Part Five of the Expat ‘From Struggle To Success’ Series looks at ‘landing’ like an expert. Today is World Art Day, so I encourage you to celebrate the work of art that is YOU.
Check YOU out, you sexy expat thing you – meeeooooowww! Yes you, with the eyes….reading this, looking at my letters, words, spaces and all, you are beautiful…I mean it, really really beautiful. Just look at you…you fabulous human being.
Are you cringing? Are you embarrassed by that? Does this make you feel shy or maybe think I’ve gone a little crazy this week? Has the little voice inside your head just gone and said something like ‘this is stupid, how could she possibly mean me, she doesn’t even know me?’. Good, you are alive! This week let’s start right out the gate by asking you three questions – I want you to score yourself out of ten for each one:
1. How good are you at taking a compliment or being acknowledged by another person?
2. How often do you give a compliment or acknowledgement?
3. How often do you acknowledge yourself?
How did you do?
So, why bother? What’s the point? Sure, we can all see the value of numbers 1 and 2, but 3, really?? Me, with my Self-Improvement/Work Ethic? Let down my guard with this self-indulgent back-patting nonsense? Steady on!
Ok, so let me propose to you the following idea: a compliment or acknowledgement is an opportunity to see yourself and your gifts as you really are, stripped of all the nonsense we make up about ourselves and our lives. How you really are is naturally resourceful creative and whole. You don’t need fixing and you are not broken/lesser than/not good enough/insert as appropriate. Of course, your may FEEL a little like those things are true at times but that’s just you inner light shining on some stuff that is no longer working to your benefit. When we really connect to who we really are, our gifts and inner resources, something happens. Our light gets a little brighter and our energies begin to shift, helping us come full circle – home again to our natural state of well being. How to connect in? There are many, ways but this week I want to visit the often overlooked art and skill of Self-Acknowledgement. Self-Acknowledgement is recognising stuff and saying ‘yes, this actually exists’. It’s the opposite of denial, where we hold onto stuff so it sticks around (the more we resist, the more stuff persists). Acknowledgement and recognition releases, frees energy to work its mysterious, sexy ways to our benefit. When we acknowledge ourselves, we truly ‘land’ home again.
Let me give you an example: when we are struggling, stressed and under a lot of pressure (like creating a new life abroad) it can be really easy to overlook, wash-over, diminish or forget about those gifts within ourselves that brought us to where we are today. We spend so much time busying around, sorting the apartment, finding schools for the kids, finding where to buy groceries, worrying about finding friends etc – paddling like ducks just to keep our heads above water, we deny our experience, we deny our courage and we deny the fact that we are actually doing REALLY REALLY WELL. Yeah, you might not have broadband (or running water), but heck, you are here and you are breathing!
So, my next step on the road to successful life abroad is to afford yourself the gift of truly ‘landing’ where you are. Through self-acknowledgement. Seat belts off and doors to manual:
1. Make a list of all the stuff you have achieved in the last two years (and I know you are achievers…) – use your diary or photos to remind you if need be.
2. Make a list of all the strengths and gifts within you that enabled you to achieve that stuff. What did you demonstrate? What gifts showed up? Working with a trusted friend or partner on this can be really valuable as they see things you might not.
3. Identify from your list those words that you are comfortable with and those which you feel you do not allow yourself to fully own. What’s difficult for you to swallow? You may find this list helpful: http://www.myvocabulary.com/word-list/character-leadership-vocabulary/
4. Choose two or three words from your list each day and take five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening to settle yourself in front of a mirror (or some other shiny surface if you don’t have one yet), and breathe. Take three beautiful deep breaths and say to yourself ‘I am….insert word 1. I am..insert word 2. I am…insert word 3.’ Breathe again and repeat as many times as it takes for the words to ‘land’ with you.
If you’ve enjoyed reading my blog today, I would encourage you to hit the ‘Follow This Blog’ button on the right hand column to get these posts delivered direct to your inbox, and give yourself an extra minute or two of time for self-acknowledgement. You are so smart…
We are running a free group coaching and mentoring programme for trailing spouses and accompanying partners starting in May for 12 weeks. This is the only time this programme will be free so sign-up now to get more information. Places are limited – the quicker you register your interested the more likely you are to win your place on the programme!
Take care, 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.