Superheroes Don’t Exist

Family emergencies can serve as a reminder that there is much more to life than work – these times can offer an amazing opportunity to pause and reflect on our own priorities.

Unfortunately, even during periods of grief or illness, we tend to measure ourselves against others who appear to have achieved superhero status.

As social media has become a part of our daily lives, we see images of superheroes all around us – their plethora of blog posts, never-ending networking and dizzying schedules are on public display. For the rest of us, those who seem to never slow down (and never fail) often are used as the measuring stick of success.

The Real Deal

Most of us know that when you see someone else’s marriage, you don’t really know what goes on “behind closed doors.” The same is true for professional dynamos – those who seem to have superhero stamina and smarts are actually real people with real problems and real failings.

What’s more, sometimes we assign superhero status to those who would readily admit they are far from it, if asked. Fellow Solo PR Pro, Laura Scholz (whose energy has always been a marvel to me), bravely recounted her struggles on her blog recently.

This is not to say the world isn’t filled with heroes – I’m sure we all have many heroes of the human, mortal variety who inspire us daily and keep life interesting. But superheroes only exist in comic books and movies, and constantly trying to be one will only leave us exhausted, unsatisfied and empty.

I loved it when Stuart Smalley, the old self-help-addicted character on Saturday Night Live, said, “I’m should-ing all over myself.” How often do you catch yourself should-ing? What are your tips for avoiding superhero syndrome?

Image credit: Carla216