The Myth of 'Work-Life Balance'​ And The Danger It Presents to High Performers

The myth of work life balance and the danger it presents to high performers

Everything is NOT equal.

Sit on that one for a minute or two.  My wife is far more important than my work.  I don’t seek to balance the two. 

Instead I seek to align my life according to my values and roles.

I can’t go a day on #socialmedia without seeing several posts bemoaning a lack of, or, providing ‘advice’ for, work-life balance.  The posts from individuals looking to fix the problem are well meaning if ill advised and the posts from the greedy influencers looking to prey on confusion and misinformation are simply predatory and never helpful.

Let’s look at the problem again.  I have been a #coach for over two decades and have been dealing with this horrible terminology the whole time.  All successful clients (and prospects) of mine have struggled with how to maintain and/or increase their success at work without sacrificing their personal lives.  Everything shifted for me and started to form into an effective framework for change when I stopped only looking at HOW to improve performance, but also to examine WHY those that are already successful don’t.

This goes back to the simple truth that, in most cases (99%), the pattern of behavior that gets us to one level of success (especially the first level) is very rarely (less than 1%) the pattern that will allow us to continue to improve in a sustainable and enjoyable way.  You can’t get to the next level by just working harder.

Enter ‘work-life balance’ as a way to confuse and hinder growth.

This doesn’t work because you cannot balance the two.  Your subconscious mind knows this because it is continually cataloging every single decision you make…all the time.  Your mind knows what you truly consider to be more important and will orient your behavior accordingly.

This is why I encourage all my clients and you, my reader, to change your mindset to align your life according to your values and roles.  This is NOT easy but it is simple.

A really good book to open your mind up to this concept in a narrative is “Essentialism” by Greg McKeown.  In it he talks about how critical it is to figure out what is essential vs. what is important.  If everything is important (balance) then nothing is essential (alignment) and thus you will be stuck in a never ending juggling act that is doomed to fail you.

How to align your values and roles to provide a platform for success and happiness?

  1. Write them down.  What are your core values?  What roles do you fill in your life personally and professionally?  Which of them are most important?  There is a reason in my coaching system (Values Based Mindset) that we call ‘roles’ the tie breaker.  There will be times where you have multiple options/opportunities to pursue that are clearly in your values…it is at that moment that you ‘break the tie’ by examining what roles are more important.
  2. Have 2-4 very small rituals that you perform each day to start to ‘rewire’ your brain toward the best alignment.  Maybe, to get more aligned with your value and role of being a good spouse you need to put the phone down, turn off the TV and just talk to your spouse for 10 minutes without any distractions or interruptions?  Perhaps, you need to become stronger and more fit so you are going to begin moving for 10 minutes per day to build the habit of fitness into your life so you can then build upon it.

How does the above play into predictable #referrals?

You can’t balance your referral system.  Instead, you need to prioritize (align) it so that your efforts have the most impact upon you, the client you are referring and the referral source you are referring them to (giving referrals is the biggest weakness of all #financialadvisors when it comes to building predictable referrals).

Start with those clients that are already referring you to prospects right now.  They are more valuable than the clients and prospects that ‘could refer’ to you and you need to align your time and your efforts toward them and with whatever is left over develop the rest.

Related: Effectively Using Social Media As A Financial Advisor