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Podcast Transcript

Superwoman To Be or Not To Be

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:11  
Welcome to "Your Authentic Path To Powerful Leadership" with Marsha Clark! Join us on this journey as we uncover what it takes to be a powerful leader in our organizations, our communities, and our lives. Marsha, welcome back!

Okay, so is it okay to confess that I am super interested in this topic this week? I mean, me, I think it's one of those that so many of our listeners will be able to relate to.

Marsha Clark  0:42  
Well, hello again, everyone. And yes, Wendi, today's topic is super relatable for so many of us. It's focused on one of those, what I would describe as, universal experiences that so many women have shared. The title of today's episode - Superwoman... To Be or Not To Be -  is an intentional call-out of the myth and that we as women have to be everything to everyone all the time.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:13  
Oh, wow. Yes, yes. Yes, I think all of us can relate to that. So I found the perfect quote to open up our conversation today. And it's actually a quote within a quote from two of my favorite female influencers. So this comes from Sheryl Sandberg and her "Lean In" book. And here's the quote...  "Trying to do it all, and expecting it all can be done exactly right, is a recipe for disappointment. Perfection is the enemy. Gloria Steinem said it best, 'You can't do it all. No one can have two full time jobs, have perfect children, and cook three meals and be multi-orgasmic till dawn.'" I love that imagery. Superwoman is the adversary of the women's movement.

Marsha Clark  2:12  
You know, Wendi, that is the perfect quote to get us started. So much packed into that one paragraph!

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  2:19  
Yes! That's what I thought too.

Marsha Clark  2:22  
And, you know, I have to tell you, Gloria Steinem... You know, I grew up when, when the women's movement was in full swing, if you will. And it makes me think one of the commercials and I still can sing this song. It's crazy. That reinforced this message that as a woman, you know, we not only could have it all, but that we were expected to do it all at the same time. And you may have heard because I use I sing a little jingle on this, but I'm not going to try and sing it for our fans here or our listeners here because that might not be a good thing. But it's from a commercial back in 1978. And so I'm not going to sing all of it but here was Enjoli was marketed as the eight hour perfume for the 24 hour woman. Okay, so this perfume was going to make us be all these things. So I'm just gonna tell you a piece of the lyrics.... "But i can bring home the bacon. Fry it up in a pan. And never ever let you forget your a Man. I can work till five o'clock. Come home and read you tickety-tock. Tonight I'm going to cook for the kids. And if it's loving you want I can kiss you and give you the shiverin' fits." Now is that crazy?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  3:40  
Oh my gosh...  I think I need a nap now.

Marsha Clark  3:45  
Okay, yeah. Now you're just listening to this. But now here you are watching it, you would say you would say that the woman who is singing this, you know, clever ditty, changes his clothes four times during the day including including putting on an evening gown after she's finished washing the dinner dishes to serve up some of those shivering fits.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  4:06  

Marsha Clark  4:09  
And we were supposed to buy into this. And whether we change clothes four times a day, or gave shiverin' fits. We still we're trying to be everything to everybody.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  4:18  
Exactly. Well, and I'm frightened because I remember this commercial. I was I was eight years old. So I remember this commercial. And now as a grown woman in today's world, I'm thinking about what that messaging was to me as a girl because I remember it distinctly and thinking, "Okay, that's what it's like and that's what is expected to be a woman." So we've got these really powerful mixed messages kicking around, and then... Don't we? I mean, the whole female empowerment message told women that they didn't have to be limited to traditional roles, but at the same time, it didn't betted that that was the expectation that they would still have to fulfill those traditional roles.

Marsha Clark  5:06  
Yes, you are absolutely right. It's a perfect example of be careful what you wish for. I mean, that's the you know what we hear all the time. Like Gloria Steinem said in the quote that you shared this, this double edged sword of, you know, moving into the male dominated work world, while still being expected to carry on what had been typical, traditional female responsibilities outside of work, really, this idea of being the adversary of the women's movement, and it really gave birth to the Superwoman Syndrome that's been sucking out the energy from women for nearly 50 years. And I think it's even more relevant and prevalent today. Especially as you know, this is gonna This podcast is going to air right in the middle of the holiday season, and that just is yet another layer on top of everything else that we're expected to do.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  6:00  
Yeah, exactly. Now, you mentioned the Superwoman Syndrome. Is that actually a thing?

