Have you wondered, what you are gaining when expatriating? Have you wondered if the losses are bigger than the wins in the long term? I am referring to social network, stable family life and career..?
Have you ever thought of what having relocated abroad has gifted your personality? How expatriation has grown your skill set?
As a relocation Coach I support people in this huge transition of uprooting their life and tackle the arising (mental) challenges. What I see throughout my work as a coach, but also learned from own expatriation to 4 different countries in the last 8 years, is:
People, who uprooted their life in a foreign country, gained several skills and can trust in a certain mindset they have acquired through this experience.
1. Action- taking approach
Moving to a new place sounds like fun but its hard work, especially if you are moving with a family. Nothing ventured, nothing gained is true here. To integrate kids, find a new social life or a new passion up to finding a new job as a spouse, requires massive action. You are forced to stay open minded, adapt and stop doing what doesn’t work and try new approaches. You are successful because you learned to stay open-minded, immerse yourself in a new environment and take action.
2. Growth mindset
Expats tend to push themselves and tend to believe they can always improve, learn new skills and grow. Of course, there are moments of despair and frustration, but in general it is a quality gained called growth mindset.
Besides this, the second most important trait is the willingness to change and adapt to a new environment.
To succeed in a new environment, you certainly need to develop a new level of resilience and patience to jump through the ups& downs of a new beginning and achieve your goals. Part of being resilient is getting creative with your strategies and approach. Tried and true may no longer work.
In my Coaching business I am trying to encourage my clients to always push themselves 10% out of their comfort-zone, which also strengthens the capability of resilience.
4. Deep Self-awareness
People who live abroad, usually develop a very good awareness of their strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes and ultimately find their life purpose, because they were struggling, which makes them more well-balanced, aligned, focused and productive. This is also where I, as a relocation Coach come in, to tackle and support in these challenges.
5. Willingness to fail and pick yourself up
In the process of uprooting yours and your family’s life there will be some stumbling and falling. Probably in all areas of your life. The most important knowledge we gain in uprooting our life, and this is also part of resilience training, is how fast we pick ourselves up after having failed. We develop the ability to bounce back. When moving to a new city, the first year with your family is usually the most challenging. Those who succeed in establishing routines and network usually don’t give up easy and instead keep trying.
You are much more likely to succeed if you believe in your own capabilities to achieve the goals you set for yourself. This doesn’t mean you won’t need help. You should leverage as much help as possible, however, believe that it is in your absolute power to achieve anything you set your mind to.
Challenges are often related to behaviour or limiting beliefs, which don´t serve us anymore in a new country. What we learn throughout an expatriation journey is, to belief in ourselves.
I felt that one of the key learnings is to belief in your strength and to allow yourself to see the greatness in the world, and this can happen anywhere you are.