• Vicki Maguire

I'm Not Superwoman

As a coach, I work with many women suffering from the Superwoman Syndrome . I can identify with them because I once suffered from it myself. As women, we have been led to believe that we can have it all - a successful career, children, an meaningful relationship with our partner, the perfect body and be deliriously happy. We have fallen for the myth that we can have it all and end up feeling thoroughly miserable and like abject failures when we can't.

We feel guilty about everything. We can't give everything to our job because we're trying to be a great mum; we can't be the great mum we want to be because we're working too much; we don't have time to make space for our relationship and we can't find time to get to the gym for a workout. It's a cliche, but it's appropriate. We feel like we're spinning plates but they're all about to fall to the ground and smash into pieces. And in our desperate attempts to keep the plates spinning, we lose who we really are and feel like we're running round in circles taking caring of everything and everybody else but ourselves. Guilt piles on guilt; the inner critic goes into overdrive. We judge ourselves; we judge our failures.

And social media doesn't help. There are so many women who make it appear like they've got it all together. (And who knows, maybe they do.) Yet for those of us who don't, the images, stories and lives we see lived out every day on Instagram and Facebook add significantly to our struggle. No-one wants to admit they can't cope when it appears like everyone else can. So we keep it quiet because we feel like we're the only one who can't do or have it all.

That's where I was, trying to be Superwoman. And then I found coaching. Coaching helped me to admit to myself that I'm not Superwoman but that I'm doing a bloody good job. It helped me gain a different perspective on myself. To stop looking at what I wasn't doing and start looking at what I was doing, and see that I was doing it really well. It helped me to build my self esteem, get my confidence back and find who I am again. The guilt started to recede and I started to feel proud of myself and what I've achieved. I'm a single mum bringing up my two teenage sons and building my own education coaching business.

I am not Superwoman but I am a woman doing my best. And that's enough. Let's get the message out there to all those women struggling with the Superwoman Syndrome. Be kind to yourself. You're amazing and loved. You don't have to be Superwoman. You can just be yourself.

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