In the first article in this series, 5 Secrets For Enduring Success in Life – #1 Be Yourself, I talked about the importance of learning to love and accept yourself just as you are. And I reminded you to empower and love yourself because you are FLAWESOME!!!
In the second article, 5 Secrets For Enduring Success in Life – #2 Bet on Yourself, I challenged you to go a little further and bet on yourself! I urged those of you who’ve never bet on yourselves to get started and I encouraged those of you who haven’t hit on success yet, to keep betting.
In the 3rd article, 5 Secrets For Enduring Success in Life – #3 Build Yourself, I wanted to awaken your inner champion to help you build yourself and unleash your “Amazing“! Did it work? Are you unleashing your “Amazing“? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.
In last week’s article, 5 Secrets For Enduring Success in Life – #4 Brand Yourself, I encouraged you to develop a unique professional identity and coherent message that sets you apart from others either in your company or in your industry by building your personal brand. How’s that coming?
In today’s article, we’re going to talk about the illusive concept of “Work-Life Balance“. I actually don’t subscribe to the concept of “Work-Life Balance” anymore. I believe “Life Satisfaction” should be the goal instead of “Work-Life Balance“. But I couldn’t find a word for satisfaction that starts with “B”, so I used balance to keep the theme of the series.
Before we talk about Life Satisfaction, let me tell you why I don’t subscribe to the idea of work-life balance anymore.
Why the idea of “Work-Life Balance” is moot.
The idea of “Work-Life BalanceLife Balance” has been sold to women as being the key to happiness by suggesting all we need to do is to simply find a way to better fill our roles without going crazy. The bottom line message being (unfairly) sold to women is that if we would only prioritize our work lives better we would have more time to spend with friends, family, and on ourselves.
However, there are plenty of women who do not have a job outside the home that still feel they need more balance in their lives. And, what about the women who love their work so that trying to add more time (balance) baking cookies at home would be to their detriment?
The very term Work-Life balance implies that there is a balance to be had in the first place, but I don’t believe there is. And furthermore, it implies that if we do not have it something is wrong with us. I think that work-life balance is just one more task for women to try and find time to tend to; one more thing on our long to do list to fail and feel bad about not accomplishing in a day.
So screw work-life balance, instead chose a life that you love and that makes you happy by living according to your core values.
Why “Life Satisfaction” is a better pursuit.
There will always be work or life events that will require more than the usual amount of physical, mental, and emotional energy. Trying to reduce time spent on them to “balance” the other areas means you can miss the opportunity to fully embrace the personal or professional experience.
In my opinion, we should all seek “life satisfaction” instead of “work-life balance”. I believe this is a much healthier approach because you look at how to improve your satisfaction in all areas of your life, instead of looking for ways to reduce energy spent on one to the benefit of the other.
5 tips on how to find “Life Satisfaction“
Here are 5 tips on how to find more satisfaction in your life in the midst of the chaos.
1. Live according to your core values.
Core values are traits or qualities that you consider not just worthwhile, they represent an individual’s highest priorities, deeply held beliefs, and core, fundamental driving forces. They are at the heart of what you stand for in the world.
Most people coast through life without any kind of consideration for what is truly important to them. This means that unfortunately for many, life is something that ‘just happens’ to them. Even tough, they are making hundreds of decisions every day, those decisions aren’t directed towards a specific purpose. As a result they become unsatisfied with life.
Instead of living to balance your tasks, focus on prioritizing your life according to your values. Without identifying a set of guiding core values, it will be very hard to set priorities and live according to what’s important to you. Without identifying your top five to eight core values, you will feel unsatisfied with life.
2. Ask for help!
Enlist the help of your spouse or partner and your children in your day to day lives. Many times, we as women hope that our partners will somehow intuitively know that we need help and come to the rescue. When they don’t instead of asking for help, we just get angry. Your spouse can’t read your mind and doesn’t know you need help unless you ask. So ask and be as specific as possible when asking.
3. Set Personal Boundaries
According to Wikipedia, Personal boundaries are guidelines, rules or limits that a person creates to identify reasonable, safe and permissible ways for other people to behave towards them and how they will respond when someone passes those limits.
Personal boundaries help to define an individual by outlining likes and dislikes, and setting the distances one allows others to approach. They include physical, mental, psychological and spiritual boundaries, involving beliefs, emotions, intuitions and self-esteem. Personal boundaries operate in two directions, affecting both the incoming and outgoing interactions between people.
Know when to say yes and when to say no. You can’t do it all, and there are times when you just have to decline a request. And don’t feel guilty if you can’t do something. You are not a super woman and you do not have superpowers. You have to guard your health and your life. Setting personal boundaries will help you find more satisfaction in your life.
4. Let go of perfectionism
A lot of overachievers develop perfectionist tendencies at a young age when demands on their time are limited to school, hobbies and maybe an after-school job. It’s easier to maintain that perfectionist habit as a kid, but as you grow up, life gets more complicated. As you climb the ladder in your career and as your family grows, your responsibilities mushroom.
Instead of perfection, the healthier option is to strive for satisfaction. Chose to validate and respect the difficulty and significance of being a mother, a wife and a doctor combined with the complexity of being a living, breathing, imperfect person. You will make mistakes, you will mess up, but it’s OK as long as you’re happy with you!
After all, you don’t have any super powers – you’re only human. Embrace your “Flawesomeness“!
From telecommuting to programs that make work easier, technology has helped our lives in many ways. But it has also created expectations of constant accessibility. The work day never seems to end. “There are times when you should just shut your phone off and enjoy the moment,” says Robert Brooks, a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School and co-author of The Power of Resilience: Achieving Balance, Confidence and Personal Strength in Your Life.
Brooks says that phone notifications interrupt your off time and inject an undercurrent of stress in your system. So don’t text at your kid’s soccer game and don’t send work emails while you’re hanging out with family, Brooks advises. Make quality time true quality time. By not reacting to every phone notification, you will develop a stronger habit of resilience. “Resilient people feel a greater sense of control over their lives,” says Brooks, while reactive people have less control and are more prone to stress.
These days, work-life balance is an impossible feat. Technology makes work accessible around the clock. In fact, a whopping 94% of working professionals reported working more than 50 hours per week and nearly half said they worked more than 65 hours per week in a Harvard Business School survey.
Experts agree: the compounding stress from the never-ending workday is damaging. It can hurt relationships, health and overall happiness. However, most of us still have to work. So how do we find happiness in our overwhelming and demanding lives? Find a rhythm that works for you and your family. Feel free to fallow the tips I gave in this article if they help, or create some of your own. The point is to find what works for your life and what brings you the satisfaction you desire.
Are you ready to discover your path to life satisfaction? If so, we can help. Sign up for our CEO of YOU consulting program and get the tools you need to achieve you the satisfaction in life you deserve. Click on the link below to sign up.
Well, that’s it for this series, stay tuned next week as we begin a new conversation about how to live on purpose! Until then, remember to Dream Big, Take Risks and become the CEO of YOU™!