I absolutely love working with high achieving women who are business owners, community leaders and corporate professionals because of the way that “work life balance” shows itself in our lives – for us, work, life and business exist in a confluence from which we cannot easily extract our ways of thinking, loving, relating, and creating impactful meaning. The challenges we face in work, career and business deeply inform our personal lives and personal, financial and relationship challenges profoundly affect our businesses.
As fulfilling as it is, the relationship between personal and professional life can be rocky and for many women, the idea of creating and maintaining the work life balance is often a tricky, if not impossible feat. I can recall a time when, shortly after, mapping out and declaring my bold and audacious goals for my business, a misstep on the landing of a stairway sent me flying through the air and landing face first with a thud. In the following weeks I had x-rays, MRIs, CT scans, ophthalmologic testing, dental, chiropractic & plastic surgery visits and finally, an extended visit with a super cute neurologist. All of this culminated with the news that I had fractured the orbital bone above and below my left eye, experienced what could possibly be permanent nerve damage and had suffered a brain injury that was affecting my memory and cognition. With all of this going on, I distinctly remember wanting nothing more than to quickly put the whole experience behind me and get back to work, full speed ahead, serving the women of my tribe.
The problem was that my body was NOT having it!! The harder I tried to push forward (black eyes, stitches in my forehead, pounding headaches and all), the more pronounced my symptoms became until fatigue took over. There came a time when although I enjoyed my client work and my speaking engagements, I began to dread the creative and analytic work related to meetings, tele-classes and Internet marketing. It didn’t matter what I tried, I just didn’t have the fuel for these business projects. My body and spirit knew that on the life side, I needed time and energy for the renewal and restoration of my peace and inner balance; but on the work side, my mind thought that I needed to make up for lost time.
Like many of you, I’ve often found myself painfully caught between the DNA deep promptings of my spirit and the day-to-day requirements of running my business, all while maintaining some sense of order in my household. I know that the mental programming that expects us to make all of this look so easy, like some modern-day “Superwoman,” definitely doesn’t help. I also know that it is possible to take care of others, run successful businesses and live fulfilled and satisfying lives if we are not willing to make the necessary shifts that allow us to see that there is IMMENSE value in taking care of you FIRST!!
Here are nine proven strategies that, taken together, can help you to change course without abandoning the destination and help you restore your work life balance:
1. Stay Connected to Source
Whatever your spiritual beliefs or practice, you must make it a priority to connect with what for you is the Source of life or spirit. Know that there is something larger than you that encompasses you. Spend at least 15 minutes each day connecting with that Source.
2. Set Healthy Yet Flexible Boundaries
There is no denying that real life and real business are intimately connected, but that does not require that you put yourself on the back burner nor that you need to give up your privacy. In order to create and maintain your work life balance, you must be willing to set healthy boundaries that honor you in a way that allows you to feel generous without feeling depleted and available without feeling invaded. Be willing to keep them flexible, because we all know, life happens and things change.
3. Take a Deep Breath and Don’t Panic
In those moments when overwhelm sets in, panic is often our initial response. It is important to know that even if you feel panicky, you have the power to choose from a wide range of tools and techniques that will assist you in properly addressing the situation. Tip: Talk with a coach or therapist to get perspective.
4. Be More Committed to the Goal than the Plan
Sometimes the best way to successfully achieve a goal is to release our attachment to the idea that the only way that it can happen is through our original plans. In order to bring current activities into alignment with current resources, we must be willing to quickly and concisely revise our commitments and renegotiate the offers and opportunities that are RIGHT NOW available to us. Why abandon ship when you can drop anchor while you make some adjustments and repairs (to both your business AND your personal plans)?
Imbalance often occurs when we allow ourselves to get into a pattern of self neglect, people pleasing or living our lives according to terms and standards that are not our own. Pay attention to your gut instincts and intuition. Notice the times where you’re being less than forthright or biting your tongue for the sake of others. Then challenge yourself to get clear about your motives or hidden agendas, then clean it up. (Talking to a coach or therapist can facilitate clear, authentic communication.)
6. Clean Up Your Stinkin’ Thinking and Mind Your Mouth
Research has provided substantial evidence that managing the way we think and monitoring the words that we speak can have a profound and lasting effect on our mood, mindset and motivation. Take some time to research tools that you can use to tune up your cognitive skills and/or make a date with a reputable therapist. (If you are otherwise in good psychological health a skilled coach can help, too.)
7. Take Inventory of Your Body
Do you often find yourself tired and fatigued? Are your sleeping patterns off? Are you partaking of a healthy diet? Have you integrated exercise and meditation into your daily routine? If these are not up to par, get a professional evaluation and take the steps that will restore your well-being.
8. Create Success Systems for Your Life AND Your Business
It is impossible to successfully manage real life and a real business without good systems. Take an honest look at each area of your life and business to assess where things feel most out of sorts, then commit yourself to creating or improving a system to get and keep things on track.
9. Be Mindful of the Company You Keep
Are you stimulated and encouraged by your peers and clients or do they drain the life out of you? Do you your friends and family members add or subtract joy, peace and fulfillment to your life? It is said that we are the average of the 5 people that we spend the most time with; that being said, it is critical that we are mindful of the people with whom we invest our time. Making such an investment with the wrong people is neither fun nor productive.
As for me, using these strategies led me to take a step back to reassess the systems in my own life and business. I restored my work life balance and now feel more aligned with the things that I choose to take on. Over the next few months I will be re-branding and restructuring the coaching/mentoring & training programs at Frantonia Pollins International to better fit not only the needs of the women I’ve been empowered to serve but, to also fill the needs of my soul. Making this decision has helped me to put an end to the internal battle between my deepest desires and my business. I now see my bold and audacious goals as a shining beacon of infinite possibilities instead of the heavy and burdensome obligations that they had once become; and if it I have to be a bit more patient in attaining them, I’ll just be committed to enjoying the journey – to the fullest.
I just opened up 10 spots for women who are “Right Now Ready” to experience the power of transformational success coaching. I’m offering my one-on-one, 60 minute Jump Start Your Success Empowerment Coaching Sessions for only $97 (my usual rate is $497 per hour). I’ll work with you to give you a personalized strategic blueprint for creating a life and business that feeds your bank account and your soul. Click here to schedule your session.