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Savior’s Complex: I Retired My Cape For My Dream Life

Savior's Complex
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When I acknowledged a Savior’s Complex, I learned some valuable life lessons about how our beliefs affect our intentions. And I’m talking about those unknown beliefs buried in our unconscious mind.

The overall lesson is, the gray area in manifestation is the fact that intentionality isn’t just what you want but what you believe. You could want a thing, result, goal, or dream but if you don’t believe it’s possible, you won’t get the result, have the thing, achieve the goal, or live your dream life.

This gray area disrupts your manifestation because your mindset doesn’t align with your desires.  

Accordingly, the gray area you create because of unconscious tendencies and psychological constructs you’ve formed can become unknown intentions all on their own. And we may not realize it. 

That’s why we emphasize doing the work, making a real mind-body-spirit connection so that you can understand your intentions, and become aware of old mindsets that are disrupting your manifestation process.  

I’ve created these constructs and disruptors because of my worldview and my past struggles with perfectionism. I did the work to break old behavior and thought patterns to live my dream life–a fulfilled, rich, and happy life. 

You’re Already A Hero in Your Life Story

You see, you are the hero of your life story, and you are also the author and protagonist. You don’t have to be the hero in someone else’s.

When you try to be the hero or savior in someone else’s story, you play distinct roles, that become psychological constructs and those psychological constructs affect your relationships, intrapersonal intelligence, and worldview. One construct is the Savior’s Complex.   

While you must acknowledge the strength and resilience it takes to overcome obstacles and heal from trauma is a superpower, you must also recognize when you’re taking on too much and developing a Savior’s Complex also known as the Hero’s Complex. 

Savior’s Complex can lead us to believe that you must save the world at the expense of your well-being. 

The mission to save the world can be thrilling and often intoxicating, but it is fear-based and a distraction from living intentionally and creating the life you want to live.  

I Understand Savior’s Complex Because I Used to Be a Superhero Or At Least, I Thought I Was

I know it so well because up until January 3, 2020, I was a Superhero–I mean, at least I thought I was.  

The date was January 3, 2020, I sighed and took a deep breath, swallowed the lump forming in my throat, and decided to nurture my mind, body, and spirit for a change. And change—real change is what I received.  

On that faithful day (yes, faithful — the day I rebuilt my confidence and let go of shame), I chose a new direction for my life and a new premise for my life story. 

At the time, I did not know I was embarking on a journey of true self-awareness, radical self-care, and healing from old trauma wounds that had been ignored for far too long. 

Radical Self-care was not some new trend I found on YouTube; it was a way for me to save myself. 

You see, I thought I was a Superhero. I thought that when I saved the world, I would be good enough to have a joyful piece of life for myself. 

But after committing to a self-awareness journey that became a year of redirecting, I set my feet on a new path. The path was about redirecting my life toward my hopes, dreams, and heart’s desires.  

And no lie, it felt selfish. 

My family and religious background never instructed me to be selfish. I was reared to believe the more you give, the more you receive. While this may be true in many instances, it’s not always. Sometimes, the more you give, the more you have to give. 

For example, love. You can give love freely, passionately, and abundantly. And as you give love, it will fill hearts and multiply.  

On the other hand, when you try to give love to someone with untreated trauma, or deep wounds, you may apply it like a salve hoping to heal, but the wound keeps oozing. No amount of your love can heal those wounds. This wound must be healed from the inside out. Those wounds require self-love

Nevertheless, the biggest and hardest lesson for the Superhero is she can’t save someone who doesn’t want to be saved. 

I Took Off My Cape and Addressed My Savior’s Complex

After I decided to take off the cape, rip the S off my chest, and kick off those eight-inch heel, knee-high, red, go-go boots, I can now see it was never really about the world out there. These tendencies were about the world in me

If I need to be a superhero, I am not living in a world or reality of other superheroes. If I want to be a superhero; instead, I am living in a world or reality of super-victims who need me to save them. And that’s what it was. Along with perfectionism, I had a Savior’s Complex. 

