Karen Walrond is a consultant and coach, who uses courage, vulnerability, and positive psychology to help people bring purpose into their lives and businesses.
Read on for more from Karen, and to listen to this episode of the Feel Good Effect podcast about finding the beauty in being different.
How to Discover Your Superpower with Karen Walrond
Have you ever felt different, like an outsider, or somehow like you didn’t fit in?
What if instead of thinking of these differences as a weakness you instead flipped the script and started thinking of them as your superpower?
That’s exactly what we’re talking on about on today’s episode: diving into how to discover your superpower and find beauty in the different, with expert guest Karen Walrond.
Let’s make it happen!
On what she does:
Karen is a leadership consultant, who helps people provide purpose in their work by identifying gifts and values to integrate into work-life and life-life.
Started out by doing what she was supposed to be doing, earning degrees in engineering and law.
“I was doing what I was supposed to do rather than what I was called to do… I decided that this couldn’t work”
Although she was successful and respected in her work, she wanted something different, and ended up leaving her law position without a set plan.
In search for the next step, she discusses how she had to dig deep, asking…
What is it that I love to do?
What are the things that bring me joy?
What are the things that when I achieve them, I get a real sense of purpose?
What are my values?
On making the decision to leave:
After catching a client in an ethical dilemma, Karen realized the effect of her values mixed with her work responsibilities affected her well-being negatively.
She had been blogging for 5 years, and knew photography, writing, and public speaking were her biggest strengths and passions.
Using her site as portfolio of what she could do, Karen found practice in speaking, writing, and shooting.
Through this process, she valued and found importance in…
Being open to opportunities
“Being loud about the things that were important to me”
The hardest part about the transition of trading her old life for one of uncertainty was not loss of income, but loss of identity.
She felt like with her identity as a woman of color and values, she was letting down the people who needed her to stay.
“Mine your past for what it has given you thus far, and see how you can use that into the future; I don’t think anything is wasted”
After leaving her job, Karen sat down and made a list of everything she loves to do, both related to work and life.
She remembers reviewing her list, point by point, asking, “why do I love these things?”, to find clues as to what’s there for her and where they might take her.
She also made a list of passions, including both passions of love and passions of anger, asking further, “where can these take me?”.
On creativity and vulnerability:
“It’s easier to endure vulnerability, than comparison”
Vulnerability: risk coupled with emotional exposure
Comparison: comparing your insides with somebody’s outsides
“Comparison will kill creativity… there is room in this world for all of us to do our art form… nobody does it with your voice, nobody does it with your experience, nobody does it with your insight.”
Keep falling forward.
On finding your superpower:
What makes us different makes us beautiful, from Karen’s book, The Beauty of Different: Observations of a Confident Misfit
We tend to be uncomfortable with standing out, yet we are captivated by the people who do.
Find purpose in your life with the things that make you different: these are your superpowers.
You cannot get farther without diversity of thought and diversity of experience.
Fitting in vs. Belonging, from Brené Brown’s, Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
Fitting in- forces you to fit a standard that holds you back
Belonging- understanding your self-worth and value, everyone else is worthy
On overnight success:
Yes, some people may become an overnight success.
But not a transformative success.
Hard work and practice at something purposeful will bring transformative success, although much of the behind-the-scenes may not be seen.
On leveling-up versus meeting expectations:
Something new takes time to get comfortable and routine with, but at some point we can get too comfortable and stop moving forward (or leveling-up).
Sometimes comfort is good, and leveling-up isn’t necessary.
Other times, in areas you feel like you just need more- don’t get comfortable.
Use that to progress.
On what it means to be healthy:
“I think being healthy is the same as being mindful and self-reflective… Being able to check in with yourself and give yourself a certain amount of grace and kindness”.
Karen’s morning intentions
What can I do to feel healthy today?
What can I do to feel purposeful today?
What can I do to feel connected today?
Karen Walrond, is a consultant and coach, with a focus on building meaningful business and leadership skills to change the world.
Using empirical, research-based principles of courage, vulnerability, authenticity and positive psychology, she helps executives, professionals & entrepreneurs infuse purpose in their lives and businesses.
She’s a sought-after keynote and TEDx speaker, and has spoken around the United States and abroad to individuals and organizations on the topic of thriving, through leadership development, the magic of creativity, the valuing of cultural and racial diversity and inclusion, and the power of social media.
Her bestselling book, The Beauty of Different, is a chronicle of observations that what makes us different makes us beautiful -- and may even be the source of our superpowers.
And finally, as an avid photographer and journaler, she uses creative exercises to help clients discover their own their gifts and superpowers, and how to use them in a way that allows them to thrive.