The Origin Story of Your Influential Superhero

influential superheorThe power to sway someone’s decisions is an exciting notion.

On opening night of Avengers: Age of Ultron, I had dinner with the former Chief Marketing Officer of Marvel Studios. We regularly get together to catch up, talk about our businesses, geek out over the Marvel universe, and, as per usual, I try to get him to set me up with Tom Hiddleston. (Hey, a girl can hope.)

Unsurprisingly, we ended up talking about superhero powers.

“Because of where I worked," he said, "we had these conversations all the time. What superpower would you have?” I sipped my wine and considered all the superpower options. How could I choose?!

Thankfully he interrupted my thought process with his own answer. “I never understood why people chose flying. So, you can fly. Great. You’re flying alone. And if you want to take someone, it means that you’re carrying them. Sounds awful. Super strength isn’t much better. Just means that you’ll be doing a lot of manual labor. Me? I always knew which superpower I wanted. … Mind control. It’s really the only way to go. If you can get everyone else to do work for you, take you where you want to go, and give you what you want, then you’ve got it made. Why would you choose anything else?”

Sold!

What would you choose anything else?!

Mind control is the way to go!

Unfortunately, I don’t think that there is a radioactive bug that will bite us and give us these superhuman powers. Talk about great power with great responsibility!

But here’s the good news…

Unlike other super human powers, you can learn psychological principles, communication techniques, and influential strategies that might not add up to full tilt mind control, but it will enhance your persuasiveness enough that people will think that you have that special gift.

And when you attain this level of persuasiveness, you will ask yourself the same questions that every superhero asks in their own origin story.

Should I use these influential powers?

For every Obi Wan, there is a Darth Vader. Every great skill can be used for the betterment of others or for their destruction. When you acquire influential skills you quickly see opportunities to use them in a powerful manner… and recreationally.

Again, this is a common dilemma in the superhero world. Tony Stark’s Iron Man is used to save many lives. But he also couldn’t resist the urge to do a little shot-pull demonstration in his own home with his metal war toy.

With persuasion, you can help guide someone out of destructive behaviors, like a therapist. With influence, you can convince people to support your charity. With some linguistic tango, you can woo the woman of your dreams.

Of course, if you continue delving deep in the powers of influence, you also see how the same skills can be used to swindle people out of money. They can manipulate people to make a decision that will ultimately lead to their downfall. You can step over many innocents to persuade your way to power.

So, at some point, you have to make the decision, will you use your powers for good? Or will you go to the dark side?

Is this too much responsibility?

It happens to many superheroes. Their powers overwhelm them. They don’t know how to harness their superpowers.

Superman’s super hearing starts out as an overpowering cacophony. Daredevil sees the world in ways that no one else does. Spider-man’s spidey senses give him a migraine. Each of their powers lead to an unexpected influx of sensory information that they didn’t know what to do with. They started seeing and hearing the world around them in new and powerful ways.

You will have the same experience.

When you learn influential principles and techniques, prepare to be bombarded by new insights of information that everyone else misses. You see the world differently than others. And, it’s difficult to explain to them how your perspective has irrevocably changed.

Influential knowledge is to see what others can’t, understand what others don’t, and look behind the curtain blocking everyone's view

It can be a daunting realization that your influential powers can be used on anyone, in any situation, all the time.

You can use it in your business - which is the most obvious conclusion. Then, you see how you can use it in your personal life - with your friends, with your lover, with people you want to be your lovers. And then, you see how you can use the observations and techniques with absolute strangers. No one is shielded. Everyone is vulnerable.

How much is too much? You can’t unlearn what you now know. Do you shy away from it and ignore the angles you now see? Or do you embrace it? Can you take control and be compassionate with your powers?

Of course, only great stories result from great responsibilities. 

How can I use this for good?

Let's assume that you decide to be Professor X and not Magneto.

Responsibility isn't a heavy weight. The angles and leverage points aren't to be shied away from. Instead, you feel empowerment from responsibility. Angles are opportunities. Leverage points can lift up people, lift up businesses, lift up communities, lift up society.

