Australians want work/life balance (3rd on the list of desires as measured by OECD 2015) BUT…. Australians rank in bottom 20% on work/life balance in the same research.
I hear this time and time again, from friends and clients: “I want balance BUT… I have three kids; I have to have a demanding boss; I have to run the kids around to activities; I have an important job; I have lots of work to do; I have lots of people depending on me; I have a partner who is away or who works a lot; People are waiting for me to stuff up; I have no help; I’m too busy…
I get it. I said all those myself
There are lots of things in the way so organisations and groups implemented family friendly policies, flexible working hours, telecommuting, paid parental leave, “mommy tracks”, on site child care, virtual teams etc. to help us achieve balance. CEB research shows that people who report they have a good work/life balance work 21% harder so this makes perfect business sense.
BUT I still hear the same reasons as before. I want to be in balance BUT….
That BUT in our minds is what stops us from achieving balance in our lives and being highly effective. The truth is that we won’t take full advantage of these policies and utilise the family friendly practices properly until we get over the biggest hurdle - ourselves. Therefore we won’t reap the benefits personally or organisationally that being in balance brings.
Balance is a state of equilibrium. Equilibrium can be defined as a calm state of mind. BEING balanced or in balance is thus a state of mind. What a balanced life IS will look different to everyone and at different stages in life it will be different, BUT whether you think you are balanced or not is up to you. You can have the perfect portions of work, family, exercise, finances, sleep on your plate BUT still believe that you are not balanced.
It is about how you think that makes the difference.
Human Synergistics shared analysis that shows that people with the most constructive thinking styles reported that they are 39% more satisfied with their ability to manage stress than those with the least constructive thinking styles. This group also reported that they were 30% more satisfied with their general state of mind than those with the least constructive thinking styles. Therefore one can extrapolate that the more constructive your thinking, then you are more likely to have a more positive sense of wellbeing and see yourself as being in balance.
BUT I can't change...
The amazing part is that neuroscience proves that it is never too late to teach an old dog new tricks (me included). We CAN learn new ways of thinking with coaching and support to reshape our brain physically and mindfully to BE in balance.
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” - Dr Wayne Dyer
What is the smallest change you can make right now that will make a difference to you being in balance?
My suggestion….drop the “BUT” and own your choice.
Sounds harsh? If it does, then you probably aren't content with your choices. If your choices aren't bringing you joy, then change them. Easier said than done and that is why I am here to help. Just calling or emailing can make a difference to your state of mind. Get in touch and let's see where you are at and where you want to be.
Boom. ... Clap.... and then a hug.
Shannon Young works with The Care Factor and is hosting Get Back in Balance lunches for talented women across Sydney in August to delve further into these thinking styles. See the workshop/seminars/retreat page for details. Contact her directly on firstname.lastname@example.org to see if a customised coaching plan packed with humour, enthusiasm and challenge can help you shift and be in balance.