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Here’s How To Be The Superhero Of Your Story

Here’s How To Be The Superhero Of Your Story

Superman, Batman, Spiderman … what do these superheroes have in common? Well, for one they have superhuman powers we can only dream of.

However, while we may never have the ability to fly, see through walls, or shoot lasers out of our eyes, each of us has our own set of powers that are uniquely human and just as amazing. When you learn to harness them, you can create the life you’ve always dreamed of. Here’s how to be the hero of your story, starting today.

1. Stand up to the bad guys.

Superheroes all must face their fears at some point, and same goes for us. Take a stand against injustice, even if it doesn’t affect you. Stick up for the little guys, the underdogs, the bullied.

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2. Make the choice to take action.

Superheroes are often faced with tough choices. The easiest thing to do is often nothing. That’s why you need to consciously decide you’re taking action, right here, right now. Then—

3. Actually take action.

The first step is often the hardest but it’s also the most important, especially if you have big dreams for your life. Stop thinking so much and start doing. Focus on the small wins.

4. Spend your time wisely.

You don’t need to be a superhero to realize time is the most valuable asset in the world. So ask yourself: are you making good use of your time? Most people aren’t. We watch too much TV, spend too much time on Facebook and don’t understand the difference between “busy” and productive. Here’s a hint: if your busywork isn’t netting you results, it’s not productive.

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5. Ignore the haters.

In every superhero’s story, there’s always the inevitable naysayers. Want to know the best way to defeat the villains in your life? Stop paying attention to them. Look them in the eye, tell them you have other plans and get to work chasing your dreams.

6. Sacrifice your own needs once in a while.

Heroes are selfless. They look out for others first. You might want to think about doing the same. Why? Because when you put others first it feels good. And good stuff will happen to you in turn. So do a good deed today.

7. Let your alter-ego chill for some downtime.

Listen, Superman needs to wind down and just be Clark Kent sometimes. Relaxation is absolutely vital to living a healthy, balanced life. Make time for reflection and meditation. Try doing a little yoga; it has amazing health benefits.

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8. Form a team of other superheroes.

Most superheroes rely on a sidekick at some point to get them through tough times and you should too. If your goal is to lose weight, for example, research shows having a support network can make you more likely to achieve your goals. Likewise, if you want to go places in your career, networking is crucial. Start reaching out to successful people you respect and asking questions. What’s the worst that can happen?

9. Let love conquer all.

Every superhero is smitten by love at some point. This is not a weakness. Quite the contrary, actually. Love makes you stronger. If you haven’t found that special someone, keep searching. You will. If you have, don’t ever take that person for granted. Tell them you love them every day.

10. Be humble.

Humility is one of the most admirable qualities of heroes. Allow others on your team to be the stars of the show. Superheroes don’t crave the spotlight or demand attention. They sit quietly behind the scenes and allow others to shine. That’s the mark of a true hero.

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That’s how to be a hero. Now it’s time to go rewrite your story.

Featured photo credit: Eneas via flickr.com

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Scott Christ

Scott Christ is a writer, entrepreneur, and founder of Pure Food Company.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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