And, unlike superheroes with their unnatural and alien superpowers, you can share yours. You can teach others to use the same techniques to help improve their circles of influence. So, perhaps, your super power is greater than Superman’s. Yours can expand and live on after you. Yours can be given and given again - teaching the world to become their own versions of their super selves.

You can learn more about how to attain your influential superpowers in INFLUENCE HQ. Then, your influential superhero origin story won't be a solitary one. Join the community for true influence.

Conquering the Post-New Year’s Blues

New Year Blog Pic

This year, my New Year’s Eve wasn’t spent in a fancy gown, drinking champagne, and watching fireworks. Instead, I was home in front of the fireplace, writing, reflecting, and planning. Oh. And there was a glass of wine, of course.

After midnight struck, I promptly curled up in bed at 12:03 feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, and excited about the 2015 horizon. 

One week later, all those kumbaya feelings were gone. There was a sad little cloud hanging over me with threats of a storm.

Overly positive Facebook posts from everyone saying that 2014 was their “best. year. ever!” felt like bruising hail hitting me, reminding me that my 2014 wasn’t. I didn’t achieve some of my goals. I had my heart broken. I missed out on some opportunities. And, overall, I know I could have done better. 

Were there some amazing things in 2014? YES! Of course! I wrote new e-books, I had some amazing speeches, a launched 2 new programs I'm very proud of, and I lead a 3-day live streaming event that was better than I anticipated.

Buuuuuuuut......somehow those things weren't coming to mind. The cloud was all I could see.

And, shockingly, one week into this magical New Year, I hadn’t shed all of my old limiting thoughts and behaviors.

Wait! You mean that going from one calendar year to another on our man-created, arbitrary illusion of time measurement doesn’t change me as a person?! This is preposterous!

If you’re anything like me, then you might be experiencing some similar post-New Year’s blues.

It’s ok. You’re human. A little cloud over your head in this moment doesn’t mean that the storm will sweep you away. The beautiful thing is that today is a new day. This moment is a shiny new moment - full of choices and feelings that can send you in the right direction.

Right now, take in a healing breath and exhale knowing that you have control. Your perspective is your reality. Take that breath. Now, you can make this moment your bitch.

To help you put your post-New Year’s blues in the past, here are a few ways to perk up your perspective.

Belated New Year’s Eve Ceremony

Your New Year’s Eve might have been spent drinking, dancing, and making poor decisions about who you kissed at midnight. First of all, I congratulate you and am slightly jealous. While the wild fun left a mark on your liver, it probably didn’t give you the positive, goal-setting momentum you needed to kick things off.

On New Year’s Eve, I reached out to my soul-sister and intuitive life coach Sabrina Bolin and asked her if she had any cleansing rituals on how to start the New Year with power. She, of course, did. She outlined a solid ceremony on her blog here.

The basics are:

  • meditate to open yourself to the experience with an open mind and kind heart
  • journal your celebrations. Honor your clear successes as well as the lessons from unachieved goals
  • have fun imagining your upcoming year. Anything is possible.
  • reflect on any recurring themes from the previous year
  • write out any regrets or negative thoughts on a piece of paper and burn them one by one

Personally, I’ve never done any kind of burning ceremony before, and I surprisingly found it quite healing. Watching a piece of paper transform in the fire reminded me of how easy transformation can be when the right energy is behind it.

Gratitude

It is easier for our brains to focus on the negative than it is the positive. From an evolutionary perspective, our negative point of view served us. Paying attention to current threats (Hey! Lion!), making a pattern of past dangers (I think those berries killed George), and avoiding future harmful situations (I know it’s a crazy idea, but next year, how about we migrate somewhere warm?) all kept us alive.

So, it makes some sense that if you look back on your year, that the negative things might come to mind more readily than the good. But, carrying that negative perspective into your current moment isn’t serving you. If you allow the negative filter to be your dominant filter, then it will darken your perspective on new opportunities, shade your communication with others, and cast a shadow over the amazing things that you do have.

