I've had a strange time of it over the last 3 months. I have been living in my mother country New Zealand and enjoying its summer, though it has been something of an enforced stay. You see, the French consulate in New Zealand took away my passport while they made a decision about my suitability to grant me a French work visa. It is a rather unnerving feeling, for someone who is generally very mobile in the world - a privilege I take for granted - to have that right of mobility taken away. I have experienced enormous frustration as the process has dribbled slowly on until - hourra! - I was granted my visa just this week. These months of downtime have been a good reminder of some great learning points that can be applied to personal and career development.
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it - Charles R. Swindoll
You Can't Control Everything
Speaking for myself as a recovering control freak, this is a huge lesson to learn, so obvious to many. You can create the conditions for success and choose to succeed but ultimately other factors may come into play over which you have no control. Accepting this has been my challenge, but I must say, I feel more accomplished at it....which leads to...
Don't Worry About the Things You Cannot Control
Whether you believe in the magic of the universe or simple, practical "don't sweat the small stuff" logic, when you have no control, and you have created the conditions for success, the rest follows...and there's not a damn thing you can do about it. Letting go of the worry and anxiety has not been easy for me, but I have been able to be proactive and productive to create conditions where success was inevitable.
Trust the Process
Whether it is an administrative process such as immigration, or your own personal or career development - trust it. Slow down, and enjoy it. Leaping ahead and getting impatient can be counterproductive - rash decisions are made aiming to speed the process up that may fall foul of the ultimate goal. A small nudge of the process is useful - applying mild pressure to get things done can work wonders, provided it is a considered nudge, not done out of panic or frustration.
Keep Your Eye on the Prize
Whether you're goal-focused or talk in terms of desires and intentions, focusing your whole being on the end game - having clarity - is what will get you through. I have to say, my partner is a master at this. Even when I excitedly announced to him that I had obtained the visa, he was circumspect and unruffled, "I am happy for you, but it is simply confirmation of what I knew would happen." He never wavered in his certainty that I would be back with him in due course with a legal right to work.
Confidence, Not Fear
Things change as you work towards your "prize", your goal - that's life. Instead of responding with fear, panic and drama, get creative. It's a course corrector that can open up new possibilities if you think creatively about it and remain focused and clear on the outcome. Being absorbed by the drama of an obstacle or challenge can see you completely overlooking the simplest of solutions. This has happened twice to me in the last few months, where I became enveloped in the drama of a new obstacle. It was external parties that helped me step back from it all and suddenly see the simplicity of the solution staring at me in the face. See? Even I need coaching!
I have spent the waiting time in New Zealand organising, uncluttering, planning, writing, developing, re-learning to relinquish control, and getting ready for 2016, so it has been a productive time from that perspective. It has also given me the opportunity to spend quality time with my family - the longest stretch of time with them for 15 years, and I'm grateful for that. I am now raring to go in my business and into settling fully in France.
Next blog post will be written from my heartland, Paris.