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Work-Life Balance Myth: Balance means self-sacrifice

September 27, 2023

Work-Life Balance Myth: Balance means self-sacrifice

It's not uncommon for any individual to believe that achieving equilibrium between our professional and personal lives requires a certain degree of self-sacrifice. 

This belief often leads us to think that in order to excel in our careers or fulfil our personal commitments, we must surrender a significant portion of ourselves—our time, our passions, and sometimes even our well-being.

But what if I told you that this notion of balance as self-sacrifice is a pervasive myth? 

In this article, I will unpack the misconception that balance means self-sacrifice. We will explore how this misconception has arisen, the toll it can take on our lives, and why a more holistic and sustainable approach to work-life balance is not only possible but essential.

Work-Life Balance Meaning  

Work-life balance means harmony between the demands and responsibilities of your career (referred to as "work") and your personal life, including things like family, hobbies, health, and more. 

The Work-Life Balance meaning is about establishing a sustainable arrangement that enables you to effectively manage your professional commitments while also dedicating time and effort to your personal well-being and relationships.

It's important to note that work-life balance can have a different meaning for each individual. This is heavily influenced by the stage of life they are at and personal preferences, meaning that there isn't a universally applicable definition of balance.

There are a lot of myths around balance, myths that I am here to dispel in this and future articles.  

One you might want to remember before reading ahead is “balance isn’t a destination, it is a way of being”. 

Work-Life Balance Myth #2: Balance must come at the sacrifice of self

Yes, this is a myth. Here is the reality. 

This is known as the Fallacy of Selflessness, which suggests that achieving balance can only come at the cost of self-sacrifice.

It urges us to put our needs aside in the pursuit of harmony.

Yet, denying ourselves nourishment and self-care leaves us feeling exhausted and overwhelmed undermining the essence of balance.

True harmony emerges when we invest in prioritising self-compassion and self-love by tending to our own needs first, allowing us to radiate our best energised and present selves into the world.

Work-Life Balance Case Study  

Meet Alex. She invested heavily in defining work-life balance on her own terms. 

She works for herself. When she started in the world of entrepreneurship she felt unfulfilled, overwhelmed and not sure where to focus her energy. 

Entrepreneurship can be a very lonely journey and finding a balance between work and life can be a struggle as business, which often leads to a lot of self-sacrifice.

While we worked on her vision and purpose in her business, she was also given the tools to help live a fulfilling life outside of her business. 

Alex is continuing to work towards her true calling daily, finding immense satisfaction and fulfilment in her journey. 

She is a great example of how you don’t have to sacrifice yourself to obtain “balance”, but instead create your own harmony through investing in yourself. 

Learn more about Alex’s story here.

Work-life Balance Questions 

Ask yourself: 

  1. When I think about the myth“Balance must come at the sacrifice of self”, what comes up? 
  2. How does this knowledge impact the expectation I have of myself when it comes to chasing balance?
  3. How might I use this information to start to redefine balance for me in a way that invites more harmony into my days?

Take a piece of paper and a pen and write it down. 

Final thoughts 

The key points from this article include: 

  • The meaning of work-life balance   
  • Work-life balance case study  
  • The #2 of #10 myth of balance 
  • The questions to help with work-life balance  

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.

For all the details and to secure your spot click HERE.