Achieving Balance: Why You’ve Got it Wrong & How to Get it Right

"Achieving Balance: Why You've Got it Wrong & How You Can Get it Right" via www.drchristinahibbert.com

“I need more balance in my life!” We hear it all the time. That’s because we feel it all the time—that “unbalanced” sensation begging us to slow down and make some drastic changes before we completely burn out!

I sure feel “unbalanced” several times a year (especially December and May!), and it’s a topic that comes up in my office all the time; so it’s safe to say, I’ve learned a thing or two about “balance”. But you might not like what I have to say, because what I have to say about balance is this: “Most of us have got it all wrong!”

 

Achiveing Balance: Why You’ve Got it Wrong

“Balance” is a myth.

I’ve long felt this to be true, but it’s taken me some time to really grasp why it’s so. “Balance” is not a tangible thing—it’s not like achieving a goal, like getting that new job, finishing your book, or losing weight. “Balance” is a state of being—a by-product of how we live our life. It’s a by-product of the choices we make.

If you’re aiming for “balance,” you’ll miss the mark every time.

There are articles a-plenty telling us how to “find balance” or “create a balanced life,” but while the suggestions in these articles may be helpful, the foundational principle upon which they are based is false. This is the trouble with seeking “balance” and why so many of us never achieve it—because it’s not achievable.

Balance is not something you do. It’s something you feel about what you do.

“Balance” is a sensation, emotion, experience; it’s a noun, or, at best, an adjective (like a “balanced” diet or “balanced” checkbook!). But it’s not a verb—not when we’re talking about this type of “balance”. You can’t tell yourself to “Balance” unless it’s on a beam. So, it’s impossible to just aim for and “achieve” balance, and that’s what gets us into trouble. Are you with me so far?

 

Achieving Balance: How to Get it Right

So, how can we achieve a balanced state of being?

It’s really about “Choices”.

Instead of seeking for this mysterious thing called “balance” what we really need to focus on are the choices we make each and every moment of each and every day. While we can’t tell ourselves to “Balance,” we can tell ourselves to “Choose” the best options to create the sensation of balance. The action of choosing wisely can lead to feeling “balanced” because our sense of balance is really a consequence of the action of making choices.

Each choice can lead toward or away from “Balance”.

Each choice you make can lead you toward or away from a sense of balance. For example, choosing to watch TV instead of exercising or choosing to say “yes” to another thing instead of a loving “no” so you can have some down time, are both choices likely to lead away from a sense of balance. Whereas, choosing to get to bed early, put healthy foods in your body, and make some time for yourself are likely to lead toward feelings of “balance” and wellness.

 Just because we understand this doesn’t suddenly make us feel balanced.

Even though I know “balance” is a myth, I still cycle around. Life’s circumstances—health, kids, work, and yes, even the choices of others—impact our own choices and can impact that cycle. But understanding these principles can make it easier to see your signs of “unbalanced” life and to know what choices to choose in order to bring balance back around. It might not happen overnight, but focusing on the choices you’re making each day is the surest way to finally “achieve balance”.

 

 

What do you think? Is balance really a myth? What are your strategies for “achieving balance”? I’d love to hear your responses and ideas, so leave a comment below!

 

#1 Amazon Bestseller, This Is How We Grow, by Dr. Christina Hibbert, Available now on Amazon.com! www.ThisIsHowWeGrow.com
Be sure to check out Dr. Hibbert’s Amazon Bestseller, This is How We Grow
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About Dr. Christina Hibbert

Clinical Psychologist, Mom of 6, Postpartum Couples DVD Producer, Non-Profit Founder, and expert on Parenting, Women’s Emotions, Pregnancy & Postpartum, and Grief & Loss, Dr. Christina Hibbert loves songwriting, learning, and teaching what she learns. She really hopes you’ll join the Personal Growth Group and choose to grow together!

Comments

  1. Incredibly insightful post and SO APPROPRIATE for this time of year! My husband and I always talk about the choices we make and how choosing to do one thing is also a choice to not do another. For me- with a toddler, I have learned to do as many tasks while my little one is awake as possible and save naptime for things that calm me down. For example- I have totally baby-proofed our bathroom and set it up with fun toys so he can play while I take a shower. We clean the house together, fold laundry together, etc…but the minute his head hits the crib mattress, I crack open my favorite book and take a relaxation break, ’cause that doesn’t happen when he is awake!

    • Thank you for sharing your ideas, Cheryl! I completely agree–if you don’t take a “break” when you have the opportunity, you’ll end up burned out in no time! So glad to hear you’re taking such great care of yourself; I know it helps you be an incredible mom, wife, and woman!:)

  2. I’ve been very cautious especially when it comes to making choices. Although not all of my choices were right, at least I tried. Now, I’ll add “balance” to the things I must consider when making choices or decisions in life.

    • Thank you, Veronica, for your comment and your honesty. Yes, making choices is not easy, and you’re certainly not the only one who makes mistakes. I figure that as long as we learn from the choices we make, we’re making progress. Over time it gets easier to see those choices that bring a sense of “balance” and those that don’t, so keep at it! I wish you the best in your journey!

  3. catherine far says:

    I came across your blog as I did some googling and I’ve read a few of your posts. I’m having a hard time especially with this post, as I don’t really agree with (a) the title of your post (assuming that I’m doing something ‘wrong’, is implying that you know the ‘right’ way of doing something) and (b) ‘balance’, where yes, it is a state of being, is also the present sum of the collective experiences you choose to put your energies into… thus, it is not JUST a feeling, but IS rather the things you chose to do. And yes, you can aim for balance… for example, whether or not I chose to go to the gym, or eat a second helping of desert, I am still in a situation where my thoughts are consumed with dieting… and if I am putting a lot of my energies into feeding thoughts about dieting, I am not putting my energies into work, or my relationships, etc.

    • I appreciate your honesty. I write what I write based on my personal experiences and my years as a psychologist. However, please understand that just because I look at things one way, I in no way expect everyone to view it the same. This is something that’s come up over and over with my female clients–achieving balance. And for many, it helps to take the focus off of finding “balance” and simply focusing on the choices they make each moment of each day. But, I am well aware that even if something works for many people, it’s never going to work for everyone. I appreciate you looking around, and if you’re not comfortable with the ideas I present on my website, you’re certainly entitled to find your own methods that work for you. I would encourage everyone to do the same. That’s what I really hope for, overall–that we will all find the support we need to overcome, become, and flourish. Best to you in your journey.

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