Stop Striving for Balance, It’s Sabotaging You

Why I stopped saying, “I must have more balance in my life!”

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Are you one of the people who are consistently striving to create balance in your life?

You think that life can be this perfect paradox where you have equal time and energy for every single aspect of your life. You think there can be a perfect balance between work and home. You think there can be a perfect balance between time with the kid(s) and time with your partner. You think there can be a perfect balance between your obligations and responsibilities and what you want to do.

You strive for this magical concept of work/home balance.

Can you relate? Are you constantly seeking the secret to establishing balance in your life?

I have been there, and if you are, I am here to tell you to STOP. Balance in life doesn’t exist, and seeking balance is similar to running on a hamster wheel. You will end up exhausted, frustrated, and nowhere near where you wanted to go.

Sure, balance exist in the dictionary. It is a word and it has a meaning. It is physically possible to have balance, but life is not that simple. Life cannot be categorized into elements that are equal or in the correct proportions. What are equal and correct proportions when it comes to life? Yes, you can attach a percentage to everything in your life. Even at the most basic level, 25% family and friends, 25% work, 25% hobbies and passions, and 25% physical, mental, and spiritual health. Now, put that on a schedule in equal proportions. It’s possible, but not a “real life” possibility for most people.

Can you tell me that a CEO that is about to launch a major project is able to spend 25% of their day to do so (without a team behind them of course), and be successful?

Can you tell me someone that was just promoted or made a total career change can only show-up 25% of the time during a day and keep their position?

Can you tell me that a new mother can spend a sufficient amount of her time writing a book she has always wanted to write, because a newborn only requires a minimal amount of her time?

Can you tell me someone that has started a brand-new relationship can spend a significant amount of time with their new love interest and ignore other responsibilities?

It’s all possible, but it is that type of life a possibility for most people?

Likely, the answer is no.

The truth is, at different points in your life different responsibilities, obligations, wants, desires, or needs will be more evident in your day.

Sometimes you will spend more time with family and friends, while other times you will need to work more. Sometimes you will need to lock yourself in your study and crank out something for work, while other times you can spend the whole day at the park. Sometimes you will need to drop everything to tend to a sick child, while other times you will need to reschedule a lunch date with your best friend.

That’s life. Life is complex, and cannot be put into this perfect puzzle where all the pieces fit effortlessly into one another.

Save yourself the frustration and accept life is too complex for perfect balance.

It’s about maximizing your time and energy with everything that you do. It’s about showing up as your best-self and being 100% present in every moment of everyday. Life balance is finding joy, peace, and harmony in life imperfections.

Now, it may be necessary to go above and beyond for people we love, but it’s not to strive for balance, it’s simply to show we love and care about them because they matter. Maybe that looks like spending the day with family on a Saturday after working late the previous week. Maybe it’s sending a friend a card after you cancelled lunch. Maybe it’s making a special dinner for your partner when work has taken up a lot of your time that week.

Embrace and enjoy the comfortable chaos of life.

Find what balance looks like to you.

Allow the beauty of life to unfold without the goal of having the perfect schedule already created.

Stop the madness of pressuring yourself to strive for this perfect paradox of life balance. You are spending too much precious time and energy trying to find it. Embrace your life, every planned and unplanned, controlled and uncontrollable, and perfectly imperfect aspect. Accept that life is not balanced and it’s okay to be human and have moments where one thing takes precedence over another. Show-up, fully and completely, in every moment, and stop striving for “balance.”     

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