The Illusion of Balance
When did we all start to buy into the belief that balance means doing everything, all the time, perfectly and with equal attention? When did balance become code for “having it all? A new collective belief that you can be a career woman, family man, best partner all while never messing up and being perfectly attentive to all the details.
Why? Do we do this to ourselves? This is not balance. Or maybe it is balance but it is not an achievable real life balance. I am a fan of Christy Wright’s definition of balance. She says “Life balance isn’t about doing everything for an equal amount of time. It’s about doing the right things at the right time.” (Christy Wright) So how do what is an achievable balance and how do we get there?
Not all parts are made equal:
Know that you will not and can not give your attention equally to everything-at the same time. This. is. Ok. This is normal. We are not wired as humans to perfectly learn and performance one task, we are hard wired to have many tasks which further pushes this idea that we can do it all at the same time. The truth is the more we try to multi-task the less efficient we will be, the more mistakes will make and important details we will miss. This is all ok. Congrats on being human. Want to know more- watch this short video from the School of Life.
Make a schedule:
Look at the very least spend 3 minutes and write out a list of all the things making you feel out of balance. When you look at that list ask yourself if there is room for your own needs on that list. Sometimes we get so busy trying to achieve balance that we are missing our own life. It happens. You are not alone and you have the power to make a change.
Learn your Essentials:
What needs to be done for you to feel your best? What are your needs that need addressing? I am not talking about wants. When life is busy, when you have a newborn or when you are struggling with a mental illness we can often focus on our wants and neglect our needs. You may want to complete 8 tasks including making the most perfect Pinterest birthday cake, organize your clothes by color or complete an OrangeTheory class. And yet when you zoom out you may really need to simply find the time to take a shower, talk to another adult, eat a home cooked meal or spend 10 uninterrupted minutes with your family.
Balance will look different to everyone. It will also change day by day, month by month and season by season. Start by learning your essentials and then have some fun by learning what makes you feel soul full. Play around with different needs and once you have those down, work to add back in some wants. Your perfect balance is whatever you create. It will never be 100% equal but it can be 100% you.