Balance in business and in life. Is it even possible? This rant/episode is my feeling about this vision of balance and how some people choose to only follow those who have the “balancing act” figured out, and why they are missing out.
I think balance, I think it’s one of those disgusting, overfed lies that people shoved down our throats to keep us chasing after some ideal that doesn’t exist. It’s all post on Facebook. The other day the person was asking, would you follow a guru, a business person, coach, marketer, if their life was a mess. And I thought about it and you know, it’s really interesting because when I was growing up, I grew up in a really conservative Christian environment and I remember that the cultural norm in that little circle was that we didn’t take advice from anybody who wasn’t a Christian. There was a very black and white feeling about it. It was like everything in their life, all their expertise or their experience, all their skills, the gifts and talents that God had given them were written off because they weren’t following the rules, right?
They weren’t following our prescribed a blueprint for life and so this kind of black or white like, oh well I won’t follow a business coach if their personal life is a mess or I won’t follow that success strategy because they don’t have balance. I, I take issue with this and here’s why I mean, aside from the fact that I think that balance is a disgusting, overfed lie that keeps us in this perpetual pursuit of something that, that doesn’t exist. I also think that every skill and expertise comes at a cost and then we judge people who’ve taken that road and gotten that cost, and so what I mean by that is, if I’m learning to be a better parent and like I hire a parenting coach, right? They acquired an expertise. They learned how to become an amazing parent. They had to acquire that skill at a cost.
It probably cost them time. It definitely costs them money and it probably cost them lost opportunity in other areas. Chances are they probably had either a horrible childhood or they had a problem with their own child or they had a friend with a problem with the child. They learned it somewhere. It came at a cost, right? It was like the life circumstances created the situation in which they learned that skill. There’s battle scars, right? Like I have battle scars. I have so many battle scars. Learning how to be a successful business person, learning how to build a business while I was divorced, learning how to build a business when I was scared and I didn’t have any person paving the way for me like that all came at a cost and I have some battle scars to prove it. Like I don’t have balance in my life the way some other people do, but when we start judging those scars, we start looking at those scars.
We look at that mess, we look at what we see and we decided not to listen to them because they are experiencing consequences in their life as a result of walking that road. That seems so foolish and so judgmental and I think that people like we want everyone to be like a monster or we want them to be a god. Do you know what I mean? We want people to be good. We want them to be bad. We want them to be amazing or we want them to be evil and nobody like, that’s just not real life. You know? It’s like I would learn how to shoot a gun from someone who spent years in the military. If I wanted to learn how to shoot a gun, like I would go learn from them. They might have PTSD, they might have wreck marriage, they may have a life like that’s bearing the consequences of of the sacrifice that it took to learn that skill, but that doesn’t mean that that skill is not valuable for me to learn and for me to judge the battle scars and to judge the life circumstances that he is facing as a result of learning.
That skill is not recognizing that every expertise and skill comes at a cost. Guys, right now, my life, I have tremendous success in business, but I struggle with lots of other things in my life. I struggle with my body image. I struggle with insecurity around how I look. I struggle with how to create balance in my family life as a result of that success. But the skills that I learned, the battle scars, I have actually put me in a position to be able to teach and to be able to lead the way because I’ve got the gunshot wounds in my back from doing it. And so if someone looks at me and says, ah, well Julie is a fucking mess, like I’m, I’m not gonna. Follow her. Right? You don’t have to write, but you start to cut yourself off. You start to cut yourself off from people who have lived and walked roads that you haven’t walked, maybe roads that you will never walk, but they’re so valuable.
Things that you can extract from that. You know, at the end of the day, some people are great, they have a great relationship, they have a great marriage, but it’s to the detriment of their social life for maybe their work or whatever, but that’s fine because that’s what they’ve chosen as their priority in life. Some people have great like child parent relationships. I see some, some moms and dads who just like devote their whole life to their kids. They have amazing, amazing parent child relationships, but there was a sacrifice there. They sacrifice their own personal ambition. They probably sacrifice their own personal goals to sow into their children’s lives. Maybe their marriage took a backseat to. I mean that’s also a possibility, but it’s fine because that’s what they chose to do. That’s where they chose to make their sacrifice. Some people have amazing bodies, right? They look amazing, but it’s to their own detriment.
