What comes into your mind when you think of the word ‘balance’…especially when it comes to work and life.
Whether you are a fierce female entrepreneur building your business or a fast paced career woman claiming the success ladder, I have a feeling you might view ‘work life balance’ in a similar way to me.
I don’t think it exists.
To me the definition of balance is where everything is in alignment, evened out, all your ducks lined…but let’s be honest here…is that really possible?
I’m big on being real as opposed to walking around wearing rose coloured glasses. I love being positive and energised about my work and life, but there are times where balance is so far from my reality as it can get.
I see and hear this ‘work life balance’ theme bandied around in the business world a lot. Its seems as if the aim is to find the work life balance nirvana, the holy grail of dividing your time.
For the past 5 years since I have been in business I will happily admit that my life has not been balanced between work and life. It’s also what I’ve observed with my husband and his business, as well as friends I have who are driven women like me.
I’ve had times where life is crazy and I feel like those balls I’m juggling in the air will come crashing down at any minute. I’ve also had times where things are less hectic and I find myself able to spend more time being still, being present and enjoying my life.
The point is, that life and work comes in waves, and to have the false belief that it can always be balanced is, in my opinion, what creates a mindset of negativity and failure.
For example, if you were a client of mine and said that you wanted to spend more time with you family, yet your business (or career) demands so much of you, I would not be banging on about trying to find a balance between the two…that would probably piss you off!
What I would do instead – and this is exactly what I’ve done for the past 12 months which I believe saved me from having full blown adrenal fatigue – is to COMPROMISE.
Yep, thats it. Compromise.
I’m not talking about spreading yourself evenly between two areas (or more) of your life.
What I’m suggesting is that you need to weigh things up and ask yourself how you can achieve what you want, without letting go completely of one thing at the expense of another.
I will give you an example.
I know my energy suffers if I don’t allow for some form of movement each day, whether that be a session at the gym, some yoga or a walk. It centres me and gives my body the movement it needs to feel energised. However there are days when I cannot fit more than 20 minutes of movement in, if that.
So I have a talk to myself and find the compromise. If I’ve got a full day of delivering workshops, travel and coaching which may mean I’m sitting for most of the day, then I agree to a compromise where I will squeeze in a 10 minute walk twice that day. Is it ideally what I want to do, no.
However, the other option is to not do anything at all, which then leads to a feeling of blah and a mindset that says…’you are slack, you didn’t get your exercise in today’…neither of these things help me.
I also have several clients who tell me that it’s hard for them to lose weight because they have so many social engagements each week – both for work and leisure. My suggestion is that they look at where the compromise is within this challenge…
- If they have social 4 events in a week, then where can they get 4 walks in to counteract some of that social indulgence.
- Where in their week can they eat really nourishing food so that the few rich meals don’t have as much of an impact.
- Could they set up a daily ritual where they take 15 minutes out of their day to meditate and help calm their nervous system and bring down cortisol levels (which are two of the biggest culprits for abdominal fat gain)
- You see, there is always a compromise in every situation.
Other areas of compromise might be…
- Taking 5 minutes out of your day to do a breathing meditation and then getting back to those emails…you will probably find that you still get them all done and have more clarity because you have hit pause for 5 minutes.
- Having one glass of wine at a networking dinner instead of three because you know you have another 2 social nights out that week. Lime and soda in a wine glass can fool most people!
- Going to bed 30 minute early, taping the show you want to watch, then getting up 30 minutes early the next morning to go for a walk…it does wonders for your cortisol levels (a smart move if you fine yourself struggling with weight around your middle)
- Saying yes to the chicken salad at a work lunch instead of the pork belly because you know you have some fun social events on the weekend.
Compromise is way smarter than balance because you still get to do what you want…just with a little more mindfulness.
Often the things we sacrifice first are those we know give us energy and happiness, and we place more importance on ‘doing’ stuff that matters to others.
What if life was about compromising a little more, taking some of what you give to others and keeping it for yourself, and still being able to perform the way you want.
So ask yourself this…“what is one area I could compromise a little more in and how will that impact me in positive way that fills me with energy, but still allows me to get shit done, or experience life the way I want.”