4 Simple Ways to Overcome Superwoman Syndrome and Prevent Burnout

In this article you will learn what superwoman syndrome is, its negative effects, and 4 simple ways to overcome superwoman syndrome and prevent burnout.

Women today wear different hats and play different roles like moms, employees, house keepers, managers, aunties, grand-moms, daughters, to mention but a few. We usually find ourselves overstretching and trying to be everything to everybody. To add to it, we neglect our emotional, physiological and mental well being.

When a woman feels she needs to do it all to perfection and thus stretches herself so thin while neglecting her physical, emotional and psychological health, she may have what is called a super woman syndrome. The term was first used by Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz, author of the book, The Superwoman Syndrome, published in 1984.

Women with the superwoman syndrome have the constant need to be busy and feel guilty when they take time to relax. They have a hard time saying no when others ask for their help, even with their schedules being so full and hard to manage.

They do not only take up more responsibilities than they can handle but they strive to be perfect and perform perfectly in all these responsibilities;something which is impossible. They have a hard time accepting help. They constantly give to others without receiving anything back. They exert energy and effort all the time but make no move to replenish themselves.

It is believed that women who have the superwoman syndrome over exert themselves because:

  • They want to get attention
  • They want to please others and cannot say no to people
  • They want to have a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment
  • They don’t want to be perceived as weak
  • They have low self esteem and want to feel good about themselves
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Negative Effects of Superwoman Syndrome

Overtime, the superwoman syndrome can lead to burnout which is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Burnout causes people to feel drained, overwhelmed and exhausted. This is because in as much as we want to do everything and be everything to everybody, we forget that we are just human and can only go so far.

Lack of self care drains us and makes us empty and dry. After long periods of stretching ourselves to the thinnest limit, we begin to feel we are running on short fumes. We start hating our existence because we feel we have too many responsibilities than we can handle.

We start resenting our lives, forgetting that we brought this upon ourselves. Instead of achieving perfection as we would like, we rather lose ourselves and are not productive.

Below are four ways you can overcome Superwoman Syndrome, and Prevent Burnout:

1. Say No to Responsibility Overload

One way to overcome the superwoman syndrome and prevent burnout is to say no when you feel your workload/ schedule is at the maximum. A Lot of women are people pleasers who cannot say no because they fear rejection and feel others will perceive them as bad people.

However, you cannot be everything to everybody. Saying no does not make you a bad person. Learn how to say no in a friendly and assertive way so you can overcome the superwoman syndrome and prevent burnout.

2. Say Yes to Help/Delegation

Women with the superwoman syndrome have a hard time accepting help. They feel others will see them as weak if they accept help. In order to overcome the superwoman syndrome and prevent burnout, learn to delegate some of your responsibilities and say yes when help comes your way.

Don’t try to do everything by yourself. Learn to delegate what is possible and know that delegating some of your responsibility when you have too much on your plate does not make you a lazy or weak person.

3. Consciously and Consistently Make Time for self-care

Self care is one of the most important things you can invest in yourself as a woman. I’m not just talking about getting your nails done or getting your hair done. I’m talking about consistently taking time to refuel yourself.

Just as you will charge your phone when the battery is low, you have to recharge from time to time so you don’t totally shut down. Remember also that you cannot pour out of an empty cup. You cannot give out your best if you are empty.

You need to identify activities and people that fill you up. It could be meditation, taking naps, a relaxing hobby, taking a walk, listening to a podcast, etc. Establishing a strategic refueling plan and consistently using it will go a long way to help you overcome the superwoman syndrome and prevent burnout.

4. Let Go of Perfectionism

You need to Change your perfectionist mindset so you can overcome the superwoman syndrome and prevent burnout. Know that no one is perfect. Every human being on earth has their unique set of skills and abilities, limitations and assets.

Trying to be perfect in everything will only drown you in poor self esteem and life dissatisfaction. Just operate with the idea of putting in your best and seeking help from people who can help with what you cannot do.

In summary, I have explained what superwoman syndrome is and its negative effects. I also explained four simple ways to overcome the superwoman syndrome which are:

  1. Saying no to responsibility overload
  2. Saying yes to help/delegation
  3. Making time for self care
  4. Letting go of perfectionism

In Conclusion...

If you would like to know more about ways you can overcome superwoman syndrome and prevent burnout, I urge you to book a %100 free breakthrough coaching session with me.

In this session, we will delve into your current situation, what your obstacles are and ways you can move forward so you can live a more balanced and fulfilled life with no burnout. Book your free session at empoweredforbalance.com/call.


Ama Brew

Ama Brew

Ama Brew is a Best Selling Author, an ICF Credentialed Coach & a Key Note Speaker. Combining her B.A. in Psychology, Masters degree in Organizational Leadership & Human Resources, ICF Coach training and personal experience, Ama delivers a personalized coaching experience to help her clients gain more control in their lives, achieve balance, and design the lives they were meant to live: productive, purposeful, fulfilled & free from what’s held them back.