Many of you know that my passion is to empower women from all walks of life, in line with this you also know how keen I am for women to dump the superwoman life model and embrace their true power through authenticity.
Superwoman is a flawed model. She is riddled with insecurity and guilt as she sabotages her true self in an attempt to be perfect at everything, all the time! She tries to be the best Mum, best wife, best lover, best domestic goddess, best boss, best team player, best daughter, best sister, best neighbour, best, best friend and so on and preferably she subscribes to doing all of this looking like she has just stepped out of a L’Oreal ad! Not surprisingly, every now and again she falls off this self made pedestal, but this is OK as it gives her the opportunity to do something else she is pretty perfect at – self flagellation!
We all know someone like this don’t we? Are we brave enough to admit we may be subscribing to this model a teeny bit too?
Women displaying this behaviour are constantly praying to the ‘work/life balance Goddess’ (at the time of writing, she was still nowhere to be found!) as they take on more and more and slowly turn into scary, dominating, control freaks. This is because they believe no one else can do things as well as them or to their unrealistic standards – you can’t get the staff, quicker to do it yourself than show anyone else and bottom line….. if you don’t do everything, somewhere along the line you might get found out and superwoman will lose her cape!
But here’s the real truth – Controlling the whole show does not give you power, it generally gives you a headache, a disempowered team/husband/offspring and a complete loss of identity as you sabotage your true self and alienate those around you.
Juggling is not sustainable and pretty soon plates start smashing to the ground and then superwoman needs to find other people to blame because it cannot be her fault can it? The enlightened ones amongst us know that when we blame everyone else for what is happening in our life we turn ourselves into helpless victims, we give away our power and so tighten our straight jackets and find change too much of a challenge.
So, to summarize Superwoman is moving from control freak to victim in the same model of behaviour possibly up to 10 times day – mixed messages you think? Confused? Sign of strength or insecurity? Good role model to pass onto our daughters? You decide….
Somewhere along the way, during our pioneering and shifting roles we have confused control with power.
I have coached hundreds of women out of this destructive behaviour pattern and the one belief that is common and the key to hanging onto this identity is the fear of the V word – VULNERABILITY. Most Superwomen see vulnerability as a weakness and fight against it at all costs. This is why they find it hard to let go, embrace failure, accept help or harness their authenticity because their real self feels substandard, not enough, defect in some way. Superwoman has subscribed to the media’s view of ‘having it all’ and she believes she has to be and look perfect at all times.
I know many of you agree with me when I say vulnerability is power because it comes from truth. Real power is about authenticity, making mistakes and learning and growing, living by your own values, embracing failure, having fun, letting go and accepting help once in a while. Showing your vulnerability allows others to step up and take some responsibility, it let’s them show you they love, respect and care about you and who doesn’t deserve to have Princess days now and again?! Most importantly is it a sign that you are REAL!
We must dump superwoman now, she is not a good role model for our teen girls, they see little to aspire to in her behaviour, only fear, guilt, stress, personal conflict and uncomfortable shoes!
I only have a few coaching slots left for the rest of this year. If it is time to step up a gear or two and get rid of some destructive behaviour patterns you know where I am ladies!