Accessing Your Inner Superhero

» Posted by on Jun 29, 2015 in Alpha Blog | 0 comments

Accessing Your Inner Superhero

Each of us is on a journey. This journey is our story. And naturally you are the protagonist in this story, which like any story, has conflict. And no one can resolve this conflict but you. As therapist Kim Schneiderman, LCSW, MSW, writes in her excellent book Step Out of Your Story: Writing Exercises to Reframe and Transform Your Life, “nobody is going to rescue us.”

While we have support from others, it’s up to us to solve the problem, navigate the challenge, make things right, cope effectively. Which can feel very scary, especially if you’re not sure that you’re up to the task, especially if you have a hard time trusting yourself.

“[W]e need to access our own inner superhero to save our inner selves,” Schneiderman writes. She needed to summon her inner superhero after her father’s passing.

“In the wake of my father’s death, I lost lots of sleep worrying about how I would manage his affairs, which entailed wading through complicated financials, including stocks and bonds I knew nothing about, and selling a house, which I had never done before.”

Are you losing sleep worrying about something? Do you, too, need to access your inner superhero? To rescue yourself? To resolve a conflict? To overcome a stubborn obstacle or challenge?


Think of this situation. Think of this one chapter of your life story. Then consider responding to the below questions in Step Out of Your Story. Responding to these questions can empower you, connecting you to your inner superhero.

Again, like her other exercises, Schneiderman suggests using a third-person voice (using the pronoun “he” or “she”). This helps us gain distance, which helps us gain insight and perspective. I’ve also included Schneiderman’s responses, which serve as key examples.

  • What is the conflict of this chapter? Schneiderman writes: “Managing her father’s estate while grieving and recovering from an intense period of caregiving.”
  • What strengths does the hero of this story possess to aid in accomplishing this task? Some of the strengths Schneiderman writes are intelligence and resilience, and the humility to ask questions when she doesn’t understand something.
  • What is the vulnerability being revealed? Schneiderman says that she’s disorganized and emotionally exhausted. She also has a tendency to get easily frustrated when the expected doesn’t happen.
  • What is this experience testing? This experience is testing Schneiderman’s courage, endurance and flexibility.
  • What tools and resources has the person been given to help them? She has a healthy body, financial resources, a flexible schedule and written instructions from her dad.
  • Who are the person’s supporting characters? Schneiderman has a ton of friends and relatives. Some even have expertise in real estate and financial matters.
  • What evidence does this person have that they can manage these responsibilities?
    According to Schneiderman, “She’s often been thrust into jobs and situations where she had to improvise, drawing on her knowledge, wits, and ability to ask thoughtful questions. Each time, she has risen to the challenge, defying other’s expectations and her own.”

What I love about exercises like this one is that they remind us that we have everything we need within us. Sometimes, we just need to look at our situation — the chapter in our story — through a different lens. Sometimes, we just need to realize that our superpowers are always with us. We just have to ask the right questions.