Balance is a myth. There, I said it out loud. To many coaches, this is heresy. But let me say it even more clearly: There is no such thing as achieving balance in one’s life?it cannot be done. Balance is a concept constructed as an ideal in theory, but as a self-defeating concept in reality. It allows us to be diminished because the standard by which we are comparing ourselves is unattainable. We are defeated before we begin. This is especially true for women who are culturally set up to fail by a society that demands we be perfect mothers, wives, executives, business owners and human beings?all at once.
What we control are the options placed on the scale, how long it remains and at what point it is removed.
Choice is the answer
Here?s what you can and do have: You have choice. You can make choices that will either positively or negatively affect you. Or, you can decline to make a choice, which in itself becomes the choice.
I was watching a gemologist weigh a diamond on a scale recently. On one side he had a weight, and on the other he would place the diamond. Although I had seen this before, this is the first time I really considered that the balance shifted from side to side, depending on what was placed on the scale. I know that sounds obvious, but think about this for a minute: The weight was the standard of measurement. The diamond was being weighed. When something was removed from the jewel dish, the weight became the heavier side. When something was added, it shifted the heaviness to the jewel side. I began to think that this is what occurs for all of us on any given day.
There are times when we are required to meet deadlines, or we must do more than normal to meet someone else’s needs. We may have set a career goal for ourselves that requires more time and dedication. Perhaps our desire to own or grow a successful practice means putting other parts of ourselves on hold. We choose. We shift the weight from one area to the other. It is usually for a limited amount of time. Then, the cause of this imbalance?which is really a choice?is resolved or removed, and we shift our attention back to ourselves or to other areas in our life. Again, over the course of a day, month or year, this balancing act moves from one side to the other, depending on what is required of us.
What we control
What we control are the options placed on the scale, how long it remains and at what point it is removed. Although at any given moment we may not be in ?balance,? over the course of time, our conscious choices can give us the ability to shift our attention and energy as needed. We don’t tolerate what doesn’t serve us. The idea is to set boundaries around what we will or will not add to our side of the scale. And we determine those boundaries based on what we value. At any point there may be a need to adjust within our immediate requirements with the intention of resolving it and bringing ourselves back into balance.
Life happens, and there are times when we are required to give more than we normally would. But, if you choose with self-awareness and consider your personal well-being and goals, you can remain both healthy and productive.
Balance, as defined by our ideology, is myth. Choice is real.
Alicia M. Rodriguez, M.A., P.C.C., is a certified executive and leadership coach and founder of Sophia Associates, LLC, an international executive and leadership coaching practice. You can contact her through her website www.sophia-associates.com, by calling 443-433-0586 or e-mailing Alicia@sophia-associates.com.