The fast-paced world of today has placed a growing amount of pressure and expectations on many women, from being a perfect mother and wife to excelling in her job to keeping a clean and tidy home. Some women have rejected taking the responsibilities solely upon themselves and reach out for help from others. Other women have “accepted the challenge” of going at it alone and try to accomplish everything themselves. These women may be suffering from what is commonly referred to as “Superwoman Syndrome”.
What is Superwoman Syndrome?
According to mental health experts, “Superwoman Syndrome” is a term used to describe women who set unnaturally high standards for themselves, goals that are more than often beyond reach and completely unreasonable. As a result, these women undergo from a range of psychological, physical and interpersonal symptoms of stress as they continue to attempt to be perfect in multiple or conflicting roles in her life.
Why Do We Do It?
There are variety of reasons why women may suffer from Superwoman Syndrome:
- To please
- For attention
- To feel accomplished
- An inability to say “no”
- Low self esteem
- Fear of letting her guard down
While natural for many of us, reaching out and asking for help can be incredibly frightening or even threatening to a woman with Superwoman Syndrome. When one reaches out and asks for help or support from another, she is letting her guard down. It’s seldom comfortable putting that protective shield aside and showing our weak side, especially if we fear that our asking for support from another might be rejected. We may be left feeling unappreciated, unworthy, or unloved.
Ending the Daily Battle
As intimidating as it can be to ask for help or to let the housework slip, women suffering from Superwoman Syndrome must put it to rest. Not only is it putting additional stress on herself and those around her, it’s robbing her of the many joys of life that others are able to experience. When you find yourself slipping into Superwoman-mode:
- Slow Down. Find yourself whizzing around the house? Is your mind racing with lists of tasks and chores? Stop and ask yourself if you want and even need to be doing what you’re doing. An unswept floor can wait. Keep your life simple and it will immediately become less chaotic and stressful.
- Ask Yourself “Why”. When you feel that “Superwoman” urge coming on, ask yourself why you need to do that task right then. More importantly, be sure to set aside time each week to ask yourself why you’re suffering from Superwoman Syndrome. It may be an uncomfortable conversation to have with yourself, but it’s a huge stepping stone to realizing why you’re doing what you’re doing and how you can stop it.
- Live in the Moment. Take time to indulge in the pleasures that surround you each day. Savor the smell of your coffee. Delight in the different shapes you see in the clouds. Sink into the warmth of your child or partner’s arms. Breathe deeply and calm yourself in these moments. Over time, you’ll find yourself being able to relax and settle at more points throughout the day and for longer periods of time.
I would love to hear your comments. Are you trying to be a Superwoman?