Marsha Clark  6:07  
Yeah, believe it or not, we didn't just make that up. Right. It I had heard the phrase many times but you know, I've been went to try to find out what is the source of it or the origination of it, and there is an official status in the APA dictionary of psychology. So they define Superwoman Syndrome as, and I'm going to read you the definition... It's a set of characteristics found in a woman who performs or attempts to perform all the duties typically associated with several different full time roles such as wage-earner, mother, homemaker and wife. And the phrase Superwoman Syndrome was originally coined by Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz who wrote a book using the title "The Superwoman Syndrome." It was published in 1984, six years after the Enjoli commercial, and its tagline was basically - "For women trying to do at all, how to decide what's important in your life, and do it well." So trying to break the stigma of we have to do everything for everybody all the time.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  7:17  
Yeah. And so this has been going on since 1984, or 78. However, you choose to look at it.

Marsha Clark  7:24  
Right. I think it got ingrained in us at various times. But the timing is interesting, because it's right as the Gen Xers that generation, were graduating from high school, and of course, many were choosing to go to college. More and more women were enrolling in universities in pursuit of that, that dream of having it all both a career and a family. And that Gen X generation had grown up in homes where both parents worked outside the house. But that wasn't true for all and even those who did have two working parents. The data tells us that the mother, even if she was working full time, still came home, prepared a full meal for the family, did the laundry, did all the shopping, coordinated school activities. Basically kept the household running as if she had been a full-time homemaker. And so Gen Xers had what we call working mom role models who were unknowingly reinforced, reinforcing this unsustainable 24-hour woman expectation that, you know, we could and should and could be that that ultimate Enjoli woman and and not only was it expected, it was celebrated. You know women had fought so hard to gain access to top jobs and that sort of thing. And, and yet, here, we were being pulled apart in two different directions. And we were playing the role of Superwoman on a daily basis. And and, you know, with that success came an unexpected, and dare I say, a very high price.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  8:56  
Yeah, exactly. Now, given how successful you've been in your career, did you ever experience any of this Superwoman Syndrome? Any moments like that? Or was there a time or times when you paid a high price for trying to do or be too much?

Marsha Clark  9:14  
Yeah, of course. I think if every woman is being honest, her answer would be, of course. And I'll just share one example with you. And I want to preface this story with saying I had one of the most supportive husbands and we often described ourselves as interchangeable parents. We didn't have a lot of, you know, specific roles. He could do the laundry and I could be mowing the yard. I mean, it just depended on who was available and when it needed to get done. And yet, I will tell you there was a time in the early 90s-- and I was renegotiating a very large contract to hopefully make it a much larger contract-- and I am almost embarrassed to say this, but I worked about 100 hours a week for about 10 months. Yeah, and and it was crazy. And so here was my payoff. It was a payoff, hoping to get a bigger contract negotiation. The trade off was that I got zapped with vertigo at the end of that 10 months. And it was very ironic that we had signed the contract on Friday. I'm not kidding you on Friday. And that Sunday, I woke up, tried to sit up in bed, and fell over. And come to find out, I had vertigo and the room was spinning. And for the next seven weeks, I was flat on my back because my body said, "I'm done. You're not doing this to me anymore." And it was a hard lesson for me. Because in addition to working that 100 weeks, I was still trying to be the good mom, the good wife, the good daughter, the good sister, the good friend, the good everything. And yet it was not a sustainable proposition.

Well, exactly what did you learn from that situation?

Well, the lessons were pretty clear. And I've practiced them and tried to apply them from that point forward. One is that self care, taking care of ourselves is not a selfish act. And we often forget that. We think, "Well, gosh, I got to be there for everybody else." But if we don't take care of ourselves, we deplete ourselves and we're not available and resourceful enough to be able to do for others, like we love to do. I also very practically learned that working 80 to 100 hours per week is not really a sustainable thing. That it's gonna knock you out. I also learned that you don't have to do it all yourself. And and in fact, if I tried to do everything myself, I'm doing not only myself a disservice by taking it all on and carrying it around, but I'm depriving others of opportunities to learn, grow, and develop. And then, you know, I also learned don't wait for a breakdown to pay attention notice and change your patterns in your ways to at the earliest signs, you know, make different choices.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  12:04  
Right, so the Superwoman Syndrome is the high price women pay for trying to do and be at all for everyone.

