Life Balance Is Overrated

child playing with colored blocks

For the last month I’ve been haunted by my own tag line:
“Helping Women Leaders Balance Professional Success + Love.”

Mostly, I loved it.
Like, gushing, gorgeous, sparkly amour loved it.
But the word “balance” kept gnawing at me.

Because I am not sure I believe in balance.
In fact, I don’t know one woman who would claim that her life feels “balanced.”

Even those whose lives look divine and skillfully positioned at the top of a teetering pedestal – they’re not. Ask her. Ask that women.
Rest assured she doesn’t feel like this allegedly perfect life she’s built is balanced.

The attempt to attain balance is a stressful endeavor. Following your gut and doing more of what brings you genuine joy is far more satisfying.

What are you passionate about?

Do that.

Moment to moment, day to day, one breath to the next.
And forget about trying to “balance it” with equal bits work ambition,
exercise, family time, healthy eating, friend nurturing, and love making.

The more time you invest in doing what energizes + expands you, the more daily ease you will experience.

The universe goes with you.
Focus on doing what is innately meaningful to you rather than striving for balance.

THIS is the equation of bliss + fulfillment.

How do I know? I don’t live a balanced life.

:: I shuttle to graduate school classes multiple times a week.
:: I’m writing a 100-page Ph.D. dissertation on attachment theory.
:: I write here, for you, and for a host of other publications.
:: I fly from one networking event to another,sometimes with my nails done,but mostly not.
:: I’m dating a man who brilliantly navigates my inevitable exhaustion that comes with the juggle.
:: The trunk of my car regularly has a gym bag, a school bag, a purse, dry cleaning
and a pair of shoes desperately needing to be repaired.
:: I use a lot of under-eye concealer.

Am I happy?  Absolutely.
Is my life balanced?  Absolutely not.

I believe women leaders can have professional success and love
But I do not want to guarantee that it will feel balanced.
In fact, I’d like to guarantee that it WON’T be.

Balance is an uphill battle.  So why fight the fight?

Prioritize what is paramount instead of relentlessly, tiresomely searching for an
equilibrium that appears to gleefully evades us.

A life centered around the pursuit of passion looks different than
one organized around the pursuit of balance.

It’s a “go big or go home” philosophy.
Full on creative exhaustion.
Can I say “balls to the wall?”  Well, I just did.
And then, only then, some rest.
Recover.  Restore.  Repeat.

When you’re focused on doing what you’re passionate about,
you move beyond balance and into something deeper + monumental:



I’m part relationship expert,  life coach + part spiritual ass-kicker.
But show up ready.
This is life at full tilt.

Do you have a pesky question burning a hole in your pocket? Email me at to submit a letter for my Smart Advice column.
Identities strictly confidential-of course.


© 2012 Danielle Dowling