I was ready to hang up the cape and choose a better lifestyle which wouldn’t result in burnout and exhaustion. This involved a lot of soul searching, unlearning and relearning the ingrained beliefs that I held. Superwoman had been born out of a combination of cultural and societal expectations, internal pressures and how she defined success. It was a relief to let go of the desire to “do and be it all” and prioritise my wellbeing for a change. Superwoman had me believing nothing could ‘slip’ in any area of my life and pushed me to go above and beyond to make sure everything was intact. She paid little attention to physical and mental wellbeing and how unsustainable it was to keep going at all costs without a pause. Superwoman was a ‘finisher’ who completed every task and would not deviate from a deadline because that would mean failure. As a high achiever, she thrived off constantly looking for the next thing to accomplish and barely acknowledged her achievements.
Hanging up the cape meant saying ‘no’ to something that I really wanted to do, because it would overload my schedule if I say yes. It meant being more cautious of how many activities I crammed into my days even if it was the ‘in thing’ to do. I wasn’t letting things ‘slip’ by focusing my energy on a few things at a time. I learnt to be kinder to myself and acknowledged that raising three children, running a home, seeking self-fulfilment through work and chasing my dreams were heavy loads to bear. Focusing on priorities rather than the desire to ‘do it all’ made the never ending ‘must do list’ easier to manage. I now realise that putting excessive pressure on myself doesn’t make me ‘strong’ and choosing to slow down doesn’t make me ‘weak’.
Weaning myself from superwoman involved choosing the beliefs and standards I wanted to live by and not the ones that were decided for me. As a big dreamer and high achiever, I learnt to work on one dream at a time and no longer saw lightening my schedule as ‘lazy’. I no longer accepted that “it was easier said than done to slow down”, afterall we make time for the things that are a priority to us. Breaking the cycle of over committing myself continues to be a challenge but I am much more aware of my limits and hold back on the urge to be super mum, super wife, – super everything! Although super woman still lurks in the background some days, it didn’t matter if others were successfully running many intense activities simultaneously, at the end of the day we all had choices to make and I was making mine. Choosing a lifestyle where my physical, mental and emotional wellbeing were thriving was liberating and I was loving it.