I'm currently struggling with setting boundaries between the personal goals I want to pursue and the social commitments I'm taking on. I thought I'd write a bit about this here so I can unravel my thoughts on where the balance needs to lie.
The issue isn't balance as much as it is setting boundaries around my personal goals, and the intrusion that comes from social commitments is more of a Trojan horse than an invasion into my life. In other words, I'm accepting social commitments into my life.
I believe there are two main reasons for this:
1- I'm often apprehensive about the goals I want to pursue due to a blend of perfectionism, fear of failure, and fear of success. Saying yes to other people gives me an excuse not to work on my personal goals
2- I want to be helpful and not disappoint others. I feel guilty about not showing others support and, therefore, I'm not assertive about the need for giving my own goals time and attention. This is something I need to work on because people aren't entitled to my time and attention, and I need to be clear about my priorities and what I feel I can take on.
Having said that, I don't want to experience frustration when I've taken on a new commitment. Frustration leads to mental distraction and is emotionally draining. I need to set better boundaries when it comes to my time, but also in what I allow to influence my attention beyond the commitments I take on.
If I say yes to giving a talk, for example, I shouldn't allow that to lead me to feel frustrated in the days leading up to the talk. That time should be dedicated to more worthier pursuits and to find time in those days to work on my own goals and projects.
How do you handle demands on your time and creating space for yourself?