Do you believe that you have to go through life as a superman or superwoman?
Have you always felt that you had to be the best at everything?
If so then you are like many people who go through life constantly trying to get better and be the best. Everything they do has to be outstanding – and yet it is never good enough!
I have gone through all of my life trying to be good at everything and I am definitely a perfectionist. For example it took me 6 weeks to launch the new design of my blog whereas it could have been done in a day!
Where do we get this drive to be superhuman from?
The reason some of us strive to be superhuman is that we are forever living up to the expectations of those key people in our life.
From a young age, it is mainly our parents who set our expectations – ultimately whatever we do is never good enough.
Though our parents usually just want us to be happy, there is often subtle pressure and at other times blatant demands. We then go through the rest of our lives trying to live up to their expectations and seek their approval.
Others in our life who set their high expectations are our siblings, school teachers and even extended family members. There are also some peer groups such as work colleagues who constantly expect you to perform miracles.
The hardest thing of all this is that you are never really able to show your vulnerability as that would break through your thick veneer of being so capable and superhuman.
As a result, a lot of people, especially the super-achieving types go through life closed off from expressing their true emotions and never really showing their true human side.
As a friend said to me recently, even Superman had a vulnerable side. The moment he took off his cape, he needed close human contact just like us mortals. Despite his prowess, he too had the need for being comforted, loved and being intimate.
If you are a superman or superwoman, what is the cost to you of striving so much for being really good at everything you do?
What would it be like to take off your superman cape once in a while, or even forever?
From the Indian culture I come from, it is not generally encouraged to show your emotions, especially if you are a man. Yet if you have ever watched Bollywood movies, you will know just how melodramatic they can be and how the superheroes quite often get so emotionally dramatic!
Maybe the Bollywood movies simply allow Indians to indirectly express their emotions.
Ironically, on those occasions I have allowed myself to be vulnerable, I have been the most fulfilled and grounded.
It is really amazing what happens when you are simply being authentic. The reason is at the end of the day we are all human – underneath all the facades, we all have the same hopes, dreams and challenges.
When we see another human being opening themselves up and being vulnerable, it stirs something deep in us and we get to connect at a human level.
Those times when you allow yourself to be open and vulnerable are the times when you will feel most alive, authentic and grounded. Isn’t that what we all want at the end of the day anyway?
To get more of a sense of this openness and vulnerability, here is my invitation to you to open up:-
1. Reflect on your life and see where you are trying to be superhuman.
2. Ask your self what you are trying to prove or who you are trying to please? Whose approval are you seeking?
3. Now let go of that need to please or seek approval. Feel a huge load lifted from your shoulders.
Feel the freedom and ease that comes with no longer having to prove anything to anyone.
Enjoy this sense of just being and free – know what it is like to be vulnerable and to be yourself.
Welcome to being human again:-)