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Woman Smiling
Woman Smiling

Balance in Life: What Do I Need Less Of?

Last week we looked at having more balance in life by asking “What do I want more of?”  This week, I want to help you take the opposite approach with a little twist.  There’s great power in words.  I share this principle with my clients all the time.  Take a minute and notice how your emotional response changes between these two sentences:

I want to have 15 minutes of quiet

I need to have 15 minutes of quiet.

One word change – from want to need.  But it makes all the difference.  Want represents something that would be nice.  Need is seen more as a gotta have.  Wants are easy to dismiss or feel selfish about.  Needs are, well, something you need! :)

So, as we continue our discussion on creating more balance in life, I want you to go through the same process as last week, with this new question.  “What do I need less of?”  Remember to not get caught up in right or wrong’s here.

Here are the steps once again:

1. Set a timer for 5 minutes. We’re not talking a lot of time, you can do this.
2. Ask yourself that question – “What do I need less of?”
3. For the next 5 minutes write down everything that pops in your head. Don’t censor it. Don’t question it. Don’t worry if it sounds crazy or you think it’s impossible. Just write.

Now what?  Just like before, it’s time to look through that list for themes or patterns.  Don’t focus on the individual items right now, just look for the broad patterns.  Really drill down and find those commonalities.

Once you’ve finished that, go back and re-read all of your individual items.  Go ahead and place a star next to the 3 that you feel the strongest about.  It’s critical that you don’t judge them or try to figure out how to make them go away right now.  Just be critically honest with yourself.

Remember, finding balance in life is more like a cross country event than a sprint.  Now, write out those items that are starred and the themes/patterns you noticed on a separate sheet of paper.  Hang them by last week’s list so you’ll see both of them daily.  Again, I don’t want you to jump into doing anything with them right now other than commit to reading both of them at least once a day.

You’ll find much more creative ways of addressing both of these lists if you just give yourself permission to look over them rather than react.  You’ll get your “aha” and then you’ll know how to move forward and you’ll find more balance in life.  Don’t forget to post below some of those items on your list!  We can create a community list to help increase everyone’s creativity.