superhero

My Favourite Superhero

My favourite superhero as I was growing up in the late seventies and early eighties was Wonder Woman. The interesting thing about Wonder Woman was that she was different. She stood out from the blond feminine, sexy women that were superheroes. Wonder Woman was different, she was an amazon who came from an island that was inhabited only by women. Men were inferior on this island of amazons whereas the women were goddesses. She became a huge role model for me, and it didn’t hurt that she was a brunette as was I. I saw myself in her and could totally relate to her. I wanted to be Wonder Woman. In fact, I still use Wonder Woman accessories like bags and bracelets. 

My Real Life Superheroes

There were other people in my world who were my real wonder women. They were my role models and influenced me. Are you aware of who influenced you while you were growing up? During my childhood in the seventies, women would give up their jobs once they got married. They would become homemakers and stay home to raise their children. Strangely enough, this was also a time of change. It was a time of women’s empowerment, of the sexual revolution, and of feminism. My mother made sure to instil all these things in me even though she did not necessarily have them while she was growing up. She taught me not to be defined by my gender and would give me trucks and trains to play with along with barbie dolls. I didn’t always have to be dressed in pink dresses, overalls were an equal option. 

How it backfired

My mother is my role model, she instilled in me to be a liberated woman. She raised me with the belief that I could do anything, achieve anything and that I had power and could be a force to be reckoned with. This was a common message of empowerment to women of my generation and for that, we thank the women who came before us. They encouraged us to be professional, to have the same jobs as men, to earn as much, to try everything and to be everything we wanted. Somewhere along the way, this has backfired. We have begun placing expectations upon ourselves to be the best mothers, the best at our professional lives, to be perfect wives and daughters.  In trying to be everything to everyone we have landed up getting burnt out and this desire to be wonder women has backfired on us. It is exhausting and it is overwhelming. What we failed to realize was that our mothers were not working full-time jobs, they didn’t have to excel in careers

Finding Our Way Back from Burnout

I have realized that in my belief to be everything and do everything, everyone else gets the best of me and the people who are closest to me get the leftovers because I have burnt out. It is up to us to make choices about what is important to us, and what aligns with us. We have to sometimes make difficult decisions to sacrifice some things in order to fulfill something else. That can be challenging. While I was working in the film industry, I made a decision to leave it because I wanted to be a more present parent. I wanted to be there for my children and not working long hours and being away on shoots. It was a compromise that was well worth it. Women are also expected to bear children. It is up to you to choose whether you want to be a parent. It may sound selfish but don’t worry it is good selfish.

Think about the ways and situations that you have been overextending yourself. List the areas where you are trying to be everything to everyone. These are the points where you land up exhausting yourself and burning out. Decide what you are willing to give up and sacrifice in order to nurture yourself and be the best person that you can be. 

Do

Chose what is important to you and what aligns with you

Make difficult decisions and sacrifices to get what really matters

Be selfish for what matters to you

Don’t

Try to be everything and do everything

Have children if you don’t want to

Give in to others expectations

P.S. If you’re a Busy Working Woman and you’d like more advice, tips and information to minimise stress and maximise time, join our Facebook tribe of Busy Working Women Owning Their Lives.

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About the Author:

Barbara Clifford (The Time Tamer) is a time management strategist and stress management practitioner based in Alice Springs, Australia.  She has spent over 20 years working in time precious and stressful industries such as film, hospitality and marketing.  She has always had a burning passion for creating order and making sense of things.

She is on a mission is to become the no.1 resource to help people unclutter the chaos and break free from the shackles of overwhelm so that they wake each day inspired and motivated to work in peak performance and to live on purpose. Barbara is known around Australia for her training, coaching, online programmes, webinars and as a guest speaker.

Her professional experience has included contracts with small business, Not For Profits, Aboriginal Organisations, Media, Marketing, Aged Care, Universities, Health Services and Cruise Ships.