The Wonder Woman Myth

The Wonder Woman Myth

You weren’t born with superhuman strength and speed or the ability to fly

By Ann Elliott

Many of us believe we can do it all. Not only that, but we believe we MUST do it all. To compound the problem, we believe we must do it perfectly, but it must look effortless. Can you relate?

The cost of this belief and behavior is enormous. It is not unique to women. However, it seems mostly women who subscribe to the Wonder Woman myth in order to measure up. To be enough.

This is the currency

  1. Running on an empty tank because of prolonged stress and unrelenting demands
  2. Being spread thin so nothing gets done at 100%
  3. Taking care of everybody else first
  4. Feeling guilt and shame
  5. Adopting the belief that I am at fault because I cannot get it all done to perfection
  6. Concluding I am not worthy
  7. Putting myself last and the cycle repeats

We drank the Wonder Woman Kool-Aid

Regardless of how talented or willing, it is unrealistic to expect anyone to do it all. Most importantly, it is unrealistic for YOU to expect this of yourself. Women must do the same as men and then some. Where did these ideas originate?

The ideas of perfection and doing it all came from Hollywood, the beauty industry, institutions, advertising, and religion to name a few.

How do you break the cycle? Dig deep in your courage. Recognize you are worth taking care of yourself. You matter.

It is lazy to say “yes” to everything. Why? Not being willing to clarify what is important to you, makes it easy to say “yes” to everything. You are allowing someone else to dictate your priorities. You are spending your precious creativity and energy accomplishing what is important to someone else. I do not know about you, but this is enough to make a person irritable, right?

 To live full out without regrets, take these steps:

Clarify what is important to you. What are your values?

Invest your time and energy in what really matters to you.

Do less but do it better. This is how you make your highest contribution.

WARNING: you run the risk of annoying people who are accustomed to having you help them achieve their goals at the risk of neglecting yours. I can practically guarantee this will happen.

Your happiness and fulfillment are an inside job

Your willingness to question the Wonder Woman myth frees you to experience more fulfillment and joy. No one can do it for you. And that is the good news. You have the power. You are in total charge of your beliefs and your action. What is a must that supports what you value? What do you need to release that does not support this value?

Do less but better (not perfect) in areas important in your life. Wonder Woman is a myth that does not serve you.


Ann ElliottAnn Elliott, a recovering perfectionist, is founder and president of The Berkana Company, which provides guidance to entrepreneurs to save money, create efficiencies, and improve profits.