It is a well-known fact the importance of work/life balance in relation to success. While we can put all our focus into one area for a limited time, the cracks will show when other areas are neglected for too long and will become shutdown. We must seek balance to avoid the constant stops and blocks. Being in a state of equilibrium, gives us our ultimate power, strength and creativity, yet for so many business owners and entrepreneurs, they become so addicted to work, they are fearful of taking the foot off the pedal to shift focus and balance their personal life. Work can also be a deflection to avoid dealing with ourselves. You can end up feeling like you are peddling for dear life yet the wheels are spinning and going nowhere.
But time, yes precious time, or lack of it is the excuse given in most cases as we travel down a path that can fall to pieces because the neglected areas will surface when there is nothing left in the tank. These areas will come up screaming because they have become completely empty and ignored. There is no choice at this point but to listen and deal with what we have been ignoring for so long.
What is Balance?
Equilibrium (or state of balance) is achieved when every force acting cancels each out allowing an object to continue as they intend in the desired direction. Let’s put some visuals on this. Think of a tightrope walker. Balance or equilibrium is what allows them to walk a tightrope and perform feats far beyond what anyone in the audience could even dream of. If the tightrope walker doesn’t focus on keeping everything perfectly balanced, everything working together and in harmony, well, we all know what happens!
Balance In Business To Achieve the Next Level
As business owners and entrepreneurs, we need to become tightrope walkers to reach high above the norm to achieve our goals and our purpose. Many will be happy to stay in the audience but for those of us willing to reach new heights, we have to be willing to take risks and falls to perfect our talent to become the best on that high wire. It takes time and staying focused and balanced on the journey. You must never give up in order to succeed and stay flexible to changes to keep on the wire.
Taking a Yin Yang Approach
If you are not that familiar with YIN YANG philosophy, YIN (black) is the feminine energy and YANG (white) is the masculine. The traits for each fit into a feminine and masculine tendency. Both must work in harmony to achieve success, apart they can become destructive.
You don’t have to be fantastic in all areas. Perfection will stop you in your tracks. Aim to keep plates spinning in each area of our being, sometimes as little as an acknowledgement that you will soon address something, will fill the space for that area. It is not easy! Life will constantly throw forces at you pulling you all directions. So easy to get put off balance and off track. When the wheels are spinning and going nowhere, do a scan of all areas and give some weight to an area being ignored.
YIN YANG represents halves which are opposites and keep dividing. Left and right. Our self and our space. Our inner self and our outer self. Our surroundings and our doing. Harmony exists when there is balance within all the systems and allows the noise to go still so we can focus on our next outcome rather than dragged in multiple directions.
As business owners, we are our business so in order to create a balanced business, the balance comes from within. Taking a closer look within ourselves, we can divide this into two parts again. The inner self (which others don’t always see and tends to be the most neglected) and the outer self which is what the world can know us as (and might not to 100% who we really are).
Our aim should not be to have unrealistic expectations to start with all areas at 100% but aim to balance each area and give it some attention (you could be amazed what 5mins can do) and strive daily to fill our reservoirs. Over time, they will fill and become stronger. At the start, just acknowledge areas if they have been ignored and even a post-it note to remind you to bring that area to your attention will be enough to start filling and energising every part of who we are.
The Inner Self
This starts with our mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Spirituality is not religion, but a belief outside yourself for something much greater than anything here on earth. I call it the universe. Be free to call it as you wish, but don’t shut it off. Our inner-self nurtures self-confidence and as I like to put it, the inner Goddess/God, which we can also think of the female/male energy within, encompasses both sensuality and sexuality, being comfortable and confident with who we really are. The remaining parts of the inner-self are ‘Pure joy and happiness’ and giving ourselves permission for ‘Just Me’, putting ourselves first without feeling guilt which is a negative and destructive energy for anyone.
You may think of other areas within the inner self and allow this to grow organically. This will make you shine from the inside out when our inner self is acknowledged and in harmony. You might notice some areas below overlap, note the YIN YANG symbol, there is a dot of white in the black and vice versa. A little of the other in each part.
The Outer Self
Our outer-self includes all those parts that are visible at the surface that have an impact on the self. Our physical health and wellbeing. How we fuel and hydrate our bodies through food, water and a balanced nutrition. In order to achieve goals and targets physically, our fitness and energy levels must be filled adequately and prepared for anything.
