Behind our work-centric behaviors, lies a desire in us all to balance our love lives and careers. Guest author Robin Sampson shares her beliefs on how “Balancing Love and Career in the Life of the Overbooked Professional” is possible and can be done with an open heart.
By Robin Sampson
Recently, I shared with my coach (yes, coaches have coaches too!) the state of affairs regarding my personal relationships. In the past, I often sabotaged my relationships with men. My underlying belief sounded a little something like this, â€œAt least I can rely on work to always be thereâ€ (sorry guys if this sounds a little harsh). Having experienced many relationships that failed to take off or were doomed from the start, I became jaded and therefore believed that as a career woman, my first (and only) love was work. This lie being ingrained in my thinking, it became difficult to envision sharing my life with another! The catch 22, however, is that deep inside I rejected this belief and wanted to share my life with the right man.
So, what changed my mind? A good colleague of mine, also a career-minded, ambitious woman, recently ended a 10 year relationship with a man whom she loved and thought she would marry. Unfortunately, he changed his mind and decided that he did not wish to pursue the relationship further. Distraught, my friend decided to freeze her eggs (even in fertility, she made a business-minded decision to protect her assets!) so that the possibility would exist to have children in the future if she chose. Being highly conscious and introspective, she discovered a lesson this experience revealed to her: her desire to start a family.
Ten years my senior, my friend provided a wealth of experience and knowledge. In a short period of time, she managed to secure some of the most prestigious positions in International Finance. By the age of 40, her resume reflected a career woman in her prime. On some of our weekday morning runs, I listened to her stories of being the career-focused superwoman. Through her stories, I heard myself and recalled similar thoughts that rummaged through my mind for years.
Despite her lost love, she continued to envision a bright future, filled with happiness, love, and abundance. In fact, she commented on how her 10 year relationship with this man changed her way of thinking. She became more open to settling down and playing the role of â€œmommyâ€—something she never previously considered. Her optimistic view offered a fresh perspective on the importance of relationships and the maintenance of them in life. Through her story, I felt as if the Universe delivered a message to me: to live my life consciously and with an open heart. After all, behind my work-centric behavior lie a desire to balance love and career. Today, I believe it can be done.
Believe Balancing Love and Career is Possible Now:
If you find yourself saying, â€¦.
â€œI donâ€™t have time for a relationship.â€
Ask Yourself: What type of relationship would be worth investing your time?
Asking this question will position your thinking to how you define a quality relationship.
â€œRelationships never work for me.â€
Ask Yourself: What about those past relationships did not work?
Asking this question will help you determine the cause and effect relationship of previous experiences.
Keep in mind that while itâ€™s easy to place blame on others, thinking about who you were being in relationship to the other person will deepen your reflection, and thus offer insight as to where you may improve.
â€œI intimidate most men / women.â€
Ask Yourself: What evidence do you have to support this claim?
Asking this question will help you to test the validity of this statement. Unless we ask every man and woman we dated to take a lie detector test proving this to be true, this statement is an assumption.
â€œThere are not enough good guys out there who understand meâ€.
This is a two part question to ask yourself:
1. According to you, how do you define a â€œgood guyâ€ / â€œgood womanâ€?
Asking this question asks you to clarify the qualities you look for in men / women.
2. What about yourself do you feel is misunderstood by others?
Asking this question asks you to discover whether you impose a set of standards against which you measure yourself and others.
â€œMarriages donâ€™t last today, so whatâ€™s the use.â€
Ask Yourself: What marriages are working?
Asking this question challenges you to look for information that is against your current belief.
About Robin Sampson: Believing that life purpose may be found by honoring what one values most, Robin Sampson was called in spring 2011 to leave the comfort of a steady income to pursue a life of entrepreneurship. As a â€œcareer transformerâ€, Robin expanded on her experience as a teacher and staff developer to found First Circle Leaders in 2012. Through her work as a Leadership Engagement Coach, Robin empowers leaders in education and business to interrogate reality when it comes to leading themselves and others through organizational change. Her passion for developing leadership qualities in others enables her to teach professionals how finding value in their work will lead to high engagement, increased productivity, and a rewarding career.
Prior to founding First Circle Leaders, Robin dedicated over 10 years of her life learning to navigate the complex world of education. Her work involved teaching in hard-to-staff schools in New York City, leading instructional teams and workshops as a staff developer, and being in the forefront of educational reform in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Robin holds an MA in Spanish literature and secondary education from Lehman College, a BA in Spanish from Indiana University, and is a certified professional coach from the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching. She is a contributing writer for Identity Magazineâ€™s Life Transitions column and currently resides in Brooklyn, New York.