Take Off The Cape (And Stop Trying To Save Everyone Else)

Do you take care of others before yourself?

If you’re like me, the habit of trying to fix and save others will be a tough one to break. My divorce gave me the courage to allow my true identity to emerge so I could finally stop abandoning myself for the sake of rescuing others and not rocking the boat. What a relief to relinquish the image of perfection I had been projecting out to the world! I took off my Superhero cape and finally broke free from the persona I’d created to get validation.

Perhaps you, too, are soaring around, searching for love. Whatever the intention behind your need for perfection and validation, know that you are not alone. Start slowly. First, try just tucking the superhero cape inside your shirt for a day or two. You don’t have to take it all the way off yet! Your ego will do its damnedest to pull it back out (to hell with setting boundaries!) and that’s okay. Just keep reminding yourself that you’re ready to start rescuing yourself instead of everyone else.

And if you’re like me, one day soon you’ll forget all about that cape. You’ll be cleaning out your closet and you’ll find it hiding back there between your winter parka and your raincoat. And you’ll smile. You’ll remember the thrill of being a superhero, but you won’t need that identity anymore. Somewhere along the way, through some miracle, you will have become comfortable with being exactly who you are—with all of your weaknesses and strengths.

(Excerpt from Jump … And Your Life Will Appear, published by Hay House, available on Amazon.)

Are you wearing a Superhero cape? I’d love to hear how you plan to make steps to choose you!


  1. Allison on April 23, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    For my entire life I have tried to please EVERYONE, but me…. Like you, I finally got the courage to divorce my husband. I was sad, but so happy at the same time. I luckily kept a journal reminding why I needed to leave, which helped me through the rough days. A few years later….I find myself slipping back to the old ways!! NO!!!! I moved in with a man, who is great. BUT I compromised MY LIFE again! I once lived 15 minutes from my job…NOW I live OVER AN HOUR AWAY….just to accommodate him! I spend two + hours each day (an extra 100 miles A DAY) just to accommodate him. And I am noticing my skin, eyes, hair and nails are starting to warn me that I cannot take the anxiety too much longer…. I need to find my strength again to live for me…
    Thank you so much for your stories. I saw you speak in New York in October 2012. You read a poem and made me cry….I left my husband a month later. I hope that I can find that courage again………

  2. Daisy Wong on April 23, 2014 at 10:16 pm

    Thank you for posting this on your blog. I, too have been a fixer all my life. It’s nice to know that I am not the only one. You broke free from your persona!! I love this line, it must be such a relief. I relate to every single word here. Thanks for writing it for us.

  3. Ann Hart on April 24, 2014 at 3:36 am

    After my husband’s suicide, I learned you can’t cure them, change them, save them, just yourself. Your flowisuch a go, namaste thankyou

  4. Jennifer on May 13, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I also have been a pleaser all my life! Always putting everyone else’s needs before my own. I’m a perfectionist for sure! I too, am divorced and then was in an abusive relationship. Yoga and Mindfulness Meditation have helped me to begin accepting and loving myself. All of my imperfections included. Still have a lot of work to do however to get that old belief of not being good enough out of me. Thanks for writing the book Jump and your Life will Appear. I just started reading it! LOVE IT!