Do you suffer from Superhero Syndrome?
The need to come out triumphant in life.
When things are challenging and become impossible, and all dares to fall apart. You summon powers you didn’t know you had and make it anyway. Last minute. Save the day, save your world.
What a triumph, what a victory. Oh, it feels so good to be the hero in your story.
I personally love it. What a kick.
When you notice that you have a regular crisis that you need to eradicate and your default is to become the hero- you too might be running on the Superhero Syndrome.
It’s great to be a hero. You look good as a hero. It feels good to come out as the hero.
But it’s freaking exhausting.
I am talking crash and burnout exhausting.
And the more you attach to needing to be the hero, the more you’ll find you set yourself up for drama and crisis and world-saving- life is very stressful that way.
And does the world care about your heroism? Probably not.
When I get my kids to school on time, I tell you, it feels like a freaking achievement. I think I deserve fanfares. But it turns out nobody cares how I did it in the end.
Every morning I battle through resistance, tantrums, wars of what to wear (ehm it’s a school uniform), spilled milk, water fights, the let-mummy -do- her- Yoga -for 10mins -conquest part 1024, and the unexpected last-minute toilet break.
And when we finally rush to the car and get strapped in- yes you can have you toy in a minute just sit back and let me fit that seatbelt, we are late, what’s new, sit still!- and then get annoyed about the traffic build-up and the race against the clock vs closing school gate. When we are lucky enough to find parking and get in just as the gate was going to close- oh the victory. Yay! Another triumph.
I can’t even post on Facebook about.
One could argue- get your routine sorted. Just get ready a bit earlier and eliminate the stress. We all have to get our children to school on time. It’s not that big a thing, most achieve it at some point.
But I suffer from Superhero Syndrome. It would be boring not to rush and make it.
If you find yourself saying things like “it would be boring otherwise” you’re probably got Superhero Syndrome.
I work with established Entrepreneurs- mainly small business owners- the need to come out in full glory shining in the end with the accolades of success is not unfamiliar.
I am not here to belittle heroism by the way. Some of us really are heroes in some aspects and we deserve every bit of the praise we get. But it’s interesting when you need to create scenarios in life and business to reenact the feeling of being great. As if you didn’t already know.
Because we forget.
And the win is such a kick. Kicks are addictive. We want more.
Superhero syndrome is your ego’s attempt to feel good about yourself.
When there is not enough adrenaline in your body to feel alert but you are used to running on adrenaline you can feel like you’re losing ground, yourself and your mojo.
When We are not ok about “OK” because we don’t do mediocre (aaahh help!!)
When we are addicted to the extremes and we have desensitized to the finer energy in the middle of our intensity spectrums.
For some, it’s simply a habit- a default operating setting.
You’ve figured out that there is a magic energy resource available in the last spurt before the deadline and you can ride on that. Our society rewards the notion of hardship and hard work and when you feel exhausted after accomplishing, that means you’ve done very well. You are now deserving. (That’s the conditioning, not the truth btw)
Because of this, you have reinforced the idea that working in that intensity is a good thing, maybe even needed in order to achieve.
Some of my clients don’t get into gear until the deadline is approaching. Others only when it looks completely impossible to meet. The total rebels can’t work to that deadline but will come out with something else because of it.
But everyone is doing well in the end. Applause applause! You are so amazing!
And is wiped out energetically, needs recovery (that they rarely plan in time for), and get an opportunity to override their need for rest only to rise as the hero who didn’t even get the rest they needed until at some point or another there is a meltdown, a breakdown, an accident, a crash, a depression “hitting”. Now they need to conquer that.
The Superhero Syndrome operates on the basis of the adrenaline-fuelled motivation.
The problem is that success driven by adrenaline- fear, and stress is limited.
You cannot successfully push yourself to higher levels of happiness and contentment and inner peace.
There is another way.
If you really like intensity, you probably will love actually feeling but it’s so daring. You’ll have to be brave in a very different kind of way.
The other way- if we are speaking in hormone frameworks is based on Oxytocin.
It’s based on desire. It’s based on your motivation to actually feel good.
It’s the sunflower model turning to the sun.
When you tune in to your own desire and where the sun is shining from you learn to support yourself with systems, people, environments, situations that promote more of that for you.
It’s a more feminine approach to achievement. It’s strong in its more subtle way and easy to repress. We are so used to it.
So far I haven’t seen much press on people who achieved with ease and grace as collaborative teams. I don’t see too many awards for “best collaborators” or “happiest workplace” or “most compassionate member of the team”. But watch this space.
A real hero is changing the world and makes it a better place.
Now helping yourself and others to live from a place of wellbeing and self-compassion would make a real difference. In business and at home. It requires us to become smarter and question the status quo, make changes and adapt to what actually feels good.
If our children learned to listen to their intuition and guidance rather than being molded into functioning but mentally compressed beings- maybe we’d really create a different world. I’ll set my alarm differently tomorrow.
And when I say alarm- it will be a happy song.
Moving from Superhero to Sunflower.
Let the sun shine.