It was a wave of sadness that hit the world on the 12th November 2018, when it was announced that the legendary Marvel comic book writer Stan Lee had passed away.  His superhero work at Marvel has touched adults and children alike.  Through decades his stories have provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy.  I am fairly sure we have all heard of Spiderman or Ironman just to name two characters and it was coincidence that I had just this week picked up an article that highlighted the power of super hero films, especially with children (although adults can have that power too).

Female Superheros inspire confidence and empower girls

Superhero films are all about empowering us to be the best version of ourselves.  There has been a recent rise in the number of strong female lead roles and this number is rising, which has led to a BBC America study, that has confirmed that these roles are boosting self-esteem and having a real effect on young girls.

In the survey they had 2,431 participants both boys and girls, focusing on the age ranges of five to nine and ten to nineteen.  Researchers found that the girls said that female heroes made them feel “strong”, “brave”, “Motivated”, “Confident”, “Inspired” and “positive” to an overwhelming degree.  And even better: 58% strongly agreed that female heroes “Make them feel like they can achieve anything they put their mind to”.

This is great news for our future generation and what’s even better is that the study found two groups of people that were most important in building up girls’ self-esteem: girls parents and their family members.

NLP that inspires confidence and empowerment

The study got me thinking. We teach NLP Anchoring on our NLP Practitioner course which allows anyone to immediately recall times in the past where we’ve felt the feelings we want to feel such as confident, empowered, brave etc (children are brilliant at Anchoring – check out this blog to find out how to create a positive anchor for your child).

The “as if” frame is also great ( a frame is just a way at looking at things – a lens to look through). We can act as if we are brave, empowered etc . The beauty of the brain is that it cannot distinguish between what’s real and what’s not.  If we begin to act as if we are super hero’s we can quickly adopt that superhero stance and behaviour. If we act as if we are confident, utilising our physiology (our body) and thoughts, we soon believe ourselves to be that way, therefore making us more confident. Check out Amy Cuddy’s Power Pose stance for a simple way to improve your super powers!

What matters is what we believe …

Watching superhero films is clearly helping those youngsters to believe in themselves and act as if they were. I am fairly sure this also transpires to the millons of adults who love the Marvel characters too. I am curious to know that if they can act and pretend that they are that way, that in their reality it doesn’t need to be an act, they actually are most awesome and a super hero already.

We often stop ourselves believing in ourselves and being whatever we want to be with negative self talk, limiting beliefs and fixed mindsets.  It is not until either we learn to change that mindset or dare to be a child again that we can be anything we want to be.  We can listen to the inner self talk and decide to use kinder words to ourselves, we can recognise negative patterns and change them. We can learn how to take control of our state, and recognise when our state is not being helpful.  We can “act as if” to get the results we desire.

Now granted some super heroes can fly and that may be just a little out of reach, there are however a tonne of other super hero qualities that do not require Kryptonite.  Like self belief, confidence, empathy, strength, motivation and kindness.  There is the quote that I love by Henry Ford “ Whether you think you can, or whether you think you can’t you’re right”.  So, I ask you to consider how you think and how about “acting as if” which simply means thinking and acting like a superhero, you never know what you could achieve or who you may be inspiring.

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