Balance: It’s this elusive thing we all want and sounds great, but in reality, who really has balance in his or her life?
Let’s think about this in the frame of the internal struggle to meet everyone’s needs and putting our own needs at the end of the line.
Consider Lady Justice and her scale when your weighing others needs against your own. Does each carry equal weight? If others’ needs come first and are deemed more important, your scale will definitely be imbalanced. When you’re out of balance, how does that lead you to feel? I’m guessing depleted, resentful, exhausted, cranky, irritable, etc. When you feel that way, what does that lead you to do? Lash out, overeat, lose sleep, work more, etc. Or, the doing leads to the feeling. Either way, it’s not a productive or healthy feedback loop.
So when considering everyone’s needs, including our own, it can’t be an either/or. It has to be AND.
When we put ourselves above or below someone else’s needs, it automatically creates a one up/one down imbalance. We send that message to our unconscious and to others that their thing is more important than our thing. Or, they might just thank you and make assumptions about your availability.
5 Ways to even the scales
- When you say YES to something, you are saying NO to something else. Is that ok? Have you planned and accounted for that YES to remain in balance?
- Reframe the way you are thinking about balance. When you weigh your own needs as equal to others, being balanced means you are actually being of better service to others. Why/how? Because you are likely not feeling resentful and acting in accordance with that. You are willingly agreeing to the things and know that you’ve also made time for your things.
- A YES to yourself does not have to be a NO to someone else, it can be a “not right now,” or “please ask me next week,” or “I need to check and get back to you.”
- How can you even things out so that you are attentive to your own needs? Schedule them in as priorities just like your tasks for others. Treat it with the same importance and priority level, if not more.
- You are then sending the message to yourself and others that you are important. You matter. You need time just as much as everyone else. In this way, it’s not selfish, and the negative connotations that we culturally associate with that, but self-preserving and in service of balance.