How do we find balance in life? Well, there are six keys we need to consider in order to find balance and feel like we are living our purpose and belonging in our own identity. Watch the following video or keep reading for more...
I'd like to use the name Tamlyn to illustrate my example. Of course, it is a fictional name, but she is, in fact, one of my actual clients. She's a young woman in her early twenties with a very unusual, complicated life. For someone her age, she has lived through a lot of things. She's had to take on some very adult responsibilities very quickly: Her father died when she was in her first year of university. She took a break to grieve and help her mother cope, but now she has gone back to school part-time. She is working full-time while she's at school to pay her tuition and living expenses. Just these things alone would be already a lot for any young person to deal with, right?
Now the problem is Tamlyn's mother is still grieving. She has quit her job, and she's turned to alcohol to soothe her sadness. Things happen. Tamlyn lives alone with her mom, and she now has taken on the role of caregiver on top of it all. She's the one doing all the household chores, the grocery shopping... All that, on top of the responsibilities she has as a student.
Unfortunately, this chaotic existence has resulted in trouble at work, because very often she has to leave early to prepare for classes, or she shows up late because she's exhausted from studying in the late hours. Consequently, she's not super popular at her job and she's afraid of being fired. As if all of this wasn't hard enough, she has no time to just enjoy being a young adult. She feels like she's letting down her friends who she never sees.
Tamlyn and I worked together, throughout multiple sessions, to figure out what she wanted.
First, we took a look at what her purpose was, what was important to her, what her desire really was. She identified that graduating was the most important thing for her because if she could build a solid career, she could move out of her mother's house and be independent and yet, still be there for her. So we knew what to set our sights on. Deciding what you want is the first step. From there, we went through every single layer of a person's self, using my D.N.A. System in combination with Robert Dilt's neurological levels.
We looked at her environment and we wanted to see what was serving this desire and what was not. She realized that she could not study at home because her mother was very distracting. She didn't have any privacy. She found a few coffee shops in her area that she could walk to and study in peace, and she invested in some noise canceling headphones. These are all environmental solutions.
Then, once she had worked on her environment, we looked at some behaviours that she could adopt, like making sure that she goes to bed early when she worked the next morning. She also began to set some boundaries around her mother's access to her time and her energy.
To do all this, we first had to make sure that Tamlyn would become good at making a schedule. She had never really worked with a schedule, because all she had to do before was be a 19 or 20 year old kid. Getting up, going to school, coming back home. It's not like she needed an expensive planner to keep track.
Now that she had a much busier life, she needed the skill to make a schedule that would allow her to set some hard boundaries around her personal time, her school time, and her work time, shifting the focus of her life so that she could keep herself healthy and happy first instead of her mother.
Of course, she still wanted to be there for her mother, but you can't be there for anybody if you don't take care of yourself first, so we needed to work on Tamlyn first. This way, the hours she spent cleaning and running errands for her mom were reduced to manageable, non-negotiable blocks of time in her schedule. She could no longer be available every moment of the day and still achieve her desire.
4. Beliefs & Values
Once she was no longer overworked and exhausted, then she was able to find the space and the energy to address her values. What was really important to her? Her answers included her relationships with her friends and studying hard, so she made time in her schedule to see her friends every week. We also decided that she would talk to her boss about a work schedule that could work around her school demands instead of the other way around. She had never even asked her boss!
Once all these new tools and skills and values were working for her, she was able to focus on her identity. Who did she want to be? A lawyer. She wanted to build a law practice that she was working so hard towards, and she wanted to be at her best and love herself and who she was instead of hating herself for being always half-able to do everything she needed to do.
Then, she was able to reach that purpose I mentioned at the beginning of this blog: focus on her studies and still have a balanced life. The process of working through all the different layers of herself allowed her to balance her entire life out and be a better student, a better daughter, and a better friend.
Now, she can be emotionally present for her mom, which is what the grieving woman had needed all along, because running errands is not what the mom needed. Her mom needed to be able to be emotionally involved with her daughter. That's what she needed the most, and now Tamlyn is able to give her that, because she is, herself, much better. Seeing her daughter being calm and organized, that was what she wanted all along.
SOMETIMES, YOU NEED A LITTLE HELP.
I can help you acquire the tools you need in order to lead a balanced life.
Book your FREE 15-minute virtual coffee with me & let's see how we can work together to propel you to your FULL POTENTIAL!
Check out some of my previous blog posts...
"Do You Remember When?" Learnings from Denis Waitley
What Is Self-Care Anyway? 3 Keys to Doing it Right
Is It Normal to Have Negative Thoughts?