Written by Kaitlyn Corlett, Senior Project Assistant
When we think about superpowers our minds usually go to magical abilities or the supernatural. However, I believe that we all have superpowers and they’re our unique strengths we bring to this world. We might not know what they are at first, and it takes moments like navigating failure, overcoming obstacles, or facing uncertainty to begin learning what they might be. This requires learning from these experiences to gain a deeper sense of self, and a process that supports embracing uncertainty.
When we face a difficult moment and feel empowered to pivot or change directions, we are connecting to a process known as iteration. For myself, iteration has helped me form a deeper understanding of who I am and how I respond to moments of uncertainty. It has pushed me to use strengths I didn’t realize were so important. Over time, these strengths have evolved to becoming my superpowers and iteration made me realize them. As you reflect, I hope that iteration can be a catalyst for you to recognize your superpowers.
Learning About Iteration
After a major event in my life in 2017, I moved to Toronto to begin my Master of Education to imagine ways of making a difference in communities. I loved being back in spaces of learning but struggled to find a place to apply my knowledge. When I joined the Innovation Hub as a Project Assistant in 2019, I became fascinated by design thinking and its impact on teams and communities. I learned I love being in environments that are actively encouraging feedback, exploring possibilities, and collaborating to move towards a common goal.
In these spaces we experience moments where we need to pivot or change directions to better connect to our users’ needs. These are moments of iteration. We can either continue in a direction that isn’t working or acknowledge a need to be open minded about other possibilities. This process can sometimes feel uncomfortable because it’s very different than other processes that perceive change as signs of failure. With iteration, we bring in diverse perspectives, foster self-compassion, and support one another so that we can learn from our experiences and imagine possibilities beyond what we originally thought.
Before my time at the Innovation Hub, I used to think my work needed to be perfect from the very beginning. When I would complete a task, unexpected feedback or a new direction would feel overwhelming. Through the Innovation Hub I’ve learned that approaching tasks through iteration allows us to grow from the experience. We can build empathy to support others in navigating moments that may feel uncertain. I see our students face these moments, and over time, gain confidence in their abilities and strengths so that they are proud of what they have learned and know they have made a difference.
Honouring Our Superpowers
When we embrace iteration, we also begin learning more deeply about ourselves and what we have learned in the process. We start to recognize our strengths that helped navigate times of uncertainty and contributed in a positive way. Iteration is a space where our superpowers can grow, where we can develop confidence and experience how to activate them. These superpowers are what makes us who we are, what drives us on our respective journeys in life, and can bring change to the world.
For myself, using iteration has allowed me to see and experience that my superpowers are my love of learning, empathy for others, and creativity. They have been incredibly valuable when I have needed to think outside of the box, support others, or have felt stuck in a project or idea. My superpowers also guide me when I think about my future, or how I collaborate and work with teams. They also help me understand when I might need support from others, and what kinds of environments I work best in.
These powers have always been with me, but iteration has helped me realize, strengthen, and value them over time. In learning a little bit about my story, I hope this can empower you and your communities to embrace iteration, harnessing your own superpowers to make a difference in the world – and within yourself.