Work-life balance is always a big topic when talking to women who want to have it all but if we are being honest, I think work-life balance is BS. And in this episode I’m breaking down why I believe that and a better way to truly get everything that you want.
- Episode 065: The S-Word That Is Holding You Back from Creating the Business of Your Dreams
- Productive A.F.
- Book a Clarity Call
- DM me on Instagram
- Listen in to understand why I don’t believe in work-life balance.
- Discover what the better goal is.
- Learn the one action step you can take today to help you move forward.
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Work-life balance is always a big topic when talking to women who want to have it all: a family, a fulfilling relationship, a career they love, hobbies that light them up. But if we are being honest, I think work-life balance is BS. And in this episode I’m breaking down why, and a better way to truly get everything that you want.
So, I have taken some heat for saying work-life balance is BS and not everyone agrees with me, which is perfectly fine. But I’ve lived the attempts at trying to balance being a mom, a wife, a housekeeper, a career women, a business owner, and the seemingly endless roles I inhabit in my life and let me tell you, balance doesn’t work.
Because balance is an impossible standard. It implicates that the scales are not moving and that the pieces are perfectly still. It suggests equal amounts and that work and life are opposed, two things you must choose between at any given time. It pits your work and everything else about you against one another. And when that happens, it’s no wonder that it creates more tension and unrealistic expectations.
Also, this idea of work-life balance suggests there are just two parts of you, the “work side” and the “everything else” as if your work isn’t part of your life and that there isn’t more to you than a blanket “life” category.
So, if work-life balance isn’t the goal, what is? It’s harmony.
Harmony means that all aspects are working together, part of the larger big picture vision.
Think about a choir of voices. Each one a distinct sound but together they support one another and creates something greater that the sum of its parts. So rather than trying to balance the different aspects of who you are, you work to make sure that they are all successful on their own and working together. It isn’t about tempering and mitigating who you are or trying to shove it into an “acceptable” framework, it’s making sure that you feel comfortable in all aspects of who you are and that each aspect is getting the resources it needs for you to feel satisfied in each area. Now notice I said how satisfied you are and not a measure of success. Because often we adopt others’ definitions of success and compare our lives to someone else’s scale.
I did this exercise with my husband when he set his 2022 goals. I went through and asked him how satisfied he was with each aspect of his life— career, focal relationship (our marriage), family, friends, fun/recreation, finances, health, and spirituality/growth. And as an enneagram 9 the peacemaker and someone who hadn’t previously been exposed to this concept, he found himself continuously going back to how successful he was on someone else’s scale. We talked about other peoples expectations in episode 065 and it can be a hard habit to break. But intentional practice of thinking about what the difference between satisfaction and an “objective’ measure of success is, and what it is that feeds into your feeling the former is what will make the difference.
For example, if you are single or divorced and are completely satisfied with that meaning you are loving the single life and have no desire to change your focal relationship situation, you would rate that higher, maybe an 8 or even a 10. Whereas someone on the outside looking in may say that for your focal relationship, you’d earn a 1 or a 2 on success since it doesn’t currently exist. See the difference between satisfaction & success?
In the end, it isn’t about giving equal resources to all aspects of yourself or spending a certain number of hours at work and at home. It is about creating a life you love. And seeing yourself as a complex human with different hobbies, interests, passions, roles, and desires is the first step into creating what it is that you truly want: a harmonious life that supports you being you.
I always like to end each episode with an action step that you can take right now to help you move forward and begin to implement immediately. Here is your action step for this episode: Complete the life satisfaction exercise. For each of the following aspects, rate yourself on a scale of 1-10 in terms of SATISFACTION. 1 being not satisfied at all, 5 being moderately satisfied, 10 being over-the-moon, couldn’t be any better satisfied. career/work/business, focal relationship (our marriage), family, friends, fun/recreation, finances, health, and spirituality/growth. Then take a look at which aspects may need a bit more attention in the coming months.