Five Ways To Keep Our Balance in Our Quest for Empowerment
Sometimes the demands of work and family can throw us off balance and make us forget the things we know. Here is a list of reminders that can help us maintain our focus and serenity while we’re out there slaying it every day.
Many of us are well along on the path to empowerment in our lives. But for those of us with ambition and high aspirations, the pressure to perform can sometimes feel enormous. Although we may be well-versed in the language of self-care, sometimes the demands of work and family can throw us off balance and make us forget the things we know. Here is a list of reminders that can help us maintain our focus and serenity while we’re out there slaying it every day.
1) Be mindful of perfectionism.
When we demand a lot from ourselves and others, it can be hard to let go and allow things to unfold naturally. It’s very easy to confuse high standards with a need for perfection that can become quite paralyzing and even punishing. It’s important to remember that becoming empowered is a process, and along the way we’ll be making mistakes, revising our methods, and generally evolving as we go along.
Rather than thinking of our “less than perfect” efforts as failures, we should be embracing them as opportunities for learning and growing. Often, our need to be “perfect” comes from some deeply rooted fear of criticism, based on old judgments from our childhood. In reality, our fears are usually unfounded, and we end up being our own harshest critics. When we allow ourselves to experiment and risk failure, we tend to discover new and surprising things that can lead to even higher levels of personal empowerment than we previously imagined.
2) Be careful when taking on too many roles.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when we allow ourselves to be many things to many people. Some of us balance work and family, often with inadequate support. Sometimes we juggle many different assignments or multiple positions. It’s easy to lose track of ourselves and our own needs when we are being pulled in multiple directions. If the pressure of multi-tasking starts to feel like it’s getting to you, take a moment to step back and reflect, so you can regain your perspective.
When you’re split in too many directions, it’s easy to sacrifice basics like self-care in the name of getting more things done. Just remember, the more you do, the more internal support you’re going to require, and only you can make the choice to give that to yourself.
3) Are you addicted to productivity?
There’s nothing quite like that feeling of satisfaction you get at the end of the day when you can cross things off your to-do list — it can be quite addicting. It’s also easy to get caught up in the pressure of living in a society that values us more for what we do, accomplish, or create than for who we are. We may even start viewing our self-care activities as simply additional items on our checklist, losing sight of their intrinsic value as we instead focus on them as accomplishments.
It’s important to remember that we are valuable just as we are and don’t need to prove our self-worth through our accomplishments. Also, we begin to lose effectiveness and cause ourselves harm if we stay in productive mode for too long without a break. The most empowered people recognize the importance of allowing time for rest and reflection, integration, and assimilation. Putting creativity and productivity into practice requires regular moments of pause to let things fall into place before taking the next steps forward.
4) Don’t overschedule your days.
It’s important to not fill your days with so much activity that you don’t have any time to catch your breath. Often, when we don’t leave enough space in our days, we end up skimping on basic necessities such as getting enough rest and nourishment. Paying attention to our own needs is at the heart of true empowerment.
Being constantly on the go can be exciting and rewarding, but it’s vital to leave time for self-care. Eating well, drinking enough water and allowing moments of pause for reflection and perspective are all essential components of maintaining our energy. Sometimes it’s as simple as taking a few minutes to breathe mindfully.
5) Balance your productivity with creative activities.
While rest and relaxation are important components of becoming our most empowered selves, another important aspect is to occasionally take ourselves out of the productivity loop altogether. Engaging in creative activities not necessarily linked directly to our work is a great way of feeding our souls and tapping into the imagination.
Whether you decide to take a dance class, cook a delicious meal or spend time journaling or traveling, the important thing is to give yourself space to explore and have fun. The positive energy this brings you will be a tremendous asset whenever you’re ready to resume your usual, super-focused activities.
Header photo by Max van den Oetelaar
A leading integrative fertility expert, Angela Le is founder of Fifth Avenue Fertility Wellness in New York City, and one of the first acupuncturists in the country to focus only on fertility. Since 2001, her practice has supported, treated and empowered thousands of patients. As a leader in the women’s health movement, Angela is committed to embracing infertility as an opportunity for transformation and a catalyst for deeper healing and awakening.