Personal Growth is a Healthy Choice.
On almost any given day, you will hear throngs of women crying that they want balance, a balanced life. The collective roar is deafening and almost always, “I don’t have enough ‘Me’ time”, “People expect so much of me”, “I am there for everyone, but no one is there for me”, “I’m so tired”, or any number of other phrases that suggest that we make time for everyone but ourselves.
Balance—like anything worth having—requires work!
It requires effort, courage, and a conscious intent to make it happen. It also requires sacrifice. If you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you will keep getting what you’ve been getting. At some point, if we really want balance, we need to be willing to set boundaries and stick to them. How often, as women, do we expect others to do for us (protect our boundaries), when we are unwilling to do that for ourselves? Way too often!
Whenever women talk about balance (or the lack thereof), almost always the fact that we don’t have it is someone else’s fault—so we choose to think.
For years, I fell into that victim category. Then one day I got sick and tired, of being sick and tired, and a courageous friend of mine who was tired of hearing me complain endlessly (without doing any footwork) said, “Francine if you are not at fault, nothing will change. If you are at fault, there’s HOPE!” What a silly and ridiculous thing to say, I thought to myself. But as the years passed and I matured emotionally, I discovered no truer a statement. That is a motivational quote that has stuck with me.
So long as I blame someone else for my condition—regardless of what that condition was—I would have no peace and no recovery. I’d forever be a slave waiting for someone to save me from myself. I would forever stay stuck in the mire waiting for someone else to change and fix the situation. But if I acknowledge that I play a part in what happens to me, then I also have the power to change the conditions I don’t like.
I have made some tough choices in my life, because I truly want balance. I stopped doing certain things, stopped allowing others to create urgencies in my life, I plan, give myself time to do things that need to be done, create playtime with friends, and said NO to many things others’ felt compelled to agree to.
I don’t believe we can have it all, and if you try, you will end up sacrificing something. Buying into the notion that you can have it all is a set up for failure, disappointment, regret, and guilt. Life is always about choices, and at some point we need to grow up and make some tough choices—that’s IF, we really want a balanced life.
I’m Francine Ward, attorney, author, speaker, and a woman who knows she cannot have it all, and, grateful for it. Join the conversation on my Esteemable Acts Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, or in one of my LinkedIn Groups.