what is your Kryptonite?

Kryptonite, the ultimate physical weakness of an otherwise invulnerable hero, Superman. You see, we are all ultimately human and flawed. Even a super-human is still human.

Kryptonite for the superhuman worker of today takes many forms, each as individual as the person it effects. Do you know what form your Kryptonite takes?

Symptoms of Kryptonite Exposure

Have you ever had a day where you just couldn’t get anything done? Your mind is willing but your will is missing? Something is sucking the energy (or give a damn) out of your very being. If so, chances are somewhere nearby is your Kryptonite. Anything that drains the very energy from every cell in your being is most likely Kryptonite.

Spotting Kryptonite

Once you recognize the symptoms, it’s time to observe your surroundings for possible Kryptonite exposure. Kryptonite is usually hidden in our environment or daily life and are otherwise harmless – until they find their target – you! The best way to learn how to expose Kryptonite is by sharing an example:

Marsha’s Kryptonite is Debbie Downer. Marsha is a goal oriented project manager. She focuses on excellence, quality, efficiency, and fulfillment. Usually her projects are a challenge, but this new one is just taking the life right out of her. She has trouble focusing during the day, and is mentally and physically exhausted at night.

Marsha decided to call her coach to help her explore the possible causes. What they discovered, after carefully reviewing the situation and comparing it to previous successful projects, was Marsha’s Kryptonite.

It seems that several of the team members on Marsha’s new project have a negative attitude. Actually, Marsha describes them as ‘Debbie Downers’ because every comment from them is negative. Even when Marsha asks them about their lunch or weekend, there is always something negative as a response. So how can Marsha protect herself from this energy draining Kryptonite?

Protection From Kryptonite

1. Reduce exposure: If possible, Marsha will limit her exposure to the negative energy / Kryptonite by only spending time around the negative team members when necessary. Exposure in small doses is also a way to reduce exposure.

2. Protect your energy: It is impossible to avoid Kryptonite totally. Therefore it is important to make sure your tank is full before any encounter. That includes physical and emotional health. Like your mom always tells you: Eat healthy, get plenty of rest, and have a friend or advisor to help you stay positive and focused. That way, any exposure will only suck out part of your energy, and you can go back and replenish it immediately.

3. Approach it head on: This is difficult and is only recommended with the help of a coach or advisor. You may be able to have a conversation with the ‘Debbie Downers’ to see if there is a work or project related cause to their Kryptonite behavior. But approach with caution. Unless you are a therapist, you may get into more than you are ready to handle.

Those options work when there is an external source of Kryptonite, but sometimes we create our own. If you are your own source of Kryptonite, it’s time for a check-up. Usually the source is an unwanted behavior or thought pattern. Now is a great time to join forces with other superheros – your coach or advisor – to follow the same steps above: Reduce exposure, protect your energy, and approach it head on! Remember, behavior changes take time. Your Kryptonite didn’t just appear overnight and it won’t go away overnight either.

So, are you ready to reveal your Kryptonite?