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The Danger of Being a Superwoman

Jade Lee {Podcast at Bottom}

There are times when giving your all and going above and beyond can be bad for you without the balance of asking for help or living in community.  When we withdrawal from everyone around us but find ourselves constantly trying to look and be perfect, we live in a consistent stress bubble.

Giving too much without help can cause isolation, anxiety and depression in women.  It can lead to the following cycle in our lives:

Negative Cycle

Superwoman Mentality –> Anxiety –> Withdrawal –> Isolation –> Depression

Instead of finding joy in being an amazing wife, friend, daughter, and career woman; we find ourselves performing well but feeling horrible.  This can eventually effect our health and joy levels as women aiming to please GOD with our decisions.

This reminds me of years ago when I was doing ministry non-stop.  I was meeting with people all day long then going home but failing to stop to eat consistently, take care of my body or enjoy my life.  It was only a matter of time before I faced a breakdown.

I needed help and would be tremendously blessed once I lived in the reality of a Proverbs 31 lifestyle.  The Proverbs 31 woman is an amazing wife, “Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?  She is more precious than rubies.  Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”

She is industrious and hard working, “She finds wool and flax and busily spends it.  She is like a merchant’s ship, bringing her food from afar.  She gets up before breakfast to prepare breakfast for her household and plan the day’s work for her servant girls.”

She is also a business woman, “She goes to inspect a field and buys it; with her earnings she plants a vineyard.  She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.  She makes sure her dealings are profitable; her lamp burns late into the night.”

She is a housekeeper and philantropist, “Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber.  She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.  She has no fear of winter for her household, for everyone has warm clothes…She carefully watches everything in her household.”

And she is a well respected community leader, “Her husband is well known in the city gates, where he sits with the other civic leaders…She is clothed with strength and dignity.”

This is a woman of authority, grace, dignity and noteriety; she is very giving and incredibly hard working, yet she is balanced.  She has help from her “servant girls” or “handmaidens.”  This lost art of servanthood and female discipleship helps her lead others into their personal calling on a deep relational level.

She is not worried.  She is not afraid.  She is full of joy, trusting the LORD able to laugh about the days to come.  Because of this she is full of both kindness and wisdom receiving the rewards of her hard work and efforts.

Instead of living in the negative Superwoman Cycle she lives the following way:

Positive Cycle

Proverbs 31 Mentality –> Help Received –> Connectivity –> Fellowship –> Joy

As she asks for help, surrounds herself with others and receives the help she is given, her heart is reconnected with life as it should be; she enjoys fellowship of others and lives in relational joy.

It is here that she finds the freedom from isolation that inevitably surrounds those who give so much they do not ever connect with others.  Many times when we live in such a way we feel like we are constantly giving to others yet feel very alone.  We feel constant anxiety and depression trying to overtake our emotional lives because we are doing too much.

We feel isolated because we are not connected with other people, trying to hold it all together and never showing how we really feel when we are overwhelmed or have negative thoughts.

Maybe you can relate to some of these emotions and want to be free from the negativity cycle.

There is hope from this pit of aloneness as we reshape the way we see being an Amazing Woman of GOD.  Sure, we should be givers but this can also be balanced as we trust the LORD for helpers and the grace to live in community.

Sometimes as we invite others into our lives, like the Proverbs 31 woman, we are actually given more than we receive.  We are given love, peace, joy, and a rewarding lifestyle. 

Maybe you are in a season of life where you need to become one of these “servant women” learning to glean from another more mature woman.  I encourage you to pray and ask the LORD to show you who He wants you to receive from as you are growing in GOD.

You can learn and be helped in many areas in the process!

This may be hard to do but I can assure you that you will be more emotionally stable and happier once you take this step.  You will finally be free of isolation, experiencing less anxiety and no longer struggling with depression that comes from being overwhelmed as a “Superwoman.”

Do you need more of GOD’s Grace to give where you need to give or stop giving and receive where you need to receive more?

