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Expats, travellers and energy levels – doing it all on your own?

I feel like I’m always doing everything myself and it’s draining me.

I wish someone else could take over just once so I didn’t have to always do it all.

I can do it myself, I just don’t want to anymore.

I’ve had this kind of conversation with countless clients and friends over the years. Effective, strong and determined people who make things happen. But then they hit that point. Where they are tired, low on energy, catch a bad cold and feel fed up and frustrated in general because they are always the driver. If this resonates with you, you should check out my previous post on the racehorse and the workhorse mentality after you’ve finished reading here.

If you find that you’re doing it all by yourself I can assure you this comes up for both people in a relationship and for the people who move on their own. Possibly the most challenging thing about the feeling of pulling all the weight yourself is that it only comes for YOU. It might not feel like that for you right now, but imagine of the problem might start with you. Then you also have ownership of the solution. Now isn’t that interesting.

In many ways a big move is like a work project. Possibly slightly more emotional, but still filled with challenges, information and moving parts that need to come together to create one big solution. Imagine a project manager refusing to ask for help and working around the clock doing the programming, construction, drawings, admin AND cleaning the entire office. It would not make any sense, nor be the best use of his or her time. Yet this is the approach many of us use in relocation and other more personal areas of our life. I know I did.

The 3 keys to digging yourself out of that potential energy draining hole (even if you’re not exactly sure of how you got there):

  • Invite people to help brainstorm a solution or best way forward. So many people find it hard to ask for help which is why I choose to think of it more in terms of inviting different solutions to a problem or challenge. In most cases there is not only one way to solve a problem, so brainstorming can be very useful. For example, if you’re moving to country where you’ll need a work visa and in your research you only found one or two ways to go about it and they both seemed really hard. If you spoke to a few people who have been through the same challenge they might present options you had not even considered that are much easier to manage.
  • Delegate to the right person. Even if you think it’s best when you do it yourself, it’s not. The project manager needs a whole team to deliver and the same goes for you. You can approach this from two different directions if you want to. The first one is to make a list of all the small things that need to get done so you can focus on the bigger and more important things. These type of smaller ‘life admin’ type of things can often be done by a friend or family member. The second angle is to delegate the biggest and most challenging thing (the work visa, finding the house or similar) to someone who has more experience of that specific thing. This frees up space in your mind to do the smaller things in peace and quiet. The approach you choose is naturally up to you, but make sure you pick one of them, because it will help.
  • Communicate! It’s a proven fact that things that keep spinning in our mind will drive us a bit crazy and keep looping if we don’t share them, which eventually leads to exhaustion and overwhelm. So start by writing the thoughts (must, could, should and all the rest) down somewhere (to get them out of your head) and then share them with people around you. Talking things over helps more than you think, because when we keep our thoughts and struggles to ourselves it feels like we’re the only person in the universe who have this specific problem. Which is never the case.

Fundamentally this comes down to trusting others to help deliver their piece of the puzzle to make a big beautiful picture. There is no way you can do it all yourself and there is actually no benefit or win in doing so. So get the right people on your team and make this move a really good one.


PS: If you’re moving to Australia (or have recently arrived here) and you want some help to brainstorm the best ways to find work here – make sure to join my free online webinar on Wednesday 29 June at 8pm. Just register here and we’ll send you the login details!