Between life, work, self care and family, balancing it all can be next to impossible. We hear so much about a work-life balance, but it isn’t always perfect and balance may not be as achievable as we think. But a work life harmony can be.
When we pursue balance, it implies that we need to have all parts of the puzzle working and efficient. The fact of the matter is that oftentimes that is not possible. Having dinner prepared, the kids bathed, the laundry done, and being a rock star at work is hard. But pursuing harmony, instead of balance may allow for us to remove some of the stress off of ourselves if we aren’t perfect in all of those areas, and start working towards a more peaceful, and sustainable way to achieve the various things in our lives.
When I was an intern in London, working for this amazing designer I had to make patterns, then sew the samples. I spent weeks on one pattern in particular; literal weeks, about 6 to be exact. I couldn’t let go of the work because I wanted it to be perfect. Finally, one day Michael (the designer) said to me, “there is no such thing as perfection. Continuing to strive for it will only drive you crazy. Instead, strive for the best you can do and when you reach it be okay with letting it go.” That advice has helped me save countless hours and my sanity.
Because we place this pressure to be perfect at everything we do on ourselves, we’re not fully allowing ourselves to enjoy the moments of our lives. This constant pressure creates stress and anxiety at the sheer thought of some of the various roles in our lives. It robs our friends and families of being able to enjoy us; who we really are without that constant pressure.
It’s Ok If You Don’t Have All of The Answers
Part of the pressure we put on ourselves is having all of the answers to life’s problems, not just for ourselves but for everyone in our circle. The go to girl, the fix it woman. But who fixes your problems? Where do you go when you need to have someone magically come up with the solutions for all of our life’s problems?
The truth is that we don’t need to have all of the answers. It’s ok if we don’t know something. Isn’t that the point of life, to learn along the way? If we jump into every scenario we’re in, thinking that we have to know it all, it doesn’t leave any room to learn, grow, or develop.
Be Patient With Yourself
The most difficult part of pursuing harmony in our lives is to have patience with ourselves. We’re our own worst critics. We’re tougher on ourselves than anyone else is and there’s something wrong with that. Having patience with ourselves gives us the flexibility to make mistakes, say the wrong things, and still love who we are.
In order to be at that point in our lives, we have to have patience and grace with ourselves in order to forgive ourselves when we don’t perform at levels that we feel like we should be.
How To Gain Self Patience
This is probably one of the most difficult questions we can ask ourselves and even more difficult to answer. This will look different for each person, require constant work and maintenance and may change over the years as you grow.
Nic Tip: One of the ways that I personally work on having patience with myself is forgiving myself for any past mistakes I may have made. By making peace with the past and forgiving my former self, I allow my present self to make mistakes and handle them with the grace needed to continue to have harmony in my life.
Another great tip to try to have patience with ourselves is to practice daily peace in the little things. When we’re around a child and they make a mistake, we treat them with tenderness, kindness and patience. If they drop something, we may say things like, “that’s ok”, or “we can get another one’. We try to help make them feel better about what happened and may even explain that it’s “just an accident and accidents happen”. We give them a sense of peace. But why don’t we do that with ourselves when we make mistakes? Why don’t we take care of our inner child or speak to ourselves with the grace we need to manifest self love, and positive mental health?
We Deserve To Be Happy
Some of us believe that happiness is something for other people to have and not for ourselves. That because we’ve made mistakes in our lives, we don’t deserve happiness. The truth is that there are no perfect people and that includes us. Regardless of what we’ve done, said, or have been to ourselves or others in our life, we each deserve happiness. We have the right to pursue happiness.
It starts from within though. It’s not a destination or thing we can acquire to make us happy. It requires us to choose happiness. In the bad times, in the good times, in the difficult times. We choose happiness. Being happy all day every day may be unrealistic, but we can absolutely be happy during the day or for moments in our day, if we choose to be.
By now you may be asking, “how do I choose happiness?”
Do things that make you feel happy. Do things that make you laugh. Be around people that make you feel good about yourself. Be kind to yourself when you make a mistake, celebrate your achievements. These are all choices and by practicing them regularly, you are choosing happiness regularly. Eventually, this results in a mental shift in how you approach living your life.
Like all things, the beginning is the most difficult if it’s not something you actively do. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not worth doing just because we think it’s hard.
Beyond perfection, doubt, anger at ourselves for mistakes made past and present, lies harmony and peace with our lives. It’s not easy to find, and some people may have to dig deeper than others to locate it but each of us is worth searching for it so we can have work-life harmony in our lives.
Once we achieve that our lives change, and the way we move through and experience life changes for the better, and we are each deserving of that.