You want to do it all. All at once.
You want to leave the corporate job, start your new business, land several new clients, jumpstart a marketing strategy AND…
Renovate your house, plan a vacation this year, invest more into your hobbies and begin volunteering at a place you love.
It’s not possible to do it all at once. Or is it? You may not be able to do it all at exactly the same time, but you can work simultaneously towards your work dreams and goals, as well as your personal life dreams and goals. As you do this, one day at a time, you begin building and living a life that includes everything you love. But it takes a certain kind of “balance” to juggle it all and continue the investment towards this holistic lifestyle that actually does let you have it all.
When I started thinking about this balance (to chat with Stephanie about on Behind Their Business podcast), I realized that when it really comes down to it, there is no such thing as balance.
And while that response may feel a little bit disempowering or frustrating, it’s actually incredibly empowering and encouraging because now the pressure is off. You don’t have to have a perfect balance.
The Myth of a Perfect Balance and What We’re Really Looking For
It’s a good reminder that there’s no such thing as balance, but what we’re really looking for is more like a natural synergy.
“Balance” is most often an internal expectation of equal effort to both parts. Synergy is an ebb and flow thriving and supporting all sides.
The vision that creates big dreams, for both your work life/business AND your personal life/other passions is big and spectacular. Your big vision is not the culprit of the “balance” lacking to do it all. You won’t suddenly be able to accomplish it all if you get things neatly in order.
Big vision will sometimes, almost always feel out of control. If your vision was manageable, it wouldn’t be big enough – you’ve heard that before, right?
As we assess the ideal of this myth of balance, you need to reflect on two key indicators of your potential for more powerful synergy:
- Are you motivated by your desire and passion? Desire and passion enjoy and value rest and creativity. The progress of these achievements cultivates more vision and joyful anticipation.
- Do you work only to achieve and achieve balance, while feeling frustrated consistently that you aren’t where you want to be? Frustrated achievements are temporary accolades, and bandaids for real needs. These dangerous sprints look like burnout or imposter syndrome, and stifle vision instead of creating it.
Simply stated, your motivations say it all, and sometimes it takes tuning into your busy inner world with an intent to be quiet and hear what’s spinning around inside.
If you focus on the excitement of what you’re creating and the progress you’re currently making, whether they are big leaps or small steps, you’re less likely to give up, or lose sight of your dreams.
Imagine that you are carrying on in your day and you suddenly think of a fresh idea – it fills you with excitement and you can’t wait for a moment to jump in and get started. Imagine now that you’re moving from one thing to the next rather quickly, and then frantically remember something else that was on your list – now there’s a bit of a panic to take care of it and anxiety has dominated the mood of your agenda.
Finding our internal compass is the first step to work-life synergy.
Synergy for the Dreams You Imagine in Both Business and Life
Have you ever been in a three-legged race?
Your right leg is your business (or your work) and your left leg is your life and other passions.
One leg requires more effort, which means that is often tied to more responsibilities and obstacles. The other leg is lighter, but it can’t move until it’s free to do so.
When your tied leg feels the weight of gravity (and all other forces) finally working in the same direction, it steps forward. Then, once that foot is firmly planted, your other leg gets its moment to shine! As a side note, one thing to recognize in this motion is that one of your legs has more time to carry a heavier load. This may change over time, or maybe you decide to switch which leg exerts more effort!
As I think about what this looks like in terms of synergy, I think about a simple word: awareness.
In a three-legged race, you’ve got to pay attention and work everything together. How do you move each leg efficiently, and without tripping to fall on your face? Sometimes you have the slow down and “catch your balance” or find the flow again. Once you get going in a three-legged race, sometimes you don’t even have to think about it and the rhythm of the motions work together.
That’s a part of the balancing act, if you will, that is letting yourself fall and then realize, “Oh, that thing that I tried there didn’t work well to support both my work dreams and my personal dreams”. It’s a process for us internally, but it’s also a process that we really should invite people around us into, whether that’s just friends or coworkers, our team members or a business coach.
As we invite those we trust into this process, they can affirm our journey and help us tweak or make assessments along the way.
The Power of Several Strong Beams
You have probably seen the way a highway is supported with several steel beams. Can you imagine the forethought, time, and resources that went into establishing this highway? The mathematical and scientific knowledge and education? What kind of strength is able to support that highway?
Your journey is a path of unending education and experiences that will always work together to support the full potential of all of your dreams.
One beam, your work and career path, is comprised of unique strengths that help support all your dreams, personal and other passions too. The other beam, representing your personal life story, is built from another unique, yet complimentary set of skills, heart and determination. These beams both support each and every dream, whether to advance your work or your personal goals. The strength of one beam is not more valuable than the other, and both are needed to support every big dream and vision inside of you. Ask yourself, “What do I need to support the incredible weight of my dreams?” and “Have I valued the strength that both of these pillars in my life bring?”
