Today’s post is a guest post by Kat Loterzo. Kat is an author, speaker and entrepreneur and the creator of The Dream Life Project. Visit Kat at her blog www.womanincredible.com and sign up for free blog tips on nutrition, fat loss and motivation, plus receive your free copy of Kat’s blueprint guide ‘The Truth About Female Fat Loss’!
Let’s Talk About The Superwoman Complex. Perhaps You’ve Heard Of It?
Apparently it’s the latest soul-destroying condition being succumbed to by women everywhere. And from what I’ve heard, it sounds pretty nasty. Of course I probably don’t have to tell you that, do I?
Tell me if any of these side-effects sound at all familiar?
- An innate urge to constantly take on new projects or commitments as soon as there’s any indication that a few spare minutes might open up in your life
- A busy mind that never stops thinking, worrying, self-analyzing or judging
- Frequent guilt that you should be doing more. More what? More everything! More exercise, more healthy food preparation, more journaling, more time for yourself and others … just more.
- An inability to recognise your own successes and achievements before forging ahead with the next important task
- The constant drive to better yourself, to be do and have ‘it all’, but yet a sense that there is no time to actually stop and consider what having it all would entail, or whether, in fact, you might already have a lot of it
- Difficulty staying present; living in the moment. A need to constantly look ahead.
Superwoman complex? More like ‘every-woman complex’, wouldn’t you say?!
I mean c’mon. Isn’t it true that if you want to have the body, the business/job, if you want to keep a beautiful home, juggle a ‘happening’ social life, and perhaps maintain some quality relationships in and out of the home, then you simply have to live your life on fast forward. Isn’t it?
Superwoman? She’s got nothing on you.
Am I right? Or should I just walk away from this article and bury my busy little head back in my own never-ending task list?
Here’s the thing.
I don’t know about you, but I’m a little sick of trying to keep up with everything I supposedly should be doing.
And I’ll admit it – what I’m trying to keep up with, most of the time, are the standards I set for myself. Nobody else told me I have to be superwoman, yet somehow I’ve taken on board so many little suggestions or ideas about what a successful woman is, that I’ve created this constant need to Just. Keep. Doing.
So, be honest now – what about you?
Do you ever feel as though you’re constantly fighting to keep up with your own life?
As though the calm surface and happy smile you (mostly!) pose to the world is little more than a mask hiding a complex mix of panic, drive and perhaps even fear?
Fear that it will all fall apart if you stop just for a moment, fear that you’ll have your bluff called, or perhaps just fear that you won’t get ‘there’. ‘There’ being the body, the business, the dream life whereby everything just works and you get to finally relax and enjoy the outcome of all your hard efforts.
That last fear? I gotta tell you – and you may not enjoy hearing this – but it’s probably quite well-grounded.
Because the truth is that if you’re not careful, it will simply pass you by. Your life, that is. In my business I use the tagline “Life is Now. Press Play”. By which I’m talking about living in the moment, about being present, about recognising that the journey is what actually counts, not the outcome.
The problem, of course, is that it’s not so easy.
I’m as guilty as the next person of pushing myself daily to breaking point – and you know I’m not talking about in the gym. Mostly, the things I push myself to do are those that I enjoy doing, or are important to my goals and values, but still …
Is this really how we are supposed to live? Is there even another answer, or should we both just give up now, move to the NSW hinterlands and start growing our own veggies and going to bed at 8pm? (I know, sounds nice, doesn’t it?!)
For a while. But the truth is (and you can admit it) I think we both kind of like being superwoman. I think that deep down you feel proud to know that you juggle your house, your work, your body, and your life. I know I do.
But I also know that it can be exhausting, stressful and ever so slightly sad to just keep at it with never any sense that you might get to slow down and enjoy it all.
This Is What I Suggest To Really Live Your Dream Life!
I call this my blueprint to actually living your dream life, as opposed to simply being superwoman and creating it. After all, anyone can run themselves into the ground. It takes real focus to stop and be in the moment.
- Nelson Mandela said “I”m so busy, I don’t have time NOT to spend an hour on my knees”. Now you may not be religious, but I think you get the idea. Rushing headfirst into a busy day leaves you no chance of being in the moment. And a very high chance of feeling stressed and behind all day. So stop. I don’t care how much is on your list. Stop for just 5 or 10 minutes at the start of the day, and take stock. It doesn’t much matter what you do, even the act of doing nothing can give you back control over your time.
- Next, think about what is most important for you to complete today. I’m talking the one big thing that simply has to get done today. Do it first. First means as soon as the day really starts, whether that’s after training or dropping the kids off or simply after hitting snooze 5 times.
- To free up your mind, note down your little ‘busy’ tasks somewhere and schedule a block of time to complete them. Do NOT try and do bits and pieces of them all day and certainly don’t start the day with either emails or busy work. It will end up being all you do that day.
- The stuff you do purely because you feel you should, or because you agreed to? Can it. Life is too short. And yes, you might upset people and yes, it could feel scary to deliberately fail at something. But aren’t you what really counts here? Living your dream life is about living it, not about putting it on hold until you have time.
- That list you have? Don’t worry, I’m not going to ask you to go list-free. But do recognise this – it’s not about completing the list. I think it’s important for you to acknowledge the fact that you will DIE and your list will still be there. Work to blocks of time rather than purely to tasks on a list.
- And finally, have limits. Set times where you get to stop and just be. This doesn’t have to mean ‘do something relaxing’, because even that can become a task if you try to force it. It just means stop. And recognise that the world will in fact keep turning without your frantically trying to push it.
So, this superwoman complex that everyone is talking about?
It doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Let’s face it, who would really want to give up squishing their life full of all the wonderful things there are on offer for us? But trying to do it all at once, all the time?
It’s a rookie mistake – and one that I know you won’t be making anymore.
After all – life is now. Press play, why don’t you?