By: Latoya Hammond
Have you ever felt that you had to do everything? Did you wear it as a badge of honor? Did multitasking make you feel that you were being productive? Did it also make you feel worn out and worn down? Then girl, I GOTTU!
Listen Up!!! Stop trying to be the superhero in your story!
The Bible says, “Not by might not by power but by the spirit of God.”
We were not meant to do everything in your own strength. God isn’t going to put any more on you that what He has equipped you to handle. The idea that we can do it all and we’re superwomen can be seen as a compliment and a good thing. However, if you do not keep your well-being and motivation for overachieving at the forefront of your mind, the “superwoman” myth can be detrimental. This mindset limits our willingness to reach out for help when we need it and denies us the opportunity to be vulnerable.
Could it be that life and society has caused us to adopt this superwoman identity? As women, especially in our black community, we believe that we have to do it all. For so long, we’ve worn it as a badge of honor. We cook; clean; work a 9 to 5; work out; eat right; serve in ministry; raise child prodigies; take them to activities; check homework; and embrace our role as wife. I grew up with a single mom and I saw a superwoman all day every day. This syndrome was all I knew! You know how it goes. You try to keep up and measure up . . . for what? To impress who? When all the while we wear ourselves out and it take a toll on who we are. The superwoman syndrome robs us of our right to peace and rest. If we fall susceptible to the trap, it tears away at our mental and emotional well-being.
I submit for your consideration that there are many of those that function as superwoman and are out of shape. Have you ever seen a mentally worn out; physically worn down; emotionally wiped out superwoman? In this state, how can you possess any power in this state? We have this belief that we have to be all things to all people and available for everyone. We also mistakenly hold onto the concept that if I, superwoman, don’t do it, it won’t get done. Even more erroneous, is the thinking that it may get done but not like I would do it. (This may be a true statement in its proper perspective, but sometimes it doesn’t matter how something gets done as long as it gets done.) Superwoman gets so caught up and operates in her own strength rather than “casting” her cares upon Him for He IS our strength! On the outside we appear strong and “in shape” but on the inside we’re out of shape...the shape that God created. A shape that should be totally dependent on him. Having a confidence rooted in him. But life happens and we get out of shape but because of this superwoman syndrome we keep going and going, never taking the time to get back into original shape! How God created us to be and he created us for!
Our greatness should be found in God and not what society or generational patterns and practices have taught us! Our power is found in who God has called us to be! So when we’re operating and moving in purpose therein lies our strength. If we’re doing everything because it makes us feel strong or we are meeting the expectations of others, that is not real strength. If there is no purpose or directive from God, we are moving in our own might. That is merely vanity! The Bible says, “the joy of the Lord is our strength; he will strengthen us!”
When we find ourselves in this superwoman state of being, it is so important and necessary to have a support system around you that are showing up with 90% on days when you only have 10% to give. We pour out so much and the world makes so many withdrawals yet, who is depositing into us. So making yourself a priority and self-care are paramount.