Let’s talk about finding balance. It’s a very broad topic and a very personal one, because we all have different criteria about what balance means to us and what it is.
However, that’s an important topic because when you feel overwhelmed, this might be another way to get back to your balance, bring back balance into your life.
I will also introduce you to a tool to help you get there.
This topic is different than the one about being aligned (episode 4). Today, we’ll talk about the practical side of life.
When I was in France in between Malta and Portugal, I went hiking with a friend of mine and this was the conclusion of all our conversations.
This friend is also into personal development, so we always have a lot to discuss and every time we end up saying ‘It’s all about balance’, so much that it sounded too cliché and boring at some point.
What balance is or is not
Taking a few concrete examples now:
- It’s okay to have a glass of wine and eat a burger and French fries here and there, it may become a problem if this becomes your typical diet.
- It’s okay to put your needs aside when your friend has an emergency and needs you, it may not be okay if you end up putting your needs aside all the time.
- It’s okay to experience stress once in a while, it may become an issue if you experience stress daily (also know as chronic stress).
With these examples, I want to remind you that balance IS everything.
By bringing your mind, your body, your spirit and your emotions in balance, you can life a more serene and fulfilling life.
My own experience lately
Personally, when I think about balance, lately it’s been mainly about finding my own balance between my personal and professional life.
I believe I’m not the only one struggling, especially since Covid and the expansion of working from home.
It’s been difficult to set boundaries and define them, so I hope this episode will help you do so.
Finding your own balance
Taking another example: if your work or business is your baby and you end up dedicating a lot of time to it, it might be okay.
This area of your life might be more important than others, which is perfectly fine as long as you give the priority to what matters to you and it’s okay for the persons sharing your life.
If not, you may want to have a conversation with them and find a common ground so nobody gets hurt in the process.
It all goes down to this: your own balance lies in doing more of what matters to you, what lifts your spirit up and gives you a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.
I like to say or remind you that we’re all different, and we all have different needs. Your priorities and your balance may look totally different than your friends and your family.
When you’re out of balance
When you feel overwhelmed, as usual, it’s worth pausing and assessing your situation, because it might be a sign that you’re out of balance.
The wheel of life, a coaching tool
To help you do that, you may want to use a well-known life-coaching tool called: The wheel of life.
It’s similar to the 8 pillars of wellness but different. I wrote an article about it if you’d like to learn more about it, but it’s about wellness not about your life in general.
Basically, you have a pie, in French, we call it camembert because we’re French it has to be related to cheese 😀
This pie is cut into 8 equal parts and each part represents a dimension of our lives:
These 8 areas are:
- Friends & Family
- Personal growth
- Physical environment (your house, your neighbourhood)
- Fun & recreation
How to use the wheel of life to bring back balance
It’s very simple. You’re invited to rate your satisfaction level in each area.
The goal isn’t so much about scoring 10 everywhere, but to rate how satisfied you are, because when you’re satisfied in all the areas of your life, it means that you have a sense of balance and you have a fulfilled life.
That’s also the reason why it’s called a wheel: when all the areas are balanced (you score a 7 everywhere, the wheel can roll.
Now if you score a 2 out of 10 in each and every area, the wheel still rolls, but you want to get some help to increase your level of satisfaction.
Guiding questions to complete the Wheel of life exercise
Give a general note for each area, taking the following questions and their answers into consideration.
How healthy do you eat? How regularly do you exercise? How energised do you feel?
Friends & Family (relationships)
How satisfied are you with the quality of your relationships? Do you spend enough time with your loved ones?
Is your job fulfilling? Is it aligned to your values? Do you have opportunities to progress?
Do you live within your means (do you spend more than what you earn)? Are you satisfied with your current income? Are you satisfied with your savings?
If you’re in a relationship: Can you be yourself with your partner? Do you feel supported? Is your relationship nurturing?
If you’re not in a relationship: Are you happy not being in any? If you are, that’s perfect. If you’re not: Are you doing enough to meet new people? Are you open to new opportunities? How could you create these opportunities?
Are you growing as a person? Are you growing in the direction you’d like to? Are you becoming the person you want to? Are you learning new things in a regular basis?
Physical environment (your house, your neighborhood)
Do you like where you live? Does it feel safe and homy?
Fun & recreation
Do you have enough fun in your life, if any? Are you able to relax and do nothing productive, relaxing your mind and body?
We can delve deeper but these questions should help you get started to explore how satisfied you are in each areas of your life and how balanced your life is.
What to do next to find balance again
Once you’ve identified the areas you’re out of balance or dissatisfied, then you can take action.
It all starts with awareness.
You can even narrow it down to this question: What would be the first thing you could do that would have the greatest impact in your life?
All areas being intertwined: changing your finances may have ripple effects on the fun and recreational, your relationships and your growth.
Another example is health: you want to feel more energised. Feeling more energised will have an impact on the quality of your relationships. If you want to change job, you’ll have more energy to start a side-hustle project.
Finding balance is a journey
I really like this exercice because once you gain awareness you can start taking action.
As you may know by now, awareness is the starting point, because you can’t change what you don’t know. Once you know, then you can take appropriate action.
It’s delicate to find and maintain balance, but whenever you notice you’ve got carried away, you can always come back to this exercice.
Take care 😘