ome think the idea of achieving work-life balance is a joke. But it’s no laughing matter for mission-driven women like us who are often overwhelmed and overworked by the soul-sucking pressures of work and life.
The ABCs Of Balanced Success By Christina Kunkle, CTA Certified Life and Wellness Coach, R.N.
In our go-getting roles as mothers, doctors, lawyers, business owners, students, healers and teachers, we parent, lead teams, juggle schedules, meet deadlines and much more. In our desire to be of high service to others, it’s easy to forget that it includes us. (Or we know it’s important but can’t imagine how we could possibly fit it in.) I hear you. I’ve been there. But we are human beings — not human doings — and I know all too well that if we’re depleted and running on empty, unless we build in breaks to renew our mind, body and spirit, it won’t be long before we crash. (One woman actually said, “I’ll rest when I’m dead” when I suggested that she ask to take a short break from an unreasonably intense assignment.) I believe we teach best what we need to learn ourselves. After many years of trial and error, I’m happy to say my own resilience tool kit is overflowing with the best practices that I openly share on how to burn brightly without burning out. The secret to balanced success is a restorative lifestyle, but daily habits that guide us to work smart, play hard and rest well are not developed by default or stumbled upon by accident. They are cultivated intentionally by design through daily decisions and inspired actions that arise from following the ABC’s of a heart-centered approach to fulfillment that combines authenticity with purposeful action.
A: Awareness “One day at a time — this is enough. Do not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone; and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come. Live in the present, and make it so beautiful it will be worth remembering.” — Ida Scott Taylor
Balanced success begins in the realm of personal accountability and self-leadership. It starts with waking up to the fact that you are in charge of loving the life you are living and 100 percent responsible for being the CEO of you. It’s not about striving for perfection. It’s about living from an inspired place of personal power and the willingness to listen to the on-going guidance it brings. We are powerless to change past mistakes and equally powerless to control future events. Our power always lies in the present moment. It’s easy to miss the quiet whispers of spirit that will help lead us unless we make an effort to be mindful and listen to the message from our hearts. We must step out of the fast lane on a regular basis to connect with our inner wisdom, otherwise our default settings take over.
B: BLUEPRINT “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” — Proverbs 29:18
In any given moment, we are being guided by one of two maps: a vision map, which is a deliberate plan for our future, or a default map, which is made up of our past. Choices made from our default map — our repetitive, reactive programming — do not nourish us or move us closer to our dreams. Even though they may feel right to us, they do so simply because they are familiar. Having a heart-centered blueprint that combines authenticity with purposeful action will help you move forward in work and life with more clarity, confidence and creativity. Creating this begins by defining for yourself what that means to you. Who do you need to become to reach balanced success? This question is important to examine because what you’re doing is only half of the success equation. The other half, which is most essential for success, is who you’re being while you do what you do. It means that the spirit in which you do things and the energy you bring into the space around you has a great effect on whether you’ll make steady progress or take a costly detour. It also requires that you get very clear about what you’re aiming for and how you want to feel no matter what is going on around you. After all, “achieving your goal is not as important as who you become in the process of getting there,” according to author Zig Ziglar. What inner qualities must be strong in order to align with your vision? Do you need to strengthen your faith? Communication or career skills? Gratitude? Tenacity? Work on strengthening these qualities.
10 serious side effects of balanced success: 1. Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation 2. A loss of interest in conflict 3. A tendency to respond calmly under pressure 4. A loss of interest in judging other people 5. Contented feelings of joy and well-being 6. Frequent attacks of smiling 7. An unstoppable ability to stay present and focused 8. A loss of desire for toxic habits (and people) 9. An inability to fly solo 10. An increased susceptibility to self-mastery
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, Whoever you are, you need one.” — Jane Howard
Surround yourself with collaborative peers and accountability partners who share a similar vision. Seek positive mentors who embody the traits you most admire and learn from those who are already living your dream.
I believe we all crave the deep connection that graced friendships offer. These days, I’m blessed with sister-friends who allow me to be exactly who I am. They help me grow and invite me to grow with them, cheer with me when I make difficult choices, laugh with me, revel in nature with me and remind me how strong I am when I forget. They get quiet with me, listen to my vulnerable stories and tell me theirs. They don’t judge, but instead keep their heart open, gently holding space for me to grow. Do you have close friendships based on truth and transparency? If not, start today and take one small step — life is too short not to cultivate these priceless relationships. Together we are synergy strong. Truth is, we never stop mastering the basics in this journey to becoming our best selves, and having a tribe of growth friends along the way divides misery and multiplies joy. My wish for you is a balanced life with a clear vision each day of who you want to be and what you want to accomplish. So keep taking one step after another. Pause to celebrate the victories — then rise to meet your challenges with grace, grit and gratitude. Christina Kunkle, R.N. and CTA certified life and wellness coach, is founder of “Synergy Life and Wellness Coaching, LLC” and creator of the “Synergy Success Circle.” She helps busy women prevent burnout by promoting bounce-back resilience to stay focused, positive and excited about the challenges of work and life. For more information, Visit www.synergylifeandwellnesscoaching.com or call 540-746-5206.
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Title: The ABC's of Balanced Success Author: Christina Kunkle Bloom Magazine Fall 2016 Synergy Life and Wellness Coaching