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    Work-life integration is the new work-life balance

    How to find your sweet spot by reconnecting to your values and strengths

    This article is part of Derm Pulse, brought to you by Solodyn

    Work-life balance has been a popular goal for many who juggle the demands of their professional and personal lives. But to think you can keep all the plates in the air in perfect balance isn’t realistic and can be stressful, according to leadership coach Melissa Thornley, of Chicago-based Tiara Leadership Coaching.

    There may be a better alternative, according to Thornley, who spoke to physicians during the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) annual meeting (Chicago, October 2015). 

    READ: Find your work-life balance

    “I think there is this unsaid perfectionism around work-life balance, whereas life integration is looking at your whole life and how different areas of your life integrate,” Ms. Thornley says. 

    As opposed to trying to balance work, personal life, caring for an aging parent or young child, volunteering in the community and more, dermatologists should integrate their values and strengths and build their lives around those.

    Why am I doing this? 

    In essence, identify what values drive you. Those values don’t have to be the stereotypical family, friends, etc. Values can be anything that inspire you and make you more alive. 

    “It’s looking to those values and having those values inform what you’re doing,” Ms. Thornley explains. 

    Getting caught up in life’s daily grind can cause us to lose focus of what drives us, she says. Reconnecting to your values and strengths might require you to pause and ask the question: Why am I doing this? 

    “Sometimes we forget what our strengths are because they come naturally to us. [Life integration is] a combination of being and doing. It’s who are we being while we’re accomplishing all these things that we want to accomplish in our lives,” Ms. Thornley says. 

    NEXT: Drilling down

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton is president of Words Come Alive, based in Boca Raton, Florida.

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