Let’s be honest.
We’ve all had the exasperating thought…. I just have to do everything myself!
Not only does the thought occur that we have to do everything ourselves, but also we begin to convince ourselves that we CAN do it all.
Women, very often, have issues asking for help. Somewhere along the line, we received a message that it was our job to conquer the world and that we should be able to do it with no help!
I often think of TV moms like June Cleaver from Leave it to Beaver or Bree from Desperate Housewives. These ladies do everything perfectly. Of course, we do see some major flaws in Bree’s life, unlike June’s perfect life. June’s house was always perfect, dinner was always on the table on time, and nothing was ever out of place. Of course, this is only TV, and even though we intellectually understand that it isn’t real, we still deep inside think it would be really awesome if we could be like that. More disturbing is that we feel bad about ourselves if we can’t achieve all of this on our own.
Currently, there are Instagram and Pinterest showing us images of pure perfection. The lengths that people will go to in order to obtain the “IG perfect pic” are unbelievable. And those of us who take terrible photos and don’t have time to style every shot are left feeling a little less than.
I have worked with Moms who said “yes” to absolutely every volunteer solicitation that came their way, had the house to take care of, a business to run, not to mention actually trying to have a life of their own.
When you say “yes” to something you are saying “no” to something else.
In most cases what you are saying “no” to is your own health and well-being and sometimes your own family. The Superwoman Syndrome will beat you down every time.
With all the messages that “scream perfection is the way to happiness”, how can those of us who run a household and a business find peace, calm, and happiness without running ragged in the process?
When I am working with clients and we reach a roadblock in decision-making about something, I ask a very simple question:
Does it make you feel good or does it make you feel bad?
To be clear, guilt is a bad feeling. I point this out because I’ve often talked clients through letting go of various gifts they’ve never used, but have held onto out of guilt. They aren’t holding onto the gift because it makes them feel great to look at it stuck in the top of a closet having never come out of the original packaging.
The idea of using the good or bad feeling can be used for just about anything!
When someone asks you to commit to a new project or activity, what feeling is coming up for you? Do you feel excited about the new opportunity? Or do you feel guilty because if you say no, you may let them down?
A client volunteered to chair a fundraiser one year. She did not find the experience pleasant, to say the least. She vowed that she would not do this again. However, the following year, she was asked to chair the function again. She agreed because she felt guilty and thought that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad the next time around.
No such luck. Just the thought or mere mention of this event made her anxious and unhappy. So, after the 2nd go-around, she told me that she was not going to agree to chair the event again and asked me to be her accountability partner. We agreed that if she brought it up, I was to recount all of the reasons that she didn’t want to do it. All of the headaches, anxiety, and time away from her family were to be brought up in this conversation.
Happily, she said “no” without needing me to coach her through it. It doesn’t matter what ultimately lead her to take that big step and say no. The best part was that she was energized and excited about the fact that she had actually done it! It was a powerful thing for her to step up and say “no.” How cool is that?
When we allow others to make us feel guilt or any negative emotion, we are giving them power over us.
You are literally relinquishing control of your emotions and your life. When you take that back the way my client did, it is one of the most empowering things you can do. It gives you the courage to say “no” to other things that don’t feed your soul.
Are there things that you are doing, right now, that were agreed to out of guilt? Think about how you would feel if you could just let it go.
Delegation is another powerful tool that can help alleviate Super-Woman Syndrome.
What are some tasks around the house or office that could be done by someone else? You may not be able to have a full-time housekeeper, but maybe having someone come in once a month might help. Teach your children to do some of the chores around the house. Think outside the box here. There are many tasks that can easily be taught to others in your household or company. Get those things off your list!
Remember that it doesn’t all have to be done to perfection – and YOU don’t have to do it all!