Be your own hero

by | Sep 19, 2014 | Entrepreneurship, Self Discovey

Be Your Own Hero

In an earlier post, I talked about the “Awesome Avatar” and how evoking this inner hero can help you make better decisions and become the person you want to, deserve to and were meant to be.

Today I’d like to discuss some qualities you might want to explore and incorporate into your “Awesome Avatar.”

According to Temple University psychologist Frank Farley, PhD, there are six characteristics that define the “essence of heroism.” It is unlikely that any one hero has all of these traits, but the more a hero has, the greater their heroism is likely to be valued.

What I propose is that you incorporate as many of these six qualities into your “Awesome Avatar,” thus pumping up the “hero factor” of your inner role model.

1. Courage and Strength:

Heroes aren’t quitters. They face their challenges squarely, sometimes even thriving under adversity.

My “Awesome Avatar” is The Compassionate Empress. She expresses courage and strength through her groundedness. She is unflappable and is true to her core.

How might your “Awesome Avatar” illustrate courage and strength? What do those terms mean to you? Where in your life have you been courageous and/or strong?

2. Honesty:

“We like our heroes to be honest,” says Dr. Farley. Of course, there are times when our heroes are not so honest, but they are at least true to their character. For example, look at the superheros in comics, on TV and in the movies? Don’t they all have an alter ego? Doesn’t Clark Kent lie to protect his Superman persona?

What does honesty mean to you? How do you define integrity? When is it OK to bend the truth … or is it ever OK? How would your ideal self define honesty and integrity?

3. Kind, Loving, Generous:

Although Gen. George S. Patton is still regarded as a hero to many, his regard never recovered when he slapped one of his soldiers in the face. “The American public was revolted by that,” says Dr. Farley. “He wasn’t kind to his men.”

How do you value kindness and generosity? Are these values that are high on your list of “Awesome Avatar” characteristics? How would you define “tough love” … and when does it cease to be kind and loving?

4. Skill, Expertise, Intelligence:

According to Dr. Farley, a hero’s success should stem from his talents and intelligence. This is why characters like Angus MacGyver, the television hero who could use science and his wits to solve almost any problem, are so popular. It is also why Albert Einstein and Dian Fossey are thought of as heroes.

This quality can be tougher to integrate if you don’t feel that you are skillful, have expertise or are intelligent. Get over it … because you are. You can’t possibly be an entrepreneur with any form of success without skills, expertise or intelligence.

What you need to work out here is how you define those terms. What skills do you have now? What skills do you want to develop? How can you take your current level of knowledge and develop it into expertise? What kind of intelligence is your personal strength … and how can you develop it further?

5. Risk-Taking:

“Risk-taking is such a key ingredient to the character of heroes,” says Dr. Farley. Without the willingness to take risks, Lee Iacocca wouldn’t have been successful in business, Yuri Gagarin would not have been the first man in space and Mahatma Gandhi would not have freed India of British rule.

How comfortable with risk do you want to be? How will you decide whether a risk is strategically worth taking … or just not likely to give you the result you want?

All heroes have a level of comfort with risk-taking. Where on the scale of comfort is your “Awesome Avatar”?

6. Objects of Affection:

Not many heroes are unlikable. To truly be a hero, you must have fans, people who feel affection for you.

How likable are you? How likable do you want to be? How do you nurture and develop likability while still maintaining healthy boundaries? The answers to these questions are very personal. You need to explore where you want to be on the likability scale, where you will not only be most comfortable but also where you’ll be the most effective.

commentNow it’s your turn:
How heroic are you already? How many of these heroic qualities do you already have? Which ones? Which qualities do you plan to develop further? Did you find this information helpful in developing your “Awesome Avatar”? Please share your answers, comments and sage wisdom in the comment box below.

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