Updated: Sep 1
I recently had an experience in my life where I was completely consumed by work; constantly trying to beat time and never slowed down. I was passionate about starting my business and I believed that in order to be successful, I had to work longer and harder than everyone else. What that eventually manifested was a ton of stress, no social life, and a constant feeling of exhaustion.
The Challenge It was then that I was challenged by a coach to simply start saying yes to all the invites and opportunities I would normally say no to for 30 days. Within hours I was invited to a volleyball tournament that I normally would have said no to because I “had so much to do”, and even though it was difficult…I said yes and put all my “responsibilities" aside for the day.
At the end of the tournament, there was an individual who invited me for a post-tournament get together at an apartment complex with a pool, hot tub, and music. It was getting late and I REALLY wanted to say no because I felt like I needed sleep and I didn’t have time for partying, but I stuck to my challenge and accepted.
Soon after, I was invited to go to the Greyhound races, something I’d never done but always wanted to. Again, that voice inside my head said, “You need to stay home and get some things done, otherwise you will fall behind and never be able to start a business. You won’t ever be successful if you keep playing around.” Once again, I pushed through and grudgingly said yes.
The invites kept coming, and before I knew it, I actually started not only enjoying life again, but ironically, I was MORE PRODUCTIVE! After the 30 days was up, I had completely changed my patterns. I took life less seriously and as a result I wasn’t stressed, and when I did sit down to work on my business, I was fully energized and could get things done better and faster. What’s more, I had experienced more in my city in 30 days than I had in 3 years!
By slowing down and choosing to do things that energized me, rather than drained me, my “to-do” list naturally prioritized itself. I realized it didn’t really matter if my house wasn’t clean, or my email inbox wasn’t perfectly organized. I also learned that forcing myself to create a proposal was a complete waste of time if I wasn’t in the right mindset. If I took a few hours to enjoy life, I could sit down and finish a task in 30 minutes, rather than 3 hours. Most importantly I realized I was missing out on life because I was blinded by a need to be "successful" in the eyes of society.
It’s been 7 months since I took the challenge and I’ve found myself doing things I never thought I would do and making life-long friends and memories. I’ve grown mentally, spiritually, and emotionally, and life’s experiences have brought about not only a deeper awareness of what’s important in life, but it’s also created space for balance in starting my own business. Being an entrepreneur is not easy; every day is a roller coaster, but I now understand the importance of enjoying life and not feeling guilty when I need to slow down and simply honor my value of fun and enjoyment. I’ve learned that the key to success is balance.
How Can You Create Balance in Your LifeWhile this has been a more personal narrative of finding balance in my life, you can take your own 30 day challenge, or find a step-by-step approach to get started by reading 4 Steps to Create Balance in Your Life.