Regardless of where you are in life, you can continue to learn and grow.
Intercultural Strategist and Ex-Pat Sundae Bean is a world traveler with roots on multiple continents. Today, she helps people learn to thrive in a new culture. But her seasoned advice can apply to more than just moving locations.
Here are Sundae’s 5 steps to help you love your life – from anywhere:
- Keep Growing
Today, Sundae and her family live in South Africa. She left a comfortable corporate position in her husband’s home country of Switzerland to introduce their two bilingual sons to a third language and culture. The change wasn’t easy, but she felt like she was no longer growing. If she was going to continue helping other Ex-Pats adjust to a new culture, she’d have to do the same.
You may not have plans to leave the country, but if you’re no longer growing, it may be time for a change. It’s imperative that you keep growing in your life – in your relationships, your career, and your interests.
This may mean letting go of something and restarting for a completely new way of living. When you do, you’ll have to release your fears, trust in your abilities, and embrace the new skills you’ll create by moving forward.
- Embrace Differences
Sundae gained an incredible amount of wisdom from her travels, which led her to her career path. As an Interculturalist, she studies how cultural differences make a meaningful impact when people work together, and also how our similarities create ease. She believes these patterns help us no matter where we are.
The dynamics of different cultures can teach us a lot about how to embrace differences in our own lives. When you work to be in relationship with others, you become more comfortable with different viewpoints and ideas. This puts you on the path to a richer, fuller life.
- Prioritize Connections
Every time Sundae moves to a new country, she makes new connections. That’s because regardless of how amazing the locale is, human communication is vital to overall contentment and success.
If you’re on a new path – whether it’s a new job or a new relationship status – prioritize connections. Do this in three ways:
- Invest in fresh relationships in your new endeavor. Think 1 or 2 meaningful connections. They will create a sense of security, soften your landing, and set you up for success.
- Stay in connection with those you’ve left behind. Our deep and true relationships will carry us through whatever life may bring.
- Be kind to those you bring along with you. There are sure to be trying moments when things are new.
- Give Yourself Grace
When you make a change in your life, it’s easy to step into a place of incompetence. For Sundae, this means learning the ins and outs of a new culture, including how to properly greet a stranger or what to bring to a dinner party.
But this can happen right outside your front door. For example, if you decide to take up running, there will be a learning curve. You won’t be an expert at the sport overnight.
That’s why it’s helpful to give yourself grace. Recognize that you will probably be incompetent at first, but there’s always time to grow and learn.
- Be Good to Yourself
Lastly, try what Sundae does first with her clients – explore your mindset so you can be good to yourself.
Ask these two questions:
- How do I make myself small?
- How do I limit myself?
If your sense of self-worth or self-confidence is off, it can be hard to dream big, an essential ingredient to success in any new endeavor. So stop telling yourself lies. Then give yourself permission to ask for what you want. No matter what the change is you’re making, you’re still you – just in a new context.
When you’re ready to say yes to something you never thought possible, you’ll be on the way to loving your life – from anywhere.