There was a time when life was all about maintaining balance. Hiring companies would use “great work-life” balance as a slogan to entice people of the benefits for working for their company, and it worked for a while, that is, until life started happening for everyone. Kids would get sick and need their parents home to care for them, family emergencies would occur, or the employees themselves, would have things come about that required time off. Life was happening more than balancing life was, and if strict rules weren’t put into place, despite the promises of offering work life balance, businesses bottom lines would eventually get hit hard.
Over time we have become wiser, discovering with the tests and trials of life, comes great opportunities to be thrown off balance in life. Try as you may to maintain what society defines as living a balanced life, this is a feat that is impossible to ever achieve and here’s why:
Now, I will admit, there are a lot of things I don’t know – a lot, but one thing I am almost certain of is this: everybody struggles with maintaining balance in their life. With that being said, the question still remains:
What would it really look like to live your own version of a balanced life?
- Maybe it means setting realistic expectations in your life and working towards those goals while still maintaining a household, raising kids, and working a full-time job.
- Maybe it means pursuing your dreams full-time and being okay with barely scraping by until you reach that goal.
If the goals you have set are unrealistic, more times than not, you will fail to accomplish them. This will affect your self esteem, possibly leading to burnout and you simply giving up. The key to succeeding and not risking burnout is setting realistic expectation. If you are just starting a project, don’t set the bar for accomplishment so high that you stop before you really even get started.
Life Balance Simply Doesn’t Exist
It is very possible to consistently experience a level of balance in our life; however, its impossible to maintain perfect balance in every area of life and do so on a continuous basis.
We all have our own set of issues that we must deal with and even when you manage to get certain aspects of your life in balance, there will always be something that goes awry in another area of life. We can balance a lot of things, but life is not one of them – at least not in the true sense of the word.
It is simply impossible to balance life in every single area, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It sounds good, and I’m sure it’s what we all strive to accomplish in order to get the most out of life, but the truth is that we are all human; we are all flawed, and its impossible to have a perfect life.
Reality Check: Life is challenging and the sooner you are able to come to grips with the fact that there is no such thing as a perfectly balanced life, the sooner you will start to feel a sense of balance in your life.
For starters, don’t use the word “balance” to define the overall state of your life. It takes a lot of pressure off and by doing so, you free yourself up in many ways to start living your best life. You will feel more freedom to live life on your own terms, creating your own rules of what works best for you. Create your own path and processes that work for you – life is not a “one size fits all” deal.
**To read my article on how to know when you are living your best life, click here**
There are far too many people trying to make changes in their life by doing exactly what someone else has done, expecting to get the same results, not understanding that you were created to live your life in only a way you can live it. Don’t make matters worse by using what appears to be someone else’s perfect life to determine if you are living a happy, balanced, and successful life.
What works for me may not work for someone else, and what works for someone else definitely won’t work for me. Standards change for each individual and playing the comparison game is a sure way to lose balance in every area of your life. Don’t even attempt to put that pressure on yourself by trying to live up to someone else’s standards for their life.
Now, there are times when someone may practice certain processes and you may see how it could benefit your life if you were to integrate that practice into your life. This is different in the sense that by doing so, it will help improve your overall standard of living and you still remain true to who you are.
Reality Check: Without the right mindset, you will only end up doing a million and one things and accomplishing nothing at all.
Setting standards are key and committing to practicing certain behaviors every single day that are non-negotiable will empower you to tackle challenges as they arise. This has more to do with your mindset than having a perfectly balanced life, which ironically will help you feel more balanced in life. This is because balance begins in your mind, especially when you are doing what’s best for you. It is not because of your ability to do a million and one things every day.
Life is a Process
Anytime it appears that someone is doing a great job of balancing everything in their life, trust and believe that person has gone through a process to get to the point of making what they do look easy. Know that it wasn’t easy for them to get to that point and it won’t be easy for you. Some people have figured out what works for them instead of trying to imitate what works for someone else.
The real key to living a balanced life is figuring out what works and staying consistent to doing what works for you, no matter what it looks like to the outside world. However, it is best to always keep in mind that even when it seems you have found the perfect balance in your life, there will always be yet another area in life that requires an adjustment.