Today I want to address a little bit more about a particular topic that I get asked about a lot and it has to do with balance. Everybody wants to know:
How do we do balance?
How do we make that feel right?
How do we manage all of the things in our life?
Balance truly feels like a struggle for so many people especially when you think about the things that you are trying to accomplish in your day to day life: your schedule, your work, your family, your health, etc.
What are some of the things that we are struggling to balance?
I would say one of the top things that my clients wonder about how to handle is their work in relation to everything else... it’s on the top of so many female minds.
How do you balance your work life with your family life.? Faith? How do you balance relationships? How do you balance involvement in activities like church or community events? How do you find time for fun? How do you balance health-how do you fit in exercise and eating healthy?
Question of the year, right? How do we fit it all in?!?!
Having all of these tasks that need to be done, these obligations, and wondering “how in the world do I manage to stay healthy and not burn out”? Here's something that I want you to think about, we are being sold this lie of a superwoman complex. We're being told by society and a lot of “experts”- coaches, trainers, and psychologists, we can have it all, do it all and do it really well and that is a fallacy that is being sold to us as women. We're given this information and then we're taking it and holding onto that as truth of this is what we must do. And, do it all exceptionally well.
What's the caveat with balance?
Here's a little secret: the caveat (and truth!) to balance is that there is no such thing as balance because it is simply impossible to do every single thing all of the time and do everything exceptionally well!
When we say yes to something there will always be something that we say no to. And, when we say no to something that is totally okay!. Don’t feel bad because you say no.
When we say no to something then we're saying yes to something else. If you're saying no to your health but you're saying yes to to work life, that is a choice you are making in that moment. However, you can’t say yes to health, yes to your work, or yes to your family, yes to fun, and yes to relationships simultaneously. Those are important things to say yes to and they need specific time and attention
Know that when you put your attention on one thing, your attention falls away from other things. There are seasons where certain things are more of a priority than others.
I have had a season where work was more of a priority than my health and relationships. Transversely, I had a time where I was obsessed with health and I made very little time for anything else.
When I work with women, we take a look at what the priorities are in their life currently and what do they want to make a priority at that given time. Focusing on three priorities is a good place to know where to put your attention and time. Only three.
I help women uncover what they want to do, how they want to feel, and how they imagine their day. For example, there are obligations that I say no to because I just can't put that on my plate; I know that it will take away from my time with God, family life, and making health a priority- the three things that are the most important to me based on who I want to be, how I want to feel, and how I want to lead my life.
choose your “yes”.
There is not balance, there are choices. Choices become your selection of focus for your time and attention. What will you say “yes” to?
One thing I have found to be true as I help women recover from burnout and Adrenal Fatigue: Burnout is never sudden. Burnout comes from a series of choices where your priorities are unclear.
We can’t say yes to everything except health and then be surprised, frustrated, and angry because we feel so fatigued and sick!
If somebody has an expectation for me, for something that is not a priority for me then I have an obligation to say no to that.
Did you catch that? You not only have a right to say no, it’s your obligation. Otherwise, I know that I'm not going to necessarily do it well and even feel resentful that I have to do it. Right?
When I say yes, I want it to matter. I want my choices and actions to be congruent to the woman God created me to be and who I desire to become.
We say yes to things without having our own boundaries established in our lives. We say yes to things that mean we must say no to something that is more important to us. And then we get frustrated because we wonder how we can do it all!
I think everybody gets tied up in this internal conflict. We struggle with this balance piece because, really, it's us feeling obligated to say yes to all of the things, and you can’t say yes to all of the things. Saying yes to all of the expectations and obligations means that nothing gets done well because we are trying so hard to put the same effort into everything.
Understanding that balance is a lie is the first step in defining priorities. It's a matter of us choosing what we want our focus to be on. Make choices based on that every time.
I hope that this gave some insight especially because I know there are so many people telling you right now that you can do all the things, and you can do them well. They tell you to be superwoman and you should take on more things.
My challenge to you is to say no to the things that don't need to be taken on by you. Because though that leads to resentment, that also leads to burnout. If you think that maybe you are in a place of burnout or you're approaching that place, I want to encourage you to download “5 Signs of Burnout” checklist by clicking the button down below.
It gives you an indication of some of the things that are warning signs to you that there is too much on your plate. As you tried to balance it all, it's really becoming a consuming thing for you. And, ultimately it leads to chronic fatigue and burnout. And, that is certainly the very thing that we don't want.
Start making choices that are reflective of the life you want by becoming aware of the signs and symptoms of burnout and Adrenal Fatigue.