Does This Thing Called Balance Exist?
The theme and Mood Lady for this month is “Balance” – where would more Balance serve you most right now?
Balance is something I hear a lot about in my coaching. Or to be more specific, the lack of balance and the search for it that my clients often express.
I sometimes hear people saying that balance isn’t really something that is possible and we set ourselves up for failure if we’re searching for it.
My take on this is that I like to offer a “somewhere in the middle” approach instead of an “all or nothing” way of thinking about it. In my years of feeling in and out of balance and 1000+ coaching hours with clients, here are 3 things I know about Balance.
- There’s no Universal Magic Balance Formula: When people talk about Life Balance or Work/Life Balance, they mean so many different things. So listening to others tell you how to achieve more balance often leads to feeling more frustrated because it might not at all be a match for you. Remembering that there isn’t a magic Balance formula is key so that you don’t compare yourselves to others and end up feeling worse. Also, remember that what works right now might not work next month so being aware that you will need to continue to hit that Refresh button to gauge where you are and what you need is key.
- What is Balance for You?. As mentioned above, this idea of Balance and how to meet it is individual. For me, Balance feels like having enough Space in my day/week/month or life in general. When I don’t have that space is when things very unbalanced. For a client of mine, Balance feels like making sure she is spending time with friends in addition to spending time with her family. When her friend relationships don’t get nurtured enough, she feels out of balance. Another client feels lack of balance when she doesn’t spend enough time in nature. What I know is that usually when someone says they want more Balance, there is something very important to them that is not currently being honored.
- One Tiny Step During Unbalance is Huge: When we are overwhelmed, it can feel almost impossible to think of, let alone BE balanced. And that’s ok. The key here is just to notice. To notice that we are so far out of balance it seems impossible. With that awareness, we can remember what Balance is for us. For me, for instance, I can remember that Space is key. And I can ask, “What is one little thing that I could that allow me to feel space – how could I honor space a bit more right now?” In the moment, I might choose to take some longer breaths for a minute. That’s it! That’s all I need to do to get a glimpse of more Space and that it’s possible to move toward Balance even in a tiny way. And from there, what’s the next tiny step?
So to give you a little Balance support, a great place to start is with our Balance Mood Lady (learn more about the Ladies here):
- What could you do right now that would bring in a bit more Balance into your life? What will be possible for you when you connect more often with your Balance formula?
And if you’re ready for something bigger, perhaps a change and/or a transformation, let’s use the beautiful Enneagram personal development tool.
The idea of Balance and the Enneagram is actually perfect because when we haven’t built up self awareness, we can easily over-use our core type and become very unbalanced.
For instance, an Enneagram 8 – the Active Controller – who values strength, power and authority, can be a great leader. But when unbalanced, they can tend to take over, to think they have all the answers and forget to listen to the others around them. They can be seen as overly-aggressive and others can feel unheard.
If you are an 8, ask yourself this: What might be possible if I bring more Balance to my 8-ness by listening to what others have to say?
If you aren’t an 8, how could you use the 8 type to support you in balancing out your own type? That is, how might you use the energy of personal power and authority? Balanced Ennea Eights often having a clear vision of what needs to get done and use their inner strength to lead themselves and others to follow through with doing it (whatever ‘it’ is).
So how might you Balance out your own type by bringing in some personal power and authority into your thoughts and actions?
So this month, I invite you to explore Balance.
Remember there isn’t one size fits all magic formula, but there is a Magic You Formula. You don’t have to achieve it every day (and most likely you won’t). But as you find out more about it, see if you can take a step or two now then to move you forward. And if that’s not possible, just take a little turn so at least your feet are headed in the right direction so when it’s time, you can easily take that next step.