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No such thing as Superwoman

It's better to do a few things really well rather than to try to live the perfect life

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By Michele Woodward for Betty Confidential

There appear to be many women who hope to convince themselves and the rest of us that they are perfect. Hair: perfectly coiffed, colored, and curled. Body: athletic and toned. Wardrobe: trendy, sexy, and stylish. Children: well-behaved high achievers. Husband: handsome, wealthy, and attentive.

These women think they need to be Superwomen. They want everything to be perfect.

But, honey, I know what's going on inside. 

In the push to be perfect, they feel anything but. Life is a series of experiences where they are not enough and can't possibly do enough. They look at the women around them and feel inferior, and they hide that they're totally struggling to keep up. They grit their teeth and smile through the stress of Superwoman expectations.

Because I'm a life coach, people often expect me to live that perfect life. Yesterday I was in a shop that sells my book, Lose Weight, Find Love, De-Clutter & Save Money: Essays on Happier Living, and the store manager, looking down her aquiline nose at me, asked, "Do you live what you write?" I smiled sweetly and replied, "Absolutely."

And I do. But let me share a little something that may just make tomorrow a little easier for all you would-be Superwomen:

I am not Superwoman. Not even close.

Sometimes my only wardrobe concern is: Am I clean?

My house generally, at all times, needs vacuuming.

I have been known to feed my children take-out.

I often forget to return phone calls and am terrible at remembering birthdays.

I can overbook my calendar.

I am divorced.

No, I'm not Superwoman. And I'm really, really glad for that. Because what I am is 100 percent Michele. I have four priorities and if I can handle those every day, I am doing a pretty good job. Want to know what they are?

1.) Be present with my kids and everyone else I meet.

2.) Care for my physical, financial, emotional and spiritual health.

3.) Learn.

4.) Lead.

That's it. That's all. Hair, nails, makeup, shoes? If I get to it, I get to it.

Yep, I am Imperfecta Girl, and I absolutely 100 percent love my perfectly imperfect life.

If you're struggling to get it right, to be perfect, to have it all, let me ask you: Can you get to the place where you give up attempting to be a mythical Superwoman and find the place where you're a true Imperfecta Girl -- authentically yourself, happy with exactly what you have, comfortable in your own skin, serving your own priorities?

Go on, give it a try. All you have to lose is stress. All you have to gain is your true self. And it will be absolutely OK with me if you don't do it perfectly.

1 comment so far...

  • Well put! So many people feel like they have to conform to what's "ideal" in a societal sense as opposed to their own ideals. So many people lose a sense of self and what makes them happy as an individual. Something else I find laughable is that these people will actually think they're "better" than others, yet they live miserable lives. There is no such thing as "perfect" or "better", because the definition is open to interpretation for each individual person with different cultures, backgrounds, childhoods, and life experiences. I respect and admire what you do to live your life, Michelle, and I think if more people lived that way, that this world would be a much happier place.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by EnticingEnigma on 1st September 2008