Work Life Balance Coach Mack Arrington, PCC
Small things can matter a lot.
Especially when your life is out of balance.
“I just don’t have anything left to give,” she said flatly in the phone session. The only thing missing from her persona was the Super Sales Mom costume and cape, and she obviously was not having a good day. She had taken time out from her high-pressured sales job to talk with her life coach.
“What are some things you already do well?” asked Coach Mack.
“I am a good mom,” she began. “I keep a tidy home. I entertain well. I love gourmet cooking. I have some good hobbies. I am successful in my job. I like to have fun.”
“Sounds like you have a lot going on. What do you do for fun? Can you give me ten fun things that bring a good flavor to your life?”
“Oh that’s easy,” said she:
Settling into a good book
Being with my husband
Big fires with great friends, conversation and debate
Hot bubble baths with candle light
Picnics and family time
Parties and organizing them
“Wow,” said the coach, “I’m impressed that you listed all those things so quickly. When is the last time you did any of that?”
In a thoughtful and deliberate tone, Super Sales Mom replied, “I think I just figured out why I am so unhappy. I can’t remember the last time I did any of these things.”
“Sounds like an ‘Aha’ moment. I am hearing that you deeply need to put on your own oxygen mask first, and then you can help everyone else,” said the coach, "Did I get that right?"
“Ya think?” exclaimed Super Sales Mom, “I didn’t include the ‘fun at work’ list either.”
“How will you go about putting on your own oxygen mask first?” asked the coach.
You feel out of balance. How to restore balance?
Whether you are an executive, business owner, stay-at-home parent, student, spouse, salesperson, friend or family, your balancing point in your life can shift while everything else remains the same.
Maybe it’s not clear how your life got this way, but you know in your knower that you want your life to be different. You have to make changes. What changes do you need to make? Can you make them without causing irreparable damage? How do you sort out what parts are work, what parts are life and what parts are simply you? What if you’re wrong and make a bad move?
Something has to give. Does it have to be you?
Getting off the roller coaster
Sometimes you have to get off the roller coaster of life and take stock of who you are. I had become highly successful in a career that was draining me dry, and my life was so orchestrated I felt my only escape could be through breakdown or rebellion. The thoughts of changing anything were overwhelming. I had lost control and my life defaulted into a preset schedule with preset goals that, if successful, would deliver me at the end of the day to a place I no longer wanted to be. Something had to give.
There are only two ways people learn to treat you
There are only two ways people learn to treat you. One is what you teach them, the other is what they get by with. If you are not happy in your relationships with others or with yourself, the big question to ask is, “What have I been teaching?”
What have you been teaching yourself, your family, friends, colleagues, boss, customers, and all the other people in your life? What have they been getting by with?
How do you make the changes you need for your work life balance? First you have to decide what you want to teach the people in your life, and then you have to decide how to teach them so they really get it. You also need to decide and practice your response for when they overstep.
What usually happens?
Usually some people will readily change to meet and respect your requests because you have made your preferences known. Others will take a long time to change their habits in your relationship, but will make the effort. For those who do not change either because they cannot or they will not, you must decide if you want to keep these relationships or not.
There is some amount of risk involved as you eliminate what you tolerate and bring your life into a balance that is your own balance. You have to tread in unfamiliar territory. You have to stake new boundaries without knowing who will or will not respect them. Like anything new, it can feel awkward and uncomfortable—but you might already be feeling awkward and uncomfortable. It can be easy to ambush your own best efforts by settling back into what you already know and do.
Sometimes you explore your life and discover you are already balanced. Sometimes you find that the thing that was giving you the most trouble is the only thing holding your life together. Sometimes you have to break out of your rut and change everything. Sometimes you need to create a rut that you enjoy. It’s up to you. What do you want to do to put on your own oxygen mask first?
What do you get from a no obligation consultation?
I have helped my clients deal with many situations that have impacted their productivity and balance in life. This includes business problems, leadership development, sales management and productivity, family sickness, business and personal relationships, conflicts and disagreements, challenges with peers and customers, peacemaking and personal issues where having someone to listen and reflect can be priceless. You can expect to gain clarity in the consultation, and experiencing a breakthrough is not uncommon.