I’m pretty sure I’m right when I say that one of your greatest challenges as a humanitarian is to preserve your personal balance. Is that right?
Do you know what is preventing your life balance as a humanitarian?
Maybe, you tell yourself that this is the consequence of your life as a humanitarian? For sure it implies that the line between private and professional life is almost non-existent and that work is the priority!
Maybe you believe it’s the fault of your current boss, who sends you emails at midnight, puts you under constant pressure and sets for you unrealistic goals and deadlines? Or is it because of a complicated team, with not always very efficient colleagues and for whom you must constantly compensate?
Or maybe it’s because you work in particularly operational contexts, where it’s difficult to have time to yourself and leisure?
You’re right, these are all examples, that can cause a real imbalance between private and professional life.
But be careful, these are only causes depending on your external environment. And they are therefore difficult to influence and act on for a better life balance!
Do you agree?
From this observation, you may identify the causes creating this lack of life balance, focusing only on those depending on you!
I know, it’s a tricky reflection! On the one hand, because it’s easier (let’s be honest) to blame your environment and not take responsibility for your own life balance (although I’m sure that’s not your style). On the other hand, because it’s really hard as a humanitarian to influence your own life balance! Your work is so much a part of your life that it leaves little room for anything else!
To help you in your reflection, I suggest you think about these 5 (overlooked) causes preventing you from taking care of yourself, and yet which only depend on you!
5 (overlooked) causes preventing your life balance as a humanitarian.
1. You have no goals for your personal life.
You have goals, a strategy, a plan for everything professional, but none for your personal life. You probably don’t even know what your definition of a balanced life is, where you’re headed or what you really aspire to. Unfortunately, when you don’t know where you’re going, you end up nowhere! As Sun Tzu says, “He who has no goals, is unlikely to achieve them”, and that applies to your personal life too!
2. You don’t know what your real needs and desires are.
Sure, you’ve got an idea of what you’re missing: Time? Energy? Fun? The Big Love? More time with family back home? Solid friendships there and here ? But whatever these needs may be, you may not yet have a concrete idea of what your fundamental needs are.
3. The urgent systematically takes precedence over the important.
This is a recurring problem in the humanitarian sector, where everything is considered an emergency (between you and me… sometimes for no valid reason)! As a result, work emergencies take precedence over important moments in your private life. And unfortunately on a recurring basis! As a humanitarian, there’s a good chance that you, yourself, don’t consider your private life a priority. That’s why you don’t give it space or time! How is that? Because you haven’t yet concretely identified what’s most important to you, what your priorities are, what values you hold dear and how to honour them.
4. The off-road Super Pilot inside you is preventing you from taking care of yourself.
She’s generous, a perfectionist, hard-working and committed. She wants to do the right thing and is always ready to help. She gets fully involved in meeting the needs others and to respond to the emergencies of her colleagues. It’s a credit to you that you’re so committed professionally, but over the long term, it’s not sustainable. This off-road Super-Pilot inside you also needs fuel! You probably need to tame her a little more and help her identify what gives her the energy she needs. If you want to know about the off-road Super Pilot, click here.
5. You’ve tried copy/paste other people’s tips, but it just doesn’t work for you.
You’ve tried meditating, learning yoga, going to bed earlier, taking up sport… but your efforts soon end in failure. You end up telling yourself that you’re like that, that you just can’t take care of yourself and that your life balance doesn’t fit your reality! The mistake here is to want to apply other people’s recipes without identifying what’s right for you, what would be good for you, what you need in concrete terms to find the right life balance, considering your personality, your desires, your values, your needs and your constraints.
What are the causes preventing your life balance?
Do any of these 5 causes make sense to you? Could they explain your difficulties in achieving a good balance in your life as a humanitarian? Or have you identified other causes?
By taking the time to identify the causes that depend solely on you, you’ll be able to find solutions over which you have real power of action!What do you think?
You may also check out this article on why and how to take care of yourself as a humanitarian: over here!
Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in comments below or by contacting me directly.
I’d be delighted to talk to you about it!