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Work-Life Balance — An Exclusive Interview With Kamladevi Sharma

Kamladevi Sharma is an award-winning International Speaker and Coach on work-life balance, the co-founder of Revive.Coach, a Career Mentor at the University of Bradford, an Associate Coach at Randstad Risesmart, a wife, mom of 3 boys, and a valued friend to many. Highly intuitive and full of wisdom, her clients describe her as “pithy, witty and deep”.

Her expertise in mindset and personal development strategy enables youths, leaders and entrepreneurs globally to get clear on their career aims, eliminate burnout, and achieve balance, fulfillment and success with ease in both their personal and professional lives.

Born and grow in Guyana, South America, she is a Master of Business Administration (MBA) General with Bachelor degrees in Business, Social Psychology and Social Research Methods. Her work has benefitted over 4000 leaders globally in personal growth and over 250 businesses have jumped start a momentum for success in her signature momentum training at Revive. A known feature in magazines locally and internationally, her wisdom has been featured on several podcasts on Spotify, Apple, and Google.

At Brainz, we have recognized her for her outstanding work in coaching and her ability to thrive despite challenges, resulting in this exclusive interview to learn her secrets in creating a balanced work-life. She is a beautiful, positively-charged soul who believes in “living in full enjoyment”- her personal definition of LIFE. Here is what she shared with us:

Kamladevi Sharma
Kamladevi Sharma

What lead you to focus on work-life balance?

I focus on work-life balance because it was a major challenge in my life at one point in time, especially at the onset of motherhood. My focus really took shape in 2016 when my health was a concern in my first pregnancy, and I had to decide to leave a highly demanding job I had really loved.

Continuing personal development work from there and reflecting on ‘why’ life was unfolding as it was for me, I realized that I had the habit of immersing myself completely in whatever I did, and so, I hardly had boundaries in place for work. Work became life. I had also lived by the belief that “I needed to work as hard as possible to be successful in life.” It worked for me, but only for the time, I ignored my well-being. I was incredibly successful, but I was overwhelmed, and I was losing that sense of fulfillment. I used to feel that I needed to go the extra mile every time to prove to myself and others that I can get things done. I simply didn’t know how to say ‘no’ politely or feel enough, and I kept creating that imbalance in my life until I had to choose between my job and my health. It was quite a journey, and I knew that I was not the only person in the world experiencing it, so I started coaching in 2017, and after having three boys in four years, work-life balance continues to be a major theme in my life. Every day I adapt to my kids’ growth, and now with COVID-19 before us, I find that balance is needed more now than ever for many persons worldwide. The more I teach it, the better I get at it, so I stick to it.

Many say that there is no such thing as work-life balance. What does work-life balance mean to you, and why is it important for a leader or entrepreneur?

For me, work-life balance is largely based on inner balance. It is feeling that ease, flow, and fulfillment in your personal life and still being successful in your professional life- without sacrificing time and energy in either aspect of your life. Balance helps leaders and entrepreneurs to remain connected with their audience, maintain healthy relationships, and experience an overall sense of well-being. Whether it's mental, emotional, or energetic balance, it gives them enough self-control to make decisions that lead to positive outcomes.

Self-control in the sense of being able to control their thoughts and emotions by living in the awareness of them and then changing those thoughts that don’t make them feel great to ones that actually make them feel better about themselves and their lives. In particular, since leaders and entrepreneurs have an audience that relies on them for guidance and inspiration when they are imbalanced, they become difficult to approach. This causes relationships to break down- eventually leading to poor performance, lack of engagement, and demotivation among staff. I often find when leaders and entrepreneurs get irritated, frustrated, or angry easily, they lose sight of valuable information that would help them to make better decisions in the office or their business, and this costs them significant resources most of the time. They also make it difficult for staff to process their instructions since emotional outbursts towards staff often require those staff to spend time processing their emotions from that incident, then the instruction. Moreover, caught up in the busyness of their internal world, they lose out on precious moments with family and friends, and they can end up feeling stuck, stressed, and depressed that things are not working out as they expect them to all because their thinking is foggy and emotions veil their focus. Therefore, when leaders or entrepreneurs work on the dis-ease in their internal world, they bring peace, ease, and flow to their outer world. They are easy to work with, forward-thinking, and solution-focused.

What is your secret to a balanced work-life?

