How To Be Your Own Hero (Even When You Feel Defeated)

Don’t wait for someone else to save you. Save yourself.

Asking for help is an underrated skill. You simply cannot do it all, all of the time. That said, you are stronger than you think, and there are times when you really do need to dig deep and rely on yourself.

Superman is not coming. Sometimes, you need to be your own superhero.

If I could be anyone at all, I would choose to be Wonder Woman. She is the most formidable of female superheroes.

As a little girl, I was captivated watching Lynda Carter on television. As Wonder Woman, she rescued herself from bondage and fought off villains with her incredible skill and bag of tricks, including bullet-proof bracelets, tiara, and lasso of truth. She was the symbol of confidence and power, and a Greek goddess of love and war.

Back then, I was her, spinning in my yard, and transforming from Diana Prince into Wonder Woman -- defender of justice, lover of peace, and fierce protector of humanity.

As adults, too, it can be empowering to call on your favourite hero or heroine. It can give you the extra boost you need to face your villains – real or imagined.

The first step is changing your mindset

Before you can invoke your inner superhero, you need to shift your mindset.

If you are drowning in negativity, stop. If you’re overwhelmed by too many priorities, stop. If you can’t catch a break, stop. If you feel let down, stop. If you’re down-right defeated, stop.

You don’t need to feel negative, overwhelmed, disappointed, or hopeless. Instead, imagine yourself being strong, in control, happy, hopeful and self-assured. When you visualize how you want to be, then in some sense you already embody those characteristics.

If you’re still having trouble ‘flipping’ your state of mind and removing your limiting beliefs, there are a few things you need to do:

1.      Believe that you matter.

You have a gift that you were meant to bring into the world. If you’ve yet to discover it, don’t despair. You will figure out it out – either on your own or with some help.

Interrupt your old, unproductive thought patterns and remind yourself that you matter in this world. You matter to others. You matter to yourself.

You are worthy of greatness and self-love.

2.      Trust in yourself.

Know that you have the answers within you. The more present you can be, the more in tune with yourself you will be. Connect with your senses, your gut, and other ways of knowing.

3.      Practice.

Be aware of your triggers and pull yourself up. Regularly imagine yourself succeeding. Practice positive self-talk.

When I forget my superpowers, I turn to the picture of Wonder Woman on my vision board. I then remember what is possible.

With your empowering beliefs and habits established and self-trust in hand, you, too, can start to take back your personal power. You can be that superhero from your childhood – and rescue yourself!

Here are 7 things you can do to tap into your inner hero and conquer your world, starting today.

1.      Fight for something.

Think about what’s important to you. What are your values and standards? What is right and wrong in the world? Then, be an advocate for the little guy, a friend or family member who needs help, or a cause you can get behind.

When you live in integrity and make a difference, you feel good. Watch your own problems melt away!

2.      Self-regulate.

Do you think Batman could have successfully fought off villains like the Joker if he’d lost his cool? Neither will you! Staying calm, present, and grounded will win the day. You’ll be quicker on your feet, more resilient and ready to face the next tests of strength and endurance.

3.      Think positively.

When you dwell on the negative, you will attract more negativity. Heroes don’t let problems get them down. They thrive on challenge and believe in a successful outcome.

Repeat an affirmation like “I can do it” or “Super Girl to the rescue!” to pump you up. Positive words, lead to positive thoughts that lead to positive beliefs about yourself.

4.      Be self-aware.

A superhero needs to be intensely self-aware. Figure out your superpowers and use them to the fullest. Wolverine has supersonic ears that he uses to detect his enemies. Superman has a body of steel to repel bullets – and of course, he can leap tall buildings in a single bound! Maybe your strength is empathy or negotiating skills. Whatever it is, let it propel your self-confidence.

It’s also important to take stock of your soft-spots (otherwise known as weaknesses). What is your kryptonite? Name your vices or growing edges, compensate for them and put a plan in place to shore them up.

Even superheroes need to develop their gifts. Some honest and compassionate self-reflection can ensure that you’re using what you’ve got to your advantage.

5.      Mobilize your resources.

Consider what resources you have at your disposal to help you out of a situation. What is your golden lasso? It could be a massage therapist, babysitter, friend, parent, mentor, or coach. Call for backup.

Most superheroes have a sidekick who arrives just in time when there’s an onslaught of new challenges or threats. Think Wonder Girl or Robin.

6.      Act like your hero.

If you’re stuck and not sure how to get out of your rut, ask yourself, “What would my superhero do?” My Wonder Woman would not jump to conclusions or catastrophize. Instead, she would seek the truth, use compassion, and stay calm.

Once you have a clear mental picture of your hero in action, do as they would. Act as if you’re them!

7.      Face your fear.

Be afraid and do it anyway. Take a few deep breaths and push through overwhelm and fear. Wonder Woman didn’t quake in her knee-high boots when confronted by danger! Get into that phone booth, regroup, and turn yourself into your hero.

Obstacles, difficulties, and some suffering are inevitable in life. But, you have a choice in how you respond. You can choose to lift yourself above it all; you can decide to summon your internal hero or heroine. In doing so, you will see that like him or her, you can do anything you set your mind to do.

Feel the exhilaration of looking defeat in the eye and save your own day!

Lisa Petsinis is a certified coach who works with resourceful individuals who want to let their brilliance shine. Contact her for a breakthrough call or sign up for her newsletter for even more advice.