The question came my way the other day, Who is Superman? The context came as a result of walking a path of invincibility. Many of us are guilty of striving, whether it’s conscience or not, to get everything and/or anything on our plate done. We want everything on our list checked off and completed without realizing how much we really need to slow down. The root cause of this mindset can come from various sources to include historical, personality and perceived identity to name a few. Although we may be aware of as it is happening, it can still hang around like a bad cold!
So, I ask you Who is Superman? At the cost of our own well-being, invincibility does not help us move forward in a healthy and productive manner. You may be thinking, this internal motivator does get things done, so I guess it’s not that bad. Yeah, I hear you, but the constant energy can be consuming and draining and if anything its effects are causing us to move into an area that will not support our best interests.
Everything is going to be OK, and it always gets done in one way or another. What this means is that you usually meet the objective, and if not, it will still be waiting for you the next time you press power! Therefore, you don’t have to think about what you need to get done (or what you may think has to get done) from the time you awake until the time you lay your head to rest. All you have to do is ask yourself Who is Superman? You have a choice here, one that at times can be difficult and challenging, but there is always an opportunity to do the right thing without…burning yourself out!
It is fair to say that when one is in a career and/or position that requires supporting and managing others needs, you are more susceptible to being that superhero. Sometimes, you may see there is no other way. Furthermore, if this representation has been reinforced and ingrained for some time, there will be some work ahead in order to break the madness, a place and space that can ultimately impact your well-being, which in turn will impact your professional practice.
Who is Superman? is independently different for each of us because we are all uniquely special. However, the opportunity to change a behavior or mindset is something that we all have the ability to achieve, as long as we see it as something that needs to change. The lessons that we advocate for while supporting those in need are right there in front of us for ourselves as well, what we choose to do with them can either empower us to move forward, or we can just decide to keep on reinforcing the cycle of… So, I ask you, do you really have to be Superman? Even Superman needs help!
Until the next time my words and your availability cross paths don’t forget to check in with yourself when in need. It can be as simple as we see it, or as difficult as we choose to make it be…
Daniel Jacob, MSW is the Founder of Can You Hear Me? (www.canyouhearme.org) is a Regular Contributor on Social Work Helper. He is also an External Field Instructor at University of Southern California School of Social Work [email protected] Daniel has a Masters in Social Work (Families and Children Practice/School Social Work). He is currently nearing the completion of the LCSW testing process.