I’ve always been a bit of a “personal development” junkie. My parents are entrepreneurs and from an early age instilled a “go for your dreams” mentality in me.
Real Tony Robbins stuff that I kind of live for!
In my 20s, I read books like Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill and How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I like to think these authors gave me the confidence to try new things and the drive to keep growing.
After two years of living abroad in Spain, I realize the important role these books and many others played in getting our family here. Would I have even entertained the idea of leaving home to move across the world to a foreign country otherwise?
I’m not so sure… So maybe you’re someone in the same position. You’ve always dreamt of venturing outside your cozy comfort zone, but the voices inside tell you not to. With any risk or new adventure in life, self-doubt will inevitably creep in. And in those moments, the voices of authors you’ve grown to admire will start echoing inside your head.
Maybe it’s worry, kids, a long list of questions or the lack of belief that living abroad is for you. Whatever’s keeping you from changing the trajectory of your life, maybe a mindset shift is the kick you need.
Rather than scour the internet in search of answers, crack open one of these recommended reads. Perhaps they’ll open your mind to the possibilities and give you a new perspective.
1. How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie
A legend for sure, Dale Carnegie’s simple yet impactful style in teaching intrapersonal skills never disappoints. The nuggets I found in this book cross my mind a lot while navigating this unfamiliar city.
Basically, Carnegie teaches us to image a “worse case scenario” from those worries holding us back. And in the end, we come to realize the worries aren’t actually as big as they seem…or even likely to happen at all! *Sigh of relief!
2. Dancing in the Fountain: How to Enjoy Living Abroad by Karen McCann
This one really hit home for me. The author talks about moving from Midwest America to Seville, Spain.
It’s entertaining, funny and real. Yes of course, there are headaches and hiccups along the way, which the author isn’t afraid to share. McCann’s stories will bring a smile to your face and push anyone thinking about moving abroad to just DO IT!
3. A Place of YES: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life by Bethenny Frankel
You either love her or you hate her on the American reality show Real Housewives of New York City. I happen to adore this witty, sarcastic lunatic of a business mogul. Her tell-it-like-it-is approach is so refreshing and she holds nothing back when it comes to facing obstacles and eliminating excuses.
Anytime my mind filled with negativity about moving abroad, this book encouraged me to say, “Oh, will you the shut @%$& up!” That’s about as bluntly as Frankel puts it in this book too!
How about the little (or big) tots in your life? If you plan to move abroad with kids, they’ll need more than reassurance from just Mommy & Daddy.
Grab a copy of these books and start reading together in the months before your move.
For Your Kids:
1.Oh the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Seuss
Obviously a classic and one every child should have on their bookshelf. In the light-hearted rhyming fashion Seuss is famous for, this story will inspire young readers to dream big, overcome obstacles and march to the beat of their own drum.
2. Little Bunny Dandelion is Moving House by Angela Schreiner
A sweet and tender story, younger children will immediately connect with the main character who learns to make new friends in an unfamiliar place filled with diversity.
Simply perfect for any kids experiencing a move, but most especially those relocating abroad. The author even included an activity encouraging children to use their fingerprints and create their own “little bunny”.
The activities offered by BLJ have been crucial in helping my kids overcome some obstacles of being expats. No, I’m not an affiliate of this company but just a mom who appreciates the positive impact these tools have had on our kids.
I discovered Big Life Journal one day while scrolling through my Instagram feed and it immediately sparked my interest. Think “self-help university” for kids young and old! Words like resilience, confidence, belief and attitude jumped out and this told me the exercises would be perfect for us.
We’ve completed the Growth Mindset Kit and Challenges Kit, which can be purchased online. My kids love the Kindness and Self-Love Challenges. Honestly guys, I am OBSESSED what this company has put together and know you will be too.