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Now Is Not The Time For ‘Superwoman Catch-Up Mode’

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Introduction by Emily Dauris - Last week I was so thrilled to speak with Lucy Orton. Having listened to and been inspired by her podcast aimed at female entrepreneurs and business owners, I just knew her tone was right for Sweet Potato Soup and asked her if she would guest blog for us and share some insight. We spoke on Zoom, amidst interruptions from each of our kids, and decided that what we all need right now is to slow down. I’m so glad to share this guest blog from Lucy because her words ring so true. Recently I spoke to someone about grief and it occurred to me that we don’t usually grieve through trauma. When life throws us a curveball we manage, we go into air stewardess mode and put on a brave face for our passengers. In the past year, we’ve all faced some massive curveballs, trauma even. Now that we appear to be coming out of it, my biggest worry is we’re not prepared for the grief that may hit. For the time we lost, for lack of human contact, for the dreams put on hold or even extinguished. Give yourself time and space and please read Lucy’s thoughts below because now is not the time to put off self-care. Now is the time to catch our breath.

Now Is Not The Time For ‘Superwoman Catch-Up Mode’

-Guest Post by Lucy Orton

For mothers who are business owners, freelancers and solopreneurs, it would be an understatement to say things have been tough in 2020 and 2021. Still, I have seen the women around me doing amazing things. Feats beyond compare. Business wins, promotions, writing books, launching podcasts, all alongside the immeasurable life triumph of getting through the last year, despite it all. We have been, collectively, bloody awesome!

I could pull out a thousand stats to state the bleeding obvious of the inequalities many of us have faced, but I won’t. The dark circles and crazed arm gestures swotting away kids on Zoom calls said it all. As things ease in the UK (again) and life begins to have a semblance of normal (for now), my business owner clients and listeners of my podcast Self-Sabotage To Success have a set of new challenges to contend with. Suddenly there’s more time. There are new routines to adjust to. There is talk of catching up, for adults as well as kids. Lots of determination to get shit done, finally. For being organised and bossing each and every day ahead. Yet, this talk of catch-up is erroneous and could be really damaging. Yes, there are options now, in terms of childcare and clubs and activities. So much more to look forward to again that doesn’t involve another bloody walk. But with this glimmer of hope and promise of returned time, comes a pressure to be doing EVERYTHING. And to do it FAST. Yet, crucially, this is an important moment to make sure your mindset is working for you rather than against you. To set intentions about how we spend the weeks and months ahead in terms of our businesses and our lives. To recognise that the new routine means an emotional shift too. One that comes after months of struggle and challenge for so many of us. To recognise ‘the next normal(ish)’ is not without mindset hurdles and gremlins - at a time when it can still feel, for many of us, that we are standing on sand that could sink beneath us at any moment. To notice that rushing into a punishing schedule of work work work (to replace Zoom, snack, work, snack, interruption, Zoom, work) is an act of self-sabotage waiting to happen. There are some specific temptations I wholeheartedly believe we should resist right now:

  • The temptation to embark upon a productivity overdrive

  • The temptation - to use the media narrative - to try to ‘catch up’ and make up for the lost time. Sorry folks but this isn’t a sci-fi film, that time has gone!

  • The temptation to sack off our self-care

  • The temptation to feel guilty if we are not actively hustling with every moment of this newfound time

  • The temptation to label downtime as procrastination instead of allowing ourselves a few joyous moments to breathe

I’d like to ask you a question:

What do you actually need to ‘catch up’ on, *outside* of the hustle?

Could this be a time to replenish? To find space again for rest and self-care? To allow yourself grace and permission to adjust? To give your head the room to think wider and more creatively? To connect with others in new ways and old?

During the days when a new routine is settling, pay significant attention to your own needs ESPECIALLY if you haven’t done so for a long time.

And ask yourself this question - if possible several times a day - What do *I* need in this moment?

Really listen to the answer and to yourself in this new/old season.

The hustle can absolutely wait and is often utterly counterproductive anyway.

After everything that has happened, and is still happening, a lot of your work can wait, YOU really can't.

Lucy Orton is a success and transformation coach, a certified positive psychology coach and an expert in banishing the self-sabotage, imposter syndrome and fear of judgement that holds back purpose-led female entrepreneurs. Lucy is also the host of the Top 10 UK Apple Entrepreneurship Podcast Self-Sabotage To Success which releases new episodes, all about mindset and those sneaky saboteurs, every Wednesday just after midnight GMT.

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