Balance for better
Yesterday I spoke at the 2019 Rural, Regional and Remote conference and the experience drove home how enriched I feel having grown up in a rural town in North Queensland. It really has shaped who I am and the success I have enjoyed in business.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #BalanceForBetter and while the primary message is around the gender pay gap, I also believe the day itself is a chance to reflect on what it means to each of us. For me, balance is an active decision we make to ensure we don’t over indulge in one area of life and neglect others.
Something that came out of yesterday’s RRR conference was growing evidence that as women, we really are the harshest critics of ourselves.
We judge ourselves. We compare ourselves. We criticise ourselves.
And we struggle with believing in ourselves.
I do it all the time! Anytime something positive happens I question it… I challenge it… until I learn that yes, that media request or speaking invite isn’t a scam – they genuinely want me involved!
So for the next twelve months, I want to commit to balancing my thoughts.
For every negative thought to cross my mind, I want to speak positively to myself.
For every ‘no’ I might have to give, I want to say ‘yes’ too.
For every disadvantage I think I have, I want to be grateful for the advantages I’ve been given.
Instead of finding myself wishing I lived a little closer to the city so that I could network more, take more meetings and even multi-task while commuting (public transport isn’t exactly frequent or reliable in regional towns!) I know my upbringing has afforded me a beautiful life with my family, I can retreat to the bush whenever I want (something city folk have to PAY for when they way a tree change!) and at the core, I know that being a regional and rural girl is in my blood.
It’s a part of my story and a part of ME!
If I didn’t have my story about how I created our maternity wear from a small mining town, I wouldn’t have gotten through the front door of so many of the companies that I have. I also wouldn’t have received the media attention that I did in the early days because I guess as a regional or remote business woman I’m considered a bit of an underdog. And while I’m absolutely not, it has certainly worked in my favour for publicity and recognition.
I’ve also already started balancing my life and work a lot more, and I’m a better person because of it!
Fewer hours in my business has made me a better business owner, better fiancé and better role model in the family. I’ve switched off technology after a certain time at nights, I exercise in the mornings and as a result, we’ve created more family time and I’m more productive in the dedicated working hours.
I’ve also joined more online groups that I access in down times, which I’ve found are truly amazing for tapping into likeminded women in business or mining or parenting. I have gained so much from the wisdom of other women through these forums.
Balance is HARD! Work commitments can creep in on family commitments, family commitments can creep in on self-care, self-care can take a back seat behind everything else… but if we can keep each other accountable, share our wins and remind ourselves that balance creates better – well – EVERYTHING (!), then I think we have a real shot at being able to cope with everything that’s thrown our way.
How do you create balance in your life?