I don’t need to be Mighty Mouse

Last week a colleague emailed me frantically from London. She was due to deliver a client program in three days in the States, and had just been denied entry. Did I know anyone who could step in for her, she asked.

Now, my calendar was full the days she needed help, but that didn’t stop me from feeling compelled to drop everything and help her. Even after I found someone else who could easily help her – and who was more trained in the method she was planning on using than I was – I felt compelled to drop everything and help her. Numerous times during the day I turned to my business partner and asked if I should drop everything and help her. Numerous times my business partner said “no.”

I think I have a Mighty Mouse complex. I hear the theme song playing in my head – “Here I come to save the day! Mighty Mouse is on the way!” I think I don’t need a Mighty Mouse complex any more.

I get where it comes from. It was hard-grained in me to rescue and save. It’s also a huge bit of being too full of myself – maybe there are still times I mistakenly think that no one can do it better than me. Maybe I can still be “addicted” to adrenaline and running too fast and doing too much. And pushing too hard. And being perfect. (Even in my not being perfect).

It amazed me that I kept asking my partner if I should step up and take on the gig. It amazed me that even when I knew I shouldn’t, and even didn’t want to, I still felt somehow compelled. It amazed me that old habits can die so hard.

Each time I sang the Mighty Mouse theme song to myself, and I keep singing it now. I want the reminder that I’m acting like Mighty Mouse, and that I don’t have to. I don’t have to save anything, or anyone, and nothing needs saving.

It’s a good song, and a good visual, but I don’t have to be Mighty Mouse any more.

PS – I did step up and do a short gig for her on Friday, but that was out of care and concern for her, and wanting to help. And that’s okay.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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