Marsha Clark  12:12  
Yeah, that's the, that's the bottom line. And to be honest, I think the, you know, the list of those full time roles that the APA provided in today's world could be expanded and updated to be even more reflective of all the responsibilities that women feel on a daily basis. You know, now it's the roles of daughter caregiver for aging parents, you know, friend, coach. My daughter-in-law is now coaching my, you know, granddaughter's volleyball team. I mean, and, and community leader too. You know, participating in philanthropic things and community things... Those could have all easily been added to that list. And, and, you know, and and now, when you think about the last few years, the COVID phenomena has, you know, piled on even more. I think of that Jenga game, you know, where you stack up the blocks, and you're trying to build this tower and, you know, it gets taller and taller, and it begins to lean and we stack that last brick on top. Yet, you know, think about it. Maybe it's the role of now the home virtual teacher because my kids can't get into the classroom and, and, and that describes the modern day Superwoman.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  13:22  
Yeah, I'm exhausted just thinking about all the responsibilities that these Superwomen take on.

Marsha Clark  13:28  
Well, it's, it's absolutely true, for sure, for sure. And, and if the list of responsibilities isn't bad enough, or as you say, exhausting enough. It's it's not even the only ingredient in the Superwoman, or Superwoman Syndrome, kind of soup that we're sloshing around in. You know, the other part of the myth of what makes Superwoman so super is that she performs all of these roles, or nearly all of them. Let's, you know, we know that different women have different lives, but we're supposed to do this while looking eternally youthful with a positive attitude and a zen like approach to all challenges. It's like we're just supposed to suck it up. I mean, that's, that's the phrase that I think about just suck it up. Just make it happen.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  14:10  
Yeah, all of this is making me think of Betty Draper on Mad Men. I'm just sorry. I'm, I'm like in visually seeing that eternally youthful, positive attitude. Everything is wonderful and fantastic. In this, it's so unrealistic, and yet I know plenty of women around me who still feel compelled and driven towards the Superwoman model. Why is that?

Marsha Clark  14:37  
Yeah, I think there are quite a few reasons. And before I give some thoughts about this, I'd love for our listeners to just take a moment and think about the question for themselves. You know, why do we feel so compelled to fit into this Superwoman model? Why do we buy into this? And so take a minute for our listeners, if you can If you're in a place where you can write something down, write it down. If you're in a place where you can think about it, just take a moment and ponder that. Why do we still feel compelled in 2021 to fit this Superwoman model? And so if this description of Superwoman fits you, if you're someone who fills these multiple roles on a continual basis, and you feel like you need to perform at this 100% level in every single one of those roles 100% of the time, then yeah, you you'd likely have Superwoman Syndrome. And if that does describe you, we're gonna take you through a process to get really honest with yourself. Because here is the what I think is a really important question. What is the payoff to you? For for you, to you? Let me say that again, what is the payoff TO YOU? Or FOR YOU? By being Superwoman?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  15:59  
Yeah, wow. So what do you mean by the payoff? Give us an example of that?

Marsha Clark  16:05  
Yeah. So a payoff is the benefit that I'm going to get or the result of an action and the assumption that it is that it's going to be positive, at least on some level, or at least in the beginning. So for example, payoffs for being Superwoman might include financial security. If I work really hard and do really well, I'll make more money, and that'll give me and my family, some financial security. It may be respect and admiration of people that you respect. They'll like me more, right? They'll respect me more. And then this idea of it may give me more control or power. If I do it all myself, maybe the love of my family, they'll love me more if I do these things for them. And then this sense of fulfillment, achievement, winning. So the list kind of goes on and on. Those are examples of payoffs.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  16:53  
Okay? That absolutely makes sense. Because there has to be a payoff for being a Superwoman. I mean, you're killing yourself. There has to be some kind of emotional or other payoff, like the things you listed above. And so at what point does the cost start to outweigh the payoff?

Marsha Clark  17:12  
Aha, there is the question. Ah, yes, yes. To your first point, yes, there is always a payoff, at least initially. But your second question, really, at what point? Does the cost start to outweigh the payoff? That's the million dollar question. So how can we pay enough attention to notice when we're starting to lose our way, and the benefits that we were once enjoying are starting to wane? And perhaps even disappear?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  17:42  
Yeah, so how do we recognize those warning signs of Superwoman Syndrome?

