You’ve always been an achiever. When you’re at the top of your game, you radiate confidence and determination; you’re in control of your world, accustomed to managing everything life throws at you. And to everyone around you, you do it all, seamlessly.
But if you’re like many successful women, challenges beyond your day-to-day experiences sometimes get in your way. Instead of showing up as your powerful self, you feel overwhelmed, stuck, frustrated, and often find yourself questioning your actions and motivations.
This isn’t your “normal.” This is life out of kilter.
Let’s face it: we play many roles and increasingly have to manage issues from parenting and other family/relationship concerns, career decisions, our health and well-being, staying motivated and overcoming self-doubt, and so many more.
It’s no wonder that sometimes even the most “together” women can lose their equilibrium!
This instability is more than working too late at the office or not having enough time with our family or friends. This is about feeling like there are simply too many plates spinning at once and you’re just trying not to drop any of them while remaining sane in the process.
But what does it mean to be “balanced”? What would that feel like? What would it look like? When I think of balance, I think of a scale with bricks on one end and gold on the other. The weight of each is evenly distributed. That is balance. But our lives are much more complex and integrated than just two elements at opposite ends of a scale.
With that image, how easy is it to have a “balanced” life, whereby work, family, friends, community, and all the other components of your life are in symmetry?
Staying balanced is hard!
But here’s a thought: what if you change the word “balance” to “harmony”? Is it easier to consider your life is in harmony than equally balanced?
If you think of life like a symphony and every musical section is a different component of your life – say, the horns represent your work, the wind section is your family, the strings are your personal health and well-being, the drums represent your friends. Over the course of one musical piece, different instrument sections are more forceful than others, yet all are playing the same melody in the background. So maybe you hear the flutes for a bit then the violins come in, overtaking the sound of the flutes, then the oboes and later the drums. But they are all playing the same piece. They are in harmony with each other.
And, like a symphony, if the music is out of harmony, the conductor takes control and makes changes- add more of one section, decrease the volume of another, play one faster, slower…
In our lives, sometimes, work does take more of our time than we might like. Maybe a project is due, or you have to work longer than usual on a presentation for a client. But then another area of your life may need your attention – a parent who needs your care, or a child who needs help. And you need time for YOU.
How do you fit it all in with only 24 hours in a day? Instead of feeling the frustration that life is out of balance, perhaps rethinking that life is out of harmony is easier to manage.
As the conductor of our lives, we can take a step back, listen to the music, and change what we can control- our outlook, our mindset, our behavior, and learn to let go of the things we can’t.
Our numerous spinning plates can be in harmony. Doesn’t that sound better?
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