Striking a peaceful balance between your work life and your personal life is a myth. If you’re reading this article right now looking for an easy solution to finding your bliss and keeping your family, your coworkers, and your customers happy, then you’ll be disappointed.However, if you are the type of person that can successfully face a challenge head first instead of looking for an easy answer to one of life’s biggest problems, then you should keep reading because you will love this.
The Harsh Reality of the Balance Myth
I’m sure you’ve realized this by now, but life isn’t a straight line.
It's more like a roller coaster. There will be ups and downs at home. There will be twists and turns at work. You will constantly be riding this roller coaster that is life.
While it may feel like you're just along for the ride and not in control, that's not entirely true. It’s true that there will be turns and twists that you can't control. But you can control how you respond to them and how those twists are going to affect the rest of your day and the people around you.
And no... that is not just another dose of positive-spin psycho-babble.
Here's a real-world example:
Imagine you're at work, and the phone rings.
It's a client and they're not happy with the way the project is going. They are mad and taking it out on you. You manage to keep your calm throughout the call and talk them off the ledge, but it wasn't easy. Your heart is beating fast and your emotions are right at the surface.
From here, things can go one of two ways:
You can allow this one call to ruin your day. You can be mad and frustrated and take it out on your coworkers. You can engage in old habits that don't really fix the problem. You can carry that heavy frustration home where it surrounds everything you do like a cloud of doom and your family can feel it.
Or... if you can get past your Lizard Brain, then you can bypass the doom cloud and stay focused. You can keep your work and home atmosphere positive and productive.
You Need to Reprogram Your Thinking for Counterbalance
Let's talk about why most people can't take back control of their responses as in that simple, but powerful example from above.
For most people, their Lizard Brain takes over in situations just like that one.
Your Lizard Brain is the primal part of your brain that keeps you alive. It handles basics like breathing and making sure you eat. But it also keeps you alive in situations where someone is confronting you and making you feel threatened.
It fights back and keeps fighting even after the call has ended because it's trying to keep you from looking weak.
Is your Lizard Brain calling the shots?
Your brain is built for one thing: survival. Its job is not to keep you happy. Its job is to keep you alive.
You’re not doomed to be miserable though. There is good news.
While your Lizard Brain is keeping you alive, you have other parts of your brain that are capable of logic and reason. They can help you counterbalance against your primal lizard way of thinking. You just have to learn to activate them. Then they can help you navigate the roller coaster of life and find that peaceful, yet productive, happiness you are striving for.
Achieving that balance will help you reach more of your goals, be more productive, and be happier at work and at home. Learn more about work-life balance.
Your First Step: The Wheel of Balance
In order to use the logical parts of your brain to counterbalance the twists in your day, you have to start by learning what matters most to you. To do this, we use a tool called the Wheel of Balance.
It will help you:
- Identify the 8 most important areas of your life so you know where to focus your energy.
- Recognize what state each of those areas is in and where you need to improve.
- Develop action steps to get you from where you are now, to where you want to be in each area of your life.
Just click the link below to get access to this helpful worksheet and start taming your Lizard Brain!