I GAVE MYSELF PERMISSION TO QUIT PLAYING WONDER WOMAN. I’M GIVING IT TO YOU TOO.
It’s OK to admit you’re struggling and it doesn’t make you a failure!
Often in my conversations with people they will say they don’t know how I manage to do everything I do. I seem to have a reputation for being involved in a
lot and getting a lot done.
I’m also aware that people see me as very positive and really confident. I know I’m viewed by many as being an action taker and an achiever; someone that doesn’t mess around but just gets out there and does it, taking everything in my stride.
I’ve frequently had people say of my positive, no-nonsense, glass-half-full attitude to life, ‘I wish I was more like that’. And indeed on occasions, I’ve looked into the mirror expecting the reflection to resemble some real-life Wonder Woman rather than what my own eyes perceive as I see the reality behind the mask staring back at me.
Those close to me will know that many times during my life, since my teenage years, I have suffered with extreme anxiety, panic attacks and periods where I haven’t wanted to get out of bed and face the day…so I haven’t!
Sometimes something will come to trigger those anxieties in me again and at those times I have a choice. Do I rise up and acknowledge those feelings and determine to overcome them and be all that I can be in the midst of the mess? Or, do I allow those feelings, that mental state to define me and send me into a never-ending downward spiral of fear, guilt, shame, hopelessness and ultimately depression?
Let’s Be Real
Let’s stop pretending as women that we wake up every day feeling like Wonder Woman and that we can take on anything the world has to throw at us without it having any effect on us mentally, emotionally, physically.
You say ‘Well that MAY be ok for some women, but I’m a woman of faith so I CAN’T and SHOULDN’T feel anything but full of faith and purpose and an overwhelming zeal to face the day!!’
Come on…seriously!? Who even told you that?? Who caused that guilt to rise up in you?
Let’s be real. THIS is real life. Whether we are women of God, full of faith or not…it’s ok to admit that sometimes this is how we feel, that we’re doing anything but OK and it’s perfectly ok to reach out and ask for help.
You’re Not Alone
There’s nothing worse than thinking we’re alone at these times and often (especially as seemingly very together, strong, successful, entrepreneurial or go-getter types) we’re tricked into believing that we’re the only ones that feel this way. That is NOT the truth my friends.
I’m sharing all this today, not for sympathy (I don’t need any and I know that I have an amazing life and am surrounded by amazing people) but because it’s ‘World Mental Health Month’ and we need to shatter the misconceptions and the illusions and be free to let down the walls and the facades, take off the masks and just be real about this stuff without the stigma that is so often attached.
When people know this about me, often they can’t believe it. It doesn’t equate and they can’t put me in that ‘category’.
‘You’re a successful entrepreneur!’ ‘You coach people in life and business’ ‘How can YOU ever feel that way?’ That saddens me because the truth is, there shouldn’t be any category!
Truth vs Feelings
The truth is: I am strong, I am capable, I am creative, I can and do take action and I do achieve. I put 100% into the task in front of me. I’m a person of vision. I dream BIG. I love God with all my heart. But inside, some days I worry, some days I feel weighed down with a false sense of responsibility, some days I wake up with zero motivation to face the day, and some days I feel like I have nothing of value to say and nothing of any worth to offer people.
Some days I can feel totally alone even when I’m surrounded by people. Some days I could just cry and haven’t got the first clue why…so most times I don’t…because let’s face it, you have to have a valid reason to do that (or so I spent most of my life believing).
Although I’m a person full of purpose and passion, sometimes that crazy feeling of purposelessness and pointlessness creeps in when I least expect it.
In the Middle of the Mess, Together
On some level we’re all guilty of judging by appearances; of taking things at face value and not stopping to dig beneath the surface of what we see. And that’s ok. But let’s get this straight. As women of God who are strong, who are brave, who are fearless, who are loved unconditionally by Him, let’s agree to stop pretending. To take off the masks. To pull down those walls that we so often and so easily erect around ourselves. To be real and honest and to know that in the midst of the mess that we sometimes feel, God is there holding us, knowing us, loving us, strengthening us, and still enabling us to be all that we were born to be.
And please, not just today on Mental Health Day, but any day, commit to just being real. To asking for help if you need it. And, if you know a woman who looks strong and successful and like they have it all together, don’t put them on a pedestal. Determine not to judge the book by its cover but to take a peek beneath the surface and let her know that you’re there for her as much as she’s there for you.
Let’s lift each other up. Let’s encourage each other. Let’s stop judging and comparing. Let’s talk about this more often and commit to some real and honest conversations. Let’s allow ourselves to be vulnerable. It’s actually OK!
Feeling this way doesn’t define us but how we deal with it does.