Do you remember your teenage years? The feeling of invincibility? The belief that nothing bad would ever happen to you? I do. But I think this feeling manifests itself differently for boys and girls. I think that whereas boys take their invincibility and use it as a sign that they can take physical risks (e.g., driving stunts, beer games), girls internalize this sense of invincibility and take mental risks (e.g., taking on too much in an effort to please everyone else). In other words, I think our teenage girls take this feeling of invincibility and turn it into a sense that they must be everything, do everything, and do it perfectly. Lo and behold, a Superwoman is born.
As we enter our twenties, we begin to get the message from society that not only do we need to think we must be perfect, but we actually do need to be perfect – it’s expected of us. And so we keep taking on more and more, hoping that one day it will be enough. But it never is. You see, Superwoman has no limits, knows no bounds.
And that’s why inevitably, every Superwoman will one day be shot down – not by society, mind you, but by her Inner Goddess.
I know, I know, you’re probably thinking, “Why on earth would my Inner Goddess betray me like that?” But that’s the beauty of it – it’s not a betrayal, it’s a gift. Your Inner Goddess is giving you an out – an excuse for not having to be perfect. So many women, when they get shot down, feel not just a sense of sadness, but a sense of relief. Because finally, they can take time off, do something nice for themselves, let go. Until they finally realize that they don’t need to be Superwoman; in fact, they can’t be because she doesn’t exist. But until then, your Inner Goddess is going to keep knocking on your door, giving you an out when you need one. You see, she wants what’s best for you. Shockingly, that has nothing to do with being the best at everything. Instead, it has everything to do with being the best you can be and living to Your Highest Purpose – not society’s expectations of your highest purpose, not everybody else’s to do list, but Your True Calling.
Ironic, isn’t it? All these years you were trying to please somebody else, be somebody else, when all Your Inner Goddess ever wanted was for you to just be you. I hope you find the same piece in that knowing that I do. You see, I too struggled for years with my Superwoman complex. My Inner Goddess has been knocking on my door and giving me outs since childhood. Too bad I didn’t listen until I was nearly 40! Sometimes my Superwoman pipes up and say something like, “Think of all we could have accomplished if you’d only listened to her earlier!” But I just smile and reply, “If I had listened to her earlier, I wouldn’t be who I am today.” And I wouldn’t trade that for anything.