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# 75: Seize Opportunity Overseas

Melanie W: A psychotherapist who moved her family overseas and returned to school after realizing her job and city no longer matched the life she wanted to live

For 25 years Melanie was content living in the Bay Area and working in the non-profit arena until she looked around and realized she was discontent. She was in senior management working in trauma-based mental health when her stress culminated in her first-ever panic attack, prompting the realization that change was essential. One serendipitous event after another landed Melanie and her family in Canada with a new plan for their lives and careers. In addition to being in graduate school, Melanie helps other people realize their dreams of moving overseas.

1. Pay attention to your discontent. Your discontent might be a guidepost telling you it’s time to change directions. What once sparkled (whether it’s a job, a city where you live, etc) might have worn off without you realizing it.

2. When your current life isn’t going well, you first need to investigate whether or not you’re part of the problem. Ask yourself if the thing keeping you stuck is you. Once you’ve done the work to figure out if there’s something you can change to improve things, then you can move forward with changing the external things like your job, your city, or whatever.

3. Often, when we feel the most trapped in our circumstances, we have no energy to make changes nor can we see any options in front of us. When you’re totally depleted, it’s important to find the tiniest footing to build up a reserve of energy so you can make incremental changes. For Melanie, the thing that helped her get her footing was seeing a therapist.

4. Be a calculated risk-taker. Create a plan. If you have a lot of privileges (economic, racial, supportive family) ask yourself what’s the worst thing that’ll happen. Leverage those resources.

5. Sometimes if you don’t know what you want, it’s easier to write down what don’t want (to live here, to raise your child here, to be at this job). Pain pushes until vision pulls. Knowing what you don’t want may need to come before knowing what you DO want., sign up for free workshops and info on group and individual coaching or to contact Melanie


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