Do you have an “S” on your chest?

Do you have an “S” on your chest?

Do you have an “S” on your chest?

In case you are wondering, the “S” is for Superwoman.

Perhaps you don’t call yourself  “Superwoman,” but my guess is others regularly give you this title, right?

Look again, do you have an “S” or “SS”?

“SS” is for “Superwoman Syndrome.

Superwoman syndrome is a condition when a woman neglects herself and her needs to fulfill all the roles and responsibilities she can.

In today’s climate, most women I know show signs of Superwoman Syndrome.

Counseling Psychologist,  Arushi Malik designed a short quiz to help you identify where you fall.

Go on – take the quiz and find out if you have a giant “SS” on your chest:

  1. Do you find it difficult to say “No”?
  2. Do you try to take responsibility for everything around you?
  3. Do you strive for perfectionism in every task?
  4. Do you find it hard to wind down?
  5. Do you find it difficult to take time for self-care?
  6. Do you take on more tasks than you have time for?
  7. Do you find yourself tired often?
  8. Do you find it hard to put forward your needs?
  9. Do you shy away from asking for help?
  10. Do you find it difficult to take out time for yourself?

If you answered “Yes” more times than you said “No”, then all signs indicate that you often take on so many roles and responsibilities that you end up feeling overwhelmed and burned out.

The truth is, we both know this is not sustainable in the long run.

Superwomen often suffer in silence because they are fearful or embarrassed to share their burdened lives with another person.

I walked in these shoes for more years than I can remember until deciding to take the first step to change as I was slowly driving myself crazy!

Here are three experiments I embraced and now share with my clients, to help them take off their own cape (or a least untie it more regularly).

Experiment #1: Ask for help
The brutal reality of things is that you cannot do everything by yourself. Take a cue from your favorite superhero and get yourself a sidekick, somebody with whom you can share your commitments and burdens. I often suggest getting a “Thinking Partner” to help release the pressure.

Experiment #2: Let go of perfectionism
Next time you carry out a task, tell yourself that you are going to give an 80 percent effort. Do your best to hold off pushing into that last 20 percent. My bet is no one will notice because a superwoman’s 80 percent effort is most everybody else’s 110 percent effort!

Experiment #3: Start your day fifteen minutes earlier
Starting tomorrow set your alarm to ring 15-20 minutes earlier than usual (and no snoozing allowed). Use the extra time to acknowledge and celebrate yourself. This could likely be your most private and relaxing part of your day, so don’t skip it. Grab your phone and set your alarm now (before you get busy again).

Remember, these are simply experiments. Don’t overthink it.

Pick one and see what results you get – perhaps a little pep back in your step – who knows!

So, are you going to try experiment 1, 2 or 3 first?

P.S. Applications are now open for Self-care for Superwomen. A transformational journey taking ambitious, high-achieving women from overwhelmed and stressed to energized and fired up!

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