What Is Superwoman Syndrome

You are in your prime: you have a pretty good career, you have a loving family, and you are involved with community initiatives.  On the outside things look good.  Then why are you not feeling good on the inside? You might be battling Superwoman Syndrome.  Superwoman Syndrome occurs when a woman is constantly striving and stretching herself to accomplish everything possible in a perfect manner and not putting herself as a top priority. It’s the result of societal changes that allowed women to explore having a career, however did not redelegate the responsibilities of managing their personal and family life.  Beyond that, women have had to excel at levels higher than men to get the same recognition at the workplace, which has caused us to aspire to a level of perfectionism that is not attainable.  You might be battling Superwoman Syndrome if you have these symptoms:
  • You feel you are responsible for doing “it all,” you often feel overwhelmed
  • You strive for perfectionism, anything less is a failure
  • You put other people’s wants over your needs, you have difficulty saying no
  • You base your self worth on your productivity or output, you feel guilty if you aren’t being productive
  • You are perpetually not happy
The key factor that is an indicator is that you are not happy; you have been stretched too far in some or all of the first four factors.  It is not just about you doing too many things or striving to do everything really well; it is about sacrificing your well-being by putting others expectations/wants/judgments before your needs.  Your priorities might be jumbled, and you don’t know how to reorganize them. If you feel you are battling Superwoman Syndrome, and would like to start your path to reconnecting with your wellbeing, you don't have to do it on your own.  Come to one of my Survivors of Superwoman Syndrome Discussion Group meetings for group support, or call me to schedule a one on one sessions.