Work/Life Balance – the Teeter Totter Principle | LAYC06
Balance, by definition, means status quo. It's a flat line, nothing is happening. If you think that you can succeed in moving forward and growing, evolving, living a full life, and neither one of these are moving; your professional life or your personal life; it's a fantasy!
In fact, for anything to take place in this universe, there must be an exchange of energy. Things need to move, for anything to change and to happen. Let's look at it from the model of a teeter totter or seesaw - or if we want to be really scientific, we'll call it a fulcrum.
One side is your professional life.
The other side is your personal life.
For there to be any impact or result, we must have movement on that fulcrum, on that plane. So, when you push off from your personal life to go up, to commit any energy and get results there, your professional life, in accordance with the laws of the universe, has to take a drop down. And vice versa.
Good news! You can decide when and how much energy to allocated to each side.
About the Host: Isabel Banerjee
Your Next Business Strategist and Transformation Catalyst
Dynamic, a self-made entrepreneur who overcame obstacles with an unrelenting positive nature, a farm girl work ethic, and a conscious choice to thrive rather than survive, Isabel Alexander Banerjee cultivated an award-winning, $10 million+ global chemical wholesale business and grew it from dining room table to international boardrooms. Isabel’s strengths include the ability to initiate & nurture strategic relationships, a love of lifelong learning and talents for helping others maximize their potential. An inspiring speaker within both industry and community, she is a driving force behind those with the courage to follow her example of thriving against the odds.
With 50+ years of business experience across diverse industries, Isabel is respected as an advisor, a coach, a mentor and a role model. She believes in sharing collective wisdom and empowering others to economic independence.
Founder of the Lift As You Climb Movement (www.facebook.com/groups/liftasyouclimbmovement)
Chief Encore Officer, The Encore Catalyst (www.theencorecatalyst.com) – an accelerator for feminine wisdom, influence, and impact.
Author & Speaker ‘Who Am I Now? – Feminine Wisdom Unmasked Uncensored’ (www.IsabelBanerjee.com)
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Hello again. Today I'd like to talk to you about life. No, not that great philosophical conversation, but the conversation about practical living as a woman.
While we're out there lifting and climbing and impacting and doing, and caring, and nurturing, and earning, and slaying and cooking and cleaning and loving, and all of the things that we do - How do we manage to fit us into our own lives?
A dear friend of mine, Marg Hachey, who has a plethora of “Margisms” that are extraordinarily spot on for the way life is, and also very rooted in practicality and feminine wisdom, first introduced me to the reality that as a woman, as much as I want to do it all, and be it all for everyone and live it all in my life - The truth is, I only have one whole life.
Spoiler alert, for everybody listening, it's the same for everyone. Now you know, we talk often we here about the dreaded work life balance. And how as women, can we have it all? Can we be good at everything are good enough? and worthy enough? And can we have a satisfying, successful fulfilling a professional life and also have a happy, loving, legacy leaving personal life?
Well, girls, we get one, we get one a whole life, as Marg would say. And there is no balance.
Balance, in fact, by its own nature, by definition, means that it's status quo. It's a flat line, nothing is happening. And if you think that you can succeed in moving forward and growing, evolving, living a full life, and neither one of these are moving; your professional life, your personal life; it's a fantasy!
In fact, for anything to take place in this universe, there has to be an exchange of energy. Things need to move, for anything to change and to happen. And so when we put energy into our professional lives, well, let's think about this. Let's look at it from the model of a teeter totter, or a seesaw - or if we want to be really scientific, we'll call it a fulcrum.
One side is the professional life.
The other side is the personal life that you have.
For there to be any impact or result, we have to have movement on that fulcrum, on that plane. So, when you push off from your personal life to go up, to commit any energy, and get results there, your professional life, just because of the laws of the universe, has to take a drop down. And vice versa.
When you put the energy into pushing off in your personal life - I'm sorry, your professional life - then, yes, your personal life has to take a lower plane. But don't despair. The beauty is in the movement, the beauty is in the energy and recognizing that this will always be the way and that you can choose when you push off in one area. And when you raise the other area, being conscious of the fact that's the way nature works and that's the way it was intended is Step Number One.
Step Number Two is to recognize that you are perfect in whatever choice that you make at the time that is best for you that is not driven by the demands, or the paradigms or the stereotypes that someone else established.
