Why You’ll Never Have Work/Life Balance

Many people struggle with achieving a balance between work and their personal lives. The author explains why she believes this struggle exists.

Do you ever feel like you’re cutting yourself in half? There’s the part of you that goes to work and the other part that tries to live your “real life” around the margins of that?

Let me ask you: How’s that working for you? If you’re like most folks I know, the struggle to achieve and maintain that elusive work/life balance is an exhausting uphill climb.

And it’s no wonder! You’re struggling in vain because I have some bad news for you: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS WORK/LIFE BALANCE!

Your work is part of your life and your life is part of your work. You cannot cut yourself in two parts and leave one part in the office and one at home. When you try to do that (and it never works, by the way) some part of you eventually begins to die.

When you wake up in the morning and aren’t excited about what you get to do that day, it’s a disservice not only to yourself, but also to the world – you’re not offering your best gift of service.

Everyone has a set of talents, skills, abilities, physical attributes, experiences, likes, dislikes, and even things other people call “flaws” that is unique to them. These are your unique and personal gifts. But when you’re not using your gifts in a way that creates the impact you are uniquely suited to make you feel out of balance, off kilter, sort of crunchy.

On the other hand, when you are truly giving your best gifts YOU LOVE IT! It feels fun, easy, and fulfilling. You don’t slog yourself through something out of some misplaced definition of “Duty.” You LOVE your work! It makes your heart sing! And while you may go home tired, it is that beautiful, contented kind of tired that comes from knowing you made a difference.

“Slogging through” and “sucking it up” are NOT signs of “giving your best”. When you’re “giving” from a place of sacrifice, you’re not really giving. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup and if it feels like “slogging,” trust me, that cup is empty!

But when you’re in alignment with your gifts, and giving from that place, you’re able to pour great things into the world. That’s the key to creating Work/Life balance. That is Greatness in Government.

About the Author

Martha Wilson is a retired CIA Operations Officer, leadership instructor, transformational coach and the founder of Greatness In Government, a leadership and personal development firm that specializes in re-energizing mid-career government employees. Organizations that are struggling with complaints about bad leaders, discrimination, bullying and other symptoms of employee dissatisfaction hire her when they are ready for a fresh approach to leadership training. She also provides private coaching to high-potential government employees who have decided to assume responsibility for their own personal and professional development.