Saturday, December 17, 2011

Overachievers, Perfectionists and Supermoms

The November, 2011 issue of Psychology Today has a piece about overachievers.  Included is the supermom.  Psychologist Diane Halpern points out that women still do more child care and work in the home.  Their work outside the home is also on the rise.  It’s proposed that women want to be the perfect wife, mother, worker,  citizen, volunteer, etc.,  because we worry about how others will judge us.  I’d add in sex kitten, soul mate and child therapist explaining why so many of my clients are ready to go completely berserk.  We’re always trying to meet the requirements we’ve internalized about what it means to be a woman today.

According to psychologist Gordon Flett, this is a recipe for exhaustion and health problems, including depression.  Speaking of life balance, you may have to give up something, he points out.

My suggestions:

*Consider what’s important in your life right now and focus on those things.
* Be prepared to let a few things go.  Maybe you’ll pick them up later if they’re really important.
*Ask for support.  Don’t tell me it’s easier to do it yourself.  That’s true only in the short-term.  Long-term, help is good.
*Forget being perfect.  There is no perfect.
*Try not to worry about how others judge you.  People usually care far less about us than we think.  And if they are judging, who has that right?

Think outside the house with the white picket fence.  What does being a woman today mean to you?  What does life balance mean to you?  Why do you care so much about what others think?

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