Has your BFF or partner said this to you lately: “You need to find some balance between your work and home-life.”?
Actually, they may not have said that to you, they may have shouted that AT you while you were pinging from work stuff to family stuff to everything in between.
Does this scenario sound all too familiar?
If you struggle with the balancing act of work and life — first of all — know you’re not alone (we battle with it as well).
And also, keep in mind there’s a different way to view “balance”.
Here’s what we’re talking about…
Is Work-Life Balance a Myth?
Did your mom stay home to raise you and she thinks you should do the same?
Did your dad work long hours and weekends to provide the “best possible life” for you?
Does your sibling(s) buck the family system and believe you should live it up as much as possible?
Does your grandma harp on you to not work weekends?
Whatever scenario you were raised in, when it comes to the beliefs around what it takes to achieve work-life balance, there comes a time when YOU have to know what you believe.
So many times, we take in the world around us without filtering and deciphering what truly works for us — not for mom, dad, sister, brother, grandma, grandpa and great uncle Steve.
That’s why we have to ask ourselves, “Is work-life balance a myth?”
Work-life balance may not exist at all, because oftentimes, we’re living out someone else’s version of it— not our own.
So, what do you do when work-life balance is a myth?
Align-who, you might be asking.
Let us explain…
No, we’re not talking about going to the chiropractor and getting adjusted (although, that can help, too).
What we’re talking about is alignment with your work-life…not balance.
“Aim for work-life alignment by crafting a meaningful professional life that matches up with who you are and what’s important to you.” – Patricia Thompson, Ph.D
The work-life concept described by Patricia Thompson, Ph.D integrates your core values, meaningful relationships, and awareness of what areas in your life are not fully aligned.
So what does that look like in everyday life?
How to Seek Work-Life Alignment
Ever thought your life was on the hot mess express? We’ve probably all been there and that’s why the harder we seek balance in work-life, the farther away that “goal” becomes.
Why? Because life is full of ups and downs and the more we work with them, the easier alignment can be.
Here are some tips on how to move towards more work-life alignment:
• Seek relationships, friendships, and circumstances that lift you up; not drain you.
If your work is a source of contention look at other areas of your life that can help ease that work burden. That might mean saying buy-bye to that toxic friend you keep around for no good reason or asking for help from your partner around the house.
• Accept that balance is a myth + integrate your values.
What can you take with you everywhere you go? Your core values.
Whether that looks like working a little extra one week because you have upcoming travel, or getting your meal-prep on like the boss that you are so you can eat what helps you feel your best — it’s all about integrating the things that matter most to you.
Not every day or week will look the same and oftentimes, accepting that work-life alignment looks different from time-to-time can help you feel good about showing up fully as your best self — in work and life.
• Drop the guilt.
If you’re a human then you know life is not always linear (even as hard as we try to make it be).
Life is full of hiccups and speed-bumps, roaring highways and curvy mountain roads. When we can stop throwing guilt and shame on ourselves, life can open up in ways that give us options to take the slow lane, or pass the Sunday drivers — but only when we realize we’re all doing the best we can with what we have.
So drop the guilt and raise your glass to riding the waves of work-life alignment — with your core values intact and more areas of your life — than not — that fill you up!