Finding a path out of the woods

When expat partners are confronted with uncertainty, and feeling powerless, life coaches can give them the support they need to move forward on their terms.

Challenging separation

This year, many expat partners have had to face a new kind of uncertainty as a result of Covid-19. In some cases, evacuations meant expat partners returning home without their spouse. In other cases, spouses were also evacuated but as they have now returned to the host country while the expat partner remains at home.

Feeling powerless

However, no matter what the circumstances, members of our community should not despair. “Change is always difficult and when we feel powerless, it’s not a good place to be emotionally,” says José de Heer, a life coach who has worked with evacuated expat partners. “Life coaching gives people the strength and perspective they need to accept the situation and take control so they can live life on their terms.”

You’re never alone

José stresses that the coachee has to be courageous. “They are the ones who have to open up, talk about their expectations and ultimately make a change. The life coach is simply there to empower the person so they can identify a ‘path out of the woods’,” says José, who adds that a life coach never tells anyone what to do. “Everything comes from within the coachee. The life coach is just tapping into that person’s inner-strength and resourcefulness.”

A refreshed mindset

Indeed, we have shared numerous stories of expat partners, who have been assisted by a life coach, where the circumstances of their life have not changed. What does  change is their perspective. “Yes, the external factors remain the same – where the person is and what’s happening around them,” adds José. “The coaching process enables them to make peace with that internally and see the glass that was half empty is now half full. Empowered with that mindset, they can get to a place where they want to be.”

Finding fulfilment

We might just add that life coaching is not reserved for evacuations! Pandemic or no pandemic, many expat partners have had to confront the same questions when entering a new culture: Who am I? What do I want here? How do I move forward? No matter what the circumstances, life coaching is just one of the ways many expat partners in our community have identified the answers to these fundamental questions before going on to find fulfilment.

Photo: Tom Byrne – Flickr

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