The Struggle of Superwoman Syndrome

There are so many of us who struggle with Superwoman Syndrome.  And the struggle is real.

We’re serving as the hero-in-residence in our homes, in our offices, and for causes that help make the world a better place. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it, and why not us, right? I mean, in the 21st century, it’s not unreasonable for a woman to think that she can have it all and do it all…right?

A distinguished career. A loving and supportive partner. One fur-baby and two children—one enrolled in gifted classes, the other in a Montessori program. A modest windowsill garden where we grow our own potted basil and cilantro. A spotless home. And endless good hair days.

It’s not unreasonable to want to be volunteer of the year, try a new recipe from your favorite Pinterest board each week, and always snap Instagram selfies that slay on the first try…right? I mean, we haven’t had a woman president yet, but it’s only a matter of time. Because: #NeverthelessShePersisted and #ReclaimingMyTime.

But in our quest to show ourselves and everyone else that we can do anything, we try to do everything. And that’s where Superwoman Syndrome kicks in.


Superwoman can call on her powers of super strength, speed, and invulnerability to carry the burdens of the world, travel great distances in an instant, and wage endless battles against evil. But the rest of us are human. Mere mortals bound by the laws of physics and the space-time continuum.

Can we have it all? Absolutely. But just because we can doesn’t mean we should. With limited time, attention, and resources, it simply doesn’t make sense to take on every challenge. We must choose our battles, choose our causes, choose to be the hero when we must, not just because we can.

We're called to be great, not 'super'. Super is for comic books. #NotYourSuperwoman Share on X

We are each called to greatness, but none of us are meant to be “super”. Super is the stuff of comic books and action movies. Greatness, on the other hand, is about showing up in real life and fighting the battles that matter. It’s about celebrating your wins, learning from your losses, and choosing not to live in defeat or be defined by your failures.

Recovering from Superwoman Syndrome is also a choice. Of course, it’s easier said than done, especially when you’ve been taught to downplay your own needs and dismiss your own suffering. It’s complicated because no one aspires to develop Superwoman Syndrome — it’s generally a mindset that one inherits. From your mother, grandmother, friends, or even your favorite TV moms (like Vivian Banks).


But with a little reflection, intention, and courage, we can undo some of the expectations that have been handed to us, and set new expectations for ourselves.

Superwoman Syndrome is usually inherited. But recovering is a choice. #NotYourSuperwoman Share on X

Can we do it all? Maybe. But do we even want to do it all? Probably not…because not everything matters.

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