Balance: #11 of 28 Big Ideas from the World of Coaching


This article is twelfth in a multi-part series that adapts and excerpts my entire book, The Coach Within: 28 Big Ideas for Engaging the Power of Your Own Wisdom, Creativity, and Choices* (Everything Goes Media, 2017).

11. Balance

“Austerity makes us hard and withdrawn…Indulgence makes us soft and indifferent. The middle path is the balanced way of compassion, wisdom, and insight.”

— Buddha


Sometimes we stay with ourselves and where we’re at — not trying to fix, suppress, avoid (big idea 10, Being with Yourself and Not Your Problems), but sometimes what we really need is to get out of that place. To balance where we’ve been hanging out.

The solution to evening ourselves out, feeling whole again, may be as easy as a healthy, tempering dose of the opposite, something to tip the scales back to the middle. That is the lesson of this big idea. When things feel out of whack, consider coaching yourself with balance.

  • Working too hard? Make it better with playing.

  • Too slothful for too long? Tackle your toughest project and see if that reorients you.

  • Floating away with flakiness? Ground yourself with some practical and concrete tasks.

  • Has going out too many nights in a row left you murky from over-socializing? Stay in and enjoy some quality time with yourself.

  • Burdened by the weight of the world’s problems? Cure yourself with some levity, bring on the lightness.

  • Feeling sorry for yourself? Focus on others and volunteer.

See? Fun. Easy. There’s a definite no-brainer element to this one.

Consider some other common pairings that can become lopsided in our lives. Do you need balance in any of these areas?

  • Giving/receiving

  • Ending/beginning

  • Closing/opening

  • Planning/spontaneity

  • Living/earning a living

  • Spending/saving

  • Attaching/letting go

  • Becoming/being

What other ones might be coming to mind for you?

Your Coaching To-Do’s

Let’s stay with easy here and get straight to experiencing the power of inserting balance firsthand. Jot some thoughts in your journal about any ways you’re feeling overwhelmed, off-kilter, or imbalanced. What energy/activity/concept will bring balance to your force? Make some notes on that. Now, hone in on what you’re going to do about it. Schedule time in the next 24 hours to do that thing or things. How about now?


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