Like they don’t go out on wing night with her husband for beer. Like that’s their sacrifice. They might say that’s not a sacrifice. I sure as hell thing is a sacrifice. Like I don’t want to give up my nightly beer with my husband. I look at their lives and think that doesn’t make me happy. Right? But they have a skill. They have something that they’ve learned that I could learn from. But you know what? Some people who are super healthy on the outside are miserable on the inside. They don’t have peace. Some people have great businesses, but they sacrifice their social life. I’m raising my hand right here. I have a great business. I do not have a social life. I gave up my social life. I didn’t give up my family, but I sure as heck gave up my social life in order to do it. And some people just have great outside lives, but they’re just like horribly anxious and depressed, right?
I would say that if you can find me someone who’s super healthy, super successful, has amazing children, incredible marriage, super hot, sexy, fun, social life, organized home, no debt, and I’m totally, most definitely gonna call bullshit because nobody has it all together. Everybody has a mess inside of them. Everybody has a battle scar or a wound that they acquired in their journey to learn something valuable. And one of the worst things that we can do as humans is categorize people as all good or all bad or all successful or not successful or evil or you know, godlike because we so desperately want to put people in containers to make ourselves feel better. To make ourselves feel safe because this world is messy. And so we’re always just looking for the formulas and we’re looking for the gold nuggets. For me, I personally work really hard not to judge the scars and the life circumstances of the people who have suffered because they’ve chosen a road that I haven’t chosen.
And so I just want to call out and say that I think balance is a disgusting, overfed lie that people shoved down our throats to keep us chasing after an ideal that doesn’t exist. That people who have a perfect outside life are lying. Therefore something is incongruent in their life. It’s just not possible. And why are we so scared of the mess, right? Like what is so scary about the mess to us? I think we need to ask ourselves that question. Like, why do we cut off advice from people who have a part of their life that we don’t agree with and you know what, that all, it all boils down to the fact that we’re afraid that their mess is going to infect us. We take a defensive posture, right? Learning does not happen when you’re in a defensive mode. You are in survival mode when you’re in a defensive mode.
So if I go look at a friend, right, and they’ve had an affair or whatever, like they’ve had something bad happen in their life, but they have an expertise in an area or they are, they have some value. It’s my job to look at that and be like, okay, like I of course I don’t want that to happen in my life. Like that looks scary to me, but at some point I have to trust that the good in me is not, is stronger than the mess outside of me. Right. I had asked me the other day if they were feeling like they weren’t sure that they could hire someone in their business to work closely with them because that person wasn’t a Christian and they felt like there was some unequal yoking. This is a a very Christian term that if you grew up in that culture, you’ll know that term.
We talked about not being unequally yoked and it’s like the peer pressure message to those of you who are not Christians. It’s peer pressure, right? Don’t go hang out with those kids. They’re going to infect you. Right? So we don’t want to hang out with people who have a mess because we’re afraid we’re going to get infected by their mess. It’s going to seep into our bones, right? The problem is it completely undermines the power and the strength and the good in us. I remember I told this person, I said, listen, I don’t worry about that, right? Because I know that at the end of the day that if I am striving for the values that I care about for empathy, for compassion, for, you know, power in, in the good, in the good sense of the word for my spirituality.
Like I should be thinking that my, the stuff in me is going to pour out and infect other people for good, not for bad, right? Like good. Always overrides evil. I have to believe that. So, you know, just coming back around to this topic, like I just think that if you’re not taking advice from somebody because you see something in their life that looks like incongruent, it probably is incongruent. But so what? Like, so what? So then what happens, right? And just like really figuring out what you’re so afraid of in that moment because chances are you’re just afraid that it’s going to infect you. But instead, I would take an authentic posture that no, maybe going to learn from them is going to allow you to acquire something amazing that you didn’t have to get the battle scar to learn and then you can absorb it and you can actually affect them in a way that’s good. So that’s my, that’s my soap box for today. And, I think we all just need to stop looking for balance because it absolutely doesn’t exist.