The Savior’s Complex is a Psychological Construct 

What is the savior’s complex? According to Sarah Allen Benton, M.S., LMHC., LPC, a licensed mental health counselor and author of Understanding the High-Functioning Alcoholic: Professional Views and Personal Insights, A savior’s complex is: 

“A psychological construct which makes a person feel the need to save other people. This person has a strong tendency to seek people who desperately need help and to assist them, often sacrificing their own needs for these people.” 

Those who need to save are those who feel they carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. But you can “lay down your burdens” if you live life from an inward-outward approach.  

Meaning, you look within yourself and take responsibility for your actions, and do not project your worldview onto others. The time and energy you spend trying to save others can be spent obtaining knowledge and wisdom about who you are and how you want to live your life. 

Savior’s Complex – Sometimes the Superhero Must Let Them Fall 

No matter how awful it may sound, everyone who falls does not need you to catch them. Oftentimes, people fall hard because they are trying to activate their internal motivation. Oh, they are trying to wake themselves up. 

Why? Some people orchestrate their fall because they believe to change a destructive behavior pattern, they must hit rock bottom.  

Yet, if you catch them before they hit rock bottom, they will continue the destructive behavior pattern because they have no internal or intrinsic motivation to make a change. 

Moreover, some just assume you will be there to save them. For instance, I watched Superman as a child. I thought Lois Lane was the worst. She would get into situations where Superman had to save her. 

I remember thinking, “What would she do if he wasn’t there to catch her?” As an adult, I can answer that question easily. “She definitely wouldn’t get into trouble on the rooftops of tall buildings.” 

The stress involved with “saving the world” can zap your energy fast. To save takes thought, volition, focus, energy, and more energy — the energy you could use to create and manifest your dream life. 

A Shift in Mindset to Overcome Savior’s Complex 

When I decided I no longer wanted to save the world, I came back to my righteous mind, a mind which had been bogged down for many years.  

Recently, my heart opened to receive my true desires. With this new direction on my path of light, I shifted my mindset of putting myself last on the list. 

What changed for me? A big part was breaking old mindsets that didn’t serve me. 

I Learned to Listen Without Saving

First, I discovered I could listen to someone’s problems or concerns without providing a solution or trying to come up with a way to “fix things” for them. And yes, I constantly remind myself of this. 

Mostly, people want to be heard. People want to talk it out. Your best friend does not need a 10-step plan on how to start her own business. She just wants to complain about her job today. 

I Learned to Mind My Own Business

You could say I also learned to mind my own business. I learned how to “redirect” my attention away from other people’s problems to my goals. But first, I had to know what my goals were. 

When dealing with a savior’s complex or hero’s complex, if someone comes to you with a problem, it almost feels like a release or some strange relief.  

With deeper meditation practice, I realized this relief was a form of procrastination and distraction. 

You can use other people’s problems as a welcomed distraction. If you are confused about what you want or what your goals are, you look for distractions. And suddenly someone comes to you with a problem, or they need your help. How convenient! 

Hence, you spend your creative energy solving someone else’s problem or helping them out of a tough situation. What you are doing is spending your resources on others because you don’t know how to use your resources to achieve your goals. 

An interesting example is you may want to invest some money into training for a career change. But you’re not sure if it is the right time, you’ve waited too late in the year, or you may not think you are smart enough for these intense training and workshops. 

Suddenly, a friend calls you. She’s in a tight spot financially and needs to borrow some money. Even though it seems she’s been in a tight spot for the third time this year, you step in and help her out.  

Unfortunately, you’ll just have to put off that training. 

Did the friend need you, or did you need her? 

I Accepted, More Than Likely, I Won’t Save the World

I now accept I don’t have to save the world and make sure everyone else is okay before I can pursue my hopes, dreams, and desires.  

