Hi and welcome to Part 3 of our series on Work-Life Balance
Today’s the day we look at fear – fear and all its relatives like nerves, worry, anxiety, discomfort, and the good old Totally Bricking It. What’s fear doing in a work-life balance series? Well, creating your work-life balance starts with looking at where you really are right now – that in itself can be a shocker if you’ve been studiously ignoring yourself for a while.
It’ll also involve you making changes to your daily life – mostly small, sometimes big. At any point in that process, you may encounter something that causes you some concern, worry, or anxiety. You may even come across something that initially scares the wotsits off you, as well as being something you’d love – things like changing job or career, starting to date again, going self employed etc. are pretty good at that.
All those fearful-type feelings have a purpose. The aim today is to understand their purpose and value to you so that you can use them well in creating your work-life balance.
Fear & Discomfort as a Guide
Fearful feelings are all signals that flag up situations where something potentially (N.B. POTENTIALLY) not OK for you requires action to make it OK. The fearful emotions are largely about the future, which is fab because that means there’s the chance for you to do something about it.
Discomfort may be current – flagging up something you need to change in your current balance – or it may be imagined in the future and flagging something you’ll need to address. Either way, check out what exactly it is that bothers you, and find out what you can do to address it.
Fear as a blocker – and safety net
Unaddressed fear can be what holds you back from considering or making changes that you know could be beneficial: The risks of making the change outweigh the discomfort of your current balance, and it’s a bit of “Better the devil you know.” Good news – There’s a lot of wisdom in not moving forward until you have what you need in place. More good news – the risks do not have to be a show stopper if you take a good look at whatever is scary and find solutions you’re ok with.
Tip #5 Take a good look at any changes that you want but also feel scary. What do you need in order to make it OK for you?
Fear as a motivator to take action
Fear can also be great at getting you into action. You don’t have to use fear to get into action, but if something has got that bad before you act, you better pay attention! Many people may be using this tactic right now to complete their tax returns online. In work-life balance, fear of damaging your health, your relationships, your career can sometimes be the trigger for taking action.
However, fear is lousy at keeping you moving. Imagine it – you’ve moved away from whatever situation was feeling critical, you start to feel more comfortable, life’s feeling better again and you just kind of hang out there for a bit. So if the full monty work-life balance change you seek is still ahead of you, you’ll need to get your motivation from how much you want what’s ahead, not just getting away from what was unpleasant.
Tip #6 If your motivation is to get away from some imbalance, use that to get you going and be sure you have something so yummy to move towards that it keeps you moving forward.
Fear, anxiety, worry, discomfort etc. may not be nice feelings to experience, but they’re there for such a cool reason. Your job is to pay attention to them, understand what they’re warning you about, and then go and suss out what you need to do.
More to… work life balance