My Lack of Faith in Myself is Like Superhero Movies (The Metaphor Coaching Tool in Action)

major superhero in six columns
Brian Hogan

I am currently finishing up my Wayfinder Life Coach training with Harvard trained sociologist and best selling author Martha Beck. One of the tools we learn to use is the metaphor tool. Using this tool we take something painful in our life (i.e. loneliness) and compare it to one of our favorite things (i.e. bowling). The idea is to re-wire your synapses in a way your brain never would do on its own. Can you think of any ways in which loneliness is like bowling?

The essay below is my exploration into how my lack of faith in myself can be compared to super hero movies. Lack of faith being the pain point, and super hero movies being one of my absolute favorite things. Read the metaphorical essay and then take a stab at comparing something painful in your life to one of your favorite things. Don’t think too much, just write; and discover what hidden insights and wisdom are waiting for you on the other side of your metaphorical adventure.


My lack of faith in myself is exhausting. Captain America was exhausted when fighting bad guys.  My lack of faith is like the bad guy in super hero movies. So I’m the hero? That can’t be right. Well what am I then? I am the courage to be me. The courage to be me is like super hero movies because super heroes save the world and if I could just have the courage to be me I’d save myself. 

Being myself is hard, I grew up living the life of a double agent but I didn’t wait until after college to study spy craft. I went through LGBTQuantico when I was barely hitting puberty. Learning to exchange furtive glances and pretend girls were pretty.  And have crushes that were a cover story for my secret identity. You know, like super hero movies.  

I was Superman. The entire world was Lois Lane. And I was in love with it. But it kept snooping and I was afraid it would be in danger if it found out my secret identity.  Being gay was dangerous. Very dangerous for everyone involved. 

My lack of faith in myself is like superhero movies because it just keeps on going. It never gives up. It just continues to make me doubt myself, immobile, inept and indestructible. Like super heroes.  

It’s also like super hero movies because it spawns endless sequels.  I’ve lost faith in myself II and I’ve lost faith in myself: The Origin Story. And The You’ll Never Amount To Anything franchise that spawns its own trilogy. Frozen in Fear.  

My lack of faith in myself is like superhero movies because it’s fun. It’s fun to watch myself tire of self doubt. 

To watch myself notice my thought storms and toxic forms 

of behavior, and my searching for a savior 

My lack of faith is like super hero movies because I get fully absorbed in it, lost in it. I have no sense of time going by but at the same time a dull anxiety about the movie’s run time ticking away back down to mundane everyday moment to moment living.  

My lack of faith in myself is like super hero movies because every time I do something hard, or something I never thought I could do, I’m reliving act three, battling it out to an epic crescendo and then, against all odds, something good comes my way. A victory. Or an opportunity.  Or an even bigger threat.  You know, like super hero movies. 

Super hero movies can let me down, just like my lack of faith. Sometimes the stories don’t ring true. Like the one I tell about my lack of faith in myself. Or that first long boring Hulk movie. Or Arnold Schwartzennager as Mr. Freeze. That definitely breaks trust. I know I deserve my trust, my own support, but like super hero movies sometimes I shy away from the gripping story of truth for the saccharine story of triumph.  And it doesn’t always ring true. Like X-Men III: The Last Stand, which disappointed me as much as my own lack of faith in myself.  

Super hero movie are just copies of remakes of older stories from other places like comic books. Like my lack of faith in myself, passed down by my traumatized family to a traumatized little boy, I am just a remake, a reboot of a previous generation. I’m just hoping the writer’s go somewhere unexpected this time. A remake, but with a twist.  

My lack of faith is like super hero movies because it is a fantasy. It’s one that I watch constantly and it brings me a sort of perverse comfort. The time wasting of a super hero movie is replaced by the paralyzation of my lack of faith in myself. Trading wasting time for wasting potential. You know, like the villains in super hero movies.  

There is always something that’s hard to believe in super hero movies, just like it is hard to believe in myself.  What do I deserve?  Well, one hell of act three, you can bet your ass on that.  

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About Brian

About Brian

Brian is a Writer, Clarity Coach, Filmmaker and Adjunct Professor who loves teaching and learning, and living in the uncertainty of it all.




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