At the end of 2019, I did an, “Ask Me Anything” on Instagram where I encouraged my audience to ask me questions about blogging, work, life, and home. The number one question asked was, “How do you balance it all?”
I’m so glad you asked this question because it NEEDS to be talked about. In today’s modern culture, everyone throws around the word balance like it exists, but listen, IT DOESN’T. I hate the word balance, which is hilarious because my word for 2019 was… wait for it, balance.
Balance is like Perfectionism, it Doesn’t Exist.
The word balance should be placed next to the word perfection because neither of them exist. Yet, we constantly chase them. There is a lot of talk about letting go of perfectionism, but then, there are people standing on the roof tops shouting about having balance.
The word balance puts pressure on us to do it all and be it all. Be a good employee or business owner. PLUS be a good friend, daughter, wife, mom, etc. When we fall short in one area, while we exceed in another it steals the joy. It brings guilt.
What I learned was to LET GO of the idea and concept of balance. That has been so freeing in every party of my life.
I know letting go of that concept may be easier said then done. And, I also know you still have responsibilities that HAVE to be taken care of regardless of what season you are in.
My advice, focus on what NEEDS your immediate energy and do the bare minimum for everything else.
Sometimes your work will demand more attention, sometimes your role as a mom or wife will demand more attention, etc. There is nothing wrong with that!
Look, some weeks, my house is destroyed, my client workload is overflowing, laundry piles up and I don’t go to the gym (not even once). Other weeks, my house is spotless, all my client work is buttoned up, my laundry is clean AND put away, and I go to CrossFit four times!
If my marriage is feeling stale, I say screw the vacuuming, let’s get dressed and go grab a drink together! We can ignore the dog hair tumble weeds for one more day. My marriage is more important than a clean house.
That’s life. As soon as you make the decision to be OKAY with unbalance, you will feel a major weight lifted from your shoulders. I encourage you to throw your hands up in the air and surrender whenever you need to!
How Do You Slice Your Pie?
Let’s think of you and your energy like a pie. Balance would want you to cut every single slice identical in size, but this is going to lead to massive discontentment. Why? Because you likely value one piece of pie over the other.
For example, I value you my family and marriage over just about everything else under the sun. My marriage is my number one priority, so that piece of the pie is huge! I also highly value my work and career, so that piece is rather big, too. Sometimes I have to say no to social events to work, but I’m okay with that.
My life is ANYTHING but balanced, and I make it that way with great intention.
Maybe you have a hobby that is near and dear to your heart, so you cut that piece of pie bigger than work. You use your PTO to do more of your hobby, so the work/career piece comes in a little smaller! There is nothing wrong with that AT ALL.
If you cut every piece of the pie the same, you are always going to feel defeated and guilty that one area of your life gets more attention than others. BUT, if you set your pie to intentionally align with your values, you can let that guilt melt away.
Do This Exercise
I have an entire template you can use to evaluate how you “slice your pie.” Find it in my downloadable template with journal prompts. The exercise will have you draw out how your pie looks NOW and then how you want it to look in the future. Use this exercise when you need to make decisions.
For example, work asks you to stay late, but your child has a basketball game. Go to your pie. Which piece do you slice larger? Kids or work?
There is no right or wrong way to priorities activities and relationships in your life. This should be deeply personal to YOU. It’s easy to let society sway how you slice your pie, but it’s crucial that you dig deep in your heart and listen to your intuition when you do this exercise.
Learn to Live & Let Go
Sometimes a messy house just means you are too busy loving on your children and creating memories to pick up a mop. Not getting dinner with friends for two months might just mean you are knee deep launching a new product in your business.
If you constantly chase the idea of balance, you are always going to feel guilty and defeated. So, instead of striving for balance, I encourage you to strive for prioritizing what means the most to you.
Be intentional with how you slice your pie and where you give your energy and I promise you, you will feel a powerful shift in your life.
For me, visualizing my priorities has reduced my stress and anxiety and made me happier overall. I’ve started making more time for the things I’m passionate about and saying “no” to activities that don’t serve me.
It’s freeing! I no longer feel guilty about a night spent on the sofa with my husband (laptop free) because our marriage is a priority to me! So, create a visual “pie” of your priorities and give yourself the freedom to listen to your heart as you slice it.
I agree with what you wrote! We aspire balance but we never reach it because our lives are too busy. We should aspire to that balance though, otherwise we wouldn’t feel accomplished…we would accomodate to the idea that we have to let go of everything.
I don’t think that is necessarily true! More about seasons and varying priorities by seasons (IMO). I do agree that burnout or contentment could play a role if we don’t “strive” for balance.