Do you ever feel like your business is running you instead of the other way around? Have you ever wondered how to find balance between work and home? Do you find yourself swinging between burned-out and completely energized and passionate?
One of the things I’ve heard from many business owners over the years is their desire for work/life balance and their search for the secret to achieving balance once and for all. However, balance doesn’t come from outside us.
And it’s not something we find once and keep forever. It’s an equilibrium that we develop internally. Balance and the accompanying emotional peace come from within. Balance doesn’t just happen. Balancing work and family requires us to put what is dearest to us first and it rests on a fulcrum in our hearts that we must adjust many times a day.
The Importance of Listening to Our Emotions
To transform our business in positive ways and to find that elusive balance, it’s critical to listen to our emotions. When they are all over the map and fluctuating constantly, it's a good sign that change needed.
Learning how to manage emotions is critical to work-life balance. However, most of us have learned to push feelings aside as troublesome or annoying little nuisances that are in the way of success. We’ve been taught that emotions show weakness, or that emotions interfere with good decision-making… or some other version of this we’ve bought into. When we don’t accept our emotions, we cannot capitalize on their enormous wisdom.
The truth is that our emotional and intuitive nature is what makes us powerful, brilliant, and effective! We are unstoppable networkers and connectors when listening to our inner GPS. And the wellspring of wisdom that comes from emotions is tremendous leverage, if we know how to use it.
One of the most liberating experiences is having a clear head, a happy heart, a meaningful life, and a thriving business—all at the same time. A lot of people think this us impossible. Few know how to achieve a consistent experience filled with peace and ease. However, once you catch on to this unlimited wellspring of emotional wisdom, it changes the game—and life becomes a lot more fun! Here’s how to begin to utilize your emotions’ sage advice.
Related article: Why Emotional Intelligence Is Crucial in Business Today
Pay Attention to the GPS of Your Emotions
Be a detective. Value every tiny clue that points to your happiness and tells you when you’re in and out of your zone. Begin this investigation by asking what is inconvenient or frustrating. Pay particularly close attention when the action is repetitive or high-value.
By paying attention to what is irritating us, we are gathering vital clues on how to arrange our life and our business according to our natural lifestyle, our personal and business values, and our temperament. Once we start listening (and lowering our tolerance for frustration), we begin to sense when we are going against our personal stream of life.
And once we are aware, we can begin to capitalize on flow. Being in flow is critical for creating ease, abundance, and joy in a business. Flow also provides us with heightened connection to our intuition. Both flow and intuition are critical for expansion, synergy, and for a business to be sustainable with the greatest ease and with the least amount of energy, money, and time.
Related reading: "Values and Work-Life Balance: What Is Most Important?"
Here’s a little formula of emotional intelligence to begin your investigation.
Explore Emotions to Get Results
A great place to start is to listen to your frustrations. Jot down exactly what frustrated you and the amount of time you spent looking for that misplaced folder or talking to someone you didn’t really want to talk to or doing a task over because someone didn’t do it well enough according to your standards. (Heck, years ago, I used to edit other people’s published articles before filing them in a reference folder! Seems pretty ridiculous to me now.) Another common time waster is not delegating tasks that someone else can do better and enjoy more.
Do You Want Balance and Well-Being? Try These Simple Steps!
When you get a minute to examine your list of frustrations more closely, ask yourself the following questions:
STEP 1: Is this a one-time occurrence or does it happen regularly?
Chances are that if you can’t shrug it off with a smile, it’s happened more than once.
STEP 2: How much total time (and energy) did you waste each time?
Assume this happened once a week, and multiply the time of one frustration on your list by 52 (weeks). That will give you an extremely conservative view of the amount of time you’ve wasted in a year. Ouch!
STEP 3: Did you enter the next phase of your day (after the frustration) with ease and joy?
If not, create an ideal outcome, including the wonderful feelings you want to have. Then move back from that result and identify what you need to put into place in your day and in your business to create that ideal outcome. For example, if you spend a lot of time looking for your car keys, hang a key rack right at your entrance. Train yourself to hang your keys there immediately when you walk through the door.
STEP 4: How much would it be worth to you and your business if you could convert this one behavior (and time) into ease and effectiveness to grow your business, help and reach more people, and increase your income?
One 20-minute time-waster per week translates into 17 hours a year. That’s a lot of time to finish that important project, connect to potential prospects, or strengthen relationships with clients or colleagues. (Or take a day off and have fun with your family.)
When we identify a behavior and discover it’s a regular occurrence, we can take a shortcut to change because we have pinpointed a pattern, not an isolated, one-time situation (Step 1). When we highlight the cost of our actions (Step 2), we are more likely to change. Why? Because the brain is wired to move away from pain and discomfort. When we create from the ideal instead of reacting to circumstances, we are taking the ceiling off and opening ourselves to unlimited possibilities (Step 3). And when we reinforce our actions with motivation and purpose, we increase the likelihood of actually changing and implementing our solution (Step 4). The brain is wired to move toward pleasure.
Repeat this process for other emotions as well, like resentment, and the practice becomes a powerful cascade of insight and acceleration to grow yourself and your business.
And guess what the natural offshoot of this process is? Balance and a sense of well-being.
Your emotions are important. Pay attention to them and to what they’re trying to tell you. Feel, listen, and act. Then you’ll learn to stay in the flow and the flow will transform you, your business, and your life!
Learn more proven keys for creating work-life balance. Contact Heartmanity.