A confession about balance…

Today’s guest post is so perfect for The Balanced Life. I can relate on so many levels to the way Hanneke describes what “balanced” used to mean to her. I hope you enjoy her words and feel as encouraged as I do after reading this post….enjoy!


A Confession About Balance…

Guest post by Hanneke Antonelli

As we head into fall, lazy summer days are replaced by the predictable rat race to finish 2015 strong. I thought I’d better make this confession now, before it’s too late.

You see, I used to think that having a balanced life was all about having the perfect routine, the perfect body, the perfect amount of sleep and the perfect man. I believed “a perfectly balanced” day would be that day when I ate super healthy meals all day, had no alcohol, went to the gym, completed everything on my to-do list and still managed to fit in 8 hours of sleep.

At the time I was working on Wall Street and my days were filled with stress, lack of sleep and too many martinis. Needless to say, I felt that the “perfect balance” was constantly evading me. I would beat myself up with thoughts and fears that sounded a little like this:

“I am going to be so fat one day. I am going to die young. I am going to get cancer. I am going to have to spend lots of money on plastic surgery. I am an idiot. I am never going to be happy. I am never going to find a boyfriend.”


I’m not sure where I got the idea that balance = perfect, but I do know that a lot of us confuse these two.

Having a balanced life is not “being perfect”, not even one bit!

This is one of the reasons why I love Robin’s blog so much. She’s made it her life’s mission to help us understand the difference and create real balance. We don’t have to be perfect to be balanced.

Balance is a little like our fingerprints, it’s unique and different for all of us. What’s even more special about it is that you get to choose and create what balance looks like for you!

How liberating is that? Amazing – right? Let’s spread the word on that one and tweet it for other ladies who may be struggling with this. Click to tweet: “I am balanced. Therefore, I am NOT perfect. I am much more than perfect. I am UNIQUE.”

Hanneke Pilates_074

So how do you create that special balance that is just right for you?

Here are my tips for creating your unique version of balance:

  • Get clear: what does a balanced life look like for you? Note I said LIFE: take the pressure off and look at your life in longer increments than hours or days. Get the big picture of balance and be realistic with yourself!
  • Drop the negative self chatter girlfriend: yes, there are going to be a couple of days or weeks that are just going to be mad crazy and far from balanced. Accept it, embrace it, and repeat after me, “Even though today was nuts – I still love myself for trying!” Don’t forget to celebrate and acknowledge the days that are balanced.
  • Evolve it: balance is like a moving target – it’s always changing. I know you, you’re like me. We’re following Robin’s blog for a reason. We are constantly looking for new ways to improve and become a richer version of ourselves. Remember to adjust and update your balance vision board as you evolve. What balance was when you were 20 is much different from what it is for you now, and what it will be when you’re 50.

Now we’d love to hear from you!

Do you struggle to create balance? What’s your biggest challenge? Or do you find it easy to create balance? How do you do it?

Leave your comments below. 🙂


Hanneke Antonelli holds a bachelor’s of commerce degree in financial analysis from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. She is a CTA-certified coach and an affiliate member of the Institute of Coaching Professional Association at McLean Hospital, a Harvard Medical School affiliate. She was named Best of Boston® Life Coach of 2015 by Boston Magazine. Hanneke is also a STOTT-certified Pilates instructor.

Hanneke worked as a money broker in London and New York City before pursuing her career as a Pilates instructor and later a life coach. She is the creator Pilates with Hanneke brand and has produced 6 Pilates workout videos. She was awarded a 50 On Fire Award by BostInno in 2013 as one of the top 50 Innovative Companies in Boston. In 2014 Hanneke co-founded the philanthropic networking event: Pilates with Purpose, with Kristen Scanlon. She is also a Fabletics Master for Kate Hudson’s activewear line.

Hanneke helps you navigate professional and life transitions so you can build a rich career. She currently lives in Boston and works with people from across the globe. Learn more about Hanneke and how she can help you create a rich career by visiting her website.

  1. ali grace 5 years ago

    Yes! Balance can be such a struggle with me too… especially lately. Right now life is crazy, and I definitely feel FAR from balanced. But you’re so right. Balance doesn’t mean perfection, and there will be crazy phases of life where balance looks different. Thanks for this!

    • Hanneke 2 years ago

      Hi Ali Grace, I’m so sorry – I somehow never saw this comment. I’m so happy the message resonated and that you got an aha from it. I hope you’ve created your ideal version of balance xx

  2. Gloria 5 years ago

    Ahhh! So true! Thank you Hanneke. I appreciate most your comment about eliminating the negative self chatter. I often find myself preoccupied with one or more things while doing another and subsequently not focused on the task at hand. At that point nothing gets done well and I can easily beat myself up over it. I find it’s important to appreciate my busy mind and to remind myself to enjoy what’s in front of me. We are our best cheerleaders!

    • Hanneke 2 years ago

      Oh my gosh Gloria – I’m not sure how I never saw your comment. But I’m so glad this resonated for you. I hope you’ve found ease in balance, and are able to appreciate your busy mind while staying more present every day!

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