I used to beat myself up when I wasn’t giving every aspect of my life the same amount of attention. It took a chronic illness and depression to realize that “balance” wasn’t real.
In this post, I go over why work-life balance is a myth and what to do instead.
Why work life balance isn’t good
There is no 50/50 “balance” between work and life. Work life balance isn’t a thing.
Each area of our life takes different amounts of time, energy, and effort to maintain. Some areas of our life or business need more of those, some need less of them, some can get neglected, and some aspects you’re naturally really good at. Like with a product or service launch, being healthy, needing extra rest, etc. Your time, energy, and effort shift based on what’s going on day-to-day. Sometimes hour by hour.
Besides, the more you add to your life, the more juggling there is to do. How much of those things you add are what you want to do?
Work and life tend to overlap, and that’s ok. But, that also means it’s unrealistic to attempt to create a balance between the two. Otherwise, you’ll stay overwhelmed and burn out often. Life feels harder when there’s not enough fun or excitement day-to-day.
This is also pressure from society’s expectations. Do certain things a certain way and only the way is nationally expected of you. Who wants that anyway? You are unique and don’t fit into a box. What works for some may not work for you. That’s ok!
You’re not a robot. It’s YOUR life and business so those work life balance “rules” go out the window. It’s time to take back control of your life.
This is why I prefer work-life alignment instead.
What is Work-Life Alignment?
“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
To me, work-life alignment means :
- A life of purpose
- Knowing why you do what you do
- Learning to let go of things you can’t control,
- Focus on what you can control, and
- Be true to yourself as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else
- Setting your ego aside
- Trusting yourself to make the best decisions for you and what you want to achieve in life and business
Whatever that means to you, is all that matters.
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Why is Alignment Important?
Have you ever wondered why it’s such a struggle to achieve some goals and easier with others?
Think about how you felt in those different situations. Were you confident, at ease, and excited, or procrastinated, frustrated, and disappointed? When you were happier and in alignment, than you were is a state of flow and things came easier. The concept of alignment is to get into that state of flow more often.
When you’re not in alignment, you tend to lose your identity. Unfortunately, I see this all the time with parents, business owners, and people who go against the grain of what society thinks they should do and be.
Alignment creates the feeling of “balance,” even when your time, energy, and efforts aren’t evenly distributed.
It’s about YOUR choices. You get to choose what’s best for you. Not what society or your loved ones think you should. They are only reflecting their own beliefs onto you anyway. You’re not them. You are unique and unconventional.
It’s about aligning all aspects of your life, not just in business. Whether it’s family, health, work, hobbies, and rest. You get to choose how and when you want to do them. Want to have fun all the time? You’ll be able to do that too!
Time to make “no” your new favorite word.
What does Work Life Alignment look like?
Work-life alignment is about removing the sense of obligation and living from what is joyful, authentic, and natural. But most of all it’s intentional. First, get to alignment and freedom and full self-expression. From there, your version of balance naturally happens as a byproduct.
It’s not about choosing to balance/juggle things and more about creating a life of aligned energy. When you’re aligned with what’s most important to you, you’re more excited to wake up each day and get shit done.
When you started your business, it was fun and exciting. Maybe you were more focused on making money. It wasn’t aligned with the lifestyle goals and objectives you had, which can change over time.
Now, maybe after learning and growing as a business owner and person, your business doesn’t feel the same and a pivot may be the next step to catch up with who you have become. Change is inevitable and that’s ok. It’s about the choices you make and how you respond to them.
Work-life alignment can also look like utilizing your strengths and continuing to develop them. You would feel like you’re bringing your best self to whatever project you tackle in your business.
You have more of a sense of engagement and satisfaction in helping clients. Instead of dreading getting out of bed, you would be excited to hit the ground running, full of excitement from the rekindled passion because the work you’re doing feels like it matters again. You would even gain energy because you’re actually interested in what you’re working on and who you help.
If this sounds like a pipe-dream, it doesn’t have to be.
While finding a sense of work-life alignment can take some effort, it’s totally doable.
If this is something you’d like help figuring out, check out my Purposeful Planning mini-course, here.