You feel tired, overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious. You feel a wound that is deeper than any words can express. You experience moments of resentment towards others. Then, you endure dark spells of sadness that cause you to cry, drown in your tears as you think about your fears.
Then depression takes over, which drains all of your energy. There are times you feel that you are not good enough and unworthy. There are moments when you want to walk away. You go over and beyond for others, never saying no. But not realizing that saying no to them is saying yes to you. You never want to disappoint because you have an image to uphold. You have a big smile on your face while fading away on the inside.
And all you can think of is how unhappy you are. You ask yourself, "Is this all there is to my life?" You feel lonely and unappreciated. You may begin to feel like a failure and question God about your existence. Yet, on some level, you know you have a purpose.
Sis, you may be suffering from the Superwoman Syndrome. This occurs when a woman is continuously striving and stretching herself to accomplish everything possible perfectly and not putting herself as a top priority. As a result, women can experience depression, anger, resentments, and anxiety and become overly stressed. Stress can drain us mentally, spiritually, and physically. Superwomen tend to think, just like Superman, that nothing but Kryptonite can take them out.
The cause of the Superwoman Syndrome varies. However, I believe the underlying cause is fear. The fear of failing to meet unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves. Therefore, the Superwoman will be sure to go over and beyond in her work, friends, and family life. Listed below are a few other reasons some women fall into the Superwoman Syndrome:
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Being a people pleaser
- Lack of boundaries
- Place value on having quality relationships
- Being a nurturer
- Trying to fill a void
There is hope! You can overcome the Superwoman Syndrome by practicing self-love. You may ask, "What does self-love look like." Well, self-love is when we make ourselves a priority, set boundaries, protect our peace, show self-compassion, and take care of ourselves mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It is also relinquishing control and putting trust in God. God has given us the power to overcome the Superwoman Syndrome and the ability to practice self-love.
To find out more about the Superwoman Syndrome and self-love, I suggest you grab a copy of the digital guide, Hang Up the Cape! A Guide to Overcoming the Superwoman Syndrome. This guide will help you on your journey to self-love. The guide includes practicing self-love through the 5 Self-Love languages, followed by some Power Affirmations, Self-Love Worksheet, and some additional resources.
Arlinda Lindsay, M.Div, LCSW, LCAC