Last week, we asked you to write your Hero’s Story. If you didn’t pause to reflect on your heroic deeds, be sure to check out our previous post here. Knowing your Hero’s story is important! And trust us, you have one.
As important as knowing and claiming your Hero’s Story is knowing and respecting your kryptonite (that which causes you to lose your power and effectiveness). This week, we would like you to identify your kryptonite.
Kryptonite is a (fictional) mineral that survived the end of Krypton (Superman’s home planet) along with Superman. As most of you probably know, being around kryptonite causes Superman to drop to his knees and prevents him from functioning as a Superhero. It’s the only thing that can sap him of his personal power. As children, we thought nothing of the fact that kryptonite came from Superman’s home planet Krypton, but as adults the irony doesn’t escape us – clearly Superman’s creator was familiar with the power of family of origin issues to drop us to our knees.
Knowing your kryptonite is important because it’s that thing (the words, the tone of voice, the sequence of events, the dismissive comment) which can transform you from being the functioning adult that you are into an ineffective, childlike mess. Knowing what your kryptonite is, and how it affects you, allows you to move away from it, reclaim your power, and take action on your own behalf.
Superman’s kryptonite glows a lovely yellow-green, so it’s fairly easy to for him to spot, but what about yours? It probably doesn’t glow, but you will recognize it because time and again – when you know intellectually you shouldn’t – it causes you to feel imploded, enraged, or wounded beyond belief. Your kryptonite takes a difficult or even a fairly normal situation and brings you to your knees emotionally. Your kryptonite causes you to underreact or overreact despite knowing that your reaction does not make sense.
Once you identify your kryptonite you can prepare for your encounters with it. In an earlier post we talked about the fundamental pause, which is the ability to pause so that you can respond rather than react. Fortunately for us humans, a simple pause can give us enough distance from our kryptonite so that we can reclaim our clarity. Whereas, Superman needed to find a lead lined box to contain his Kryptonite, before his powers could return.
Please, take a few minutes now and write down the kinds of things that are kryptonite to you. Spend some time thinking about where they are likely to occur so that you can anticipate them. Next, practice pausing to gain clarity and to get some emotional distance so that you can respond successfully and powerfully as the Hero you truly are in your own life.