Being unclear about my purpose and direction once in the past, I now spend a lot of time building the vision of my ideal life. However, when situations arise that throw me off balance, I apply an easy four-step self-reflective approach to realign with my vision. My EDDS approach encourages all of my clients to use in those moments that they feel cornered by anything in their personal or professional life. EDDS is all about E-motion, D-esire, D-ecisions, and S-trategy.

E-motions are the flow of different energies within us. It’s easier to recognize what triggers us negatively by checking in on our emotions. This is so because we are more reactive than proactive in our daily routines since many of our behaviors are automatic and require little introspection or brain processing.

Step 1:

Recognize the triggers by checking in on your emotions. What are you feeling? Why are you feeling what you are feeling? Is the problem with the person or situation that triggered your emotion, or is it with the inability to process the emotion?

D-esires are all about what we want. They are our ideals. Many times we do not spend enough time to define what we want- in terms of our feelings, material possessions, types of relationships, etc., so we end up going through life bumping into people and situations that help us to get clear on what we want (if we are not living in the awareness enough). Step 2: Take control of your emotions and thoughts by staying focused on what you desire at the moment. What do you want to feel? What outcomes would you like to achieve at the moment?

The challenge in this step is accepting what you have control over in your life and what is out of your control. Often, our inner turmoil comes from not controlling people’s thought processes and behaviors. People don’t think and behave the way we expect them to at all times. Their values, principles, and understanding of life are different and unique to their exposure to life and information they’ve learned throughout their life. Accepting this helps us to take better control of our thoughts and emotions.

D-ecisions help us to tame our focus. However, it needs to be made both at a conscious and subconscious level for the discipline to arise to stick to them. Step 3: Decide to accept what you have control over and what is out of your control in these challenging situations. Then check in on: Who do you want to be in this situation? Are you ready to use it to your advantage to become more experienced and resilient, or do you want to continue resisting it? Many leaders and entrepreneurs easily get caught in a victim mindset when making decisions at this level. This often manifests when you are not willing to face your truth or address your weaknesses. Unconsciously, you maintain distance with your employees and remain outward-focused when criticizing your employees for their mistakes and mishaps. It is at this phase that acceptance of ‘what is’ is crucial for your success onwards. Additionally, empowering yourself through positive self-talk at this phase helps to keep your flow going. This way, you don’t get emotionally stuck and live out of awareness of your experiences.

S-trategy entails our game plan for moving forward. After spending time getting to know what triggers us negatively, it is important to plan what we will do the next time we are triggered.

Step 4:

Train your focus to remain positive and open to the wisdom of anything negative that arises in your life. Train yourself to react to your negative emotions differently as they arise in the future. In other words, plan what you will do when specific situations arise based on what you have experienced in the past. For example, if people have lied to you in the office and that has thrown your work completely off balance, plan how you will react to such situations in the future.

It may take some time to reflect and plan in this way, but it is worth avoiding the future emotional and mental upheaval that comes without that inner preparation.

Therefore, when you feel overwhelmed, and you’re losing balance in your work-life, consider the emotions you’re feeling, the desires that you have, the decisions that you are making, and the strategy you’ll use to move forward to bring peace, ease, and flow to your life.

If a leader or entrepreneur is unable to take this self-reflective approach, how can you help them?

That’s a good question because some leaders and entrepreneurs are committed to their busyness and find it impossible to self-reflect. In such instances, I advise persons to hire a coach. Healing and transforming your life is something that you can do on your own because there are tons of free online resources. However, you’ll get results easier and faster when you work with a coach because a coach will know how to lead and direct you based on your mindset and the outcomes you’re looking to achieve. It’s a matter of feeling worthy enough to hire a coach to guide you in this regard. I’ve had many instances where leaders and entrepreneurs feel stigmatized or inadequate when they think they need a coach, but that’s no longer the story in the corporate world. It adds to one’s status quo to have a coach, and it shows your commitment and responsibility for your personal and professional growth. Nonetheless, recommendations are based on what is happening in the person’s inner world. Cognitive-behavioral therapy, neuro-linguistic programming, emotional freedom technique (tapping), removing attachment chords, guided meditations, and reiki are just a few.

In coaching, we find that an adult's beliefs and behaviors in the office are largely based on behaviors that have been modeled to them during childhood- some of them conflicting their roles where they are Parents at work and Bosses at home. It is for these reasons that leaders and entrepreneurs who are ready to achieve work-life balance must commit to living a better quality of life both personally and professionally- even if it means uprooting unhealthy beliefs, nurturing more positive ones, being honest with themselves and ready to take action to have better results.

Follow Kamladevi on Facebook and her website.



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