Sleep is a critical factor, so often ignored and could be put into any category because it affects our inner & outer self plus our surroundings and doing. As it is something we can see and applies to the self, we can take note here. Sleep is not about the length of time but the quality. Allowing the body to get into a full rest and restore mode with the mind in stillness. If sleep is something you struggle with, try a daily meditation to help promote the part of the nervous system (parasympathetic ANS) that allows the body to restore. Even during the day, we need to incorporate Time Out, Rest and Restore. Even if it is over a coffee, just sit and allow the mind to stop and the senses to be present. Leave the phone out of reach! If we don’t turn the mind down during the day, how can we expect miracles to happen when we want to stop at night for sleep?
Lastly, ‘Your own personal style’ both within yourself and your surroundings give you a sense of belonging. Going forward, don’t buy anything to just serve a purpose but buy because it makes you smile. It will help fill that reservoir within.
Our surroundings can have the most obvious impact on the balance in our lives but it is also how we perceive things. If we are balanced and grounded within ourselves, both the inner and outer self, our surroundings will adjust to the balance. What appears in our surroundings is a reflection from within. Start to take note.
Before going through these areas within our surroundings, it is important to note that giving too much energy is very draining and will not create harmony. When dealing with difficult people in our lives, make sure to give yourself as much consideration and take baby steps. It is like dealing cards, give one card and wait for a response. If they deal a card, accept and return. If they don’t, simply give one more card but wait, don’t keep dealing if they are not willing to return. Just wait in a safe place for you and keep lines of communication open but realise, you cannot change another person, you can only change how you behave to your surroundings.
Our family, both immediate and extended can bring the most joy or most heartache to us. Our families are given to us, we don’t choose them which can make it very hard for some to find the balance. But it is possible. Again, remember, ignoring an area only allows negativity to fester under the surface. Acknowledging and valuing yourself in any situation will allow it to grow positively. Give it time.
Possibly you might feel Romance and Relationships does not apply to you right now, again, if you are simply ignoring the area, it will cause imbalance. Are you single? Are you in a relationship with no romance? Regardless of your situation, the important point to focus on, are you open romance and relationships or it is shut down and closed?
Children can give us so much joy, even if you don’t have your own. Spending quality time with children reminds us of creativity, open mindedness and possibility. Everyone needs to remind themselves of the world through the eyes of a child.
Social media might let you feel you are in touch with friends, but this is a false sense of time and a virtual friendship. Hearing your friend’s voice or seeing them in person will tell you so much more about what is going on their life. That unspoken word that we will never type in a message. Arrange to meet a friend for coffee and a catch up every opportunity you can. Beware not to always just give to your friends, allow them to give to you in return. Balance is achieved only when both sides are equal in giving and receiving with the energy flowing.
If you are working with a team, our work colleagues will have a major influence on life and balance. As with family, we can’t choose these people to be around but how we show up for it and ground ourselves is what makes the difference.
Lastly, our environment has more impact than the credit we give it. If you are living in clutter, your mind will be the same and without anywhere to move. I highly recommend checking out Marie Kondo’s book (audio works best for me while I clean) on the Magic of Tidying. We can have a fear of letting things go and it will manifest in our environment. When we start to open for new things, everything will change. As we all spend so much time on our laptops and mobile devices too, this also applies here. Start to implement a system that will allow you to manage your digital environment and avoid that message ‘Insufficient space’ when you want to do something new, and start to apply this to every aspect of our life and not just on your mobile phone.
For the majority, our Career and Work life takes up a huge portion of our daily lives. Yet for many, they will sit in a job they hate and complain, but do nothing to change it. Many jobs can just pay the bills and that is perfectly fine but don’t allow the hate and resentment to grow if you don’t like your job because the only one it will destroy is yourself.
Financials are a key priority in today’s society, whether you want it to be there or not. In business, figuring out what you can monetise the fastest while developing our ideas will keep your business afloat. Every successful entrepreneur has at least 5-7 income streams so don’t just rely on one. Even if it means a part-time job to help get things off the ground or using your other skills. Look at all the options.
Many people wander through life asleep and never really figuring out their Life’s Purpose. In order to be able to live your life’s purpose and not just dream about it, you need to become that tightrope walker, ready to take on the challenges despite the risks, have perfect balance and prepare yourself to succeed. What do you need to do next to become a tightrope walker?
That’s where Personal Development and Learning comes into play. Continuous learning and craving new experiences will build your momentum to make dreams a reality. Challenge yourself. Do things that will push you out of your comfort zone to allow to see what you can achieve. Keep a diary of the small daily wins. Sometimes we need reminding on how far we have come.
Finally, within our doing, we all need a social outlet with like-minded people who will help fill our reservoir. These may only be fun days with people who will pass through your life but they are there to boost your passions. While time alone is equally important, our natural instinct loves us to share moments.
Be present and observe. What do you really need to do next?
We don’t find balance and harmony, we create it.