You must succeed in your profession, family, relationships, and friendships, according to the Superwoman complex.
This may result in extreme anxiety, lack of sleep, overwhelm, outbreaks of rage, and high-functioning despair. Black women, many of them in their 30s, whose ability to maintain composure is detrimental to their mental health. We see headlines like "She had it all," we then question why Black women have such a concerningly high suicide rate.
Melissa Davis, CEO of Cali Meets NYC, can identify personally with these tales, but she wishes she couldn't. Here’s part of her story:
I'm a Black lady battling Superwoman mentality and mental illness. I also serve as Cali Meets NYC's CEO. When I was little, my mother seemed flawless. It's said that she admitted to frequently crying herself to sleep. We are taught to be resilient and nurturing, to lend an ear and to carry other people's emotions. I was fantastic till I stopped. We boast about being strong Black women, but it's restrictive. You can't make everyone happy.
I was overworked and underappreciated before deciding to devote my full time to Cali Meets NYC. I couldn't see forward since my plate was so full. After hearing other people's experiences at a recent nail appointment, I realized that my experience wasn't singular.
I wondered how many businesswomen have this feeling after realizing I wasn't alone. I knew I wouldn't get ahead despite putting in three times as much effort as my contemporaries. I discovered that many women had experienced what I had.
Anxiety reappeared. Consequences included my work, a visit to an emergency mental health unit, grief, suicide thoughts, and a sense of loss. Throughout the pandemic, I choked on these emotions. In a Black family, we pray for practically everything, but just praying is insufficient. Certain pressures call for more than that.
Was I putting this weight on myself? Was it the example from TV moms? They don't have the best track record. In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Aunt Viv decided against pursuing her dream of becoming a dancer in favor of the "simpler" path. She might have danced 20 years ago, Aunt Viv said in jest. She bought into the false story she was told, but you don’t have to. Ignore the “impossible” story and create a life that is worthy of you.
I needed a change and felt adrift. I didn’t know if I should just quit altogether or seek counseling. The basic answer was clear -- I needed help to get better. I burnt candles as well as receiving treatment to cope. My candle company was inspired by this pasttime. The following are five ways I overcame my Superwoman complex.
Prioritize your feelings
I had to evaluate my feelings after putting myself last. There's nothing wrong with saying no. Recover. Taking paid vacation time shouldn't make us feel guilty. It revives your spirit.
Ask for help
Eliminate obligations. Right? Despite my self-confidence, I required help. Don't overextend yourself just because you can. Know your limitations, even for simple chores, and seek assistance.
Construct your support system
To get past this, I required treatment. My therapist provided me with tools to deal with difficult emotions, a toxic workplace, daily obstacles, and life events. However, don't spill your guts to them. Frequently, a therapist can assist you in managing your stress.
Craft positive coping mechanisms
I required a hobby aside from my regular self-care practices. I found comfort in candlemaking, journaling, and meditation. Regardless of your skill level, find a hobby. Pick an activity you enjoy, such as knitting, baking, or walking.
Pause to self-reflect
My biggest stressor was at work. I worried about failing because it was my ideal job. It wasn't a failure; rather, it paved the way for my future. Make an attempt to lessen your primary stressors.
Try various things. I have to constantly remind myself and other people that I am not their Superwoman because I am so busy being mine.