Why I Stopped Longing to Be Called “Superwoman”
I remember it like yesterday, reading a comment on my Instagram that read something to the effect of, “Meisha there’s not one thing you can’t overcome. You are truly superwoman”.
I replied, “You know you are amazing too!”
Why didn’t I just say “thank you” and accept the compliment? Was I too worried that not giving a compliment in return would make me come off as conceited? Or was it that deep down inside I knew that I wasn’t always superwoman? In fact, there have been times in my life when I contemplated giving up in a not so superwoman like manner?
But that word superwoman…To call me superwoman implied I was invincible. It implied that I was a human without error. It implied that I could do anything effortlessly. At that time, having someone call me “superwoman” was like music to my ears. It convinced me to really believe I was truly without flaws.
We can all sing Kendrick Lamar’s, “Be Humble” until we are blue in the face but let’s face it in today’s day and age we do a lot of things for “the gas”. Like being called superwoman, the gas makes us feel good.
What is “the gas”?
It is those likes you get on Instagram. It is those shares you get on your Facebook post. It is those compliments you get from those that adore you.
While you may not openly admit it because you’re afraid that someone will you view you as a self-centered, egotistical narcissist; allow me to take the heat for you. You see we as humans are not really all that humble 24/7. Now I am NOT accusing you of thinking that they’re better than the next person, but it feels good when you are noticed - - for whatever reason it may be.
So, what do we do as humans that naturally seek acceptance and desire to be noticed? Often, we advertise and brag about our accomplishments - - some more than others. Then after we have advertised ourselves and received the positive feedback, we preach about how humbled we are after the fact.
You may not be at this point in your life where you need that feedback, but chances are at some point in life you went through the phase of needing attention. Out of this need for attention, you created a persona.
Let me tell you why today I say, to hell with the superwoman persona and the cape. I want to be loved for me and all of my flaws, hardships, and stumbles - - not because someone thinks I'm superhuman.
Anybody want to buy a cape?
It’s not that I wanted to push people out. It’s not that I wanted to stop being acknowledged, but one day I realized I was tired of the wearing the cape. I was tired of constantly masking my imperfections so that I appeared invincible.
That’s when it dawned on me. There were three characteristics that applied to superwomen that didn’t apply to me:
1. Superwomen are available to the world at all times, not SimplyMei.
I couldn’t make it to every social function with friends, volunteer at every PTO sponsored event at my son’s school, be the around the clock go to person at my job, and be the sweetest girlfriend all of the time.
So, guess what I did? I got up one day and said, “Self, you come first and the world is just going to have to get what you have left over to give.” So, I stopped being superwoman with super availability.
I stopped feeling bad when I let my son watch a little more T.V. than recommended on some days because mommy needed just an hour or two of me time. I stopped saying yes to every single invitation to a girls’ night out. I stopped being the listening ear for every co-worker on the job. I even stopped being afraid to take personal space from time to time within my relationship.
2. Superwomen don’t need any help, not SimplyMei.
Strength is beautiful. However, sometimes people that are called strong all of the time develop this very irrational way of thinking: I am not allowed to have weak moments.
People often look up to these strong individuals as humans that are never negatively affected by life’s trials. What happens is that these strong individuals get so caught up in trying to maintain this image that they become hesitant to cry out for help when they need it. They don’t want to ruin the picture that people have painted of them and so the title of being strong almost becomes an unhealthy bondage.
Been there and you know what I have to say? Forget that! I've learned that even the strongest people need a shoulder to lean on and a go to for comfort. So I stopped being superwoman with around the clock super strength.
Receiving help doesn’t make you helpless or take away from the fact that you are a strong person. I’ve built up a trusted network of people that value reciprocity: I do for you. You do for me. No keeping a log of favors. We just have each other’s back.
I’ll tell you. The load of life got a whole lot lighter when I did that.
3. Superwomen don’t have bad days, not SimplyMei.
If you have never experienced a stressful, sad, or exhausted day then please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We need to copyright whatever strategy you are using and put it on the market.
Truth is, I don’t know one person who hasn’t just had “one of those days.” Sometimes we experience conflicts in our lives that cause us to have bad days. At other times, we may be in a mood for no reason at all. Hey, even I have my days where I can appreciate a little solitude to deal with my own emotions.
The good news is, it’s okay to allow yourself to FEEL and admit that you’re not okay. Understand that you if you constantly put on a front for the world and never confront your true feelings, you may never develop healthy coping skills. How can you when you never put your conflict resolution skills to practice because you are constantly suppressing everything?
So, I stopped being the superwoman that’s only allowed those good days. I’m human. I’m not always "just fine" and that’s okay.
Wrapping up with SimplyMei
A Superwoman is a perfectionist that can easily do it all without ever getting tired.
Well, guess what? I’m human. As a human, I’m allowed my tired days. I’m allowed to stumble. I’m allowed to plain not be okay. Admitting this doesn’t make me weak. In fact, it takes courage to break this perfectionist image and simply be…Mei. (flaws and all)
So no, I’m not SUPERwoman. I am REALwoman…and that is SUPER enough.
But what do I know…
I’m just a blogger that writes down her opinions. Until next time with #SimplyMei…
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