Who was your favorite childhood superhero?

Captain America?
Wonder Woman?

Mine was Wolverine from X-Men. He had brute strength, intimidating claws, mutant healing factor, and a pretty cool haircut. So what’s not to like, right?

And although I didn’t have the claws, I did get injured often while playing sports, so I appreciated my ability to heal and bounce back quickly.

What I loved most about the world of superheroes, even more than all the X-Men combined, was the idea of the X-Men School for the Gifted actually being real.

Wouldn’t that be incredible?

Normal people like you and me walking around with hidden powers just waiting to be released.

Just imagine being approached by Xavier and having him tell you, “You [insert your name here] are truly special. You have powers and abilities unlike anyone else, and they need to be developed.”

Well, unfortunately the X-Men School is not real, but the good news is this: YOU are special. You have powers and abilities inside of you unlike anyone else, and they need to be developed. Or maybe I should say released.

Seven Ways to Unlock Your Inner Greatness

1. Identify Your “Mutant” Power

Wolverine has claws; Gambit has mental powers; and you have (fill in the blank). All of us have a special power or powers (a.k.a. talents), but not all of us have identified them just yet. The fastest way to identify yours is to be on the lookout for activities that come easy to you but are hard for others. We tend to take our unique gifts for granted because we assume everyone does what we can do.

2. Take Responsibility for Your Gifts

Winston Churchill said, “Responsibility is the price of greatness.” That means you need to own who you are and what you do. Your talents come with responsibility, so it’s your duty to commit to developing them and actually using them.

You must choose to Step Up!

3. Exercise Your Greatness

I never would have achieved my goal of being a pro athlete without properly exercising my unique talents, as Greatness is a muscle, and muscles need to be exercised. Take every opportunity to put your personal greatness to work. Your mantra should be “No job is too small.” The more you see your powers in action, the more confidence you’ll gain and the more opportunities will come your way.

4. Prepare to Meet Some Adversaries

Every superhero has a cast of villains to fight. So don’t expect your experience to be any different. But don’t worry, you won’t be chased by anyone that can fly or shoot fire. Your adversaries will be negative people, procrastination, and fear.

I don’t know why this is, but we tend to fear our own potential. So if you begin feeling afraid of where your growth might take you, just anchor those fears by reminding yourself that unlocking a better you will benefit your family and community.

Also be prepared for people that are intimidated with your growth. Most people fear change, so don’t be surprised if you begin attracting naysayers. But don’t worry; your success will also inspire others as well, so stay focused on those people instead.

5. Stay Grounded

When superman wasn’t saving people, he was a reporter at The Daily Planet. This kept him grounded (no pun intended) and in touch with the very people he was saving.

This is important because our lives need to be filled with a variety of roles. We can’t be just ONE thing and lose sight of the other roles we need to play. We can’t just be a hero; we also need to remember our place as parents, mentors, employees, and community leaders.

6. Learn to Trust Your Gut

If you’d like to work with one of the best coaches in the world, look in a mirror.

Your intuition can be a powerful ally, but only if you learn to trust it. I’m sure there have been plenty of moments when your gut went completely against logic, but you ended up being right. Can you remember a moment like that?

That’s why I’m saying, “learn to trust yourself.”

7. Start Today

Each day you’re presented with a choice. You can either keep your greatness hidden under a pile of fears, regrets, and excuses, or you can let it out. So the best way to begin unlocking inner greatness is to make a conscious choice to live out the rest of today, with the best you.

The world needs your abilities and talents.

But wait! Before you rush off and begin changing lives with your soon-to-be unleashed powers, I would love to hear your secrets and tips for unlocking greatness.

How do you make the “best you” come out? Is there something you can share with the rest of us that we can begin using today? Don’t hold back! Share with us below.

Lewis Howes is a former professional football player and current USA Men’s National Team member for team handball. He is a LinkedIn marketing expert turned lifestyle entrepreneur who built a seven-figure business in two years while starting out sleeping on his sister’s couch. Learn more about Lewis on his website www.lewishowes.com, Twitter, and Facebook, and his own example of the X-Men School for the Gifted at his podcast The School of Greatness.

*Photo Credit: Xurble via Compfight cc