Manifestation doesn’t need approval from all your family, friends, spiritual advisors, and the guy sitting next to you at the coffee shop complaining about the state of the economy.

I Decided to Show Up For Me As Me

You may think by saving everyone else you can somehow be “worthy” of your dreams. In other instances, you may think if you can make the world around you perfect then your life will be perfect, and you can live your dreams without anything going wrong. 

Your dreams don’t need the world to be perfect. Your dreams only need you to show up. 

And last, I decided to show up just as I am. And allow me to be available.

I Did the Work to Redirect My Life And Overcome my Savior’s Complex

Subsequently, how did I make such a shift in mindset? While I can’t give you a 10 or 15-step process, I can share things I committed to. 

Well first, I truly committed to a year and 7 months of redirecting my life. It wasn’t just a hashtag for me. I redirected energy away from others and regained my star power.  

Changing My Destination Changed My Direction in Life 

Redirecting energy from others to yourself is very much like changing your destination on your GPS and following directions.

The more you…

  1. develop your intuition,
  2. know what your goals are,
  3. become intentional about what you want,
  4. prioritize your well-being,
  5. strengthen your will
  6. and focus,

…the more you develop insight, hindsight, and foresight on your path in life.

Introspection for changing direction

And yes, it requires a lot of introspection and intrapersonal work. So what steps did I take? 

☑️I created a workbook to help me be clear about what I wanted and turn my goals into precise affirmations 

At first, I browsed all over Etsy, Pinterest, and Instagram…looking for printables, worksheets, and the like trying to find what I was looking for. 

Then I said to myself, I’ll create one myself, and I did. I used an online graphic design service called Canva (an easy graphic design online program) and designed my workbook. It required some lengthy research.

Just as well, it required that I develop activities and questions to help me build precise affirmations. Just importantly, it helped me create ancillary exercises and activities for redirecting my creative energy to my goals and dreams. 

☑️I built and wrote down those affirmations. 

As I built each affirmation, I wrote them down. Writing down affirmations in the present tense began the process of breaking through my doubting human-ego mind and opened my subconscious mind to my new reality. 

☑️I recorded and spoke affirmations daily affirmations so I could “hear” myself.

By listening to and repeating my affirmations until I believed I had them, I make that mind-body-spirit. And when I make a body-mind-spirit connection I creat space for my affirmations to actualize in my life.

As I spoke each affirmation, I documented even the small changes, “coincidences” and synchronicities that were happening in my life. I also recorded my affirmations and I listened to them.  

Just like we’ve heard non-productive things throughout the day, disempowering information, or even fearmongering. We need to hear what empowers and affirms our hopes and dreams. 

☑️I asked for help when I needed it. 

Now, when I need help, I ask for it. While implementing this in my life, I didn’t allow my human-ego mind to get in the way. With this practice, I began to understand that sometimes I needed help and if I’m trying to be the superhero, I can’t ask for help.  

☑️I Said “No” or “Not now” when I knew it was right to do so. 

Even when you decide to get over your savior’s complex or your hero’s complex, using discernment is essential.  

Learning to support others without “saving” them is more beneficial to you those you care about. And supporting others without depleting yourself of needed resources of time, energy, and money can be empowering for the giver and receiver.  

Using discernment which develops with your intuition and foresight will help you to know when to say, “no” or “not now.” 

Practical Commitments Can Help You Develop Critical Thinking Skills to Build Confidence and Self-Worth

Each of the above practical commitments helped me develop critical thinking skills that helped me become:

  • a better creator,
  • more intuned with my goals,
  • and honest about my intentions.

I have restored my self-confidence, enhanced my self-worth, and aligned my self-concept with my authentic self and inner being. 

Yes, at this point in my journey, my steps on this new path are directed toward manifesting my dreams. To support the creative energy necessary to actualize my dreams in my reality, I have continued my healing journey. 

Today, I enjoy my life without a cape. But hey, I’m keeping my superpowers.