Millions of people live abroad, but even a larger group of people dream of moving abroad but never realize their dream. So what is the difference between these groups? Why do some people follow their dream, and why do others struggle to make a decision and end up parking their plans?
There are many reasons why some end up going abroad and others don’t. For example, a job opportunity or a partner abroad can speed up the process of moving abroad. And other factors like fear of failure, fear of leaving your life (and family and friends), and fear of the uncertainties that come with moving overseas see people put their plans in the ‘to-hard-basket.’ Others simply get overwhelmed with all the practicalities of a move abroad and stop before they even begin.
When you are unsure about the practicalities and easily get insecure about your plans and decisions, distractions can start to creep in. And instead of focusing on your plans, you start to worry about what others think of your plans, or you’re not sure what to prioritize.
Does this sound like you? Are you unknowingly wasting your time? Are you too quickly giving up on your plans to move abroad by the simple fact that you are distracted?
Let’s check out 10 ways you are wasting time when deciding to move abroad, plus tips to make sure you can avoid them.
Worrying about what people will say
Have you announced your plans to move abroad to friends and family? And are you now bombarded with questions, well-meant concerns, and doubts? You are not alone! Almost all expats I’ve talked to admitted they struggled with this. Unfortunately, the opinions of others aren’t always easy to manage and can result in you doubting yourself and your plans.
Here is the truth, people will always have their opinions, and some will bluntly share them with you. But this is YOUR dream, and you should focus on what feels good to you! Don’t get distracted by the opinion of others. Their experience is not yours. Create your dream life and stop worrying about what others think, and think about ways you can prove them wrong!
Fear of failure
Fear of failure is sadly one of the most common reasons people park their moving abroad dream. Fear of failure is holding you back in so many ways. I love how Guy Winch, M.D. puts it: “The concept of failure poses such a significant psychological threat to the human mind that our motivation to avoid failure has become even stronger than our motivation to succeed.” Think about that for a second.
If your fears and negative thoughts are taking over, actively work on changing the narrative. So, stop thinking about ways you can “fail” in this journey and think about the fantastic things you can gain from it instead.
When things don’t go your way, it’s easy to complain and even blame others. But moving abroad is a journey that involves many ups and downs, so instead of complaining about them, act! Find a different way to solve a problem, be creative, and keep going.
Complaining about things that happen to you is counterproductive, so leave Negative Nancy at the door and focus on your journey with positivity.
Not living your life
We often want to please others and make them happy; along the way, we forget about ourselves and our dreams. If you wish to pursue your moving abroad dream, don’t think about pleasing others. Instead, listen to your heart and follow your path.
Living your dream requires you to focus on yourself, and you might need to learn how to say no. But this is your life, so make the most of it.
We all compare ourselves to others now and then, and social media has only made that easier. But it can be a destructive path. It can leave you feeling bitter, jealous, and insecure. Comparing your moving abroad journey with others can lead to self-doubt and insecurities, distracting you from making this move about you.
Every overseas move is unique, so don’t compare yourself to others and create a moving abroad plan that feels right for you.
Have you worked on your moving abroad plan for months or even years? Are you waiting for the perfect time to execute your plan? You might be overthinking this and dealing with perfectionism.
Let me debunk a myth right here; there is no perfect way to move abroad. So don’t wait for your plan to be perfect. Just do it and adjust and tweak your plan if and when you need to.
Lack of priorities
Are you prioritizing your dream of moving abroad? Or does it get pushed to the back burner when other ‘priorities’ come up? When you are planning to move overseas, it should become your priority. Don’t get distracted by things that aren’t helping you; focus on your priorities instead.
So next time you find yourself scrolling through Instagram or cleaning the house for hours, just check in with yourself and make sure you are not avoiding your priorities. Are you procrastinating? Are you doing the work you need to do to make this dream a reality? Set your priorities straight and get to work!
Doing everything by yourself
Don’t think you are alone in this journey and that you have to figure everything out by yourself. Thousands of people move abroad every month, so why not learn from them? Reach out and connect with fellow adventurers and expats and build a new network of people who can help you realize your dream. And don’t forget immigration lawyers and expat coaches who can support you with planning your move. Welcoming people in your life who can help you to pursue your dreams will make everything a lot easier for you, so don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Learn from your mistakes, don’t get discouraged by them.
We all make mistakes, and when you plan your move to another country, not everything will go according to plan. Sometimes a plan to move abroad falls through, and sometimes a visa gets declined. Should that stop you? No! Learn from setbacks and mistakes, and don’t get discouraged by them.
Waiting for opportunities
Are you waiting for the right time to move abroad? For that overseas job opportunity to come up? Stop waiting for opportunities; go look for them instead! Opportunities are the results of your work and the steps you take – not something that falls into your lap. So, stop waiting and start taking action (like these ones).
Do you recognize yourself in one or more of these behaviors? Yeah, me too. I can procrastinate for days and weeks before I realize I have to get up and seek opportunities. Did I worry about other people’s opinions when I first moved abroad? Absolutely! Still, I pursued my dream, and I’ve never looked back.
Moral of the story, nobody is perfect, and you and I will waste our time with distractions more than once. And that’s ok, as long as you realize that the only way to live your dream is by taking ACTION.
And hey, I’m here to make it easier for you! In my book Let’s Move Abroad, I’ll help you step by step and ensure you will take action with 40 action-focused activities, 12 checklists, and a ton of practical information and advice.
Are you ready? Let’s move abroad!