Okay, so I have a bit of a superwoman complex. My therapist likes to call it “performing for love.” (Ugh, massive eye roll.) I think superwoman complex sounds way cooler. The want to make my parents, husband, clients, co-workers and so many other people, like my teachers and the entire gay community proud, turned me into someone that works really hard to impress people. I really like being a hero. I very much enjoy being the one that everyone is outwardly impressed by. People say how amazing it is that I can handle the stuff at home and all of my work and still find time to follow my passion and I love that. Being the person at the office that I know people can rely on is important to me; if something ends up on my desk, they know they’ll have an answer by the end of the day or at the very latest the next morning. I like impressing clients with how quickly I can respond to an email, even at 6 in the morning or 11 at night.
I crave the feeling of making people proud, especially when they recognize it and validate me. Because who doesn’t love to hear they’ve done a good job?
In the last few weeks it has become crazy-making. I have forgotten to ask for help when I need it. I forgot to say, “Hey, I’m kind of drowning over here!!” And as a result, my work and my life have suffered. I have so many people I could delegate to or ask for help from, but I like doing it my way and maybe it’s some kind of perfectionist thing, but I (stupidly, might I add) think I’ll probably do it better and faster. However, there are plenty of people that will do just as good a job at their pace and will leave people just as happy as I do and these people, I think, get more sleep than I do and are more productive than I am. I feel the need to prove myself and so I think all of this running around and saving everyone’s day is the way to do it instead of delegating and asking for help.
In the last three weeks, it has become ABUNDANTLY clear that if don’t learn to delegate I’m going to burn out in my twenties and that is certainly no bueno. Plus all of these reasons not to ask for help are excuses, plain and simple. I want to do it all because I want the kudos. That is the truth as painful as it is for me to admit.
There’s something else that comes with this superwoman complex and that’s an “exaggerated sense of urgency.” Every time someone hands me a project I have the feeling it needs to be done immediately even when I know that’s not the case. I hate the feeling of those little red bubbles on my iPhone telling me I have a notification I haven’t checked and I have the same feeling about an item that is not crossed off on my To-Do List. I love my lists, but I also love completing them. I also need to learn to let things stay on them over the weekend or when I’m giving myself a day off otherwise I’ll never be truly rested.
I am so terrified of anyone thinking I’m not working hard enough, I try and do a superhuman amount of things. In reality, (and this is the hard part) the only person who has to think I’m working hard enough is me. The only person I have to impress is me and I may just need to, on occasion, be a little bit easier on myself.
The same goes for you, friend. You can take a break. You can breathe. You can ask for help. There is no reason to do it all by yourself when there are probably more people than you realize that are willing to help you. And if you ask someone for help and they refuse, ask someone else, and if they can’t help you the way you need, try another person. I just googled the world population and the google machine says it’s about 7.7 BILLION PEOPLE! Are you really telling me there isn’t one or two that may be able to help you with what you need? I don’t think so, friend. xoxo