Marsha Clark  17:48  
Yeah, so they're gonna look a whole lot like your typical burnout symptoms, right? So fatigue, reduced resistance to illnesses. My immunities go down. I may just become apathetic, sort of get into the I don't care, you know, mentality. And I may be disconnecting from activities or people who, who used to bring me much joy. And, you know, I loved being around. I can be irritable or grumpy. I can lose focus. I'm not sleeping well. And, you know, recognizing that these symptoms can be as a result of a lot of different things. So we're not trying to be your healthcare provider in this podcast. But, I think it those early signals that we need to pay attention to them. And I think we as women, because we get so busy, we sometimes get out of touch with, you know, what our bodies are trying to tell us. And so, you know, make sure that if you're beginning to feel these things, if it's serious enough, go see your medical professional, we want to be really clear about that. But you know, as you begin to rule out these things, you know, recognize how your never ending list of To Do's and To Be's might be driving the health situation. I can't tell you how many times I hear women say, "Well, my physician told me this was stress induced," or that, you know, "Stress was playing a role in my, you know, physical condition."

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  19:11  
Yeah. So if we do suspect that we might be falling into the Superwoman trap, what are some tips you have for us?

Marsha Clark  19:19  
Yeah, I do this is this is where I really want us to pay attention. I think we all recognize many of the things we've talked about. But here's some thoughts for you. As always, we're going to start around self awareness, much as we did a moment ago do do some reflection and and I would say write some things down to see how and where you might have some of those Superwoman tendencies and to also know what what you describe as your payoffs. What are those payoffs? And then get really honest with yourself about the other side of that, which is what are some of the potential costs that are associated with these payoffs and, you know, think about it In these terms, Are you trading your health for wealth? Are you trading your tranquility for toys? You know, we just keep thinking, well, I need one of those. Well, so and so has some of that. So I need some of that. So the material items that you think you need, but then you don't find the joy in them after you've acquired them, or you don't even have time to enjoy them, because you're just stacking on more stuff. And then, are you also trading quality relationships for maybe just a quantity of experiences? Or how many people? How many friends do I have on Facebook? You know, it's... we're confusing things there. And basically, you know, think about what is your Kryptonite, for those of you who know the Superman or Superwoman story. The Superman's energy was completely zapped by by Kryptonite. And this is where the idea of trade offs you're making. That could be the very things that are draining you of your energy and your passion, your joy. So self-assess what my payoffs are... What am I getting with my trade offs? What am I giving up?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  21:11  
Yeah, those are really good points. Okay, so then what?

Marsha Clark  21:16  
Alright, so yes, everything is a process. So after you list those things, you want to do an inventory... a really thorough inventory of what your roles and responsibilities are. And prioritize them. And I'm going to give you a sorting process. And it's five different categories. So I want you to think about all the different things that you're doing and how you might organize them in ways that would help you manage your expectations of you, as it relates to being everything for everybody all the time. So here are the five and then I'm going to talk about each one of them. So the first one is Dedicate, Modulate, Hibernate, Delegate, and Terminate. So I'll give you a quick description of these:  Dedicate is choosing those roles or responsibilities that you're fully committed to because you love doing them. Your passion is filled when you're involved in them are engaged in them. And, if you could spend all your time doing them, you would. And now here's a caution for us. Because this is what we do oftentimes is women... Don't judge your list. Don't say, "Oh, I shouldn't feel that way." Or, "Oh, I could never have that." or...  You love what you love. So just give yourself permission to love what you love. And there's no need to deny or apologize for that this is what you love.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  22:40  
Yeah, this, wow! This is going to be a great way to sort out my life list. And I'm loving this so far. So what's next?

Marsha Clark  22:48  
Alright, so that so the next one is Modulate. And this is a term, that means you want to make some changes or something to something in order to keep a better balance. So put those roles and responsibilities in this category. This Modulatee category that you still want to do. But that that could be just done just as well at a reduced effort. You don't have to do everything at 100% effort or with 100% perfection. You've heard me say the strive for grace and not perfection. And you know, what is something that you could do at 80%, or even 60% and still satisfy your needs and the needs of others that are important to you. And if I can give you a list of or just an example, not a list, but an example of my Modulate. Here, here's a, I'm disclosing something personal-- I don't make up my bed every day. And it sounds so simple. Anybody who knows me knows I'm not a morning person. And yet, you know, the world requires us to get up in the morning and start going, you know, 90 miles an hour. And so guess what, the world doesn't come to an end because I don't make my bed every day. And when I go to bed that night, I you know, smooth it out, and I get in bed and I sleep just as well as if I'd made my bed that day. So it's one of those things that I don't punish myself. Nor do I put pressure on myself to think I have to make my bed every day. I gave myself that permission many years ago. And it and it works better for me.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  24:14  
Yes, I believe me, I can think of several things off the top of my head that I could Modulate down to 80-85% and still meet my goals and enjoy my life by just letting it go a little bit.

