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The real secret to work life balance

I could put down my fixation with the word 'balance' to my ‘Libran’ traits that apparently make me obsessed with balance, harmony and maintaining equilibrium in all aspects of life. While that may be true (or not), it is more than that. Over the years and through varied experiences (which include my own and my clients’) my understanding of the word and why it is so important has evolved. So today, I wanted to share some insights that I have learned about “balance” or more specifically ‘work life balance’.


When it comes to work life balance, we often simplify what this means by talking about time management or fitting in self-care routines, setting boundaries and so on. While these are very important, for true balance we need to dig a bit deeper. True balance comes from embracing a fundamental shift in our core beliefs and accepting that we are enough just as we are, without the constant need to do more to prove ourselves.


In a world that glorifies and celebrates multitasking and staying busy, it's easy to fall into the trap of defining our worth by how much we accomplish or how busy we are. But the truth is that we are valuable just as we are. So, one of the first keys to finding balance is understanding that our intrinsic worth doesn't come from endless doing. It comes from simply being ourselves, authentically and unapologetically.


Once we have a grasp on that, the next step to finding true balance is to set clear goals and visions for our ideal life and career. When we lack clarity in the direction we are headed, we go with the flow and are basically on autopilot mode. So, we keep doing what we have always done and feel stuck, stressed, overwhelmed and stagnate, causing us to feel out of sync at work and home. Instead, if we take the time to get clarity on what we truly desire in our life and career and set clear goals, we can take the reins of the ship in our hands and steer it in the direction we want and find harmony.

Another thing that plays a huge role in finding balance is our Self talk. How we talk to ourselves and how we react or perceive things that happen to us at work and home can have a huge impact on whether we feel stressed and overwhelmed or feel fulfilled at the end of the day. For eg. If we have not completed a task or made a mistake we tend to beat ourselves down or feel like a failure. Instead, what if we flipped the script? What if we used our mistakes as an opportunity to learn and improve? What if we looked at everything we have done in the day and separated what we have done well and what we can do differently and cut ourselves some slack? This gives us a more fair and balanced view of the day.


This brings me to my final point about making room for disappointments, failures and imperfections in our day. It’s ok to tell a colleague, manager, client or family member that a particular task will take longer even if that disappoints them. Similarly, if one of your main goals this year is to get that promotion, without compromising time with your family. This may mean that to prioritise this goal, one has to delegate or give up certain other tasks. So maybe you will have unfinished chores or the cushions are not perfectly fluffed or your heap of laundry keeps growing. As long as you can prioritise the chores you must do for eg you ensure that there are enough clean clothes that you and your family need that week even if all the laundry does not get done. That is enough. That is alright. Asking for more time on a job or letting some things slide does not make us a failure. It just makes us human. We must learn to let go of our need for perfection and be okay with disappointing others or making mistakes without letting it define our worth.


So, what this boils down to is how each of us personally defines what balance, success, failure and perfection mean to us. What are our priorities? What’s important to us?


In a nutshell, finding work-life balance for us women is more than just managing your schedule or squeezing in "me time." It's a journey of self-discovery, a realization that you're already awesome just as you are. By allowing yourself to make a fundamental change in your beliefs, staying true to your goals, doing away with negative self talk, not fearing setbacks, and defining success on your terms, you'll discover a more profound and lasting sense of balance. Remember, you've got this. You are enough!


If you're seeking support on your path of self-discovery and striving to make those fundamental shifts in your beliefs to truly embrace balance, don't hesitate to get in touch with me on coachsanjukta.mitra@gmail.com


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