A couple of weeks ago I was working with one of my clients on the phone and we were discussing the commitments that she had made at our previous session. She was explaining that she hadn’t completed one of her goals because something had come up at work that she needed to solve. (FYI, she has a new role at work, and isn’t supposed to be solving all these problems, but empowering her team to do it instead.)
I asked, “What do you get out of jumping in and solving the problems for them?”
Her response was spot on: “Proving my worth. Someone needs me.”
Superwoman to the rescue!
How many of you like to be the superhero (just without the cape, I hope)?
I would bet that it is quite a lot of you--me too!. We love to rescue situations, or people. We love to be needed. We love to feel important and significant.
But, oh my god, it is tiring! Oh, so tiring.
There is a reason they say, “Put your mask on first before assisting a fellow passenger.” If we aren’t taking care of ourselves, we aren’t going to be able to take care of those around us- those we truly care about. We can’t be all things to all people.
Being a superhero just isn’t sustainable. (Click to tweet).
Do you ever wonder why Clark Kent didn’t really get together with Louise Lane? It’s because he didn’t have time! He was always off fighting the bad guys and saving the day. He put his need his need to save the day above his need for love and connection.
Too many of us love to be the superhero. We have established a pattern of putting on other people’s masks before our own. We say yes to everyone but ourselves. We try to be perfect. The perfect parent, the perfect employee, the perfect partner, the perfect child, the perfect friend, the perfect whatever. But the reality is that we can’t. First of all because there is no such thing as perfection, but secondly because there just isn’t enough time in the day.
So I ask you, what are you getting out of being a superhero? How can you put away your cape and live like a mortal?
It will take courage to set boundaries, to reset old patterns, to say "Sorry, but I can't help you right now," but think of the benefits.
It’s your Life. Live it Boldy (but maybe not as a Superhero).