By Nancy Fredericks
Nancy Fredericks pens Women Lead Change's "Mindful Mondays" column, appearing the second Monday of every month. Fredericks is a preeminent Business Executive Strategist, Author and Thought Leader. Corporations like Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, Adobe, Allergan and Transamerica have retained her to optimize individual and organizational performance. You can find her at www.thrivewithnancy.com. The views of Nancy Frederick's blogs represent her own and not necessarily the views of Women Lead Change.
SELF LOVE… what an appropriate topic considering the times we live within—not to mention today’s culture seems dead-set on you feeling unworthy.
You know what I mean. In some way, you’re not quite enough. Or you never get to the bottom of your workload. Or your ideas don’t hit the mark, though it’s golden when emanating from someone else.
You enter the job market feeling excited and prepared, but now your confidence is at an all-time low.
And I hate to tell you this. Research supports your observations with studies revealing confidence levels sag the longer a woman is employed.
Have you accidentally bought into the business world’s view to such an extent that you’re no longer you? Are you ready to be confident and to love yourself completely and fully again?
Before starting, ask yourself a few questions to see how far you’ve bought into cutting yourself off from the fullness of who you are:
- Are you seeing your friends as often as usual?
- Is your sacred family time in place?
- Is your professional development still on your calendar?
- Do you keep up with your exercise regimen?
- Is your fun time factor intact?
Did you answer “no” to one or more of these items?
The bottom line is that it all boils down to one telling question, which I hope you won’t answer yes to, but I’m afraid you will: Are you consistently choosing work over your priorities?
Did you instantly respond, “Yes?” Then, you’re giving away pieces—even huge chunks—of yourself. And it’s more than time to embrace a new concept…. One guaranteed to bring you back to who you truly are with love.
The business mindset has you buying into the concept of “Balancing” your work/personal life. But honestly, that’s a never-ending trap leading to insecurity and lack of satisfaction.
I get angry every time an executive states her goal is a “balanced life.”
When you think like this, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment, stress, and a daily sense of failure. Think about it… Balancing is tightly holding yourself faultlessly between two opposing forces.
Leaning a bit too far one way calls for immediate correction. It necessitates vigilance always. And if you don’t respond appropriately and lose your Balance even a bit, you’ll find yourself taking a mental big, fat “F” on your scorecard.
How do you feel then? It didn’t boost your confidence or delight in self, did it?
Then, start transforming your compass—the way you relate to your world.
My recommendation is to scratch Balance and instead consider “Harmonizing?”
Humans are never only one or two elements but an amalgamation of so much more. We flatten out the joyous possibilities of ourselves when we permit a two-dimensional paradigm—such as Balance—to represent the standard of our ideal life. Why anyone would ever imagine we can remain static and Balanced at the same time is beyond me.
Envision working, living, and operating within the construct of “Harmonizing.”
“Harmonizing” is like living the most beautiful piece of music that enthralls you. Wasn’t it the instinctive movement between loud crescendos and softer tones or the mighty heart-throbbing beats shifting effortlessly into the gentler notes that grabs your heart? The evolution in pace brought vitality to the music. It engages, not to mention captures you. And isn’t it all perfect?
Life is the same. At times, the loudest section of your musical masterpiece will be your profession triumphantly sounding off, and at other times it will be family. On still other occasions, it will be nurturing self.
Finding your glorious rhythm opens you to experience living fully alive, fully satisfied, fully loving self so that you can love every other aspect of your world.
To step into this new construct of measuring a successful life as Harmonizing requires the act of courage, trust, and ultimately a choice. It’s introducing freedom instead of stubbornly holding tight to the sacred image of Balance.
Developing your skills... Breathing... Creating... Hugging your friends and family. And it will also have you paying attention to getting the job done, but never at the cost of you loving yourself. That’s the perfect, imperfect flow of “Harmonize.”
I’ve facilitated leadership programs for years. On the entrance questionnaire, the last question I ask is: “When you’re 120 years old, rocking on your front porch, reminiscing about your life, what do you want to be known for?”
No one ever says for all the projects I got done working late into the night. Everyone mentions the same thing… perhaps in different words… but it always comes down to being a good person, dad, mother, daughter, son, or friend.
It’s always about the other side of life’s equation, the personal side, never the business side. That’s why breaking up the concept of Balance holding you hostage in a two-dimensional frame of reference rather than the multi-dimensional person you are, requires “Harmonizing.”
Are you ready to turn your world upside down…. In a good way?
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