Lone Superhero


Sure, I can do that....
Of course I can fit that in.....
Don’t worry, I’ve got this handled....

That is what we say to the world, while inside our heads we hear

Oh shit!
Why do I do this to myself
I wish someone would step up, why is it always me
If I say no they will think...
I can’t handle it
I’m not the right person for the job
I’m an awful mom
I’m unorganized
I don’t care

Sound familiar?

If we stop for a moment, what does this feel like?

  • fear
  • frustration
  • anxiety
  • stress

Where does this sit in our body? Close your eyes for a moment and you’ll feel their home.

  • Pain Shortness of breath Knots Headache

We think that by putting on the cape we are hiding from the side effects of being a lone super hero. I think the mask is to cover up the dark circles under the eyes and I spend more time trying not to trip over that cape than leaping tall buildings.

I learned very early in life that being a super hero was simply part of being a woman. My grandmother and mother embodied the role with zeal and gusto. And as a child I didn’t see the scars behind the cape. Now that I am all grown up I see the places I put on my cape, cover up feelings with a mask.

But what is the cost

  • to your health
  • to your family
  • to your relationships?

We rarely change anything until we can clearly see the cost of staying the same.

What is it costing you?

Take a deep breath, look around and see where doing it alone is costing you intimacy, well-being, the gift of allowing others to love you. Look closely, what do you see

Now that you see the cost, there is another option: choosing.

Here are some action steps (don’t worry they are baby steps away from our cape addiction)

  1. Each time someone asks you to do something, automatically say, “let me think about that and check my schedule, I will get back to you by.....” Don’t answer right away, give yourself time to think about it, or better yet, feel about it, and ask yourself the following questions.
  2. Ask yourself, is this something that I am passionate about Is this something that I would love to do Is this going to contribute to someone I love If the answer is no to any or all of these then politely decline, or suggest someone else that may be able to help. If yes, then continue.
  3. Do I have time in my present schedule to do this action and have time for my priorities (family time, spouse, health etc) If I don’t then can I go back with a counter proposal or can I collaborate with someone to create something fantastic Am I willing to give up something else to make this happen
  4. Look at your life and choose 3 areas where you are feeling overwhelmed and overloaded. Create boundaries and limits in these areas that will help ease the load. (remember baby steps are good) ex I don’t answer the phone after 8pm, Sunday morning is snuggle time with the kids, I look for projects at work that excite me and volunteer before asked. I plan at least 2 easy dinners a week so I can spend extra time on my work that I am passionate about. I love this project so I put out feelers for someone as passionate to help.

Anytime you are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, feel behind you for your cape, then invite someone in to share the load. Superheros are best left to the comic strips, as we live our lives full of inspiration, purpose and passion.

Christine Unterthiner