You can put out a crisis without batting an eyelash. Every day, without fail, you come to the office early, stay late, work through lunch and take extra work home on the weekends for good measure. You’re the go-to person, the get-things-done person, the-clean-up-other-people’s mess person… often to your own detriment. If this is you, then you’ve fallen head first into the superwoman trap. It’s never too late to take off the cape…that is if you’re willing and ready to do so.
Some time ago, I conducted a workshop at Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC entitled “Escaping The Super Woman Trap”. During this workshop I had an opportunity to meet some pretty, amazing women who were operating on overload because they were spreading themselves too thin. We connected, commiserated and took away some food for thought around how to honor our lives in the moment, identify what’s draining us and retrain friends and family to respect our energy constraints and priorities.
As the workshop leader, I shared some helpful strategies and invited the women to share tips of their own. I also asked the women to exchange e-mail addresses as a way of expanding their network and holding themselves accountable. Now my wheels are spinning around the idea of planning a weekend, out-of-town retreat where we can get a change of scenery in order to make the small changes that add up to a life well lived.
The bottom line here is we’ve all got to juggle competing priorities – work, family, personal goals and so on. But it is equally important to remember to take time for self. As women we don’t take time for self as often as we should and we pay for it big time. We pay with our health, peace of mind, emotional well-being and the quality of our relationsips.
If you are a superwoman who needs to take off the cape, I invite you to to take some time out this week and think about one thing that you can do to take off the superwoman cape – or at least put it down for awhile. Try to get in the habit of taking 15 to 30 minutes each morning to get back in tune with you. When you put yourself at the top of your to-do-list you feel less crazed and life becomes more manageable.