Anne L. Laguzza, M.A., The Works Consulting

Work-life balance is a concept that has been around forever.  However, I believe it’s time to shift from this myth of balance and begin your quest for work-life fulfillment. In the highly connected world we live in today, work and life have become more symbiotic rather than segregated.  So how do you embrace this new approach?

It starts by letting go of the scarcity that comes with the struggle and grind to maintain balance. Then, you need to understand how approaching work and life from abundance allows you to focus on your priorities.  This may sound overwhelming, flying in the face of conventional wisdom, so there is one simple word substitution that will immediately support you on your path to fulfillment. We’ll get into that a little later.

First, struggle comes from scarcity.  The pressure that comes with striving for balance in work and life is counter-productive. This pressure often leads to disempowering questions as you compare yourself to those around you: “How does so and so do it” or “that person really has it all together.” You’re assuming that person has what you don’t and that they attained it in a nice, clean, problem-free way. With this approach, you are robbing yourself of your joy as you obsess over what you don’t have. You’re creating undue stress and anxiety because your life does not match-up with how you perceive someone else’s life to be.

Spoiler alert: success IS messy. Worrying about not having it all together (or being perceived as such by other people) is one of the easiest ways to be held back from realizing your full potential.

Next, allowing comes from abundance. Those who are the most fulfilled in work, health, and relationships are all-in, all the time, regardless of what others are doing or how messy things get. They allow for possibility and abundance by declaring “I can have it all and you can too”.  They seek challenges that will stretch them beyond their current capacity with laser focus on their goals and priorities. This approach enhances their effectiveness, ignites their passion, and allows them to experience the joy that comes when pursuing what matters most to them.

Here is a simple trick you can use to substitute abundance in place of scarcity:

Instead of “I HAVE to choose either work OR life,” Say “I GET to choose work AND life.”

Remember: work and life are not on opposite ends of a scale being weighed against each other. You don’t have to take some from here to add there and vice versa. Instead, imagine that work and life are building blocks where work and life reinforce one another to build a life you’ve designed – not one you’ve simply balanced.

Trust me, having gone through this myself I can tell you first hand the difference it makes. The more I commit to work when at work, the more I commit to my health when exercising and buying groceries, the more I commit to my relationships when with friends and family, and the more fulfilling each of the other areas becomes.

I want you to have this same experience. To seek fulfillment, to have it all, and to allow life to be a little messy on the way.

Anne Laguzza is the President of The Works Consulting. As a seasoned business executive with human resources management, leadership development, and performance coaching experience, Anne works with clients from a variety of industries to develop better systems, maximize employee productivity, and enable management to focus on business growth.

Prior to founding The Works Consulting in 2001, Anne served as the Regional Human Resources Director for a Fortune 500 distribution company where she led a merger transition team and was responsible for strategic planning, implementing new policies and procedures, workforce restructuring, compensation structures, and integrating the work cultures for over 600 employees.

In addition, Anne was formerly the Human Resources and Training Director for a start-up entertainment company where she organized and implemented a company-wide change management program that involved new company direction and strategic planning. Prior to her work in the entertainment industry, Anne served as the Regional Training Manager for a nationwide retailer where she developed and launched a multi-state training program for human resources managers as part of a corporate expansion project.

Anne earned her Master of Arts degree in Organizational Management from Antioch University, and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of California, Riverside. She is an active member of the Society of Human Resources Management, and is a board member for Harbor Interfaith Services and an advisory board member for Arthritis National Research Foundation. Anne has taught human resources and management courses at Long Beach City College and California State University, Dominguez Hills, and volunteers at non-profit organizations teaching interviewing skills to adults seeking re-entry into the workforce.