It’s the eternal question: how do you achieve work/life balance? If you think of the concept of a scale, the act of ‘balancing’ is a little deceptive: when was the last time you managed to do anything in life in a 50/50, perfectly balanced way?
Health and wellness author Melissa Ambrosini agrees: there really is no true way to ‘balance’ work and life schedules. So, she suggests leaving that concept behind altogether.
“ I don’t love the word balance but finding that sweet spot between the two, and there’s going to be moments where your career requires more energy from you, like if you’re in the middle of a launch, or you’ve got deadlines for your magazine – it’s going to require more of you. And then there’s going to be times when your kid is sick or a family member passes away – your personal life requires more of you,” she tells Collective Hub. “I believe it’s about being adaptable and if you’re striving for this perfect balance it makes women go crazy. Because they’re like ‘oh, I’m a failure because I don’t have that perfect balance’, or, ‘she looks like she has that perfect balance and I don’t so I’m a failure, so I compare myself’, which is all your Mean Girl – comparing you. I think being able to be adaptable is really important when you have your own business, being able to pivot quickly if you need to.”
That inner voice that tells you that you’re a failure? That’s helped along by comparing yourself to others, which is the fastest way to degrade your efforts in creating work/life integration.
“I suffered severely from comparison-itis which is a whole chapter in my book,” Melissa admits, “we are taught from a young age to compare ourselves to other women and men I’m sure do it too, but I can’t speak for them. It really is a joy crusher. It’s your Mean Girl’s way of keeping you stuck in Fear Town. When you let go of comparison and master your Mean Girl, start celebrating your sisters and their success, you become a magnet for that yourself.”
So, stop balancing and start integrating – you may find your own sense of freedom in realising that things in life are rarely every straight down the middle and ironically, that’s the first step to being able to achieve the ‘balance’ you’ve been looking to achieve all along.