by Patricia Arboleda

It can be easy to fall into the trap of having to prove our self-worth. We push ourselves past our limitations as a ploy to look perfect, but ultimately this is not a mindset or approach that leads to success. In fact, these tactics are common attributes to those of us who suffer with “superwoman syndrome”. As much as superwoman syndrome might sound like a bogus or made up disorder, itis an affliction that millions of women suffer from.So what exactly is superwoman syndrome?


Superwoman syndrome refers to a woman who neglects herself in order to “do it all” to perfection and ends up stretching herself too thin.This might sound like you. You’re a perfectionist who sets extraordinarily high goals for yourself, so much so that your expectations are impossible to reach resulting in mass disappointment and dissatisfaction. Or maybe you’re someone who is a high achiever, but are always left with the belief that you could have done abetter job. Perhaps you’re a single mother who feels burdened by financial pressure and you work so much to provide for your family that you end up neglecting your own well being. No matter what category you fit into, living with superwoman syndrome is exhausting and the truth is, you don’t need to be a Superwoman to advance inyour career or live successfully.


Being a Superwoman will only bring you to the point of burnout. So what do you need to live a successful life? Whatever success means to you, developing the right habits and living a balanced life is the only way to get where you want to be. But what exactly does it mean to have a balanced life? The answer is that living a balanced and successful life is different for everybody. Here are a few things that we all can share as “boxes to check” that will undoubtedly lead to success:


  • being intentional about your career– knowing your value and being ready to talk about it
  • asking for what you want, be courageous– developing a growth mindset
  • setting personal time aside (“me” time)
  • exercising often and practicing mindfulness
  • learning to say no


As a Latina, I grew up in a perfectionist culture which has allowed me to develop limiting beliefs and intense self- doubt. These same limiting beliefs made me feel as if I needed to be a workaholic in order to be successful. I know how it feels to be financially pressured as a single mother and how it leads to overwork and neglect. It wasn’t until I spent over two decades incorporate when I realized the negative impacts of my superwoman syndrome nature. I would work to the bone at my position which resulted in a promotion, but that only made me temporarily happy. Now, having spent years cultivating a life of self-sufficiency and independence, I have decided to hang up my superwoman cape and be content with who I am without having the need to be perfect and measure up to everyone else’s standards.


Now before we move on, I want to talk a little more about mindfulness. This is a widely effective practice, and it builds four traits that every great leader has:


  1. Resilience
  2. Self-awareness
  3. Emotional Intelligence
  4. Powerful Mindset


These are the foundational things that will help you to completely transform your career. Taking time to become more knowledgeable in your space, networking in order to build new relationships, building your brand, and putting your best foot forward in your daily activities is the “extra credit” that will only build your momentum faster.


Finding my definition of success took a long time for me, but when I found that, my goals and values became clearer. My dream is to help women in similar circumstances find their own definitions of success. Everyone deserves to live a fulfilled life, but that starts with small actions.Celebrate your accomplishments in your life. As minor or major as they are, be proud of yourself the way you are proud of a loved one when they accomplish something. Throw a dinner party, go out for drinks, or treat yourself to something you love. By cheering yourself on, you start rewiring how your brain thinks and that overcritical voice in your head gradually becomes quieter and quieter. My mission is to help women live on their own terms and achieve their goals while remaining fulfilled with what they do.


So how can you live on your own terms, honor and fulfill your responsibilities, and be a high performer in your field of expertise? The answer is simple: Your ability to excel in your life trickles down to establishing effective habits, mastering your mindset, and sustaining a consistent positive energy. With these, nothing can hold you back from accomplishing your goals and living your dreams on your terms.


Remember, you have to create a strong foundation to build on. You have to focus on the person in the mirror, first!



Patricia Arboleda is a certified Executive and Leadership Coach, facilitator, trainer, and keynote speaker. She lives in Miami, Florida, and has over 25 years of corporate leadership experience. To book a free strategy call with Patricia, visit