Thursday Thoughts: Accepting My Non-Superhero Self

Thursday Thoughts: Accepting My Non-Superhero Self

Historically, when employers (or teachers) have described me, I’m happy to say that one of the adjectives used is conscientious. When I work on something, I am very devoted to it, committed to do a good job and complete it, even when there are obstacles like lack of time or resources which could get in the way. And that includes stamina. I continue to struggle with my penchant to be conscientious because I often forget myself in the equation. It’s that damn people-pleasing again.

There are entire books devoted to the subject of people-pleasers, out to save those who struggle to say no, even when they know it’s in their best interest. I too weighed in on the subject for an essay about one of the worst places you can find yourself being a people-pleaser and not saying no when you really should. (Click here to read that essay, “Plight of the All-Too-Polite.”)

Not being able to say no, taking on more than we can handle or giving in to others’ needs when we know our own are not being met, creating completely unnecessary stress for ourselves — these are all scenarios I have seen far too many times. In fact, I’m running into one right now and struggling with the emotions that it’s creating for me. I have a lot of things that I’m juggling at the moment, and someone I work with needs my help but has asked me to do what feel like unattainable tasks with a very small window of time to complete them during a period of time that is already way overbooked given the holidays, work and life. I conveyed in the most polite, nicest way possible and she completely expressed that she understood – but I still internally struggle with the fact that I can’t deliver upon someone’s wishes. Regardless of the fact that I did not receive any pushback, here I am on the other side of the email still struggling with the fact that I can’t do everything.

Since I was a kid, I have always viewed being unable to get something completed by a deadline as a failure. I know that’s crazy, but that’s how I’ve always seen it, and I don’t do well accepting what I consider failure. So I’m coping with this realization that I am not Wonder Woman, which is completely ego shattering because who wouldn’t want to be seen as Gal Gadot? The woman is friggen fierce.

But I’m not a superhero. And I learn this more and more everyday, especially during hectic times like these.  I know the time I have available, and realistically, I can see that it will probably not be enough to complete all of the tasks my friend and client are seeking, but that doesn’t stop the superhero wanna be inside of me from driving herself bananas about wanting to complete it all and dazzle her!  Better known as… yep… people pleasing. Sigh.

I so want to shed this affliction, this desire to deliver…always. No matter what my situation, my plans, my blood pressure… after all, that is what I do. I aim to please.

So the question for today is:  can I work out these feelings of failure or letting someone down and accept that I will do all that I can to help this person but that no, it will not fulfill all of their wishes? Can I just flipping learn to accept that this lady below is not me and no, my cape’s not at the cleaners? I don’t have one.
I sure hope so. Thanks for reading. ~ Chris K.









Art source: unknown




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