I saw you standing there, outside the supermarket, in a suit and high heels, straight from the office, a toddler in the trolley and two more kids in tow.
I saw the frustration on your face as your phone went off again, and you fumbled inside your hand bag trying to find it, as your two eldest children started fighting.
I saw you yell at them and watch as their little faces crumbled.
I saw your face crumble with them. You hated yourself for doing it, but you recovered quickly.
"Stop misbehaving!" you hissed at them, right before you answered the phone.
A fake smile and confident voice, saying "Hello, Joanna speaking", masking the scenario you were trying so desperately to hold together in front of you. You were at your wits end - it was written all over your face.
But you're just one. One of the many anxious, stressed out, overworked and exhausted women I see on a daily basis.
I recognise them quickly, because I used to be one. And some days I still am.
But as someone who gave every part of myself to trying to be a successful business woman, while also trying to be the perfect partner, perfect friend, brilliant dog mum and loving daughter - I have just one word for you.
I know you think that you’re irreplaceable. That no one else can do what you do.
Your family needs you. You partner needs you. Your kids need you. Your work needs you. Your business needs you. That cause you’re fundraising for desperately needs you.
I thought they all needed me too. And then I fell desperately ill after trying to 'do it all' for far too long.
If you don't learn to stop, you'll get sick. And if that happens, you'll realise that the only thing that really matters is your health, spending time with the people you love, and doing things that fill your soul.
All of the rest is just noise.
So it's time for you to stop. To rest. To give yourself a fucking break.
We are not designed to live in a constant state of stress and exhaustion for years on end.
And life these days? It just IS stressful.
While technology was supposed to make our lives easier, instead it’s sped us up. There is this sense of urgency around everything. Make it happen and make it happen NOW. We’re constantly ‘on’ with no respite from it.
On top of stressful jobs or businesses, many of us have families, friends and a bunch of other commitments. We max ourselves out. We try and be everything for everyone - with no time to even slow down and realise we might be hurting ourselves in the process.
But it doesn’t stop there - if you’re spending time on social media (like everyone), you would’ve seen messages like this.
Excuse me, I just vomited in my mouth a little.
Because life is so much more than an endless fucking to do list.
It's so much more than reaching one goal and then moving straight onto another.
It's far more than that perfectionistic standards we hold ourselves too.
How about this instead?
If you keep injuring yourself and it’s taking a long time to heal. Stop.
If you feel like your business is on the cusp of failing and you’re about to have a nervous breakdown. Stop.
If your kids are driving you fucking nuts and you need a break, find someone who can help. Find a way to Stop.
I know you’ve been told you have to be a superwoman. But you don’t.
I know everything feels like it's urgent and important. It's not.
If you think you can continuously work yourself into the ground and your body will ALWAYS be there, working as you want it too. You’re wrong.
As I found out the hard way, the body keeps score.
That’s why I’m asking you to Stop.
But it’s not just enough for me to say it - I want to show it - at Be. we want set an example when it comes to this too.
And that’s why when it comes to building this business, we’re are doing it SO FUCKING DIFFERENTLY.
Fuck the hustle. Fuck productivity. Fuck jamming your schedule full of so many fucking commitments that you don’t have time to stop.
Fuck being so busy you don’t even have time to ENJOY the things you ARE doing.
Fuck saying yes to things you really want to say no too.
Fuck doing things out of obligation or because you gave your word to it.
There is ANOTHER WAY.
Stop. Give yourself a break.
Go get that massage or manicure.
Handball the kids off to their grandparents.
Do just one thing, EVERY SINGLE DAY, that’s just for you.I promise your future self will thank you for it.
And you’ll be a hell of a lot happier too.
Over the next few weeks, we're going to be releasing a few fun things that are designed to remind you to Stop. Pause. Slow the fuck down. And, funnily enough, just BE.
We're hearing from way too many women who are killing themselves slowly by trying to 'do it all'.
I promise you there is another way. And we're going to do our best to show you what's possible.
Often-solo mum of 2 teens. Wife. Volunteer. Small business solo proprietor. Also learnt the hard way that if you stay “on” for too many years your body says “enough” and shuts down without your consent. When I feel myself racing and anxiety building I try and stop, eat, rest, breathe and find something nurturing to focus on. PS bought my daughter your Unicorn and Hero bracelets last year and she loves them.
You are inspiring and yes every woman/girl needs to learn I am enough xx
As a mum to 6 boys 4 of them now adults I have always said you need some time for just you even if it’s a bath like it has been for me over the years & still is at times.
I am the same way unfortunately can’t say no & I am now paying the price physically,think it’s time to step back a bit more.
Thanks for showing me again what I lost.