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Busting the Myth of Work-Life Balance

by Angela Counsel

 

Harmony low resWhen I was writing the book Secret Mum’s Business, I got busy researching this phrase that kept floating around the mumosphere. Three little words. A tiny little phrase. SO much angst.

Work Life Balance.

What did it mean? And why did it seem to be so elusive for so many women and mums in business? I was an absolute case in point. I struggled with it myself. I was running a highly successful business but felt I was being pulled in multiple directions. And the guilt! Don’t get me started on the guilt!  Have a read of my story here.

So when I started researching this phrase, this phenomenon, this holy grail we all seemed to be after, I discovered this interesting stat:

  • 70% of women feel stressed with many of them thinking their lives would be better if they could have balance

So, when I read that I immediately thought about the other 30% who seemed to have found it, who weren’t stressed. What were they doing that was so right?

It all came down to perception.

Researchers Jayne Jennings and Valerie McDougall conducted the study New Norma Project – Championing Life: Work Balance for Women Entrepreneurs. 

Their conclusion was that women who had achieved work-life balance had a different view of what work-life balance meant than those who were still trying to achieve it.

One of the statements that spoke to me when I was reading up on balance was from Debb Meyer of Narellan Pools, Australian Franchise Woman of the Year in 2013. You can listen to an interview I did with Debb here. This is what she said.

“Work-life balance is about successfully integrating all parts of your life, rather than balancing them.”

You know those days that are more about work? Or those weeks that are more about family? That’s fine. It’s integration, NOT balance.

I call it work-life harmony. I work with my clients to achieve harmony rather than balance. Balance sets them up to fail.

Why harmony?

Because it’s defined like this:

1. An orderly or pleasing combination of elements in a whole
2. A relationship in which various components exist together without destroying each other

That word destroy is so powerful. And that’s how I used to feel. I couldn’t have one (work) without it destroying the other (family) or vice versa. Or so I thought.

The reason was because my perception was of this perfect work-life balance. As soon as I shifted my perception towards work-life integration or work-life harmony, things started to change. My mind cleared, my body relaxed and my soul finally had some space to sing.

One of the best ways to create harmony in your life is to take some time out to have some fun.  If you are a female entrepreneur who has been working hard to achieve work life balance (and failed) then why not join us for the next Entrepreneur’s Playdate.  These events have been created for busy entrepreneurs who feel like they are missing out on fun in their lives.  Click here to learn more and to book your spot at an upcoming event.

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