Why Balance is Bullshit
I wish that I could do a real life, counted hashtag search of how often we use the term #Balance and #WorkLifeBalance. Balance is a buzzword, and I am here to say we have got to stop using it. Balance is bullshit. The way we talk about ourselves and our lives matters. We say things like, “I just need balance” or “I want work/life balance.”
Sometimes what we really mean when we say “balance” is perfection.
Don’t believe me? What does balance look like?
Balance is difficult to attain and impossible to sustain.
So what are we supposed to do, give up? No, we need to change our language and widen our range of success. We don’t need balance. We need boundaries. We want to be within the limits of the normal curve. “Normal” is just a setting on the dryer, so we are going to call this the #GoodEnough curve.
We want to strive for the portion between the shorter lines, which we are calling the #GoodEnough area. The areas on either side are outliers or extremes. If we are overworking to avoid things at home, we need some boundaries around work and to face what’s going on at home.
We don’t need balance, we need boundaries.
Isn’t that better? With balance we have a narrow base, and we are overloaded with tasks to bear. With #GoodEnough, we have a wider, more achievable target range. We cannot wait for balance in order to enjoy life. We must be easier on ourselves, and quit chasing an unattainable and unsustainable goal. Perfection is not possible. Boundaries help us get into that middle range, and Good Enough lets life be enjoyable. At the end of the day, what’s done is done and what is left undone is left undone. We can strive for progress tomorrow, but we will never make the mark if we are looking for balance.
Sometimes a reminder is all we need, and sometimes we need to sort through our overwhelm with someone else and set some boundaries. We need to sift through to find out what is actually important, and decipher what we have to do and what can be outsourced.
Jondelyn Catlette, MEd, LPC, NCC
If you are looking for a counselor to work with around boundaries and perfectionism, I am accepting new clients and would love to work with you. Schedule an appointment with me here.
Inspired by conversations with Larry Lambert, LPC