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Balancing Your Professional and Personal Life

On a practical level, it is easy to see that both your professional life and personal life go hand in hand in the everyday balancing act that makes up your existence. In reality, there are five areas of life successful individuals are constantly striving to keep in balance, work, mind, body, relationships, and spirituality.

When one aspect of your life is thrown off, it can easily and detrimentally impact other aspects.

Each Aspect of Our Life Plays Upon One Another

  • Work is what feeds our careers and professional achievements. Being successful in our work life helps bring rewards our way. These rewards may include money, notoriety, mental stimulation, or something else that fuels our personal lives and further develops our self-esteem.
  • Mind deals with the desire and ability to learn, grow, and change. This is an important aspect of both our work and personal lives.
  • Body is the aspect of our lives that deals with our physical health and well-being. This is often one of the first balls to drop as our calendars fill up and we begin to feel torn in multiple directions.
  • Relationships include not only friends and family but also our co-workers and colleagues. When relationships at work are out of balance, this can often spill over into how we interact with colleagues and vice versa.
  • Spirituality or responding from a place of integrity or centeredness can be seen as the glue that brings it all together. It is this aspect that makes up our conscience as well as the principles, and values that govern both our personal and professional lives.

Bryan Dyson, former vice chairman and COO of Coca Cola says, “Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them, work, family, health, friends, and spirit, and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back. But the other four balls, family, health, friends, and spirit are made of glass. If you drop one of these it will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged, or even shattered. They will never be the same. You must understand that and strive for balance in your life”.

How Do You Handle Things When They Get Out of Balance?

Recognize Your Patterns
One step toward regaining your footing is to identify the patterns that you are inclined to repeat when your balance begins to falter. Do you shut down? Do you explode? Do you react in a knee-jerk fashion or do you take the time to respond from a place of authenticity? How do you handle stress? Do you retreat into a different area of your life versus working on the aspect that has fallen out of balance?

Pullback and Regroup
Once you pinpoint your patterns, it is time to sit back and take stock of the various areas of your life and regroup. The sooner lack of balance is identified, the easier it will be to save other areas of life. Lack of balance in one area of life easily bleeds over into another. To prevent harm that may be difficult to recover from, take time to sit and breathe. Then from a place of centeredness, reassess the situation and identify a plan to move forward. Sometimes the best course of action at that time may be to not respond; other times the situation will require more immediate action. This will help formulate an action plan versus reacting without intent. An action plan helps minimize the effect on other aspects of your life.

Respond From a Centered Place of Thinking and Reflection
When you identify your patterns and give yourself permission to pull back and regroup, you can respond from a more centered and authentic place.

As you practice these suggestions when you feel your life is out of balance, it will help cushion the other areas of your life.

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