Posted On : 22nd September 2022
We all find ourselves in situations that we didn't plan for: the sudden loss of a job, a bank overdraft, a cold that happened at exactly the wrong time. But, there are situations that truly challenge how we think about ourselves, situations that challenge us to renegotiate what we take for granted.
For Gina Gardiner, that situation was walking...twice
After a skiing accident, Gina woke up one day and realized that she could not move her legs. She had just found the dream job of her life as a principal and was enjoying with friends when the accident on a challenging ski trip happened.
Slowly, her walking deteriorated to the point that she was in a wheelchair.
Normally, this is where the story ends for a lot of people...but not for Gina.
Gina continued working as a principal for as long as she could, adapting wherever she needed to. She relearned how to walk and transitioned to become a coach, speaker, and author.
The unique thing about Gina's story is that she had to relearn how to walk, not once, but twice. At the same time, she was pivoting her coaching business during the Recession.
Yet, still Gina fought on...with appreciation for every moment along the way.
Gina realized that there is power in finding the opportunity in life. Rather than focusing on what others would call her "disability", she found the beauty in her "ability". She focused on her ability to create, no matter what. Even if Gina didn't have the use of her legs during periods of her life, she had the gift (and passion) to teach, coach, and consult. That was something she could do NO MATTER WHAT.
With that superpower, Gina knew she could face whatever happened.
Like Gina, we all have a superpower that will fight on NO MATTER WHAT. Unfortunately, many of us don't tap into that superpower on a regular basis.
We don't tap that superpower until the situation calls for it: When our child is under a burning car, when we have to work in a new job that we never worked before, when we stay up to complete a freelancing project or study all night for a finals that will help us pass a class.
All of these situations are examples of the superpower that we have in us.
These superpowers aren't dependent on our physical ability, financial situation, or any other condition that we feel keeps us from conquering a new obstacle. These superpowers depend on our ability to believe that there is a way.
That is the first step, believing that there is something we can do.
By tapping into that mindset, we open our minds to creativity rather than fear or apathy. If we believe there is something we can do (even if it's only think differently about a situation that we can't change), then we have the upper hand.
This is the superpower that fueled humans through all kinds of circumstances. It is the superpower that helped blind climbers reach the peak of Mount Everest, soldiers run through incoming shots to save their fellow soldiers, and Viktor Frankl survive the horrific ordeal of the Holocaust.
You have that same superpower.
While it seems that humans only display their superpowers in extreme situations, these superpowers are built on a daily level most of us don't even pay attention to.
All of us have a level of possibility that drives what we believe. That level of possibility involves beliefs like "I can do 10 pushups today." "I can't get up before 2 p.m."
These beliefs are reinforced by our actions. If I believe I can only do 10 pushups, that is all my mind and body will attempt to do. If I see no point in waking up before 2 p.m., then I won';t change that behavior.
However, if we are challenged..and see the point in meeting that challenge. we tap into that superpower. If we are challenged to get $10 for doing 11 pushups or get talked into a social media challenge, we do it. If we have to wake up early for a job to get paid, we do it.
There are examples like this every day.We just have to become aware of them.
When we do, we'll recognize the same thing that Gina learned: We have an unstoppable superpower but we have to stop holding onto our "limitations" to access them.
All it takes practicing stepping out of comfort zone (even just a little bit) every now and then. That way, when you need to tap into your inner superhero, you’ll already be trained.