Monday, 17 October 2005

Superwoman syndrome seems to be a rampant disease and one which I am struggling with at present. I have recently begun to accept that I can't do everythink I think I should. This results in me feeling like a failure. I am always sure everyone else is coping and fine and I can't understand why I can't keep up with everything.

I read an excellent column about the issue which stated that women who suffer from superwoman syndrome are often people who seek affirmation and approval from others, who have had to take on responsibility in their families or have had high expectations placed on them as a child. They are often plagued by guilt and fear if they don't meet their own high expectiations. I could see myself in the description straight away.

The columnist gave some interesting advice. He suggested facing up to the trauma that you cause to others and the people you are supposed to care for by saying yes to too many things and burning out. It was also suggested that despite the internal voice which accuses you of laziness and makes you feel guilty for not doing everything, to just push on through and embrace doing less.

One thing I have realised recenlty is that trying to be perfect adn seem perfect is a very selfish way to live. It means that everything you do is all about feeling good about yourself adn not really about others. It also is a recipe for mental and emotional trauma because you can never meet your own standards and always feel inadequate and ironically everyone around you has to make space for you to be so tortured.

The tricky thing I find is working out what realistic expectations of myself are. Sometimes you do have to work hard and be tired but when is it required and when is it because of my need to be perfect? I also think that society today almost reinforces the superwoman mentality by promising everything if you just work hard enough.

I must go and try to be a not so perfect teacher to my very much less than perfect students!

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