I'm Not Superman

Photo Credit: greg westfall

I'm Not Superman

I spend my days thinking I’m Superman. I try and save the day at every opportunity. The feedback I get from my coworkers only fuels this pursuit. Over time, I get a false sense of importance, followed by a crushing weight of perceived responsibility. When deadlines get compressed, I feel as though the entire success of the project is on my shoulders. I feel like I can’t fail or I’ll be a failure. I won’t be Superman anymore.

I’ve created so many expectations for myself that it is causing worry and anxiety. I’ve even got physical manifestations of this self-imposed stress. It has become an addiction. It took small accomplishments early on, but I saved the day. Then people expect more of me. In turn, I expect more from myself. The small accomplishments aren’t as rewarding and I don’t get the same feedback. So I take on more. I set the bar higher for myself. Then I find myself at the point where I’m strung out on caffeine and adrenaline to keep going.

Many probably may just see me doing what needs to be done or climbing the ladder. If I’d spent the last 3 months on a drinking binge or doing heroine all day someone would have done an intervention. But because I’m “functioning” and “producing” at work, nobody seems to take notice. All I know is I’m going to find myself in a metaphorical gutter if I keep going like I am.

The stress of the last month is making me examine my life. Recent events remind me that I’m a people pleaser and I thrive on affirmation. I love it when my coworkers say that I’m awesome or a rockstar. I feel needed if they come to me when they need a problem solved. But that’s placing all my self-worth on what people think of me and not who Christ says I am.

“He who began a good work in [me] will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

In this storm, I’m being reminded of the necessity of Sabbaths. Even when I’m not at work, I’m probably working over some problem in my head. Or I’m trying to find something to keep myself occupied. I have observed it is harder for me to be still. I’m beginning to see this is a symptom of my lack of trust in Christ. With my constant working, I’m saying that he can’t provide for me if I rest once a week like he has commanded.

I awoke Monday morning to an email from my editor stating he was expecting my chapter the next day. I mixed up dates and hadn’t bothered to check my calendar. I spent the week playing catch up and feeling like a failure.

All this is breaking me down physically and mentally. It’s also breaking me spiritually. I only pray that I don’t run before I learn what I need to learn. In the mean time, I have to sit with the fact that I’m not Superman. That’s ok because I’m not and I can’t keep pretending to be.