I have no life. On a typical day, I wake up, get the kids ready, bring them to school, come home and start working. I pause for lunch (if I'm lucky). Then I continue working in the afternoon, pick the kids up from school, prepare dinner, and by 9 PM, I call it a day. I tune in to Clubhouse and often just fall asleep. Seriously, Louise, I have no life. And I don't know how I can change this.
These are the exact words my client shared with me on our first call together. Does it sound familiar?
I was in this same situation four years ago—standing at the notorious crossroads of working my way up on the career ladder and desperately trying to be a present parent. The numbness I felt made me strongly doubt my abilities to be any good at either.
I longed to feel alive again.
The pandemic has only made things worse. The daily interactions at work, the grande cafe latte with almond milk, simply getting out of the house—so much was taken from our normal lives, shrinking our life even further.
We don't have to search far to read about how our mental well-being has taken a huge toll because of all of it.
We all want to be more successful, and we're constantly confronted with illusions of perfection. The images of holidays spent in paradise. The perfect DIY tie-dye sweatshirt. The 5 AM workouts. The magazine-worthy sourdough bread. Promises for earning 6-figures in 30 days. Social media can make us feel less than worthy, competent, and capable—leaving us feeling mentally vulnerable.
Are these the thoughts and feelings you want throughout your day? Is this the best way to define success?
No wonder so many of us are burned out.
What if, instead of money or things, we let holistic wellness define our success? I define holistic wellness as a state of wholeness that results from bringing into vision seven essential elements of well-being: Physical, Relational, Mental, Financial, Spiritual, Career, and Personal.
While the relative importance of each element is unique to each of us, I've found that we are only as strong as our weakest link.
Physical Well-being isn't just about staying active. It's also about getting a good night's sleep and nurturing your body with wholesome foods to build up the cornerstones of a healthy way of life. The times that we are active outside, moving our bodies, and prioritizing our sleep are essential to energize and support our mental well-being.
Relational Well-being is about the relationships and connections we have and how we interact with others. Our relationships can offer support during difficult times. It involves building healthy, nurturing, and supportive relationships and fostering a genuine connection with those around you.
Mental Well-being is about having confidence in your opinions, even if they are contrary to the general consensus. It's about believing and feeling you are in charge of the situation in which you live. Creating time to have new experiences can challenge how you think about yourself and the world at large. Engaging in meaningful relationships with others helps us feel connected. Mental well-being is about purposefully walking through life, holding the vision, knowing your values, and setting the goals that will take you there.
Financial Well-being is about a sense of security and feeling as though you have enough money to meet your needs. It's about being in control of your day-to-day finances and having the financial freedom to make choices that allow you to enjoy life.
Spiritual Well-being is about our inner life and its relationship with the wider world. It's about connectedness with self, art, music, literature, nature, or a power greater than oneself.
Work/ Career Well-being is about enjoying work that is challenging and rewarding. Knowing that we are making a difference to others makes our work more meaningful. It is about liking how you spend most of your time, who you work with, and growing professionally at a comfortable pace.
Personal Well-being is about creating and enjoying the freedom to do those things in your lives that matter most. All too often, we sacrifice what is most enjoyable for the sake of others or our work/ careers.
I'd love to invite you to apply the seven elements for holistic well-being to your own life. What score on a scale of 1-10 (1 being low and 10 high) would you give yourself for each element?
Now take a look at your lowest score and tell me what action you're inspired to take. Remember, you are only as successful as your weakest link.
Success isn't working around the clock.
It isn't measured in the number of followers or likes I get.
Success isn't skipping dinner with my family or spending mental energy worrying about things out of my control.
Success is prioritizing my health, my sleep, and nurturing my body with healing foods. It's establishing deep relationships based on trust and integrity—honoring my word and staying accountable for my actions.
Success is a well-balanced life that gives me mental peace and perspective to enjoy the good days and weather the tough ones.
So close your eyes for a moment, and ask yourself, "What is my definition of success?" And does it look different from what society so often portrays? What are the key elements that you need in life to feel that sense of aliveness again? Is it just about making more money? Or is it much more than just that?
As Harold Whitman once said, “Don't ask yourself what the world needs, and then do it. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
Don't ask yourself what the world needs, and then do it. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
About the Author
Louise Heite is a certified life & business coach, leadership consultant, and holistic wellness advocate who helps founders, entrepreneurs, and leaders fuel their best selves and find breakthrough success.
With a track record of proven results, she helped scale and lead global customer support groups, built strong partnerships with Fortune 500 companies, and headed a crisis management team that brought over 2,000 people to safety. She is passionate about helping high-achieving individuals live life on purpose.