Ditch the Balance in Life Myth and Create an Intentional Life Instead
I don’t know about you, but I really dislike being told I need “balance” in my life.
We’re told that balance in life is a concept that we need, because it brings us a sense of calm and peace. The idea of balancing work, family, social life, reading, spirituality, and personal growth can be overwhelming and even paralyzing at times. I believe that the pursuit of balance in life is a myth that can lead to disappointment and frustration. It feels like one more thing that we just can’t do.
Life is just not that predictable.
Life is unpredictable and constantly changing. We face unexpected events, challenges, and opportunities that disrupt our plans and routines. For example, you might be fully committed to your job, but suddenly, you need to take care of a sick family member or deal with a personal crisis. The life stuff that just happens makes it impossible to maintain the same level of commitment to other areas of your life.
Not all things are created equal.
Balance implies that all areas of our life are equally important and require the same amount of attention and effort. However, this is not always the case. Depending on our values, goals, and priorities, certain areas of our life may require more attention and effort than others. For example, if your goal is to launch a business, you might need to dedicate more time and energy to it than to your social life or hobbies.
Keeping things in compartments is mentally exhausting.
Balance implies that we can compartmentalize different areas of our life and keep them separate from each other. However, our life is an interconnected system, and what happens in one area of our life affects other areas. For example, if you are stressed at work, it can affect your relationships, health, and overall well-being.
The never-ending pursuit of balance can lead to guilt and self-judgment. When we fail to achieve balance, we might blame ourselves for not being good enough, organized enough, or disciplined enough. This can lead to negative self-talk, anxiety, and depression.
What to focus on instead. Alignment, integration and flexibility.
So, if balance in life is a myth, what should we strive for instead? I believe that we should focus on alignment, integration, and flexibility.
Alignment is when we align our actions and choices with our values, goals, and priorities. This means that we are intentional about what we do and why we do it, and we make choices that are consistent with our vision for our life. Don’t know what your values are? Email me and ask for a free Values Worksheet - it will help set the tone for the decisions you make.
Integration means that we integrate different areas of our life and find ways to create synergy between them. For example, if you are creating a new business but know that it's keeping you from spending the intentional time with your family, include them in the growth and creation. A great example of this is that I need to get busy on the Cerebrations’ YouTube channel. It’s one more thing that is on my already very long list of things to do for my business that I just can’t seem to get going. So, I’ve incorporated my teenage son in the process. He’s the YouTube watching expert and knows how it rolls. We get to spend time together creating,
Flexibility means that we are adaptable and open to change. We are willing to adjust our plans and routines based on the circumstances and our evolving needs and goals. Do you get frustrated when plans change? Time to check your brain for overwhelm and check the other areas of your life.
Balance in life is a myth that can lead to disappointment and frustration. Instead, we should focus on alignment, integration, and flexibility to create a life that is meaningful, fulfilling, and joyful. By aligning our actions with our values, integrating different areas of our life, and being flexible, we can create a life that is authentic and unique to us.