Embrace Your Inner Hero

“A hero is simply someone who rises above his own human weaknesses, for an hour, a day, a year, to do something stirring.”– Betty Deramus

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving weekend is the CNN Hero Awards. I get excited for it to come around. It’s a breath of fresh air from the daily bombardment of mayhem and negativity generally shown on the news.

The CNN Hero Awards show is about everyday people who are using their lives to make a difference in the lives of others. Each year, ten people are selected from thousands (or maybe millions) of nominees. The top ten honorees receive monetary awards to continue their work. Of the top ten, one honoree is selected to be hero of the year.

What Makes Heroes Different?

A consistent theme this year is that we all have a hero inside us. All we need to do is look inside ourselves to locate and embrace our inner heroes.

It seems to me that the only difference between a hero and us is that a spark got ignited in them that compelled them into action. That spark might be ignited by a personal tragedy, an unforgettable experience, or a sense of mission or purpose.

Not a single honoree mentioned the necessity to be superhuman or perfect. They merely felt called to respond to a need, and they committed to doing whatever they could to make a difference.

What About the “Tiger” in the Room?

We seem to want our heroes to be superhuman, squeaky clean and completely without flaws. We seem to be willing to rip our heroes to shreds when their humanity and weaknesses are exposed. How did we lose sight of the fact that as hard as people try to get it right, they sometimes make mistakes, go off-track, and get it wrong. How is it that we’ve allowed mistakes to become more newsworthy than the good our heroes do?

The media frenzy about Tiger Woods’s supposed “fall from grace” is indicative of how willing we are to knock the very heroes we’ve created off their pedestals. We seem to do so vindictively and with glee. And when did it become okay to invade every corner of a person’s private life?

Avoiding the Trap of Gossip and Innuendo

Years ago, a friend sent me the following Bill of Rights for Winners. I was inspired by it and you might find it valuable too.

Bill of Rights for Winners

(From How to Make Winning Your Life Style by David S. Viscott, M.D.)

  1. You have the right to be you – the way you are, the way you want to be.
  2. You have the right to grow, to change, to become, to strive, to reach out for any goal, to be limited only by your degree of talent and amount of effort.
  3. You have the right to privacy – in marriage, family, or any relationship or group – the right to keep part of your life secret, no matter how trivial or important, merely because you want it to be that way. You have the right to be alone part of each day, each week, and each year, to spend time with and on yourself.
  4. You have the right to be loved and to love, to be accepted, cared for, and adored, and you have the right to fulfill that right.
  5. You have the right to ask questions of anyone at any time about a matter that affects your life, so long as it is your business to do so; and to be listened to and taken seriously.
  6. You have the right to self-respect and to do everything you need to do to increase your self-esteem, so long as you hurt no one in doing so.
  7. You have the right to be happy, to find something in the world that is meaningful and rewarding to you and that gives you a sense of completeness.
  8. You have the right to be trusted, and to trust and to be taken at your word. If you are wrong, you have the right to be given a chance to make good, if possible.
  9. You have the right to be free as long as you act responsibly and are mindful of the rights of others and of those obligations that you entered into freely.
  10. You have the right to win, to succeed, to make plans, to see those plans fulfilled, to become the best person that you can possibly become.

You can avoid the trap of gossip and innuendo by remembering that you have a choice about whether to take the high road and offer compassion and respect when your heroes stumble, or whether to take the low road by listening to or participating in gossip and innuendo. You can create a fresh start by committing to ALWAYS taking the high road.

  • View people in your life as heroes, even when they mess up.
  • Stop speculating or talking about mistakes behind a person’s back. If you have a concern, be courageous and talk directly to the person about it.
  • Consider how you can use your inner hero’s gifts, experiences, passion and purpose to be a hero for others. If you do, you won’t have the time, energy, or desire to judge or assess the actions of others.
  • Embrace your inner hero. Forgive yourself when you stumble.
  • Refer to the Bill of Rights for Winners often. Look for places you aren’t honoring yourself and your right to win. Resolve to take heroic action to fulfill on each of them to the best of your ability.


Ready to embrace your inner hero and design a career that combines Passion, Purpose, and a Paycheck?® Call Coach Sue for a complimentary “Get Acquainted” coaching session or email sue@threesquarescoaching.com