I wonder if we’ve all gone a bit bonkers on the ‘super’ side of things lately?
Super foods, super toned, super fit, super slim.
Super stunning, super saver, super committed,
Super organized, super Mum, super Dad.
Add to this the recent spate of ‘Superhero’ box office hits and I’m beginning to wonder if ‘super’ is the ONLY way to go?
But is being Super really all that much better? Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of being super active, super healthy, but I don’t know how committed I am in truth to the ‘super’ part.
I eat quite a bit of fruit and veg, an appropriate amount of protein, am moderately active, get a decent amount of sleep.
But I’m only human. Chocolate will be bought on occasion, alcohol will be consumed, and inactivity at some point should be an assumed right (especially if you’re a mum to 3 boys). So the ‘super’ part just seems …..well, too unattainable.
But the very real pressures to measure up and be ‘super’ in so many facets of our lives, has left me feeling drained, not to mention an impostor most of the time.
The Super Roles
Are there ‘Super Mums’ out there tackling the everyday with superhuman strength, in the face of much adversity?
In a world which bombards us with glam images of celebrity Mums doing it all and ‘In style’ and the modern ideal that ‘women can have it all’, certainly makes it all seem possible.
But the reality of course, as any woman knows is an elaborate tap dance to our own arduous tune of work, parenting, domestic chores and if lucky, a social life all while attempting to remain calm, resilient (at least on the outside at least) and trying to just get by without looking rough.
Super we may feel is what we need to be, but ‘super’ we certainly don’t feel, most of the time.
As a teacher, students always assume there’s a ‘super’ part to you, just not the cool kind of ‘super’. Super academic, super skilled, super organised, super speller.
So it’s always a little disarming for students at that moment when I pause to question or correct a misspelled word of my own on the board. Or God forbid….I actually spell it incorrectly.
Their young worlds are momentarily thrown into disarray and confusion. There are often audible gasps (even from those kids who haven’t noticed the error) as they compute that their teacher might just be human after all. For the next few minutes, it’s a tense atmosphere.
Yes! We are all only human, prone to pressures, likely to make mistakes and struggling to grapple with what we think we should be and what we can actually manage.
So where and when have our ideas about needing to be SUPER in some form or another, come into existence? And how can we avoid becoming one?
Our society is so obsessed with the need to constantly improve (and that’s not always a bad thing). Be happier, healthier, wealthier, fitter but it can leave us feeling inadequate, insecure and just plain unhappy as we aim for the impossible.
I’m sure capitalism, advertising and next generational aspirations (we want you to have a better life than we did) are all partly to blame in bringing about our obsession with the ‘Super’.
Add to that our own pressures to perform and meet the demands of a society who only rewards the ‘best’, those ‘achieving’, valuing ‘success’, with the ‘most’, and it’s no doubt we reach for the ‘super’ label.
3 Super Solutions
So what can we do to avoid letting the ‘super’ consume our lives and our sanity?
- Ask yourself WHY? Why am I doing it? For myself or for others? If you genuinely want to improve a part of your life so that you feel better, like your health or fitness, then go for it. But consider leaving the ‘super’ tag out of the equation, if you want to reach an attainable goal.
- Be welcoming of your mistakes, let your frailties shine and embrace the awkward. Our frailties are part of what makes us human, so to claim to be much more, ‘super’ even at anything, really is just setting ourselves up for failure.
- LIVE; be bold, honest and most of all…. real.
Sounds super simple. Heck…… maybe even attainable!