Good-Bye, Superwoman!

June 10, 2008 at 5:07 pm | Posted in Superwoman Complex | 1 Comment
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Many years ago I recall a wise friend asking me, “Why do you think you have to take care of the whole world?” At the time I wasn’t sure how to answer but now — after several decades of processing — I understand the roots of my Superwoman complex and consciously practice a few key techniques to decrease her influence in my life. You might find these helpful, too, if you’re beating your head against the wall, multi-tasking like crazy and trying to do everything yourself.

* Reflect on whether you’re playing the role of Superwoman. If you’re not sure or if you’re prone to minimizing how much you actually do, ask your closest family members and friends for their ruthlessly honest opinions. Decide ahead of time that when you ask them, you’re going to believe them

* Examine the reasons behind your Superwoman tendencies. You may want to consider engaging a counselor or coach to support this exploration.

* Recognize that there’s great strength in being able to rely on others who are trustworthy. Having needs is not necessarily the same as being needy and clingy. Understanding your needs and then expressing them to people who know you well lets them have an opportunity to care for you. Sharing your needs actually lets others feel valuable and gives them a chance to love you

* Accept that you are not all-knowing and all-powerful in every aspect of life. For example, your husband or partner may actually be a better bargain-shopper than you and, as a bonus, he may genuinely enjoy it! And in the professional world, even though team development may be part of your job description, your colleague may be infinitely more gifted than you in being the consensus-builder for your department

* Delegate some of your responsibilities to others. At home, ask other family members for help or hire out specific jobs. If possible, try to release a few tasks; stop doing them altogether or cut back on their frequency. On the job, dialogue with your colleagues about your strengths as well as their’s and determine if some projects can be reallocated.

* Plan the multiple ways you’re going to relish the added free time and peace of mind you discover when you kiss Superwoman good-bye!

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