One of my favourite topics to discuss with expats is building resilience.
I think resilience is an important skill for anyone really. But for an expat, without being resilient, it can really affect your overall experience abroad. Resilience helps you bounce back from setbacks and keeps things in perspective. You are less overwhelmed with day-to-day challenges. By having a compelling reason, or a hard why, as to why you are traveling or living as a expat can help you stay focused.
One of the best ways to ensure your resilience is to define your compelling reason, or your hard why. This means you have a clearly defined why as to what you want and why you want it. This will keep you focused and will raise your determination so you remember your longer-term goals and reasons for doing something. You don’t let daily challenges deter you or keep you down.
When it comes to living abroad, knowing your compelling reason is key to ensure your success as an expat. We know that there are many challenges we will face while living abroad. These can be minor, such as the way people drive or incessantly honk their horns, or something major, such as dealing with missed travel connections, losing luggage or missing family back home.
Each woman will have a different compelling reason as to why she is living abroad. For me, it was being able to travel the world regularly, not just for two weeks of the year like most North Americans. I wanted a career in international development, to make a contribution through meaningful work. I wanted to meet all sorts of interesting people from around the world, and I just didn’t want to live in Canada.
Once you have defined your compelling reason, this can serve as your north star. You will need to remind yourself of this reason from time to time, and maybe more often than that. If you’ve just moved abroad, you’re likely to go through a transition period and come up against more challenges until you are able to settle in. That’s OK and it happens to everyone.
Be patient with yourself and know that nothing has gone wrong. Reminding yourself of your compelling reason – put it on a sticky note for your mirror if you need to – will focus your brain so that you don’t become completely mired in the daily frustrations.
Remember why you’re here and why you left home in the first place. You had a good reason to travel abroad and set up a new life. There will always be challenges along the way. But we are much stronger than we think we are and trusting ourselves to get through it, counts for a lot.
If you are interested in learning more about building resilience and thriving while living abroad, I can help. I offer complimentary 30-minute discovery sessions so that you can learn more about life coaching. Ask me any questions you may have. Invest in yourself and work on your life so that you can enjoy your life, no matter where you live.
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