September 25, 2023
The pursuit of work-life balance feels like chasing an elusive mirage.
It's a concept we all yearn for, yet one that often seems just out of reach.
We envision it as a destination—a place where our work and personal lives exist in perfect harmony, where stress doesn’t exist.
But what if I told you that this vision of work-life balance as a static, attainable endpoint is a myth?
What if the secret to achieving balance lies not in reaching a final destination but in embracing the idea that balance is, above all else, a way of being?
In this article, we'll explore work-life balance, exploring why the traditional notion of equilibrium between work and personal life is a myth, and why understanding it as a way of being can bring clarity, fulfilment, and a renewed sense of purpose to our lives.
Work-Life Balance Definition
Work-life balance is a concept that many define as the harmony between the demands and responsibilities of your job or career (work) and your personal life, including family, hobbies, health, and any other non-work related activities.
It is believed to be about finding a sustainable arrangement that allows you to effectively manage your work commitments while also dedicating time and energy to your personal well-being and relationships.
However, work-life balance is subjective and can vary greatly from person to person, depending on the life stage they are at and no one definition of balance is the same.
There are a lot of myths around balance, myths that I am here to dispel in this and future articles.
Work-Life Balance Examples
Personally, I’ve spent many years chasing balance and a few years back discovered the harder I chased balance the more elusive it became.
When I reflect on my relationship with balance and how it has changed in the nine years since I exited my corporate career, I realise the most powerful action I took was to redefine balance on my terms by first unpacking all the limiting beliefs I had around balance.
This process has been further validated by the over 150 exhausted professional women I have interviewed (for my research) who have shared that flourishing in life for them is having balance.
However, most of them cannot recall a time in their life when they felt balanced and if they did, they couldn’t sustain it.
When I personally let go of what society defined as balance for me and created the space to listen to what balance had to teach me, here’s what I learnt:
But as I have mentioned, there are many myths about balance, so let me share with you one of ten myths I have discovered on my own personal journey.
Work-Life Balance Myth #1: Balance is a destination rather than a way of being
Balance is a destination rather than a way of being. This is a myth.
Here is the reality. Our quest for balance often finds us envisioning a specific magical destination where we’ll finally arrive with all aspects of our life operating in elusive equilibrium.
This belief does not account for nor accommodate the uncertainty and fluidity of life.
Balance isn't a destination, it's a continuous journey of self-awareness, adaptation, and growth.
As our life changes, so does our definition of balance.
Each life stage brings a different meaning of balance.
It's the process of navigating the unexpected and the uncertain that brings us towards harmony.
Work-life Balance Strategies
Journal on the myth: “Balance is a destination rather than a way of being” and see what comes up for you.
Ask yourself: “how this knowledge impacts the expectation I have of myself when it comes to chasing balance”.
“How might I use this information to start to redefine balance for me in a way that invites more harmony into my days?”
The key points from this article include:
Go deeper into dispelling the “Top 5 myths of Balance”. Listen to episode 103 of The Hacking Happy Podcast.
Or,for the woman who wants balance but can't find the time. Join The Balance Challenge.
If you’re ready to redefine your relationship with balance and how it impacts how you show up in life the Balance Challenge was made for you.
In just 14 days, unlock sustainable sacred pockets of time that recharge your batteries and create the space to start showing up as the woman you want to be without the guilt.
Think sustainable evidence-based action delivered to you in bite-sized pieces to reduce the overwhelm and unlock a more balanced you.