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Profile of Carole Landis

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Life Balance
Frenetic schedules, juggling too many balls, not enough time.  Although multi-tasking appears to be “the normal” way of getting through the day, it rarely provides fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment


"Darla," a working mom, was overwhelmed, stressed, and “burnt out.”   She dreaded waking up to face the new demands each day would bring.  She related that even though she was well liked and respected by all of her friends, family, co-workers, and neighbors, she “didn’t have a life,” would be close to tears by the end of a day, and no longer was able to cope.  Darla lamented that she had eighteen to twenty categories of tasks that she must balance each week, with three school-aged children in seven after-school activities.  Her husband traveled often.   She suffered from headaches, irritable bowel syndrome, forgetfulness, and she had problems sleeping.

I wanted to help Darla recognize two things.  One was my concern that she was on thin ice at this point of her life, and that it was “costing her,” emotionally, and physically.  Secondly, we sometimes make choices on the lifestyles we embrace, and she chose to live her life in this fashion. While this statement might seem a bit harsh, (and I certainly pride myself on bringing compassion to my client/coach relationships), sympathy was not the element that a good coach would use to help Darla find balance. 

 We identified Darla as the Type E Woman--Everything to Everyone, with the “disease to please.” (concepts coined by the late Harriet Braiker, Ph.D).  The people pleasing habit is difficult to break, but overload and resentment are a high price to pay for someone else’s approval.  Darla made the choice to take some small risks in changing behaviors and belief systems with the guidance of a coach, rather than continue on this self- defeating path where she might likely wind up physically out of commission.

 We worked on the importance of organization and reality checks. When I asked Darla to calculate the number of minutes per task for each task in a one-week period, she was amazed to discover she had scheduled 30-34 hour days, and 175- hour weeks!  (No wonder she felt overwhelmed with her to-do lists).  We developed methods of organization and priority plans that worked for Darla.  Darla spent part of each coaching period learning how to say, “NO” to the things she truly did not want to do, or sacrifice her precious time for.  She learned to schedule “ME” times for 30 minutes each day.

 Most important, Darla learned that she always had choices—she did not need to do anything.  She chose to do whatever she thought was important enough to warrant her efforts. We worked through her guilt, and she accepted the fact that this was not being selfish, for research shows that truly successful people who are satisfied with their lives make these kinds of choices all the time.

 A Coach can help you achieve harmony in your life.  That means you have time for family, job, community, personal, social, religious or spiritual endeavors.  Balance is not stationary or static. The dynamic is that it is always in motion, seeking its center.  Achieving a balanced life means you need to adjust and shift, remaining flexible daily to keep it.  A coach introduces new concepts, while supporting your personal values.


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