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How to manage changes in life | New country

Updated: Jun 3, 2019

I recently attended an event where they talked about managing changes at work and how employees get adjusted to them. This really made me think about changes in our personal lives and inspired me to write this blog.

"The one unchangeable certainty is that nothing is certain or unchangeable" - John F. Kennedy

Love this quote. Changes in our lives take place all the time. We may change a car, house, shoes, clothes, phones, drinks, food, friends, partners, jobs etc. Some are short to medium to long term changes. However, I think the biggest change that can happen to any of us is when you change a country and experience cultural changes and the process we go through to adjust ourselves. Adjusting to new ways of living will inevitably impact on us in different ways and will vary from a person to a person. It all depends on how we individually cope with changes of any scale, drivers for wanting to see these changes and outcomes we hope to achieve by changing something.

It is all about how we shift and adjust ourselves from old to new. How we modify , transition and ultimately transform ourselves. Just like the picture below reflects.

The human emotions that we must go through these changes will be all over the place, until we wake up 'one day' and we are adjusted. Until it makes sense. You realise you are happy and this is working for you. However, to get to 'one day', especially when you move to a new country, is very likely to take years. I would say it took me 8-10 years. I needed to fall in love with this new country, I needed to stop comparing it to my old country, to find a way to function here without my family and friends, to find my inner peace and focus on my goals. My focus was to work hard, have a good job, have a family with my husband and be a good contributing citizen overall that I would be proud of. I know my husband and my parents are proud of me. It is indeed a confidence booster that I need to reflect on from time to time and get me going.

I fully agree with John F. Kennedy's quote above, I would also like to add and always have a plan B, C or even a D just in case your plan A does not work out. This helps me keep my sanity on track. I have recently done a psychometric test that confirmed my anixiety was uncertainty. So if I do not know what may happen next or if I cannot control it and do not have a back up plan, I will very likely be very sleepless until I arrive at a potential solution that is realistic and achievable within my means. So for example, we did not know if this house move will even happen for us. In the UK, anyone can at any time change their mind until the contracts are exchanged. The contracts do not get exchanged until everything is in order and as I said above, our lawyers and bank happy. I did not like this as it was something I could not control fully, we were in the process and you had go with the flow. Our old house sale was guaranteed and was given a go ahead by the buyer's bank, however, our purchase caused a 2 month delay. Our plan B was to still sell our old house and rent in case it all fell through. I knew this plan was realistic and achievable which gave me the inner peace I was after.

Questioning your decisions | Be mindful of 3 aspects when considering/reconsidering your move to the new country

Most people do questions their actions and decisions on a regular basis. Did I made a right decision to leave my old job, to move to a new city, to move to a new country? Ask yourself below questions when in doubt, processing change and adjusting to the new country. You can repeat this process at any time and go in a circle as many times as you need in order to answer below questions. If you cannot do it straight away, that is ok. Thinking time is important and reflecting on our decisions. Just try not to overthink it! If you cannot do this on your own, speak to your mom or dad, a family member you trust, a friend you trust and skilled to listen and ask relevant questions to help you arrive at below answers. Ideally, someone who is inspiring and motivating so you feel positive after the conversation.

1. Do I know what I need to change? - Who am I?
2. Do I fully understand the need for change? - Why am I here?
3. Do I know my options, what support do I need? - How am I going to do it?

HOW TO KEEP PERSPECTIVE WHEN DEALING WITH CHANGES | Especially when you move to a new country

Keeping your perspective is so important when you are dealing with any changes in your life, especially when you move to a new country.

Some points to keep in mind:

1. Do not be hard on yourself,

especially If you like to be in control and like things to happen a certain way. You may have realised by now that it may not always be possible to control every situation, person or interaction in your life and plan fully every little detail. It is very unlikely to happen that way in real life.

2. It is ok to be wrong,

especially when we planned our future and it just did not happen that way. In my personal example of moving to another country, you cannot expect to know a new country, new system and its complexities over night. The unexpected will take place from time to time. These things can take time. Enjoy learning about new things and opportunities as they come.

3. Try not to compare yourself and your life to other people who you think are doing better than you.

We are all different and will react to changes in our lives differently. We all need to work hard and take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves.

4. Give yourself time.

It is ok for adjusting from the old to the new to take time, take as much as you like. It is your life and your time. It took me 8-10 years.

5. What's the worst that can happen?, and my favourite, what if I actually like it here?

Well, mine was if it does not work out here I can always go back home and have something to talk about as real life experience. So here I am, talking to you about my real life experience. 10 years later, I am happily married, with a lovely little boy, a good career, safe home...what else can I really ask for?! This was my desired outcome. I did not ask for much. I have found my inner peace and purpose in life. You will get there too!

Thank you for reading my blog as always and let me know if you have any queries.


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