Often times my clients have trouble focusing on their own needs. They are so concerned about the necessities of people around them – spouses who have started working in a new culture and are stressed beyond belief; children that need help adjusting to a new country and a new school; parents who have been left behind and want to be comforted; friends who expect regular updates and quick invitations to visit; former co-workers who wonder about their next career step, etc, etc, etc.
When so many people around you need tending to, there is not really any time left for your own needs and dreams, is there? And even if there is some free time somewhere in your day, how guilty might you feel if you decide to spend it on you rather than on any of the above?
Turns out – very guilty. A lot of us would drop anything to make lives of people around us better, yet we rarely strive to do the same for ourselves. Even after a day of housework, running a virtual business, making dinner, helping with homework, and spending time on the phone with family, many of us find it difficult to take a few moments of guilt-free pleasure for ourselves. Be it a book, a mindless television show, a massage, a facial, a bath… whatever. The point us – remember there is YOU in that expat reality you are all living in. And YOU too need some pampering.
So next time you feel that you should not be having that massage or that the TV show you are watching is too stupid to waste your time on, stop and think about what your needs are in that moment. How are you serving them? And how much better does it feel to serve them than to ignore them?
And as for the “what YOU make of it” part in this letter Y – Dr. Dyer once said some very powerful words: “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.” How are you looking at your expat life?
Want to work on those guilt-feelings with others like you? Join our Expat Club: 10 Weeks of Wisdom Program where we will provide tools and skills you usually get during coaching to work on this and other expat issues. Learn more here. BONUS: if you sign up before December 1, 2010, you get FREE access to the “7 Habits of a Happy Expat” online course.
For all the letters in the A to Z of Successful Expatriation™ click here.
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