As we reflect on what these strong pillars have undergone to support our businesses and our passions, not only will we gain a sense of inspiring clarity, but we will also grow in an unshakeable confidence.
I think that we really need to give ourselves credit for the balancing act in our lives, as we delicately work to invest in both our personal life goals and our business life goals.
It also helps reframe our mindset about the areas where we may normally get frustrated, because we learn to honor the way that these two pillars serve and support one another. They are’t unrelated! Don’t underestimate their power to have their own journey and journey together. As they show up in their uniqueness, our lives fully reap the benefits and can be filled with so much more. We are reminded of how much hard work we put into building and developing the work dreams, and the personal dreams, and how diligent we have been to acknowledge all parts of ourselves, all needs, all desires and all ambitious efforts. This perceptive will keep us encouraged and fueled to continue with patience towards every dream we have.
You Own Your Dreams
Your dreams are your dreams – meaning you are not a slave to the desires in your heart. You can arrange and prioritize them, build them how you like, and you have full permission to breathe transformation into them at any time.
With this attitude comes a willingness to lay down dreams as well, not for the purpose of saying no, but for the purpose of freeing your soul from obligation and subconscious expectation just long enough to redefine who you are and what you want.
The most crucial component of owning your dreams is taking full responsibility for how you will steward them. It will look different in every season, but one thing should be consistent – your commitment to yourself and the grace you allow to enjoy the process.
In order to own your dreams, and find your own supercharged synergy starts with a few practical tips…
1. Invest in Your Personal Growth
Recently I heard someone once say, “Personal development is something I spend the first 30 minutes of every day on”. Imagine the limitless possibilities of how your business could evolve, how your happiness could expand, and the amount of dreams you could achieve if you prioritized 30 minutes of personal growth each day.
30 minutes. That’s it. In 30 minutes, you can watch Netflix, scroll Instagram, talk to a friend, or …invest in your dreams. Imagine that you started this now – what would life look like in that area 6 months from now?
Discipline is the foundation of balance, personal growth, and hitting professional milestones.
I suggest setting time aside beforehand to create an action plan to breed positive change. The longer you wait to invest in your personal development, the longer it takes to achieve your desired results.
When you prioritize your personal development, you will also create a foundation of gratitude that helps you stay motivated.
2. A Goal Isn’t A Goal Unless You Write it Down
Did you know people who write down their goals are more likely to achieve them than compared to those who only talk about them? It’s true. Mapping out a strategic plan of working towards your goals helps you keep your eye on the prize.
When you take the time to write a step-by-step method to achieve your goals, it helps you narrow your focus and clearly identify what you want.
The more focused you are on completing your personal and work goals, the easier it becomes to direct your energy, motivation, and time towards them. This will allow you to prioritize and remove anything (scrolling, procrastinating – we all do it) that doesn’t serve your dreams to maximize what matters most to you – traveling, upleveling your business, etc.
It is also a helpful tool to see how your work goals/personal goals might overlap or if they could be practiced together for quicker results.
3. Enlist support to achieve balance
The next best step is finding an accountability partner that motivates you and helps look objectively at the juggling act of balancing your personal dreams and work dreams. They can help you manage perspectives, like guilt you may have when investing energy into one and not the other for a period of time.
While many don’t have the luxury of investing in a business coach yet, there are several resources to find an accountability partner perfect for you;
- Browse Facebook groups and advertise you’re seeking an accountability partner (Chances are, several people need the same)
- Enlist a trusted friend
- Review business forums
Finding a reliable accountability partner helps you reflect on your goals, the importance of accomplishing them and provides fresh perspectives to challenge your approach.
4. Revise Your Schedule With Time Management
Practicing time management connects to personal development. If you’re finding yourself too stressed and overworked to invest in your personal growth, then it’s time to course-correct and alter your schedule.
When I don’t have time to invest in my daily personal growth, it’s a red flag telling me, “I need to make some changes”.
To make sure I still have time for days where I can take a long bath (love bath bombs) or binge shows I love, I use time blocking and creating my schedule in advance to cross multiple items off my to-do list. We’re human and we deserve down time to relax, cuddle our pets, and do nothing.
Ready to make a decision towards creating your dream career?
Whatever habits you choose to practice, take the time to evaluate how they work for you. Achieving a balance between your personal and work dreams is not a linear journey.
You will experience setbacks, speedbumps, and moments of pure frustration for your business (Trust me). But through this trial and error, you will also learn more about your personal virtual assistant journey and what daily habits help you build a roadmap to success.
Please comment below with any habits that have helped you in your virtual assistant journey and what dreams you have. What is something you’ve been dying to do? Run a marathon? Go to Hawaii?!
I’d love to hear from you!
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