Making a decision as an expat

At some point in their time abroad, almost every expat is faced with a dilemma – to stay or to leave the country that they are living in. It can cause a lot of distress and sleepless nights. It is, in fact, one of the biggest reasons why people schedule a consultation with me. In this vlog, I talk about five common mistakes to avoid when navigating the stay or go dilemma. I also provide you with tools and strategies that can help if you are faced with this question of “should I stay or should I go” – the common expat dilemma.

Firstly, I would encourage you to recognize, that we are lucky to have a choice to make. We are privileged to be able to consider in which country of the world we would like to live. However, the fact that we are lucky, does not make the decision-making process any easier. A lot of people assume that because they’re lucky to have this decision, it means they shouldn’t be suffering so much with it. This isn’t the case! You can be grateful for the choice and also validate how stressful it is to be in this situation. You’re faced with a life-transforming move and that needs careful consideration.

Having said that, I also want to emphasize that there are ways you can manage your stress level in this situation. Knowing the most common mistakes as well as the right tools and strategies, the decision-making process can become much easier.

The Most Common Mistakes

Expecting there’s a perfect or right decision.  People tend to look for the choice that has the least amount of pain, discomfort, or regret. There’s no perfect decision. If you’re waiting until you have zero doubt about an option then you’ll be waiting forever. You need to promise yourself that no matter what happens when you are dealing with the expat dilemma, you won’t beat yourself up about it. 

Viewing it as a decision for the rest of your life. When making important decisions, expats tend to see it as decisions for the rest of your life. You don’t have to do it! You can always make a new decision.  Part of living an international life involves getting comfortable with uncertainty. I first wrote this blog post about how I’d made the decision to stay or go and sometimes people write to ask me how I made that decision. So then I have to tell them that I have moved not once, but twice since writing that post!  

I talk about more mistakes people tend to make in my video below. Watch it and let me know if it was helpful and if you have dealt with or are dealing with the most common expat dilemma at the moment.

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