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Can we really have it all?
We were fed the dream for so long. It seemed entirely possible to manage career, family, home, health, and lifestyle.
But why, then, are so many people showing signs of burnout and overwhelm?
I particularly observe women in their late 40-somethings emerging from empty shells frazzled, exhausted, and lost. On top of that, they feel guilty about feeling this way, as if they’ve somehow failed the dream.
I can spot these signs a mile away because I experienced them too.
The problem, I’ve found, is that we have fallen out of life balance. We’ve become so caught up in the “having it all” trap—the hamster wheel of striving for career success, thriving families, abundant lifestyles, and outward appearances—that we’ve actually forgotten what our purpose was to begin with.
It’s almost as if our life anchors have been adrift for so long that we’re lost at sea. We’re operating on autopilot, moving mindlessly from one thing to the next. We’ve lost connection with what brings us joy, what makes us feel whole, and, dare I say it, what makes us happy.
So how can we manage overwhelm and reclaim life balance?
Here’s a few empowerment coaching ideas that I hope will help:
1. Do a life assessment. Write down the various areas of your life—work, family, friendships, home, health, fitness, finances, hobbies, fun, self-care—and rate from 1 to 10 where you are focussing your greatest energies. Next, rate each life area again based on what’s most important to you. You’ll probably quickly realise where your life imbalances are.
2. Get clear with yourself. Write down your top five values in life, the things you wouldn’t compromise on. Also consider what your needs are in life, for example, creativity, solitude, or social connection. The answers to these questions should further highlight current life imbalances and point toward your life passions and goals.
3. Create a change plan. List three things that you could do differently over the next three weeks that would lead you toward your passions and goals. Start with small steps. Make them achievable and measurable. Be sure to include changes that restore meaning and joy for you.
4. Consider the resources you need to support your change plan. Depending on your budget, would it help to hire a cleaner, find childcare, join a gym, or engage a coach?
5. Finally, create accountability for yourself so that you stick to your change plan. Just saying you want to change won’t make it happen. Change requires consistent effort, review, and adjustment. Some simple tips include teaming up with a buddy, sharing your progress with family and friends, and keeping a goals journal.
The most important step toward reclaiming life balance is first realising that there’s a problem. If you recognise that you’re feeling overwhelmed, know that there are effective ways to manage it and people who can help.
You absolutely have the power to change your life.