How do you feel about your work life balance?  Are you leaving enough room for you?  For your health and fitness? For your spirit?

Or – do you wake up and see yourself repeating the same actions, day in, day out? Running around like a crazy woman. Working harder than ever. Always feeling tired, overwhelmed and like there’s so much to do?

Do you wonder “How on earth did I get here?” Do you say “This wasn’t what I’d planned”?

I know I’ve done that.  As a matter of fact, I’ve been working so hard lately that this 6 week post-surgery recovery time is almost a welcome break!  I digress………..

defining successFor years, I wanted to work in business management in the corporate world. I worked hard, and I got there. But as the years went by, and I got more senior, things just go so busy and so overwhelming! I was on the fast train, and I felt like I couldn’t get off – that I’d already missed my stop!

Yes, in part, I was I doing what I’d dreamed of doing, but added to that, I was also doing a bunch of stuff that I certainly hadn’t dreamed of doing!

There was so much pressure on me – including the pressure I’d put on myself – that I forgot about me. I forgot about everything else there was that made up ME and just defined myself as per my career.

I’d gotten so stuck on being successful, on being an overachiever. The pressure that others put on me, combined with the pressure I put on myself was, well, horrendous.

Sometimes, the expectation of ‘perfect’ is basically beyond natural human capabilities! Work longer hours. Work harder. Go to every meeting to which you’re invited. Have ZERO time available to actually do the work that comes out of those meetings!  Start work early. Finish work late. Eat quickly. Do a bit more work.  Catch up on social media. Go to bed, wake up – REPEAT.

But here I was, on the corporate bandwagon. “I MUST do what it takes. I MUST put in extra time. I MUST be a top performer. I MUST never disappoint. I MUST treat my job as the top priority. I MUST put everything else as second priority.”

Including myself.

Do you find yourself in this situation too? Forgetting who you are as you’ve dedicated your life to work, or to your business, or to other people – and you’ve forgotten about yourself?

Maybe you’re so busy working IN your business that there’s no time left to work ON your business.

Now don’t get me wrong – I think a business woman should be dedicated her her career, yes siree.

I just don’t think she should be married to it.

Or defined by it.

Or think she’s nothing without it.

That’s really the crux of the reason I started this business in the first place.  I’d been so busy working, and defining myself by my corporate career, that I really had no idea who I was anymore.  I was looking for my passion and my happiness in jobs, instead of in myself.

Here are 5 things I did to help me re-define success.

By no means am I perfect, but I’m far better off than I was, so maybe something below might help you a bit too.

  1. Sometimes you need to breakdown to breakthrough. Yes, this is a cliché, but guess what? It actually means something. Struggling along when you’re demotiviated, demoralized, tired, sick, feeling generally yucky – sometimes that’s just not enough ‘badness’ (yes, I know that’s not a word) to make you change your actions. Sometimes you really need to hit a low in order to realize that you’ve just got to change something. Now I’m not telling you all to go out and deliberately try and hit a low point! I’m just saying that sometimes, hitting rock bottom is the only way up. Realize it and see what happens.
  2. Look around you and really see. If you’re in a job that you don’t like, or you’re not enjoying your business any more, or you don’t feel valued, or you think you’re being taken advantage of, or you’re generally miserable – look around! What is it that you don’t enjoy? What is it that you do enjoy? Do you need to move onto something else? Have an honest conversation with yourself. Yes that seems like an obvious statement, but sometimes we get ‘stuck’, feeling like we’ve ‘got no choice’. You do have a choice. Choose you. How can you change the situation? Would delegating some tasks make a difference? How about being more organized – would that help?
  3. Find your passion. I had no idea what my passion was. I quite simply had no idea. I thought that was ridiculous, but you know what? Heaps of people have no idea what their passion is! You know what I did? I googled it. Yep. I sat there and typed in ‘How do I find my passion?’. Thanks Doctor Google. Without your help on that night, I wouldn’t be sitting here, writing this post right now
  4. Take up a hobby. It doesn’t matter if it’s tennis, knitting, reading or basket weaving. I don’t care. Just get something outside of work that you love, and that you can do without having to think about tomorrow’s meetings. Be organized enough so that you schedule time for this hobby. Time for your spirit. Your own self. For you.
  5. MOVE. Don’t be a couch potato. Go for a walk, go for a swim, join a gym, take up tai chi, learn martial arts, go belly dancing – ANYTHING. It’s amazing how much better you feel after you get those endorphins going.

In doing these 5 things, my life is more relaxed than before. I’ve more time for my family than I had before. I’ve got stuff I do each day that isn’t related to work. I spend time doing things I love. I’m more than my career or my business. I’m ME.

And you are YOU.

I’d love to hear about whether or not you’ve ever felt defined by your job, or by your business, and what you did to change those feelings and to make room for your spirit? Leave a comment for me below –  I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time