Strong, independent, nurturer, caregiver, wife, mother, sister, adult, employee, co-worker, family doctor, playmate, friend, and the list goes on! Oh yes! We have rightfully earned the title of “superwoman” because we have the uncanny ability to meet all the demands, from others, that have been place on our lives. But is being “superwoman” killing us? In trying to live up to this superwoman persona, we have unconsciously allowed our needs and wants to fall by the wayside. Unfortunately, by the time we get around to caring for ourselves, we are so burnt out that we don’t have enough energy left. Sadly, this leaves us fatigued, bitter, angry, feeling guilty and so on. It also makes us more susceptible to mental health challenges, physical illness and even death.
Societal beliefs, cultural norms and unhealthy intergenerational patterns that have been passed down from great-grandma and nem have in many ways indirectly and even directly contributed to this superwoman persona. We try relentlessly to live up to this image; which in turn creates all sorts of internal chaos and dysfunction. Meanwhile our spouses, partners, children, co-workers, etc. continue on thriving while we’re barely surviving.
While as very flattering as it is to be all things to everyone, we need to lovingly shift our focus and attention back to meeting our own needs first. Is this selfish you ask? Absolutely not, it is what I like to refer to as the law of self-preservation! During a flight, the flight attendant clearly states if there happens to be a loss of cabin pressure during the flight that you must first securely fasten your own masks before assisting others. “First securely fasten your masks before assisting others” is the exact approach we need to take for our lives. In essence, the bottom line is that if we are not whole, healthy, happy individuals then we are not in a position to be of support or assistance to anyone else.