In my last article I may have been slightly guilty of having a wee rant about the fact us women need to learn how to put ourselves first and take care of our mind, body and soul. Admittedly, something we’re not that great at, because well, we’re women – and more often than not, end up putting everyone and everything else ahead of ourselves. It’s just in our nature. True?
Obviously I’m passionate about this subject, but although it may sound like I know what I’m talking about, the truth is I’m just as guilty as the next woman at putting my wants and needs at the bottom of the mountainous laundry pile.
And so, as a way of kicking myself up the proverbial butt, and possibly give you some motivational goodness while I’m at it, I have decided that for the next few articles I will be doing a series on what it looks like to achieve YOUR version of balance. I will also be running a special Bootcamp online, so if you want to join me there, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
So what does it mean to achieve balance? Obviously I’ve had to ask myself this! Now everyone I’ve ever talked to about the elusive B word either rolls their eyes, snorts (and then rolls their eyes), or curls up in a ball and cries themselves to sleep at the mere mention of such an impossibility. Obviously I’m joking (or am I?), but it does bring up some serious questions around the concept and practice of balance.
We all want it and, contrary to popular belief, it’s not like the lotto ticket you buy every Wednesday where you cross your fingers and hope to win it somehow. No, it takes work – sometimes hard work – and a commitment to achieve the state of balance your life genuinely craves.
For women in business this concept becomes even more farfetched, as many of us juggle both home-life, our personal lives (if we even have that!), and our business/work lives. We become super task orientated and are often forced to prioritise, according to whatever screams for attention the loudest. If we’re honest, it’s often our business obligations that win that screaming contest, while the real priorities suffer quietly and sometimes silently in the background.
Here’s the crazy thing: As much as our idealisms try to tell us that our work and personal life should be kept separate, the truth is both are often interwoven and interconnected, and both depend completely on the state of our health!
It’s your holistic health and wellbeing that dictates how functional, let alone how successful, you are.
You can’t keep putting off your personal wellness (mind, body, soul, spirit) in the name of killing it at work. ‘Kill’ being the operative word, because eventually you WILL drive yourself down into an early grave if you don’t start prioritising yourself. Yes that was harsh, but I can say these things with passionate and justified conviction. Did I mention that I’m currently recovering from very aggressive cancer treatment? If getting cancer taught me one very powerful truth, it’s that time and attention to oneself and those you love is THE most important investment you can make.
So don’t let work/business drown out the really important stuff. Sometimes the important stuff doesn’t have a voice, or can’t compete with the screaming decibels.
I’ve found through personal experience that those suffering silently are always the real victims. It may be your family that suffers silently, or darling, it may be YOU.
So where do ‘you’ enter this equation, and how do we start prioritising balance in your life?
As mentioned in my last article, one of the most basic steps you can start with is to “put yourself first”. Easier said than done, right? But I want to go one step further and say, “be the feature in your own life”.
Why is it so hard to consider ourselves, our wants, our needs in the midst of our crazy busy lives? Are we not worth a little self-love? Can we not afford a minute to just pause and consider something that fills us up (whether it be a want or a need)? Are we too busy building our business empires to actually look after ourselves, to give some much needed time and attention to our health and wellbeing?
Well, I’m here to tell you that the two worlds are not mutually exclusive.
Being a busy woman – whether you’re busy at home, at work or running your business – should not automatically mean that YOU can’t feature in your own life. IN FACT, if you don’t start being the feature in your own life, and looking after yourself the way you absolutely need to, there won’t be much, if anything, left of you to give. Not to your family, not to your friends, not to your job, and definitely not to your business.
The biggest risk in your business is YOU – didn’t you know? So looking after you, means looking after your business. It’s not rocket science, right?
So to quickly recap:
- Be the feature in your own life – change that big beautiful mind of yours and don’t be afraid to put yourself first every now and then. Of course we can’t always and forever be about ourselves, but if you’re anything like me, the scales are definitely tipped toward everything and everyone else. Balance has become a big fat pie in the sky, but hope mixed with a bit of strategy and commitment can really turn things around. We’ll talk about how in more detail via our Facebook group.
- Listen to your body and prioritise the care of it. Remember, your work life and your personal life are only separated by zero to a couple of degrees. The things that truly dictate how well you do both is your mind and body. So it makes sense to take care of those things first and foremost, right?
- And we haven’t talked much about this (yet), but words require action. Conviction should give you a gentle or not so gentle shove in the right direction, and commitment will lead you forward down your designer pathway. More on action in the next article!
Remember, if you need extra support in any of these things and are keen to connect with a community of likeminded women, please feel free to join our Facebook group and sign up to our supportive Bootcamp (see the links below). Who better to support you than likeminded women who get where you’re at!