Masking our authentic selves is an unsustainable practice. Whether we fear judgement or rejection or perhaps we worry about not meeting the expectations put on us, hiding our brilliance is costly. It is exhausting as we neglect our needs and play a “sanitised” version of ourselves.

The heady mix of depletion and feeling uncomfortable reduces our capacity to lead, act and live from our five Women’s Powertypes. We are more susceptible to four other disempowering archetypes.

Let me introduce you to Superwoman, Bitch, Martyr & Victim. 

Put your cape on, let’s fly

Superwoman’s strength comes from external validation – praise, admiration, recognition or awards. She’s got everything handled. Nothing too small or too big. She’s got it. Need a birthday cake making? She’s on it, Mary Berry would approve. Write a research report for tomorrow? She’s on it, in triplicate. Dinner date? She’s on it, reservation made. Sick relative? She’s on it, chicken soup at the ready.

Her colleagues see her as a role model, hitting KPIs and meeting tough targets. Her friends admire her commitment to them and her family as she arranges catch-ups, presents and events. Within her community, she’s on the organising committee and volunteers to pick up any untaken tasks. 

Under all of this is a numbness. The positive feedback. The recognition. The thanks. They don’t really mean anything anymore. So she pushes harder and harder, trying to fit in, trying to find that acceptance and peace she craves.

Superwoman also robs us of being our true selves and being in alignment with our needs and values as our boundaries disappear in order to keep achieving and meeting others’ ideals.

Sadly, she’s not the only one demotivating you and stealing your energy

Bitch, Martyr and Victim can also play a part in providing us with disempowering practices. Superwoman’s sidekicks each have their own special attributes to knock your confidence and undermine your ability to inspire, influence and build balanced relationships at home or at work.

Martyr is the disempowering archetype of the people pleaser, who is admired by others for her tenacity to shower care on others. They don’t notice the sacrifice that goes with being her as they just love how she tries so hard to care for everyone around her – whether they want it or not. She differs from Superwoman because her actions are about creating ease for others, whilst Superwoman wants recognition. Martyr bats that away, feeling it’s her duty to serve others before herself. 

It is this selflessness that is demotivating and de-energising for her. In the hope of giving her all, people will love her. Typically, she creates two types of relationships. People dump on her as she’s created a co-dependency and she feels resentment and unvalued by their lack of appreciation. Or people reject her smothering help and reject her friendship, parenting or leadership.

Quick to snap and point the finger of blame are hallmarks of Bitch – please don’t expect compassion or empathy for her. She’s feeling overwhelmed and overloaded with everyone’s asks of her. In fact, it is EVERYONE ELSES FAULT!?!? Oops did I just shout that out loud? 

This thing is she isn’t a part of your authentic self. She’s a part of your depleted, disempowered self show up from a fear of being found out, exposed so her temper gets the better of her and lashes out.

Last, in this trio of disempowering archetypes, there is Victim. Possibly the most disempowered of them all as she feels no sense of resourcefulness in herself. She’s hopeless and worthless. There is no point in her expressing her thoughts or opinions in meeting or with loved ones as she’s bound to be wrong. 

“Poor me”, she whispers as the pressures pile on to conform and fit in. She has no value to offer and no self-worth or trust in her self to do what’s needed or right for others or for herself. Better someone else makes decisions for her or tell her what to do.

Now you recognise them, how do you switch to empowering practices?

Spotting when these archetypes show up is the first step – whether it is in hindsight or in the moment. Next raise your awareness of what, who and when they appear. Perhaps it’s a specific person or situation? Maybe you’re in the bleed phase of your cycle and are feeling fatigued? Could it be that you are matching a meaning or belief to the experience that isn’t realistic?

By examining your behaviour, your emotions and your subsequent actions, you can choose empowering practices. But first, please replenish your needs and energy – physical, psychological, social and spiritual. Check in with your basics (sleep, diet, movement and hydration) then check in on your mental and your social well-being (journaling, talking with a trusted friend or advisor, small catch-ups on text or longer in-person time with a group, etc.) Don’t neglect your connection with Source – be that God, Buddha, Mother Nature or Universe – finding solo time and collective time to be at one with your connection is essential.

You can also leverage the Women’s Powertypes and use their strengths to bring your full brilliance to the fore. You can lean into their inner confidence and acceptance to recharge your own capacity to be your whole authentic self.

Do you need to partner with Queen’s vision and serenity? Lover and Mother can bring self-compassion and unconditional love. Or perhaps delegating to Sorceress’s universal wisdom might help. If it is get up and go that you need from Warrioress to protect your team and still bring a win home? 

 

Daily empowering practices build and refine your resilience and skills to step out of Superwoman, Bitch, Martyr and Victim, and into your Powertypes’ authenticity and strength. Through my coaching and training workshops, my clients learn to change their habits into supportive ones that enable them to live, work and love as their whole authentic selves.

I deliver these to self-funded individuals as well as parts of corporate programmes or for women’s networks, forums and ERGs. You can learn more about these via the “work with me” in the top menu.

If you’re curious about your One of many Women’s Powertype profile and how you currently capitalise on their strengths, drop me a line to arrange your assessment and debrief – I’m on sarae@saraepratt.com