Marsha Clark  24:28  
Right, right? The key step here is that if you just give yourself permission to do that, it's a big step. So that's the that's the Modulate and then next on our sort is the Hibernate. Which is just like it sounds. You know bears that hibernate in the winter. So what roles can you temporarily set aside? Responsibilities you can temporarily set aside for a specific time period without doing any harm to it? Right? It's still going to get done. It's going to get done in a reasonable timeframe, but it doesn't have to be done right this minute. You know, in nature, if you think about that there are seasons for a reason. Everything has its time, right? Whether it's the dormancy in the winter. The blooming in the spring. The growing in the summe, and the shedding in the fall. And and just like seasons, you know, animals Hibernate is a part of what is often described as the natural order of things. And as humans, we're the only creatures that don't seem to take advantage of that hibernation, you know, unless it's forced on us. Like me... I had to basically hibernate for seven weeks with vertigo, because I couldn't stand up without, you know, falling over. So look on the your list all those things that you listed, and choose some things that you could safely Hibernate. And it's not that you're never going to do them. Just say, "I'm going to do those in third quarter," or "I'm going to do those at a time when it's not so overwhelming."

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  25:56  
Yeah, exactly. I mean, talking about this also makes me think about all the articles I read about procrastination and how you shouldn't (again, I'm gonna "should" on our listeners) how you shouldn't procrastinate. And yet, I'm a big believer in this concept of, if I'm not jumping onto an idea, or project or a task, or an initiative, or whatever it is in my life. Then, that's telling me subconsciously that maybe it doesn't need to be done right now. Maybe there's something going on underneath the surface, that there's a reason why I'm procrastinating. So now I'm going to choose to put these things in the Hibernation bucket, because that is gonna, I mean, I can already feel myself like mentally lifting. Because I've just made the decision, okay, that thing that I've been thinking about, because it's so annoying, when it just niggles at you in the back of your mind. It's, it's stressful. And it robs me of quality sleep. So if I just make the conscious decision to put that in the Hibernate bucket, it doesn't mean it goes away, or that I'm not going to do it. But maybe I will do it at the better time. Or maybe it won't be important at all. And it'll just fall off the list altogether.

Marsha Clark  27:16  
Yeah, and we and we have a category for that too. But I love that I love that idea of it is an example of things that take up space and energy in our minds as unfinished business because our brains are open loop systems. They keep swirling and swirling until we close it right. But even if I put it away and say, I'm going to come back to it, that will stop the swirl in our heads, right? And you know, this idea of is it really as urgent or maybe even as important, even though we may know we want to do it eventually. But if we give ourselves that permission, and we allow those things to just rest peacefully tucked away for safekeeping for some future date. And we're going to bring them back out on our own terms, not in letting them control us.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  28:04  
Yeah, exactly. So next is Delegate.

Marsha Clark  28:08  
Right, right. And so again, looking at all those roles and responsibilities, are there things that you could Delegate to someone else. And this is not just in the workplace. This is, you know, home responsibilities as well making lunches, you know, for the next day, or, you know, various chores. Taking out the garbage. Running to the grocery store. Picking up the cleaning. Whatever it might be. And we're going to have an entire podcast dedicated to Delegation, so I'm not going to go into a whole lot of detail here. But there are two quick and important things that I'll share with our listeners that I think are really successful to Delegation. One is to ensure that you're mindful of the person's capabilities. So what what do they know how to do and, you know, if it's a child, that you're trying to teach how to do some things and be more self sufficient around the house. Just coach them. Help them learn those new capabilities and skills. And then where possible, if you can provide that support, along with the authority to get done the assignment. So maybe I say to you, I want you to, you know, take out the garbage. You know, and just recognize that the garbage man comes on Thursday, right, whatever that might be. You can take it out at four o'clock in the afternoon, or you can take it out at midnight. But you know, you get to have some authority on when you're... the timing of when you're going to do that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  29:29  
Yeah, the Delegation tools in your book, embracing your power are so helpful. And I know our listeners are going to enjoy that podcast when we do get to it.

Marsha Clark  29:40  
Yeah, I will tell you that women offer their thoughts about delegating is something that's really hard. And what's true is that we often as high performers, in our workplaces, get rewarded for that and it's about solving problems. It is my job to solve the problem. One of the biggest shifts is learning how to delegate what because there's a change that comes from, say, director to VP, or maybe it's senior manager to director, that it is no longer my job to solve the problem. It is my job to see that the problem gets solved. And that's different. And that requires both delegation and appropriate checks and balances.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  30:22  
Yep, yep. So the last sort we're doing with our list of roles and responsibilities is Terminate.