Pray the following prayer with me, “Father, I ask you to help me live in a deep relational connectivity with the spiritual mothers and women You are placing in my life.  If I am an older, or more mature woman, I pray that You will help me to find the younger, less mature women You are calling me to help.  I am believing You for the help that comes from living in a Proverbs 31 paradigm.  Please help me find the balance of loving myself and continuing to be an exceptional giver without burn out.  I love You and I am believing You for forward progress in both my mentality and actions for this area of my life.  In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen!”

Scriptures for Meditation:

“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self–controlled, pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.” (Titus 2:3-5)

In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor.
 (Acts 9:36)

Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment. (Proverbs 18:1)

For the body does not consist of one member but of many. (1 Corinthians 12:14)

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7)

Have you ever found it difficult to stay in a lifestyle where you live like the Proverbs 31 Woman?  In community?  In fellowship?  In a spiritual parenting-daughter relationship?

This can be very difficult and takes a lot of perseverance.  Please share your thoughts in the comments below.  I’d love to hear your challenges and your victories!

 

11 replies
  1. Amonie
    Amonie says:

    Being a black woman, who grew up in a single parent household, I watched my mother do EVERYTHING by herself. So, superwoman was all that i saw growing up, even outside of my home, like in my community. I definitely see the affects of the superwoman mentality in my life. I literally battle the mindset of “I don’t need help” everyday. And it is a really hard battle considering that fact that I have almost been, ‘conditioned’ to think this way. But this mentality does not align with the word of GOD. So I choose to claim the Proverbs 31 mindset by faith. And I will press into relationship to overcome the SWM. Because the truth is, I need help! I am so grateful for your heart to expose these mentalities that can hinder the move of GOD. Thank you so much. I am definitely sharing this blog. God Bless!!

    Reply
    • Jade Lee
      Jade Lee says:

      Dear Amonie,

      Your words are very sweet and encouraging to hear. There are so many in the same position that I’m sure would be liberated to see you, a black woman from a single parent household live out vulnerability and humility. I know GOD has amazing plans to use you as an example in their lives. We all battle that mindset of “I don’t need help” but every time we overcome to ask for the help we need another life is impacted by our healthy choice. May you continuously be blessed and reminded of the Proverbs 31 mindset as you press into overcoming the SWM. Bless you!

      Reply
  2. Mikey
    Mikey says:

    This post was what I needed to read. I really identify with some of the weaknesses of the superwoman mentality, I was actually just speaking with my mom about this and I want to press into becoming a proverbs 31 woman. I’ve seen victory in my relationship with my natural mother, in that as I’ve grown in relationship with her I’ve seen blessing in my ability to do life and make decisions. I’ve also found that I may have wants or desires but it takes help support and love from others in order to see them come to pass. These relationships really help defeat the selfish, alone, depressed and prideful mentalities I’ve seen in myself because I’ve realized I can’t do it on my own.

    Reply
    • Jade Lee
      Jade Lee says:

      It is a a pleasure to hear of families being restored with Truth. This is at the core of the small steps we take at JLO in sharing insight from our own lives. I am praying that you receive the help, support and love needed to be the Proverbs 31 Woman GOD desires. And I know He desires it so that you can live in Absolute Joy all the days of your life!

      Reply
  3. Lea B
    Lea B says:

    This article is so good. I grew up watching my mom do EVERYTHING by herself. I always admired that about her. I mean I really admired her being a superwoman. As I grow older I see how my mom is tired and really needs help, however she still presses in and does everything on her own. I definitely would like to see a modern day example of a mother-daughter discipleship relationship. I hear about it alot and I thought that I was living that out. But I honestly don’t know.. How do you press into relationship without forcing it? What are practical things that I could do to ensure that I pressing into deep relationship without over doing it??I want to be discipled, but I need to know what it looks like practically without it being forced. I love your blogs!!!! Thanks for writing them. They are challenging and makes you think!!!

