7 “Wakes” That Throw Me Off Balance

wakes balance

Always eager to strut her stuff, my adorable almost 21 month-old granddaughter proudly walked from one end of the pontoon boat to the other; back and forth again and again. Under ordinary circumstances, such pacing wouldn’t be all that impressive. However, on this particular day, the lake was anything but smooth. Keeping your balance on a choppy lake on top of wake after wake takes skill. There were a couple of moments that caught her off guard, but each time she quickly got back up and kept on going showing off her mighty sea legs!

I know it doesn’t hurt that her center of gravity is quite a bit lower to the ground than yours or mine, but being able to adjust to the unexpected wakes and maintain her balance most of the time – that takes masterful physical abilities. I had the advantage of being able to anticipate the wild rocking of the boat by watching the water, but my sweet granddaughter did not have the same advantage. The sudden rocking of the boat was always a surprise to her.

If truth be told, I envy her ability to take the wakes in stride.

Life throws all sorts of “wakes” my way, and I am not always able to adjust, respond, and navigate them with the same level of grace that my granddaughter demonstrated.

What throws me off balance? There are all sorts of things that have the power to throw me off balance, but here are seven “wakes” that have the potential to trip me up and keep me from THRIVING personally & professionally:

1. Avoiding

Tasks that I don’t particularly enjoy or seem too overwhelming are tempting to avoid. Sometimes it’s that conversation that needs to be had. Or maybe it’s someone else having a not so fun conversation with me that causes all sorts of emotions to bubble up that I choose to deal with…someday…but not today.

Whatever I’m avoiding weighs me down in ways that prevent me from operating at my best. It affects my health, creates tension in my relationships – it never sets me free from whatever I am attempting to escape.

However, when I choose to face up to what comes my way and proactively work through it, I not only gain confidence, but I also free up my energy for what’s most important.

2. Bad Boundaries

In general, I maintain pretty decent boundaries, yet at times I allow myself to venture into victim mode and let others cross my boundaries in ways that creates resentment.  Frequently these bad boundaries are triggered by my Fear Monster at work causing me to make choices to “matter more” to the people around me. You might find your Fear Monster causing you to compromise your boundaries by performing and wearing yourself out or behaving in ways to avoid being rejected.

Boundary violations make me feel unvalued; like I am victim. That feeling makes me prone to blaming.

In reality, I am the keeper of my boundaries and it’s my job to state them clearly and enforce them. Wimpy boundaries throw me off balance and crowd out what’s most important. Sadly, they also keep me from getting my needs met in the way that I desire.

3. Capacity Illusions

I am particularly guilty of this “wake.” The strange thing is that this wake is well within my power to prevent.

There are so many activities that I find enjoyable that narrowing down what I am going to invest my time in can be challenging. Activities or tasks have a way of growing, and soon I am feeling utterly overwhelmed and I have no one to blame but myself. You see, I think I’m capable of taking on much more than I really am. When I take on too much – it negatively impacts other areas of my life; my relationships suffer, my house suffers, my soul suffers!

Lately I’ve been making a concerted effort to be VERY realistic about what I am, able to take on. I’ve been eliminating some tasks and consolidating others so that I can be consistent with the few activities that will help me to accomplish my goals. In order to do that I have to pause, reflect on how my life/work is going, tune in to how I am feeling about life/work, and evaluate life/ work regularly. Very regularly!

The truth is, I want to be a Superwoman. In reality I am just a super woman – a woman who doesn’t score any extra points in life by trying to prove that I have super powers that humans don’t possess!

4. Criticism

The world has suddenly become quite a negative place. People feel free to share ugly words like never before. So much negativity isn’t a happy thing for me. I doubt it works for you either. It’s wise to filter out most of the harsh words that come my way.

There are other hard to hear words that are actually an incredibly gift. Criticism or feedback is not inherently bad. In fact, it serves me well if I am willing to learn and grow from what’s being shared.

5. Circumstances

Unexpected events, challenges, sicknesses, sticky situations, tragedies, etc. can really rock my world and throw me off course.

Trusting that God is truly in control keeps me anchored in uncertain moments. That’s just one of the many reasons it’s vital for me to set aside time daily to connect with God and remind myself that He’s got this – whatever it is that I am facing today!

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Proverbs 3:5 (MSG)

6. Clinging – Not Letting Go

Hanging onto slights, offenses, and hurts is a recipe for bitterness. Lugging around all that extra bitter baggage significantly challenges my balance.

My feelings get hurt. I’ll bet yours do too! I’m working to pay attention to what those hurt feelings are revealing about me and then letting them go. I want to constructively deal with them on my end and then share my feelings with the right parties when appropriate so that I can release them and be free of the weight of such baggage in my life.

After all, clinging to slights and not forgiving only hurts me – it’s harmful to my health and seriously impacts my attitude.

7. Conflict With Others

Conflict is inevitable. People have very different outlooks around the very same events. I don’t feel at peace when there is unresolved conflict with others in my life. It’s important to me to make an effort to really hear where others are coming from and then work things out swiftly. It’s tough to THRIVE personally and professionally and be at odds with someone.

Following my granddaughter’s example, I want to be steady and quick to get right back up on the occasions that I fall. There will be wakes in my life; surprises, circumstances, and hard stuff that threaten to mess with my equilibrium. When my life is out of balance it’s impossible to THRIVE personally and/or professionally. It hinders my ability to walk in all that God created me to BE – and that’s truly where I THRIVE!

What throws you off balance personally or professionally?


Marvae Eikanas

Marvae Eikanas is an author, entrepreneur, ICF certified coach, Career Direct Consultant, DISC consultant, and HBDI practitioner. She helps her coaching clients sharpen their skills, face their fears, eliminate funky mindsets, hone their habits, and cultivate clarity so they can THRIVE personally and professionally. Schedule a consultation with Marvae here.

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