Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of balance. The concept can be applied to many areas of our lives: health, diet, leisure, relationships, as well as the most all-encompassing (and also confusing) work-life balance.
In the past, I often felt out of control and overwhelmed by the pressure and expectations of having a picture-perfect, Instagram-worthy life: working for a big firm, hanging out at fancy places, going to the gym to stay in shape.
What I experienced as a result was not balance, but an emotional roller-coaster – I definitely wasn’t enjoying the ride and had no sense of purpose. Since then, I’ve made plenty of progress but the underlying pressure to achieve the perfect balance persists.
So, I started wondering… What does it actually mean? How do I get there? Once I’m there, how do I stay on track and keep my balancing act forever? That’s when I realised that, for me, balance was just another label to conceal my perfectionism.
Holding myself accountable to impossible, imaginary standards of work-life balance is not only pointless, but also exhausting. Sooner or later, I’d slip and end up feeling powerless, frustrated and ashamed – confronted with my imperfections yet again.
Now, I’m slowly learning to look at balance as a dynamic, ever-changing state of being. It’s more about feeling in harmony with myself, my goals and priorities, rather than conforming to pre-existing rules of a healthy, happy lifestyle.
Balance is never a static state – it’s a moving target that constantly changes position, shifting slightly from one side to the other. It’s precisely thanks to these subtle swings that the actual, real-life balance can be achieved.
One week, this will mean plenty of yoga and sleep, another time working till late with a good glass of wine (and yes, chocolate). Balance is fluid, flexible, changeable – which means falling out of balance is essentially a part of the concept itself.
The only fixed spot that allows us to shift back to centre – time after time – is given by our values. Just like in yoga, keeping a soft, steady focus on what really matters allows for improved stability, better alignment and greater strength.
We are changing and growing all the time. Every day is different and what was working yesterday, might not be the solution tomorrow. The perfect body, the perfect job, the perfect relationships – they don’t really exist.
The true difficulty in achieving the state of balance lies in letting go of expectations and attachment to the outcome and focus on what’s important here and now – applying the necessary adjustments along the way.