Have you taken a breath today? I mean really, truly, stopped and just breathed? No? I figured. Do it now for me. Inhale deep and slowly exhale. Feels good, right? Now I want you to listen very closely. I’m going to say things you don’t want to hear. But you need to.
Perfect is a word you’ve so desperately strived for all your life. You’ve carefully set so many things into motion and if everything goes according to plan, it all works out. But, what if it doesn’t?
Do you know how to be okay not being perfect? Have you learned your limits yet? Have you learned when to say when? When to say no?
I didn’t think so. Because I’m her too. And when the waves beat against the ship too hard, I don’t turn around and retrace my steps like I should. I don’t find that easier path. I continue on, feeling the burden of my choices, of handling too much, and pray to God that I don’t end up washed ashore. And I know you are right there with me.
When was the last time you did something for yourself?
When was the last time you relaxed? Did you always feel the need to be this way? When did you become the person who puts too much on her shoulders, who says yes to everything? When did you stop thinking of your own well-being?
It’s okay to ask for help. It’s a scary thought, not being all you hoped you could be. I know. But asking for help, and accepting that help, is just as hard as going at it alone. You weren’t made to be a superhero.
I was in a development session with my mentor, telling her about how overwhelmed I was when I learned my mom’s cancer came back and trying to juggle too many things on my plate. I was burnt out but didn’t understand that I could ask for help, even when I wasn’t the one who was sick. She turned to me and said, “You’ve got to let go of the Superwoman complex.” I didn’t understand her at first, but the more she spoke, the more I realized that she was right. “You can’t be one hundred percent all the time. You can’t expect to be perfect. You have to take care of yourself before you take care of everyone else.”
She was right. Being superwoman has negative effects on your mental and emotional health.
How are you supposed to help others when you’re barely holding it together?
You just can’t. You have to be brave, and bold, and say, “No. I can’t help you with that,” and “I’d love to but I don’t have capacity for that,” and, most importantly, you have to learn to say “I’m having a hard time. I could use some help,” and then actually let them help you.
You can be Superwoman sometimes. You can be the girl who can conquer anything. But don’t let the fear of not being perfect, keep you from taking care of yourself. You can’t do it all. And that’s okay.