The Super Woman Syndrome

Although my blogs are read by men and women, this blog is directed primarily to women because women seem to struggle more with feelings of inadequacy, believing we are not enough. Perhaps I am wrong. But because I am around women most every day, I am acutely aware of this. Why do we think we must be super woman? I call this the super woman syndrome. This syndrome is found to be prevalent in women who:

  • Are perfectionists
  • Compare themselves to others
  • Long for a simpler, less complex life internally
  • Wonder why God only put 24 hours in a day when there is way more to do in the waking hours than possible
  • Spin plates just because you are able, but long to let them crash to the ground

The list goes on. The super woman syndrome is seen when the fast lane is the only lane you know. Can anyone relate? Perhaps your schedule is not that full as some, but your head is that full of spinning plates. This syndrome can cause us to withdraw from the full life in Christ that He intended for us.

Years ago, I found myself in a real mess. I founded a ministry, was raising three children, a husband that wanted time with me and an extended family that I treasured, but had difficulty finding time for everyone. In my quiet time one morning, the Lord spoke to my heart: Joanne, do you think you are not enough? I thought about this all day and decided it was a trick question. My answer: “Of course I am enough in you.” That answer should satisfy God right? Theologically accurate. Christ lives in me as a Christian, therefore I am enough because of Him. But I didn’t feel like enough. Each day I would jump on my hamster wheel and start spinning into my day. Until… one day I broke. I was tired, and grumpy all the time and I was going through the motions of life. Even my Bible reading seemed rote. Little by little the Lord broke through with His Word that helped me to realize that I am enough, but I am not super woman. And the truth… I have been at this crossroads more times than I can count. Different season. Different responsibilities. All beckoning me to be super woman.

So what to do? Jesus said that His yoke is not heavy and His burden is light. So frankly, if you are burdened by living this way, then it’s not Jesus who put this heavy burden on you. It is His job to help you lay down your burdens, and your superwoman attitude. His yoke is easy. I have discovered the easiest way to check my superwoman attitude at the door of my life, is to be aware of why I do what I do. If your job is super intense, perhaps you need to adjust your life at home to give you some down time. If your life at home is super busy, find space for you– space where you can be refreshed. There are always ways to adjust our lifestyles, but the key is our willingness to lay some things down. Some of you for example, may be having to home school due to the pandemic. Then this may be your season to say no to volunteer work to allow time for some self care.

The one thing that will help us move from super woman to God’s woman is to be still and know that He is God. Every season of life brings with it challenges and opportunities to get back on the hamster wheel and neglect our life in Christ. We must prioritize each season by  seeking Him first and then we must protect that space in our lives.

In this season of undue stress, it may be time to offer yourself some grace. Allow the Holy Spirit to take a peek inside the walls of your life. Allow Him to break up your spiritually dry ground and water it with His love, mercy, and grace. Super women beware. God is after you. He wants you to find freedom in Him. His arms are open.

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