Got Superpowers Yet?

In preparation for my interview with Lee Milteer tomorrow, wherein she will be interviewing me on my book, Developing Your Superpower, and specifically as pertains to her audience of successful entrepreneurs, I decided to write. Writing helps me think and, of course, thinking helps me prepare. So, as you are one of my valued tribe of followers, I decided I would write this for you as I am preparing for her.

The first 6 chapters of the book are about developing what I call the foundational Blackbelt Superpowers. These are the powers that I develop in students at my Blackbelt Leadership Academy, on their journey to becoming confident and competent Blackbelt Leaders.

I call them Superpowers for 3 reasons:

  1. Like all superpowers, they are rather rare.
  2. They allow the superhero that wields them to accomplish superhuman things.
  3. They are not just for the benefit of the hero, but for all the people the hero comes in contact with.

Chapter 7 is about discovering the unique and special superpowers that we have been endowed with to fulfill our special calling in life. These not only equip us to achieve our mission, but also help point us to what that mission is.

The first of the foundational Blackbelt Superpowers, that I write about in my book and we develop through our program, is Focus. We develop Focus at 3 levels:

  1. The basic level of Focus is what we call concentration. It’s the ability to block out distractions and concentrate on what’s important.
  2. The intermediate level is being deliberate about what we choose to focus on. It’s about eliminating useless, or even harmful, information or entertainment that keeps us from becoming the best and highest version of ourselves. It’s about choosing to digest that which empowers, educates and edifies, and eliminating that which has the opposite. In this level of Focus development, we also learn to focus our Focus on that which moves us closer to our goals and block that which doesn’t.
  3. The advanced level is about focusing our thoughts and emotions on that which we want, and away from that which we do not. Worrying is like praying for what you don’t want. Instead Focus on what you do want, or want more of- not on the circumstances or what happens to you, but on what you can do about it so that “everything happens for a reason and serves us well”.

The second Blackbelt Superpower is Respect. We teach Respect for others, through the magical language and the 7 Words of Respect. We also teach students respectful and powerful communication skills: to listen first, seek first to understand, and apply skills like empathy and transparency to create respectful interactions.

  1.  We also develop respect for self. At the most basic, this is healthy eating, refraining from drugs and alcohol, and establishing boundaries and behaviors that demonstrate respect for ourselves.
  2. At the intermediate level, Respect for self includes positive self talk, and never speaking to yourself less respectful than we would another. Sometimes some work needs to be done, to quiet negative voices of our past that we still carry with us.
  3. And, I also believe that one of the most important ways we respect ourselves is by honoring the commitments that we make to ourselves. Every time we do, we respect ourselves and our abilities, as well as our word, more; and every time we don’t, the opposite is true.

This segways perfectly into Superpower 3, Discipline. 

   Discipline is the power that allows us to stick to the commitment we made, the goal we set, or the promise we told ourselves- long after the excitement in which we said it fades away.

It’s the bridge between goals and accomplishment. I’m sure you would agree that this is a particularly scarce one, and also the cause of the execution gap for most people, in whatever goals they set, and most professionals for success at business.

Sure, sometimes, there is something else that we need to know to succeed; but, more often, we need to do the things that we already know that we need to do in order to get the results that we say we want.

Confidence is the fourth Blackbelt Superpower, and one of the most important ones. Whether you believe you can, or believe you can’t, you’re right. (attributed to many including Henry Ford, Norman Vincent Peale and Mary Kay Ash; but who cares who said it as long as we get it).

The best kind of Confidence is the one that comes from competence. The only problem with that is that it implies that you must be competent before you are confident and, since we know that it takes time to become competent, we must become confident first- or at least enough so to do the things that will create the Confidence. Here are 3 great ways to develop the superpower of Confidence on the way to developing competence.

  1. Honor your commitments, to yourself and others (refer to Respect and Discipline; one of the many ways in which the superpowers are interdependent.)
  2. Borrow it. We empower our students with Confidence by telling them how much we believe in them, praising them and helping them paint the Vision of who and how they will be in the future. They believe in us, and trust us, so they are able to borrow Confidence from us to apply in their own training, development and lives.
  3. Behave “as if”. When I am training a student for self defense situations, I often explain the importance of training “as if” the scenario were real. There should be similar emotional content, intensity and behavior, despite the fact that there is of course not any real danger nor can they actually make physical contact on their “attacker”’ but they need to behave otherwise as though they do.

        The same can be done to display Confidence before we have it. I was coaching a young leader yesterday who asked a question relevant to this point. I told him to pretend that he was me. By pretending, he will not only be able to psychologically and emotionally draw upon the Confidence that comes with the role, but the role play will even help him make more competent decisions, and the way to the real competence and Confidence that the law of the process has in store.

Gratitude is the fifth Blackbelt Superpower, and the one I almost missed.

  I had already started the chapter on Vision when I realized something was missing…

Not really sure if I noticed or God told me but, either way, it’s a KMMA foundational Blackbelt Superpower now.

You see, when we are grateful for what we already have: the blessings, gifts, accomplishments, health, people, prosperity, etc, and for how far we’ve come from where we started, it helps us create more of these to be grateful for.

Energy flows where Focus goes, so Gratitude is really a special kind of focus; and it works hand in hand with Vision too.

    Vision is the power of creation. It;s the ability to see something, or even somebody, or even ourselves, the way we will be before we’re that way.

I believe that it’s what God meant when He said that He created us in his own image.

   We are the only creature that He gifted the power of creation. We create our realities and our future through the power of Vision.

Vision and Gratitude work hand in hand in that we need to be grateful for all we have and have accomplished while we create our WIN (what’s important next).

   It’s how we grow and develop as people, parents and professionals.

It’s how we live into our full potential and become who we are called to be, for the benefit of self and others.

As I alluded to earlier, we also discover unique gifts or, dare I say, superpowers that help us answer our unique calling.

   But, whatever that is, we’ll need all the foundational superpowers to help us discover, develop and realize it.

Prepare To Live; Empower To Lead!

Grand Master Stephen J. Del Castillo
Founding Master Instructor, Krav Maga Martial Arts

About Grandmaster Stephen J. Del Castillo: Grandmaster Del Castillo is the founding Master Instructor of Krav Maga Martial Arts and has been empowering lives in Pasco and Hillsborough Counties since October of 2000. He is a 7th degree Blackbelt, MBA, author, mentor and success coach, a US Army Veteran and a proud father and grandfather. He is married to Ms. Barbara Del Castillo who helps him run the school. Grand Master Del Castillo began his training in the early 80’s and has high level blackbelts in Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Premier Martial Arts and Krav Maga Martial Arts as well as experience in kickboxing, Jeet Kune Do and Jiujitsu. He has high level instructor certifications from BBSI, IKMF, and KMG and has been featured in numerous Martial Arts publications and also Success magazine. He was a competitive sport karate and American Kickboxing instructor until he enlisted in the US Army where he served in the 82nd Airborne Division, where he won an Army Green to Gold scholarship and proceeded to ROTC and the University of Tampa. He was commissioned in 1992 and went on to serve in Germany with the 3rd Infantry Division and then in several other posts in the US until he left military service to pursue his dream of creating KMMA in 2000.

The Krav MagaMartial Arts Headquarters is in Lutz, FL at 1900 Land O’ Lakes Blvd., 33549. Krav Maga Martial Arts serves Lutz, Land O’ Lakes, Wesley Chapel, and surrounding areas.

See for more information and to order my book, Developing Your Superpower, Meditations on Mastery, Volume 1.

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