In a recent coaching session, my client Cindy asked me, “So what can I DO so I can have work life balance? Like, how do you DO it?”
Ah, the million dollar question.
I thought about how to answer for a moment. Especially since she was facing A LOT.
🌶 As if she didn’t have enough to worry about with with a 3 year old and a 10 year old at home.
🌶 🌶 She was mid-divorce and in the thick of it.
🌶🌶🌶 She had been laid off last month and now she had to find a job.
This alone was worth a pause to acknowledge her courage and resilience. 🙌🏼
It seems that no matter what challenges each of us handle, this dilemma goes unanswered.
Like so many female corporate leaders I work with, all Cindy could think about were the balls she kept dropping.
When we worry about “doing” anything, we tend to put more pressure on ourselves - especially as women leaders.
Cindy continued to tell me how she was steeping in Mom guilt for missing important updates and activities happening at school, and forgetting about other to-do’s that were slipping.
I shared what I consider one of the biggest game changing concepts that, unfortunately, most corporate female leaders learn too late, if at all:
“Work life balance is how you live life moment by moment - all the time!
It’s not about the “how to” - meaning, wondering “how do I keep the balls in the air and job search” or the like.
What if you gave yourself permission to have work life balance?
And then, any time you think of it (e.g. a moment!), you check in and see if you are in work life balance?
Not in work life balance mode in that specific moment? Ask, “What could be different?”
In work like balance? Acknowledge yourself for it.
Maybe you say out loud, “I give myself permission to do something different.”
You can even shout it from the rooftops: “I give myself permission to fully listen to this story that my daughter is REALLY excited to share with me for five minutes!”
Because it’s the little, incremental shifts you make, perhaps hundreds of times a day, that can move the needle on work life balance.
So, next time you ask yourself, “How the hell do I get more work life balance anyway?!”
Tell yourself this instead, “I give myself permission to balance work and life today.”
Say it with kindness if you can, and practice saying it too.
After all, it’s a new way of life otherwise you wouldn’t be asking yourself any of this, like Cindy was.
If each of us can all think about work life balance as it happens, instead of what I can “do” next which often leads to added pressure and just more rumination or over-thinking - I guarantee you’ll have a few light bulbs go off.
BTW, I’m spending a FULL DAY on this at the Powerful Pause Mini-Retreat May 13th. Spend an entire day with me and you will learn these life-changing tools that will set you up for how to do this going forward! Just message me “retreat” and I’ll send you the details.