Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Are you suffering from Superwoman Syndrome? By BOSS Member Jenny Garrett

Sound familiar?

Being the banker, cleaner, cook, counsellor, event organiser and that’s just inside the home.

Juggling attending school events, replying to letters and participating in the parents association while also holding down a full time job.

Having an almighty schedule that incorporates work engagements, children’s parties and activities as well as hospital appointments for older relatives.

Feeling stressed, exhausted and sometimes burdened by it all, but not letting anyone else help you.
If so, you like so many women I meet are likely to be suffering from Superwoman Syndrome.
I see women falling foul of the syndrome on a daily basis. These superwomen strap on their cape of invulnerability every morning, thinking that no one will notice it fraying, but unaddressed the thread begins to unravel, leading to problems with physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing, not to mention the negative impact on relationships and work performance. 

‘I might as well do it myself as no one can do it as well as me,’ ‘I have a handle on it all’ and ‘if I have to stay up until midnight catching up on my work so that I can attend musical theatre practice it’s worth it’ are the familiar mantras echoed by women suffering from the symptoms.

As women, our ability to ‘do it all’ is a common myth that I think we perpetuate - just like the one that supermodels don’t have cellulite... right!

Even worse, the more you do, the less that others feel the need to, so ultimately you are making things harder for yourself.
Listen and listen carefully, it’s OK not to be able to do it all.
Repeat after me, it’s OK not to be able to do it all.
Now say it out loud, it’s OK not to do be able to do it all.
So, how do you rid yourself of Superwoman Syndrome?

Jenny Garrett, author of Rocking Your Role: the ‘how to’ guide to success for female breadwinners, provides some practical tips:

1. Let go of the reigns

Create opportunities for others to take control and be relaxed about the outcome, you may even learn something. Maybe a slightly different routine could be helpful?

2. Give yourself permission not to do things

Ease up on your expectations of yourself and others; is it the end of the world if you don’t have a roast dinner on the table every night?

3. Contract out 

Even if it’s only once a year, invest in help to free up some personal quality time. Contract out tasks such as gardening, cleaning, or ironing services.

4. Create space

Stop, reflect and notice your behaviour, what’s helpful and what’s not? Whether it’s a 15 minute walk, meditation, a session with an executive coach, or a stint in a floatation tank; creating space and time to think and just be are essential to nourish your body and mind.

I’ve laid down my cape, will you?

Find out more about Jenny’s book Rocking Your Role http://rockingyourrole.com


  1. Grab the whole attire !


  2. This is great! I feel guilty taking even 15 minutes to myself.

    1. What's you first step to ditching the guilt Miss A LNS?
      Set yourself a small action and let me know how you get on