This is a question I have asked myself a hundred or more times. Work life balance as I see it is the life challenge of any ambitious woman, mother, or wife. How do you do it all and still stay sane? Do you quit taking care of yourself? Yes, until you realize you are going to explode, crash, and give up on everything. Then you decide that even though you have a billion things on your plate you are going to sacrifice them for one brief moment to run away to lunch or a pedicure with a friend only to sit in the chair while the 100 things on your desk swirl in your mind leaving only half of what you talked about remembered in your conscious mind. You leave the event wondering…“why couldn’t I just turn those nagging thoughts of the undone off?
The mind prattle that haunts our ambitious and determined soul all stems from a deep desire to do good things, to serve mankind, and make a positive difference in the world so we have a brighter better future. Or is it some deep internal need to simply succeed and prove that we were capable of being something/someone of value?
The whys are different for everyone but the challenge of finding the balance between what we want and the other equally important what we want is the same. A challenge! A very dear friend of mine passed away several years ago. His last comment to me as we sat in his office discussing the colorful processes of creating success in our lives was: “A balanced life is a series of imbalances rebalanced.” He continued by explaining that we are always learning and recognizing areas for improvement and change. The real question is “are we willing to choose to make the change?” Are we willing to do something only 70-80% of the time so the other 20-30% can be gifted to the other well meaning important tasks as well?
During one of my balance perplexed state of mind moments I asked this finding balance question to one of our experts at MyExpertSolution. Now keep in mind, I am both the boss and the employee to myself. I asked: “My boss wants me to work 12 hour days but my family relationships are suffering. How do I keep both happy?” The answer was not what I wanted to hear. In fact, it was everything I needed to hear. At the very end of the response was a gem of information that I had never understood. How are my children affected by my being away so much? Here is an excerpt from the therapists response “…. Their (the children’s) excitement to see you will no longer be just about love, but rather fear of loss. They will wonder, “Where are you? When are you coming back? How long are you staying?” A lot of times, people will say, “My kids are wild about me when I come home. They just cling to me.” Clinging suggests to me, as a marriage counselor, that your kids are afraid to let go because they do not know when they will see you again….”
I had no idea their clinging was out of fear. The shot of guilt and pain moved through me like a hot knife through warm butter. It melted my heart into tears of pain and sadness.
(Entire response: https://myexpertsolution.com/questions/331408/)
Awareness of a need to change is not enough. Awareness is only good if coupled with active, daily, decisive change. It is not easy. In fact, it is like overcoming an addiction. You must be prepared to shut down the very talented justification demon in your own mind that wants you to give “just one more thing” your attention. There is never just “one more thing”. It’s like laundry or dishes. No matter how many times you do it there will always be more to be done.
You must become an observer of yourself and watch your inner self-talk.
1. What is your inner self-talk saying to you?
2. Is it positive and moving you towards your “now” goal or nagging you back towards the good thing you simply do too much of.
3. Are you letting your excuses and reasoning talk you to death? If so, shut it down by scheduling the appointment to take care of it tomorrow at “x” time. It will wait, it must wait, and you must be ok with the consequence of it waiting or you will never let go.
4. Finally, and probably the most difficult. Accepting the fact that the sky might fall. Yes, bad things could happen if you don’t do “just one more thing” BUT…. You are very talented and if you schedule a time for it tomorrow, you will take care of it wonderfully and mend or repair the sky that fell yesterday.
Don’t let the need for perfection and success keep you trapped in your delusional state of imbalance and away from the other amazing and important things that deserve your time and truly, you deserve theirs. That is the only way to find balance and stay mentally and emotionally sane.
Kristin Lamb is an author and founder of the ChainBreaker Foundation, which assists adult victims of all types of abuse. She is also CEO of MyExpertSolution, a site dedicated to providing an alternative to traditional therapy by answering questions that will improve people’s quality of life.