychologist Don Clifton launched the strengths-assessment movement. His idea was simple: “What if we studied what’s right with people, instead of what’s wrong with them?” The result was a test that millions (including me) have taken in order to find out what their key, underlying strengths are. Not only to help them discover what careers they’re wired for, but where they’ll be most satisfied—and where they’re uniquely gifted to serve others.

But back to my mentee. In the middle of our talk, I suddenly blurted out, “So, what are your superpowers?”

“Huh? I don’t have superpowers.”

“Yes, you do! And your strengths test will help you discover them!”

“But those aren’t, like, flying or being invisible or melting steel with your eyes!” he replied.

Nevertheless, he was pretty enthused about completing the test and talking about it next time.

On the way home, I thought, “It’s true, real superpowers aren’t like comic book superpowers—they’re better!”

For example, if your strengths include Futuristic (one of mine), you can envision how things could be in a way few others can. That, according to Clifton, coupled with my Communication strength, means I’m wired to convey concepts and tell stories that inspire others to enact that vision. And, brother, I’ll take that superpower over invisibility–or even flying–any day! (In fact, it is a kind of flying.) If your strengths combine Includer and Empathy (two of my wife’s superpowers), you have the unique ability notice people who are on the perimeter, to feel what they’re feeling, and to draw them in. That’s a million times better than melting steel with your eyes!

We all have superpowers. But, like comic book superheroes, we have to work through their downsides (they’re often the silver lining of what, until now, we’ve only viewed as problems). Like comic book superheroes, we have to recognize and train our superpowers. But when we do, we turn into…

The superheroes we were created to be!

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Popular Culture & Entertainment and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

35 Responses to What’s Your Superpower?

  1. kindfeelings says:

    Imagination is one of my favorite superpowers.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. henhouselady says:

    Invisibility is my superpower.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. M.B. Henry says:

    Burping on demand is definitely a superpower 🙂 I think empathy and imagination are mine, and yes, sometimes both have downsides!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Mine may be a dancing brain.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love Clifton Strengthsfinder! It’s a great resource to remind me of my “superpowers,” especially when I’m faced with my areas of weakness. Mine are Futuristic, Ideation, Input, Responsibility, and Strategic. I map out detailed plans about the future and how I’m going to get there, doing endless research and integrating big picture concepts along the way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. tracykard says:

    I’ve always had the ability to surround myself with amazing people. It has to be a superpower because I can’t otherwise imagine why so many smart, funny, kindhearted, and multi-talented individuals would willingly choose to spend time helping me become less terrible. Perhaps I’m actually a supervillain?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nancy Ruegg says:

    To be 14, and already discovering his superpowers . . . you’ve given that young man a life-enhancing gift, Mitch!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. firewater65 says:

    My ability to say something bad about someone only when they’re suddenly near enough to hear me say it is the world’s worst superpower. There is no way to turn that to work for the good of mankind.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My superpower is that I can turn wood into things and words into poems.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I can make my uvula disappear, but that doesn’t come up often …
    I’ve been told I have a gift for thinking out of the box. The challenge comes at those times I’m supposed to STAY in the box.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This was a great reminder that we all have value and something to bring to the table. I think I will plan to take this assessment myself!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. revruss1220 says:

    Those are wonderful superpowers, Mitch. But would you REALLY take them over FLYING?

    I don’t know…

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I took the CliftonStrengths through work. It was hand-down the most accurate self-assessment that I have ever taken. My individualized report was just so spot-on, albeit, the most accurate element of my report were the blind spots.

    That said, although we had trainings at work about how to use your CliftonStrengths in a work (or non-work) setting, I feel like I haven’t really managed to maximize my strengths using this knowledge. Partly because in a work context, certain things need to get done regardless. Even if I’m bad at Executing, I need to meet a deadline. But I think it’s more that I haven’t figured out how to get past the blind spots associated with my strengths.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      I understand! I had a similar situation. I took the test along with a staff of several dozen people. Our strengths were celebrated at special meeting. And then I was told not to change anything, because my strengths weren’t in my job description.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. TEP336 says:

    I have the ability to open my mouth and make a lot of people uncomfortable and angry. My wife also says that I’m really good at compiling information and presenting it in a way that people understand. In the past, I’ve been asked why I am not a teacher, so perhaps I should have gone into education rather than the medical field? Who knows?

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Kellie says:

    Oh I like this thanks, I’ll take a look 👍

    Liked by 1 person

  16. *p.m. six says:

    If I could have any fictional superpower it would be something akin to Doctor Manhattan. Being able to traverse universes and split my physical body into as many parts as necessary. But for the world, I think it must be something to do with my empathy, there has to be an upside to being hypersensitive.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Pam Webb says:

    Humor. How else could I teach teens Shakespeare and expect results?

    Liked by 3 people

  18. I love this. Definitely looking forward to taking that test!

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Pingback: What’s Your Superpower? – Black6entertainment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s