There is no such thing as work life balance
There is no such thing as work life balance
I love this humorous image of the attractive woman balancing on the tightrope, blindfolded, juggling balls, hoops and a tower of objects all while wearing a tiny costume. Seems a little unbelievable when pictured this way but this is what many of us feel like on a daily basis. Our lives seem to be an unending stream of to-dos that we are chasing, hoping to catch one or two of them before we fall crashing to our beds at the end of the day. I want to bust the myth of work life balance and the belief that there is a mythic land of perfect symmetry waiting for us. Life is not a balancing act but a juggling act and in this post I will explain the difference. Hint: there is hope if you are willing to shift your focus!
Perhaps you identify with this woman? Coffee mug, baby bottle, diaper bag and briefcase in hand… she looks wiped out, overwhelmed and like she knows she has forgotten something.
I don’t believe that the mythic dream of work life balance exists for women who are trying to be great moms, loving wives and successful business owners – all at the same time. Let me explain. I believe that our lives are a juggling act. If you have ever watched a professional juggler, they always have their focus on one ball at a time. The biggest mistake women entrepreneurs make is trying to focus on ALL of the balls at the SAME time. You can’t, it’s impossible, distracting and overwhelming. Striving for the perfection of “balance” isn’t realistic.
Let me be clear: I do believe that we can build a life that is a match for all of who we are – mom, wife and business owner. I firmly believe that we deserve and we can have it all! I absolutely know for sure that you can create a life that is perfect, for you! Your perfect life doesn’t look like anyone else’s.
There are a few truths I want you to understand.
- Multi-tasking doesn’t work and isn’t fair to anyone – no one is getting the best of you!
- Not setting clear boundaries around time is a schedule killer and induces stress!
- Packing your day too full of to-dos doesn’t allow for the joyful messiness of being a mompreneur – you have to allow for life’s interruptions and manage your daily to-do list.
- Focus is FREEDOM! What you focus on grows – positive or negative.
- You matter!! If you are not taking time daily to care for your personal needs in whatever way is meaningful to you (exercise, meditation, reading, painting…) you are cheating yourself, your family and your business.
- You are not SUPERWOMAN! You are human in all of your wonderful, beautiful, crazy glory. Stop trying to be anyone else and just be you.
“Easier said than done,” is what you are thinking right now. Easy for me to sit here and preach but the truth is that I have been where you are – lost, depressed, overwhelmed, disconnected and frustrated. Nothing was working. I have experienced what it feels like to consider divorce, to be on the verge of bankruptcy, to have my children clamoring for my attention and acting out because they aren’t getting it. I know what it feels like to be spinning out of control and not know where to go next. I spent too many years in a business that wasn’t a match for who I am at my core; I was stubborn and committed to making it work but I didn’t have the right skills or tools to make it happen. All I did was make myself miserable, gain 30 pounds and go into debt. UGH! I had dug a deep hole for myself.
So what changed? I did. Long story short, I sold my business and my family and I moved to California after 13 years in Texas. Best decision we ever made, but not an easy one. We were complacent – the kids were in good schools, my husband had a good job and I had my business. We had a nice community of friends. But we weren’t happy there – we were just going through the motions. It was so hard to get out of our comfort zone and into the action it took to move.
What sparked the change? My husband and I took the time to get really clear about what we wanted – for our own lives individually but also for our lives as parents and as a couple. Now we are both working from home, have way more time together and lots more time with our kids – before they reach the stage where we are totally not cool to hang out with. We do a lot of juggling but we make it work and we are happier than we have been before.
Here’s what it takes to create vibrant new vision for your life and your business:
I can help you do what I did – turn your life around and get back on track to success – at home and at work. On Thursday, November 14, I am teaching a one-day virtual workshop called:
Busting the Balance Myth: What You Really Need to Know to Create Freedom, Flexibility and Financial Independence
This is a day dedicated to understand who you are, what really matters to you and how to build a business that will support your lifestyle instead of feeling like you are constantly choosing between work and family. While I don’t believe in work life balance, I do believe that you can have it all – you just have to learn to juggle.
Couldn’t have said it better myself. I like to use the word harmony instead of balance. It feels much softer and easier to acheive. It also feels more authentic for me.
Yes, Linda, harmony feels so much nicer, great word.
Hi Minette. Interesting theory you pose, and, although; I think your message is a comfort to some people. Good luck with the course and I hope your week is shaping up to be a good one.
Thanks, Veronica, hope your week is a great one also.
I couldn’t agree more, Minette! I feel balance is all about bringing more and more of what you love into your life and finding ways to eliminate what you don’t love or making shifts with them so they aren’t such a drain on your energy.
Thanks, Michele. I love your response that balance is bringing more of what you love into you life! Beautifully put.