    Reply
    • Jade Lee
      Jade Lee says:

      Beautiful Lea,

      I appreciate your heart and desire to see a modern day example of a mother-daughter discipleship relationship. I actually detail “what that looks like” more in the podcast at the bottom of this post. The full podcast can be found at this link:https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/inspiring-lives-weekly-encouragement/id1046124188?mt=2

      But here are a few tips- 1. Begin to study Handmaidens in the Bible. It is a life work of mine to see this Biblical concept of community living reestablished in our world, but particularly America. It is powerful and will free a lot of people from lifestyles of constant anxiety, isolation, depression. 2. Begin to reach out to the woman you want to build a relationship with in the natural. Study Titus 2:3-8. Female discipleship does not end with Titus 2, but it is a Great Beginning! This lifestyle needs to be restored in order to break a Superwoman mentality. 3. Find out what you enjoy and do it with the person discipling you. Fun times create deep bonds in a healthy way. 4. Serve the person you want a relationship with. Study Scriptures on servanthood. Literally search the word servant in the Bible and ask GOD to show you how you can live that out in your life. 5. Ask Questions about life, the Bible, marriage, relationships, or any other topic you genuinely need answers to- ask life questions and you will get deep life answers. Psalm 42:7

      Now you have a few tools to build that relationship and I’m excited to learn of your journey.

      Love & Blessings!

      Reply
  4. Nana
    Nana says:

    wow. I really am thankful that I read this. I feel at ease knowing that this was a confirmation to what I was praying for earlier on today and that God has given me the answers and even prayer points through this post. I’m very very very thankful for this blog post….thank you God.

    Reply
  5. Paige
    Paige says:

    Thank you so much for this article! I have always been a giver but I’ve always struggled with giving in a way that is balanced and doesn’t end in burn out. It can be very difficult for me to gauge how much I can realistically do and I often find myself over committing to others. I usually have a heart to do so much and I think I believe if I give to others it will be a way I am connecting to them but this isn’t always the case. Many times it ends in me giving and serving yet the relationship hasn’t gone any deeper. I’m believing I will truly become the Proverbs 31 woman God intends me to be in this next year and enjoy the fruit of deep relationships.

    Reply
    • Jade Lee
      Jade Lee says:

      Dear Paige,

      If you haven’t already, please scroll down to the bottom of this post and listen to the podcast. In it, I go deeper into how to overcome the SWM. Also, I want to share a few tips with you if you don’t mind!

      Whenever you find yourself feeling stressed out and overwhelmed that is the moment to ask yourself the following question, “What are my priorities?” “Have I decided to live my life in the following order? 1. GOD, 2. Nearest Ones (Family, Self Care) and 3. Others (Career, Ministry).” “If I know my priorities what decision do I need to make in this very moment?”

      It is entirely acceptable to stop life for a moment and take yourself through those questions. In the end, you will have the answer needed to make a wise, appropriate and healthy decision. You will also begin to see yourself under committing, over delivering and living life to the fullest with the people who matter most!

      Finally, I want to encourage you to take time out for deeper reflection on “what matters most” to you, what areas has GOD called you to most, and how can you serve less overall but more where you are called? What do you enjoy doing most? How can you do that more with the people He has placed in your life, outside of serving others? This will deepen your relationships and you will find it an absolute joy to see the change in your life.

      You go Proverbs 31 Woman!

      Reply
  6. O. Williams
    O. Williams says:

    Superwoman mentality

    As a single mother I have found myself working in this state SWM for the last ten years. You can say that I have some experience is being isolated, having anxiety and even being in the state of emergency quite often. I have NEVER had the pleasure of knowing how to EXIT this mentality until NOW. It was freedom reading and hearing the podcast of “How To Overcome Being A Superwoman”.
    This last semester in school I have opened up in getting help from some young ladies and even a family in my community to help me with my daughter. I constantly work long hours and my job is very demanding causing me to need help quite often. It wasn’t always easy for me to open up and say I need help but I learned something that I now treasure which is “My Emergency Isn’t Someone Else’s Emergency”. I took sometime to understand this quote, getting some doors slammed in my faced caused me to plan better and even ask in advance verses thirty minutes before hand. I am no where where I used to be and I know that I am still in this process call LIFE, but I truly look forward to this New Year and my future because this will not be a state of mind that I will cling too.

    Thank you so much for exposing this to us As WOMEN!

    Reply

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