We are all open cosmopolitans?

In addition to a coach, I am also, and above all, human. ‘That means lying awake again tonight, or eating cookies’, I thought with a sigh. The reason is really nothing serious, just messed up by authorities and people around me who are a necessity to work here as a coach. A standard expat-question is almost always: How do you deal with all those annoyances, bureaucracies and inefficiencies in a new country? What to do with anger and frustrations?

When I coach, I don’t judge the other. I observe, ask questions, try to understand why someone is stuck in beliefs or behaviour that limits him and doesn’t seem to make him happier. In the past he may have had good reasons to think so, but it is (now) no longer necessary. I’m trying to see why someone would hesitate to act.

The patient, compassionate and non-judgemental attitude is no mask or taught professional attitude. Non-prejudice and compassion are two of my core values, my compass. I believe I do others justice by this, through which the world looks a lot nicer. And it makes me a calmer and happier person.

Ok, so what is the problem?

Working as the patient, non-judgemental coach is important to me. It gives me a lot of pleasure and satisfaction and I see the effect it has on people. Obviously it gets on me if it is made difficult for me to do this. It’s OK to be afraid and angry, it means that you are working on something really important, remember?

One of my beliefs is that you yourself must give direction to your life. That has brought me a lot and I look back with gratitude on what I’ve done so far. However, there are limits. Having everything under control is an illusion, especially as an expat! In another country, not quite understanding what other people mean and you have a smaller network to help get things done. It is all the more important that you achieve what you really care about. Check if something, no matter how much you want it, is feasible and in what time frame.

Despite my study, living and working experience in seven different countries, despite all the cultural preparation, despite my coaching experience, I still make the same mistakes: getting used to it takes time. In other countries there is sometimes much more bureaucracy, or deadlines are not as closely adhered to as in Germany.

Where do we go from here?

There are no magic solutions but there are ways to cope better with frustration, intolerance and anger directed towards others and yourself. Everything begins with recognition and understanding of where you stand. It takes time and energy getting used to living in a new country. You too are human, allow yourself some unreasonable reactions occasionally, nobody is perfect. Listen to the message!

Seek friendship and support from other expats. However much of a cosmopolitan and open to other cultures you are, secretly we all enjoy unabashedly complaining about the local population without hurting their feelings.

Spend your energy on what is important and what you can influence. Talking about annoyances and blaming others often doesn’t solve your problem. In order not to linger in negative feelings you should know what you want, what can be achieved, and make a feasible plan. Coaching also helps you to see where you want to go and how to get there. In addition, it is very important to learn to let go and to find peace

Yoga: time for yourself. Make your body and thoughts supple, focus on the moment. It will then become clear what is important. End each day with reflection. Routine. We have made a expat diary, to help you reflect,  based on the 4 discs of the “wheel of abundancy”. Knowing who you are, acknowledge this, look for what or who you need, plan actions, give and receive thanks and forgiveness.

Dont worry, just wonder – Goethe

In addition to being a coach, I am also, and above all, human. I’m going to sleep tonight without irritation or anger. I have enjoyed a good glass of wine and written this entry well. I acknowledge and understand my frustration, know what is at stake, and how I can get there, within the limits of the unpredictability of life, especially in Brazil. As a coach I hope somehow this blog helps other expatriates who also feel that irritation, to understanding and finding a solution, not to let the irritation linger! How you can be this tolerant, open cosmopolitan. Some irritation is inevitable, so we adapt the words of the wise Goethe to something like this: ‘worry little, wonder a lot more’.

Good night!

Martine

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