What is Work-Life Balance Anyway?
by Samira Far
I started my first company when I was 22 years old. By the time it launched I was 23. Over the past decade I have been asked hundreds of time to give tips on work life balance, especially as an entrepreneur.
Does work-life balance really exist? My answer is no. Life exists. Work is one part of it. Life is inclusive of work. The minute your life and your work are in resistance, you will not be feeling so good—not physically, emotionally or mentally.
So, the real question becomes how can your life be inclusive of work. First, let’s list ways in which people’s lives are not inclusive of work. One may resonate with you:
- You resist work and view work as a threat to your life and well being. Well, that’s certainly going to create stress and anxiety!
- You throw yourself into work thinking that if you give enough of yourself, work won’t need anything else from you one day. This is a recipe for exhaustion and loss of self.
- You avoid work because you are afraid that if you give it too much of yourself, you will lose your freedom. This is a formula for feeling like a perpetual failure.
Can you see how in all of these examples work and life are in opposition of each other? They are at war. Once you realize that you are innately in your life already—whether you do anything or not—you can be inclusive that work is a part of your whole life. One part. Not a threatening part and not an opposing part. Just one part that is sometimes fun and rewarding, and other times, annoying and frustrating. And just like life, it can never be a constant, so trying to keep it fun and rewarding at all times won’t really work out.
Now here’s the tricky part: In order to master this mindset, you might have to address many emotions that you may be carrying around. You might have to let go of belief systems you have about work and money that cause you any emotion that keeps work and life in opposition of each other.
For example, guilt. Do you know how many people I know who feel guilty to book themselves a massage in the middle of the day? Letting go of beliefs that keep work and life in opposition for you, will give you the freedom to be in your life and be inclusive of work. Ultimately you’ll just be a successful human being in all areas of your life when you are more in all parts of your life with inclusion!
You were probably looking for tips to follow and this article questioned your mindset all together. The only person who can really create a feeling of balance is you. You’re the only one that knows what beliefs and emotions keep you in opposition and what you want your whole life to look like, including work. Stay true yourself and your daily practices will evolve as you evolve.
Samira Far is the Founder of Bellacures Nail Salon Franchise, Co-Founder of Fred + Far and a Columnist for Inc. She is currently developing her first book about the magic of execution.