Break the cycle

Speaking with a coach helped restore the confidence of expat partner Bruna Carvalho. But first she came up with her own solution to get out of a house that she was initially afraid to leave.

Scared to interact

“Where I come from in Brazil, most people only dream of living abroad. When my partner told me he’d been offered a job in Europe, we felt like we can’t pass up this opportunity, even though work was going very well for me,” says Bruna, a translator and editor, who had previously never lived outside of Brazil. “After we relocated to the Netherlands, I was afraid to leave our home. Honestly, I was scared of everything. It didn’t feel like the adventure we had imagined. I have always suffered from social anxiety, and I knew I had to make a change. But what could I do?”

Two-wheeled solution

To jumpstart her life, Bruna came up with an out of the box solution: she got a job delivering food on a bicycle: “It was suitable for me as I didn’t have to talk to anyone! It got me out of the house and moving again. I was able to discover parts of the city that otherwise I wouldn’t have seen. I really enjoyed the experience, although I still felt very unsure of what I would do long-term…”

A change of mindset

“When I explained what I was going through to my Global Connection consultant, she introduced me to coach Anelise. Prior to that I had worried who I would have to become to withstand the stress of change. But Anelise helped me realise that I could adapt while staying true to myself. She helped me to remember why I wanted to be a translator in the first place.”

Overcoming fears

“Anelise also helped me get over my fear of meeting people. Thanks to her, I have attended some networking events. I’ve also been active on LinkedIn and I’ve found some clients,” says Bruna, who set up a one-person company with Anelise’s assistance. She’s now busy building up her business. “I’m very grateful that Anelise was there to guide me. At times, I knew what to do, but I just didn’t have the strength to act. Coaching really turned things around for me. I’m still adapting and sometimes I miss the life we had in Brazil. But now I see there’s a life worth living here.”

Photo: Bruna Carvalho

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