Part Two in the series ‘From Struggle To Success, From Miserable to Magnificent’ for fulfilled Expatriate living.
Some might call its use inappropriate to expatriate life. It will send shivers down the spine of many global nomads and send some trailing spouses into a cold sweat even thinking about it. Yet this one word can make a huge difference to your experience of living in another country, even for six months. The word I am of course talking about is ‘commitment’. There. I’ve said it. I may have to go and lie down.
The thing is that I believe there are two kinds of commitment – one which is directed outside of yourself – to the world around you and the people in it (like a marriage or becoming chair of the PTA for example), and the other is one which is directed mainly internally – to yourself. This self- commitment is where you quit playing small (and hiding in your apartment rocking in the corner crying – or was that just me?) and start gathering your energies to step out into your purpose, to enter into uncharted territory. This self-commitment is deeply powerful and expansive, once you’ve truly stepped into it, there’s little you will allow to remove you from your chosen path. What this isn’t, is saying you’ll make promises to others you may not or can’t keep – it’s about the promises you make to yourself.
By living in another country you can be whoever and whatever you want to be, but you are going to need self-commitment to get your life to where you want it because creating your new life is going to take effort and action (make no mistake here). Unless you are 100% committed, the results you create will not match your desires, and that’s where the rot starts to creep in.
“If you don’t make a total commitment to whatever you’re doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking. It’s tough enough getting that boat to shore with everybody rowing, let alone when a guy stands up and starts putting his life jacket on”. Lou Holtz, American Football Coach, Sportscaster, Author and Speaker.
Have Life Be Easy
Committing to oneself or a chosen goal is a process of removing other options and ways of being that have been offered – all the ‘maybes’, ‘perhaps’, ‘should I’s?’ and ‘we’ll sees’. All gone. Just a beautiful, clear open road waiting for you to step out onto. Yes there will be barriers and pot holes, that’s par for the course, but this is your road, you’ve claimed it. Enjoy it. When we have lots of choices we throw our brains into confusion, and in this place the brain find it hard to work efficiently and we feel exhausted. Once you remove the other choices (by committing to one), things start to simplify and your brain can focus its attention. The energy that was taken-up by analysing and weighing-up all the different choices is now released and freely available for creation, adventure and cunning plans. Awesome.
Love Your Commitment
This sounds a bit odd I know, but trust me. Appreciate its beauty and meaning. Admire the choice you’ve made and what it took to truly make that choice. Enjoy the richness that this commitment brings into your life. You are going to be bed-buddies for quite sometime so make sure you really are proud of it and are fully at ease with it and all it can bring your way.
Have you ever had the experience of really, really wanting something, making a point of taking action on it and then bumped into someone who had just the right information or product for you? That’s what self-commitment creates – it’s magic. I don’t pretend to know how or why exactly this works but I have noticed it all around me and other people. The higher the intention, commitment and ease with the commitment, the better the results created. One could almost say that self-commitment is like putting up a neon sign to the universe that you are open and ready for business. Only when the light is on can people, situations and opportunities find you.
“The moment one definitely commits oneself, providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have ocurred.” Goethe
Say No More, And Say Yes More
In order to really commit to something, we often have to say no to other things. Living abroad offers many opportunities and decisions. You can’t have it all – some things need to give in order to have others, so get your priorities straight. Commitment to a chosen path or goal will mean we need to become more discerning about our actions, further choices and decisions. This will mean saying yes to the things that propel you in the right direction (closer to the things you want) and no to the things that take you away from what you want. Want more fun? Say no to the ironing and yes to jet-ski-ing on a Monday morning, so serious consider an ironing service or maid. If you are uncomfortable saying no to people and situations that don’t serve your self-commitment, it will be a challenge. Yes, feathers may be ruffled, judgements may be made, but if you want to make an omelette, ya gotta crack eggs. Commitment to self will need to be constant and strong, so play with saying no with a smile on your face and a short but simple explanation (“I’m sorry, I can’t y or z – I’m making more time in my schedule for x, which is really important to me right now”) – it’s amazing how that works!
Get Behind Behind Your Commitment
Be it energy, love, money, whatever, but back yourself. Splash a little cash if necessary. Book those riding lessons, take that course, get the cleaner/nanny/therapist. Make a list of ten actions that back your self-commitment and do them! Another great way of committing to something is to conduct a ceremony – something meaningful and possibly a bit silly to let yourself know that you mean business. Draw a big fat line on the ground and jump over it whilst dancing naked in the kitchen, write a Facebook status update, throw a party–whatever is meaningful and resonant to you. To make it even more powerful, have someone (a friend, coach or whomever) hold you accountable – someone who has your permission to give you feedback when you are not staying in your commitment. We all stray and we all forget, so designing a fail safe is a great way of keeping you in line.
So – are you ready to commit to your own happiness, well-being and fulfilment?
Come back next week for part three of the ‘From Struggle To Success, From Miserable To Magnificent’ series for Expatriates, or sign-up in the box on the right to have the entire series delivered to your inbox. Can’t wait that long? Drop me a line to arrange a 40 minute consultation to create your personal expat success plan. In the meantime, if you are ready to commit, feel free to state your commitment in the comments box below – I dare you!
I’m making a personal commitment – I’ve been telling anyone who’s listening that we are offering 10 people the chance to participate in a free group coaching and mentoring programme for trailing spouses and accompanying partners starting in May for 12 weeks. Got a date and everything (14th). Interested? CLICK HERE TO ADD YOUR NAME TO THE LIST . Places are limited so claim yours now!
Have fun, grow and flourish, wherever you are!
To book a free 40 minute session with me to work on creating your personal expat success plan, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +44 (0)20 7193 7251 now.