Balance: Little Word, Big Deal

levelLots of conversations with my clients this week have been about achieving balance while self-employed, working for yourself and having a life too. The reason I am being thoughtful about this topic is that this is our second sunny weekend running and it is perhaps easier, in the sunshine, to reflect upon how important it is to get out and about to enjoy it, not least because it is so long since we’ve see it in such quantities.

Balance isn’t only about work, rest and play but also about the right mix of activities and interactions with which drain us and those which fill us up with inspiration and energy.  My wealth profile has enabled me to know that I am 50% introvert and 50% extrovert and that means I must balance these two more than most. I’m still learning my way with that, now that I understand the importance to me.

My wealth profile is that of Creator and it was interesting having a meeting of minds with a Trader this week as she is the exact opposite of me in many ways but still sits on this place of 50/50, needing half of her time spent in quiet solitude and the other half being out in the world with people, giving out. She has two sources of income, one in each space, and perhaps that’s the answer? Or maybe it is just that whichever part of your profile is engaged in earning your living takes up no more than half of your life force.

I have perhaps erred on the side of attending to my introvert over the last few years and while that has been valuable in so many ways which I shall never regret, too much of it comes at a cost. It is increasingly my experience that creative opportunities come to me via interaction with other people. And yet too much of that sort of activity drains me to a point where I am no use to anyone and there isn’t a jot of creativity left.

Knowing this means I can manage my time and my energy to get just enough solo time, which fills me up, and also encourages me to be with people which is stimulating but drains my battery. It is quite a hard lesson to learn and very difficult to say: people drain me. But knowledge is power and it means I can split up my week to get and give both.

After decades of being an accountant, I was so drained I had to take five years off. After ten years of being a coach, I had to have another couple of years off. I hope never to find myself in that position again and if I balance each week, such reclusive low energy years can be avoided. Learning about boundaries and how to say no helps. So does factoring in time for peaceful pursuits such as meditation, walking, journaling.

Self-knowledge is all and maybe it takes a lifetime to learn how to get the balance right.

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