Keeping a gratitude journal is by far one of the most effective and powerful exercises…ever! It’s simple. Every day (in the morning or at night) list 5 NEW things that you are grateful for. Avoid repeating items on your list. Listing the same 5 things over and over doesn’t broaden your positive perspective. You want to train your brain to see the good over the bad. Yes, you might be working against some evolutionary base code, but if we’ve miraculously been able to make it to the top of the food chain, I think there’s hope for happiness.

Plus, keeping your gratitude journal will be a wonderful record for next New Year’s Eve. You can squash some of the blues if you can flip through your own book of positivity from 2015.

Daily/Weekly/Monthly Intention Setting

I noticed that many people are posting their theme for 2015. I think that is wonderful. I, on the other hand, know that a year-long theme doesn’t work for me. I am more of a fan of daily, weekly, or monthly themes.

I have an accountability partner and every day we text each other our “needle mover” tasks and set the intention for the day. This can help you stay grounded and focused when overwhelming details seem to pile up.

We also email each other every Monday with our weekly goals (personal and business), our gratitude, and set the weekly intention.

In my office, I have large year long calendar on my wall. At the first of the month, I set my theme for that month. For example, my theme for January is “to be seen.” For me, this means stepping up my marketing, writing, and PR efforts. It also is designed to help me overcome my resistance of perfectionism. This month is all about if it’s good enough, get it out there!

Intentions and themes are like lighthouses. When you feel like you’re loosing your way, you can look up and see your guiding light for that day, week, or month. When I hold back on posting something on social media, I see my monthly theme of “to be seen” and then I post that puppy. These themes can be your filter for action and inaction. Should you do this or that? …Well, does it align with my theme? If yes, then do it. If not, pass.

Review (or Create) Victory File

If you don’t have one already, create your Victory File today.

A Victory File is where you keep artifacts from all of your accomplishments - big or small. In my Victory File, I have my certifications, testimonials, emails of appreciation from clients and readers, pictures from events, anything that marks good moments.

Your Victory File can be a hardcopy file in your desk, a file on your desktop, or (my personal choice) a notebook in your Evernote.

Your Victory file comes in handy for those moments when you’re feeling down on yourself. If you ever need a reminder of your awesomeness, your Victory File is there to save the day.

If you already have a Victory File and those New Year’s blues have got their grip on you, then open up the file and bask in the awesomeness that is you!

Daily Motivation

Dwelling on past mistakes, regrets, or failures doesn’t help you create the future that you desire. Every day is a new day. Seeing today with its possibilities without dragging in the baggage from yesterday can be harder than it should be. I find a motivating video or audio lesson paired with a cup of coffee help me get my head on straight.

Here are a few of my favorite YouTube motivational playlists (the titles are mine):

Most of us might hope that New Year’s Eve is the “reset” button on our lives. Myself included. But, we are smart enough to know that the path changing habits and creating our desired future is never ending. There is no start and stop. It is all on a continuous line. The New Year holiday is an illusion. It is a manufactured “new beginning.” You can manifest your new beginning right now. …. or now …..or now ….how about now…..now is good…..

If you found this blog helpful or inspiring, please share it. You never know who else might need to perk up from their Post-New Year's Blues.

What other things do you find help you start the New Year off in a positive way? Let me know in the comments below!

The Most Common Lie You Tell Yourself in Business

The Most Common Lie You Tell Yourself in Business

We are drowning in data. We are living in sensory overload. So, the first challenge for an influencer (or any person, for that matter) is to focus. To build the skill of ignoring the inconsequential and honing in on the valuable.

Having observational focus in a conversation is critical. However, what most people don’t realize is that after that conversation is over, a new battle is waged.

In your conversations with your mark - the person you are wanting to influence, you will detect clues and influential triggers. With every point of leverage you discover, you feel a buzz of accomplishment. You spot one! Then, you see more clues popping up left and right. You’re rocking it!

And then, you will tell yourself the biggest and most common lie that we all have said.

I’ll remember.” As in, “I’ll remember all of these triggers and leverage points later on when I need them. Who knows when that will be, but I’ll remember.”

Doh! ... Continue Reading

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