The more you change, the more your confidence grows.

Are you open to change? Do you remember the last time you changed something significant in your personal or working life? Or maybe something small, but still important for you? Was this change a part of your plan? Or did it come without your control? Did you feel satisfied and enriched, or lost and unhappy?

There is nothing permanent except change. Heraclitus

Change is not always pleasant, wanted or expected, we expats know it very well. Living abroad is great but not always easy. You are far from home, people don’t speak your language, nothing is known to you. Not one single activity can be done on autopilot, especially at the beginning.

I still remember when I landed in Brussels 15 years ago for my new job, together with my 12-year old daughter. She did not speak a word of French at that time but needed to go straight to a francophone school to finish her elementary education. I was thinking to myself: “Ok, I’ll stay a year, well, two maximum, I’ll take a look around and I’ll see what this change brings”. Today, I am still in Brussels, and I work as a life coach. My daughter became a Belgian lawyer.

Obviously, change can bring complications, uncertainty or anger. Sometimes it causes conflict with others or with ourselves. All these events and feelings are part of human existence. Meanwhile, the human brain is hardwired to resist change, its aim is to survive.

Change is an opportunity to learn and grow

On the other hand, change enriches our lives by bringing new experiences and making us flexible and more open. The question is: how can we use change for our own good so that we can benefit from it by learning to turn even unwanted changes into a positive thing in our lives?

If we accept change and take it as an opportunity to grow, it is a chance for us to feel stronger, more fulfilled and to offer the best of ourselves to the world. Openness to change is the basis of success and true leadership. We just need to find the courage to get out of our comfort zones, to scrape off the layers of old habits and limiting beliefs, and to open up to the world again. And, above all, to ourselves.

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