If you are struggling to balance it all, then guess what – it’s time to stop. Stop trying to balance it all, because you can’t.
Now, I’m expecting to hit resistance to me saying that out loud, balance is one of the most popular buzzwords of the 21st century and most information out there, most advice says that work/life balance is the key to creating a peaceful, happy life. I disagree!
I remember getting interviewed over 15 years ago when I first began my coaching business around how I found balance running two businesses, being a mum to two daughters and everything that entailed, a wife and part of a very busy community life. I said it then and I say it now – I don’t strive for balance, it’s not part of my vocabulary. Balance is a word that makes me cringe when I hear it, mainly because too many people hold it out as the grand hope for the future … when I find balance, my life will be miraculously changed.
It’s a word that is talked about a lot here in China as so many hold it out as the key, the secret to happiness. So many are striving for it, expecting when they find it, life will be bliss. Just yesterday I was told by a manager I work with that what she was looking for most in life was finding balance, not working overtime, having time for family. When pushed a little deeper it became apparent that the theory or concept was there, however the realisation of what balance actually was for her in reality and the steps to actually achieve it, were lacking. Others I talk to are racked with guilt because everything says balance is something they should have, others seemingly have it and they don’t.
Yes, I know for some it works and I think that’s awesome and my philosophy on work/life balance is more closely aligned to that of Sheryl Sandberg:
“There’s no such thing as work-life balance. There’s work. There’s life. There is no balance.”
For me work is part of life and focusing on balance is just an excuse, a distraction. For years when I was first married, first starting out in business, having my first baby, I tried for a long time to “balance” everything, keep everyone happy. I lost “me” for a long time over those years without even knowing it and luckily, with time and experience came a completely different perspective. In hindsight I learnt that it was the striving for balance that was taking me away from seeking my own goals and passions, from achieving what I truly wanted. Balance has you break yourself up into lots of pieces and share yourself around way too thinly. Everyone gets only a small piece of who you are and in the process you exhaust yourself, never leaving enough in reserve for you to go after what you really wanted to do in the first place.
Moving forward I have no problem promoting work/life balance as being impossible. Anything worth fighting for, anything worth pursuing will unbalance your life. So instead of focussing on balance, focus on living! Yep that simple. In any given moment, give your whole self to your business, your family, your passion, your purpose. Don’t try to balance it – give it everything you’ve got, give it 150%. And yes I know it sounds so simple, and it is, yet as with many things in life, it’s not so easy. So here’s what to do!
Identify what matters to you most and give those things everything you’ve got. If you’re focused on, and spending time on the things and people that are important to you, your sense of balance, accomplishment, happiness and success increases. If you have set aside time for the kids then give them 150% of your focus. Time out with your partner, then give them 150% focus. Time for yourself, 150% focus. No guilt. No remorse. No compromise. Some tips to break it down even further, to set the groundwork:
- Set for yourself what is not negotiable for you and your family – create your own fit.
- Get rid of the things in your life that do not serve you, get rid of the people you only tolerate.
- Learn to say no so as not to spread yourself so thin.
- Focus on your purpose, your vision and always moving forward towards what you want to achieve.
Actioning these four tips will give you more time to focus on the key areas of most importance to you – no excuses!
So from today, stop striving for and chasing work/life balance – get unbalanced, go out there and make change happen, create the lifestyle you desire! Concentrate on living. Make the most of every moment you have available and always remember, that will look different for each an every one of us so stop comparing!
Are you ready to unbalance your life, to create change and make things happen? Book a 20-minute discovery session with me to see how I can help you build your confidence, create change and begin living the business/life you desire. Book a discovery session here and join my Facebook group Quantum Leap for Women