And then the next step is to say, okay, in all of this, where do I feel my best? And where do I feel my most alive and happy and fulfilled and successful? Now, of course, there's the everyday practicalities, that are factors that we have to flex around. Now, if you're raising children, or there's another person that you are responsible for, as a caregiver that gets ill, that needs your attention that wasn't in your plan, well, you know, that's part of the game, isn't it. It's part of life and we're going to flex with that.
But recognizing that you have the opportunity to decide how much energy that you're putting into each of those planes at any time, is really freeing in itself. And that, if you recognize that the effort, the energy that you put into your professional life, your business, your career, really is supporting what you want to accomplish, how you want to live in your personal life, then that is also very freeing. Instead of feeling like that professional J.O.B., or that business or the staff, relationships, colleagues are drawing from you (energy) and there's an obligatory participation, look at it from the perspective of the results given that come from the energy given in that area of your life, and contribute to what you can do in your personal life. Creating that symbiotic relationship between the two sides of your world, so that you can have the best of both, is the ideal situation.
Now, I'm not saying - come on, let's be real girls! - life isn't a breeze all of the time. And there are complications and conditions outside of our control. So as powerful a superhuman we are, super woman human qualities that you may have, like, give it up. Because the stuff that we can't control, we simply do our best to work with work through and accommodate where we can in our life plan. Choosing carefully, the things that we contribute our energy to that we can control, that is the secret sauce. Being very conscious of who makes you feel energized, who contributes to your wellbeing your positive attitude, your clear thinking, your “I want to go do more!”, sense is really essential.
So being clear about who are the people around you, in your orbit, and deciding how much energy and space you're going to give them in your life. And if you can't simply blow them away, then what are the strategies that you employ to make sure you manage the boundaries very tightly around their interaction with you, and manage carefully how you respond to them in your presence, and what they trigger in you, what buttons they push, because you cannot, as they say, control what anybody thinks about you. You can only control about whether that matters to you. And the same applies with how much time and energy someone will take of yours.
So being aware of what are the tasks that you need to do, or that you're just doing because you think you should, out of habit, out of old patterning, stereotyping. Or you maybe you just feel like you need a hero badge because you clean the toilet every other day. Just go, Whoa! wait a second is that really contributing to this wonderful whole life that I want, where my professional life contributes to the lifestyle that I want to enjoy now and the future that I am going to live? And what is not and creating very specific boundaries around those things. And if you can't just stop doing it overnight - in the case of cleaning the toilets, then how soon before you can hire a housekeeper or a delegate that function to somebody else?
I’m talking about, you know, the these are the proverbial toilets, this could be payroll in your company or bookkeeping in your company, or it could be a volunteer community responsibility that people have just come to expect you to do. Or in your personal life, is it that pattern of feeling obligated to watch ad nauseum Netflix shows that you don't particularly get much out of, but because your partner or your kids have gone all “C'mon, you know, this is how we spend quality time with you.” and being conscious of how that feels to you and whether you really want to be there. And if not, then taking the lead taking control of proposing an alternate situation.
I know that, you know, it's we've been kind of brainwashed into saying Oh, yes, women can multitask. And look after everybody else, manage to just take enough time to take care of herself. If you aren't contributing financially to the household, while you're also being Martha Stewart, then you're not enough a woman today. And I call bullshit on all of that. Because at every given moment in time, it is our choice to decide what belongs in our whole desirable life. And what no longer serves us, and that we make a positive plan to change that.
I know that you've heard before, that you can't make room for new things in your life until you let go some stuff. But I couldn't think of a better time, just to remind ourselves, me included, that is the case. Make room for the things that make you feel alive and happy to get out of bed in the morning. And be very alert to the things that you do, the people that are around you, the habits and the patterns that you have lived with for a while that don't make you feel that way and systematically change them out.
Now, in an upcoming episode of this podcast, I want to talk about how BFFs are not always meant to be our best friends forever. It is related to this conversation today about that one whole life that you have to live.
If you're part of the Lift As You Climb movement, you know that is about living your legacy and empowering others to create theirs.
I’m just saying you can't do that, if you don't first start with yourself. Some food for thought. I hope that this has been helpful and I'm looking forward to talking to you again next week.