Why Creativity, Vulnerability and Sensitivity Are Your Superpowers

06/22/2015 10:52 am ET | Updated Jun 21, 2016


Here is my confession: I've got Superpowers. Even more I'm a Creative Superhero. No, I can't fly through walls, lift the Eifel Tower or read your mind. My superpowers are creativity, vulnerability and sensitivity.

I share those Magic Three with people from all over the world. But few of us are raised to develop those Magical Three to the fullest. At least not me.

I had buried them as deep as I could. And here is why.
I grew up being convinced I was an unpleasant, mean, loud, unkind and opinionated girl. But somewhere deep inside me lived a girl who was kind and sweet. Unfortunately she refused to come out. I knew this because it was something I heard many times.

My mother was not a big fan of my sharp minded creative bubbles. Like every child I loved my mother dearly and wanted her to be happy. So I tried to be meek and compliant. But failed miserably.

The result of this internal conflict was a little girl who anxiously looked at her mother all day long to assess whether her actions would lead to approval or punishment.

My punishment for not blending in was the Preach.
The Preach was a monologue and I was the audience. My mother lying on her bed. Me silently standing and listening. I tried to protect myself by closing of. But the words leaked through my protective wall.

"Disappointed, Ungrateful, Non-deserving, Evil, Arrogant, Mean, What will other People think." The words rained down on me until I started to cry. Crying meant salvation at last. My tears softened my mother. It meant going from being an outcast to being forgiven and loved.

But my inner rebel refused to surrender without a fight. Crying meant admitting to being cheeky, ungrateful and wicked. And somewhere at the beginning of the Preach I knew I couldn't possibly be as bad as my mother told me I was.

But I was a child and I was not supposed to be me. Every time I gave in I lost a part of my soul.

Vulnerability and Sensitivity as my Weaknesses
Over the years I improved my non-crying skills, causing the preach to go on and on for hours. But the crying was inevitable. That nauseating moment when the thin walls came crumbling down. Somewhere between: "I know I'm okay" and "I admit to being a horrible girl."

It was that defying moment where I felt unprotected an utterly lost.

It was the moment I was in Limbo. I had given in and was waiting for forgiveness. I desperately needed redemption. I needed my mother to tell me I was a wonderful child after all. But it usually took another 15 minutes of sobbing until she opened her arms.

Finally she became the mother I longed for. Hugging me, telling me I was kind and sweet. Loved at last.

Growing up taught me one thing: never loose your guard, don't show your soft side, never ever show your true colors. And being vulnerable and sensitive is for dumb-asses who have given in.

It took me years to let go, forgive, understand and wholeheartedly believe that I was indeed a very okay kind of person.

But vulnerability and sensitivity remained a quality for the softer, kinder person. The woman who walks barefoot, speaks softly and smiles a lot. Not for a sharp minded rebel like me.

My perfectionist mind (I will never be good enough) had veiled Creativity already long ago in my final year of Art School when I decided creativity was in the genes of outstanding artists only. Not in mine.

But you can't outrun vulnerability, creativity and sensitivity when they're ponding on your door.
After working as a very sensible consultant in the field of arts and design for years, I was educated as a transformational coach. The first year I dragged my clients to their feet. "Right, this is your problem. Yes, I can see that. Let's fix it!" Sorry everybody!

But somewhere along the road something shifted. Apparently you can't suppress something that is part of who you are after all. Trying to fix a human being, feeling sorry and following coaching rules is a far cry from Compassionately Being the Other Person.

I realized that the moment I sensed why the sad-eyed 30-year-old woman in my office looked so lonely. Even before she told me. All I had done was doing nothing. I just sat with her in silence.

I had carefully disconnected vulnerability, creativity and sensitivity from my intuition. I had buried the stuff 10 feet deep and all of a sudden I found out that they were key to healing.

So why are they our Superpowers?
Leaning into the Magical Three: vulnerability, sensitivity and creativity is like inviting that wonderful yet scary state of not-knowing into every aspect of your life. So many of us have grown accustomed to using sheer will power. "I have to get there! No Matter What! I don't care about detours or alternatives. This is what I want. Buckle up and do it."

But once we've been able to calm our minds and set sarcasm and criticism free, we're opening up to that enchanted state were anything can happen. A beautiful drawing, a huge insight, a bright opportunity, or an idea for a new program.

When we dare to feel the Magical Three, it's like we've given permission to an unseen hand to sweep away the clouds that hang low over our troubled minds. To see the beauty of our soul, feel the radiant warmth of our hearts.

Of course it's not easy. But I know it has changed me from being judgmental and unteachable to being open and approachable (with a fully intact Inner Rebel).

I witness what happens to my clients, once they have embrace the Magical Three. Confusion, anger and sadness make way for clarity, focus and joy.

The Magic Three causes us to keep our soul, mind and heart wide open
That's why they're are also key to innovation. Something truly new can arise only if we dare to fail. Failing is no longer a personal fault, but a way of playing. Like that last piece of Lego causes the castle to fall apart. Start over and a wonderful -- even better castle -- arises.

So often we think creativity is for the artistic only, vulnerability for the weak and sensitivity for people who are incapable of working in loud offices. (Or maybe that was just me...) But in reality we're all creative. Try parking your car in a small parking spot without being creative.

We're all vulnerable. You might have a story like mine. Causing you to decide it much wiser to close the doors to your unprotected heart because it had suffered enough.

And we're all sensitive. Even if you think you're a tough cookie. Those tears that come up when we see a new born child are the proof.

When we're able to fully align with our superpowers we hear the things we would otherwise not hear. We see new things. We're wide open to new opportunities. Ready to grow, learn, feel and love ourselves. You just have to open the door.

I'd love to hear from you. Are you ready to embrace your Superpowers in your business and life?

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