Marsha Clark  30:30  
Yes, Terminate. That sounds a little, you know, AHHHHH "Terminate!" And it means exactly what you think it means. So this is where you were saying earlier, maybe it doesn't need to be done at all. So what responsibilities do you simply need to stop doing? Where do you need to set a boundary begin saying no, where has the end, this is key, where has the trade off overpowered the payoff. And I'm not necessarily saying that you got to abruptly cut off ties or, you know, stop taking someone's calls or any of that. You may need to transition plan A, you know, to basically disengage in both a professional or and compassionate way. But the end goal is to make a break away from whatever that role or task is. And to do that guilt free. That's the hard part guilt free.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  31:21  
Yep. So once you've done this sorting process with your inventory, what comes next?

Marsha Clark  31:28  
Well, I find that when you go through this, even going through the process gives you some clarity, right, so it now people will call me on coaching calls, and they'll say, "Oh, I'm so frustrated," or "I'm so at a loss." And at the end of the call, they say, "I feel so much better. I have a plan." So going through all of this gives you a plan. And it's going to be help you begin to choose how you want to be more deliberate, more intentional, with your time, your energy and your resources, and it's going to help you start to get clearer about what roles and tasks you want to protect for yourself. The ones that are not negotiable. The ones that, you know, you're going to hold on too tightly. And it can also help you as the old habit of, you know, pulling on that Superwoman Cape starts to sneak up on you. And when you fall into the trap of taking on too much, or is in the Superman vernacular to leap tall buildings in a single bound, or whatever your personal version of a Superwoman behaviors look like?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  32:30  
Exactly so many quality concepts here. And I know we're going to talk in the future about boundaries, delegation, perfectionism, so there are more chances to dive into content that's similar to this. But since we were starting to wrap up here, what would you say are a couple of key takeaways from today's episode on "Superwoman - To Be Or Not To Be?"

Marsha Clark  32:56  
Yeah, so I want to highlight three of them. So I think first, the first takeaway is that Superwoman is a myth. Let's just all acknowledge that this is a myth. She's a character in a comic book, for goodness sakes. And she's a figment in the mind of advertisers who've tried to sell us this story about what an ultimate woman is supposed to do and to be. And it's not only unrealistic, it's dangerous. It's dangerous for our health. It's dangerous for burnout. It's dangerous for relationships. And so recognizing first step is that it's a myth. And then the second takeaway is that, Superwoman is not real. However, the Superwoman Syndrome is very real. And that there are both payoffs for having it and being it all, as well as costs or trade offs when we make the choice to try and be that Superwoman. And then the third takeaway is about getting really clear about your own personal payoffs and trade offs. And then prioritizing all of your roles and responsibilities in terms of those you want to hold on to, the ones you want to adjust, or the ones you want to eliminate. That Superwoman is a persona that you can choose to hold on to or let go of this is where your power is in your choice. And this is, you know, the title of "Superwoman - To Be Or Not To Be?" And, which do you choose?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  34:22  
Exactly. Marsha, thank you so much for sharing your personal story today. And then offering us these these actionable tips on how to handle our own Superwoman Syndromes. You've given us a great gift to consider over this next week.

Marsha Clark  34:39  
Well, you know, I consider you, Wendi, and all of our listeners as great gifts. So it's with great pleasure that I share what I've learned over the years and, and as I tried to pay it forward. And these are important concepts and within our control. Because so many times, it's driven by our own self talk. And so our power... you know, I'm all about embracing your power... Your power lies in the question of how you choose to answer -- "Superwoman - To Be Or Not To Be."

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  35:17  
Oh, Marsha, I just love that. Thank you so much for joining us today listeners on our journey of our authentic powerful leadership. We invite you to download and subscribe to this podcast and share it with your friends -- "Your Authentic Path To Powerful Leadership with Marsha Clark" on iTunes, Google, Spotify, wherever you prefer to listen. And, please visit Marsha's website at for links to all the tools, resources, her books, subscribe to her email list, and stay up to date on everything in Marsha's world. And with that Marsha....

Marsha Clark  35:58  
Well again, let me thank all of our listeners for joining us today and I invite you and hope you will connect with me again via email or any of those social media channels with questions or comments about anything we discussed today or in any of our podcasts. And we hope that will you'll join us again next week, and here's to women supporting women!

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