Sometimes, the best year in your career comes at the worst of times in other aspects of your life.
Perhaps no one knows this better than American pop star Ariana Grande, who recently accepted Billboard’s Woman of the Year accolade.
Her most recent single “Thank U, Next” has stormed the charts internationally, following the release of her viral music video.
While accepting the prestigious award, the “No tears left to cry” singer got swept up in emotions talking about the whirlwind year 2018 has been.
Ariana fought back tears as she spoke about her “conflicting” and tumultuous year, which saw the death of her ex-boyfriend Mac Miller and her failed romance with Pete Davidson.
She said: “I find it interesting that this has been one of the best years of my career, and the worst of my life.”
The 25-year-old added: “A lot of people would look at someone in my position as an artist that could be at her peak and think she’s really got her act together, she’s really on it. She’s got it all. And I do, but as far as my personal life goes, I really have no idea what I’m doing.”
Finishing her emotional acceptance speech, Ariana insisted that she is: “really looking forward to embracing whatever happens and whatever comes my way.”
She also revealed what she’s learnt throughout her difficult year including eschewing romance in favour of putting herself first: “I look forward to hopefully learning to give some of the love and forgiveness that I’ve given away so frivolously and easily to men in the past to myself, hopefully, this year. I have everything I’ve ever dreamt of having, and as of late, I’ve discovered that it’s the things I’ve always had and people I’ve always had that still make me the happiest.”
Former first lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, can sympathise as well.
During a book tour for her best-selling memoir in New York earlier this month, “Becoming,” Michelle candidly confessed that it was unrealistic to be able to master all areas of your life at one time.
She said: “I tell women that whole ‘you can have it all’ mmm, nope. Not at the same time, that’s a lie. It’s not always enough to lean in, because that doesn’t work.”
So what should you do if you like, Ariana, feel overwhelmed with how out of proportion your life feels this year?
First and foremost, don’t blame yourself. Instead, frame this as a learning experience.
In the words of Oprah Winfrey, “You can have it all. You just can’t have it all at once.” Don’t beat yourself up when you feel like you can’t find a work-life balance, because really there isn’t ever really a perfect balance.
1. Figure out your priorities in life
Instead of searching for that elusive work-life balance, seek out work-life harmony instead.
This starts with figuring out what is the most important to you – and this will probably depend on the stage of your life. Remember this doesn’t have to be your priority for the rest your life.
2. Apply your strengths at work to your personal life
Once you’ve established what matters the most to you, take a step back and look at what are some of the habits that helped you at work to help you in other aspects of your life.
For instance, if you are excellent at taking time out of your day to schedule work meetings, prioritise keeping these self-care meetings with yourself. Block out a slot in your schedule and make time for your friends and family and maybe go to bed early.
3. Be proactive in creating a work life that works for you
Lastly, make sure to take charge in creating a work life that works for you.
While you should be open to opportunities, make sure to set boundaries in the workplace and learn to say no. And don’t be afraid to negotiate to work out a schedule and workload that suits you and your lifestyle.