If you think for a moment about a tightrope walking trapeze artist balancing with great caution, inching their way along to relative safety, you will notice one thing. That is balance is not a static destination! It is somewhat of a constant effort to maintain, is constantly in motion and even once balance is achieved, in the next split moment needs more work.
Too often we are told to believe that the balance of our life, between our work and our families, our health, our education and our finances needs to have perfect even symmetry! And once you have achieved that perfect balance, just like a destination, you have arrived and never need to tend to again.
However, this is somewhat of a fantasy. Balancing your life is a constant in motion process and requires dedication and work. Even harder if you are the type of person that wants it all- a fantastic relationship with a secure family and stable investments and a thriving work environment with plenty of social connections, with positive health and beauty all in the mix.
In truth, what happens is we each selectively have areas in our life that we value over others. For some people it’s their family, for others it’s their finances, for some it’s their business or their health.
Each of us have a top two or three priority areas that we prefer to focus on in order to feel fulfilled and inspired. When we tend to the other ‘less valuable’ areas of our life in our perception, we tend to need external motivation to continue and quickly lose momentum. When we tend to our ‘top priority areas’ we do not need external motivation, but somehow find the inspired internal drive to continue.
So, the myth of having it all with an even life balance as a static destination that you arrive at with confidence like a personal jet landing at your exotic location is somewhat of a fantasy. Balance is more like fluctuating movements in response to events with your natural tendency to be inspired to focus on your top few priorities.
Consider that perhaps not all areas of your life need to constantly be attended to? Perhaps the key to fulfilment in life is to simply focusing on the current two or three most valuable areas that you have in your life (even this changes over your life time!)
By focusing on your unique high priority areas in life can help you will achieve a sense of fulfilment. Many of us try to achieve this by focusing on the of an frustrating task of ‘the balancing act’ which only leads to exhaustion and despair!
So what is it that you value most?
Your value areas can be loosely divided into 7 key areas- Family life, Health, Career/business, Education/learning, Spiritual pursuits, Finances and Social networking. Your top few priority ‘values areas’ in life are normally demonstrated in:
- What fills your space and time the most? (Do you spend most of the time on your business or a lot of your time looking after your health? Is your time and space occupied by connection with friends or family?) What occupies our immediate space and the time in our day is often reflective of what we truly value (even if this is not consistent with what you expect of yourself or what others expect of you!)
- What is consistently on your mind?
- What do you love to learn and talk about? This is often a key in understanding your key value areas in life.
You can’t deny that what drives you is often your underlying values and this is often what you do in every day, day in and out, without any external motivation required.
What would happen if you simply focused on your priority areas and learnt to give out from that space? What would happen if you simply utilised your highest priority areas in life to feel fulfilled and outsourced the rest as best you can? What would happen if you appreciated that your loved ones may have values different to yours and you loved them for who they are and what they offer the world that is unique?
That’s not to deny that the basic principles of self-care are not important. In fact, if you completely ignore the health of your body (sleep, nutrition, exercise), of your heart (your relationships) or your mind (learning and mental health) then things can quickly deteriorate. Watch this short video on the essentials with your basic pillars of health here
However, understanding what motivates you most (your top priority areas) can help you stay motivated to look after your health basics with a simple process called linking. Linking specifically how “my business/finances/family (whatever your highest value) will benefit if I look after my health basics”. This can then help you with your motivation to ensure self-care. Read more about self-care for women here.
Understanding your own values is a great way to appreciate yourself for who you are and learn to appreciate and love others for who they are without needing to change. And isn’t it true that we all want to be loved simply for our authentic selves?
So what is your authentic self? What is that you value most in life? Can you simply take steps toward this shining out with your strengths without constantly striving for the fantasy of an exhausting balancing act? Can we ditch the ‘life balance’ myth once and for all?
Nichole Hamilton is a Dr DeMartini facilitator and combines her passion for helping patients with their health with motivational coaching. She offers one on one consultations, online courses and retreats.
You can access her online course for women here.