When I first started mentioning to family and friends that Jono and I were considering moving to South Africa for a year, I’ll be honest, I was unsure of what the response would be. Yes, living abroad has a romantic quality to it, but it was a bold move, something that was uncharacteristic of me or at least who I thought I was. Would they think I was crazy? Irresponsible? As confident as I was that this was the right choice and the right time for us, the thought of leaving the security of America was a little scary.
Then something amazing happened. I put myself and our plans out in the universe and one by one my people rose up to support me. My older and wiser friends told me I was making the right choice. “Go now while you have the opportunity, while you have no responsibilities,” they said. “You’ll never be at this stage in your life again.”
My parents gave me their full love and support, helping us save money by letting me move in for a few months. When I felt unsure, my friends told me I was brave. They told me they were proud of my strength and to think of how much I will learn and grow.
My co-workers were excited for me. They asked questions and encouraged me to find or make work while I was there (hence the creation of this blog). My loving husband answered my worried calls at 2 a.m when I said, “Tell me everything I need to know about being safe in Africa.” He soothed my fears and made sure I was happy with the move.
When the time came to leave, our friends Emily and Taylor hosted a party. Our friends showered us with even more love, kind words, cards and gifts. They told me to enjoy every minute of this once-in-a-lifetime experience. Some told me they would visit.
Ultimately, the power to make change lies in ones self, so sure, if my circle was negative we could have still made the move. Following one’s dream is a powerful catalyst. But the fact is by wrapping us up in love and cheering us on, our friends and family have helped to make this trip possible and add to our experience. Not to mention that I feel more confident, strong and brave than ever before.
When making a life change, whether it’s starting a diet, a new career, a family or making a move abroad there WILL be challenges. There will be fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure. When the self-doubt creeps in, it’s then that you reach within yourself and for your people.
So you want to feel confident, happy, fearless? Surround yourself with people who are and aspire to be just that. We’ve all been guilty of surrounding ourselves with a person who weighs us down. We may unintentionally keep people around who are negative or who self-sabotage. These are not the people who are going to encourage you to be your best self and definitely not the people you want influencing you when you are making a big change. Give yourself permission to distance yourself from these people. Don’t waste time on friendships that don’t add value to your life.
“Associate only with positive, focused people who you can learn from and who will not drain your valuable energy with uninspiring attitudes. By developing relationships with those committed to constant improvement and the pursuit of the best that life has to offer, you will have plenty of company on your path to the top of whatever mountain you seek to climb.” – Robin Sharma
To all of my friends and family: THANK YOU for being a positive light and supporting us as we embark on this adventure and pursue our dreams!