We all have several identities. For example, who we believe we are, who we wish to be, how society perceives us and how we wish for society to perceive us. We are somebody's child, parent, employee, spouse, friend and so much more. Finding our identity can be quite confusing and when we throw a move in the mix it can sometimes add to the confusion.
When we move from one country to another we can feel a bit misplaced when it comes to identity, especially within the first few months of being in a new place. In our home country we know how to culturally interact with others; we understand the unsaid rules within society and we know what is considered polite or rude. We have an understanding of how to dress, when to dress up and when to dress down. We know what all the public holidays are about and we know how to celebrate traditionally.
In a new country many of the above scenarios can seem unclear and as a result we can question how we fit in to the new society in which we now find ourselves. We may label ourselves as outsiders and believe that we will never fit in or be accepted. As a result we might try too hard to fit in, or give up trying all together, through all this effort we can leave ourselves feeling drained and vulnerable.
If you have been feeling this way then it might be time to reflect on the reasons why you decided to move, which of your guiding values bought you to where you are today, and what kind of person do you wish to be.
It is important to become accustomed to the traditions and rules of society that are in your new country of dwelling, however, it is also important that you remain true to yourself.
You are unique…
Certain values led you to where you are today. Perhaps you wanted a better life for your children, a change in lifestyle or to experience the world. Whatever your reasons they are unique to you; they are part of who you are and who you want to be. When you are feeling vulnerable in a new place it is easy to forget those values and to try and be someone else in order to fit in. You don't need to change who you are. The majority of people appreciate being around those who are authentic and comfortable within themselves. If you are trying to be someone else then you are more likely to push people away rather than attract people to you.
Keep an open mind and an open attitude towards your new environment. Being aware of where you are and what your new environment has to offer and approaching each day with curiosity is the key to settling in to your new environment.
Be faithful to who you are, reach towards who you want to be, stay true to your values and open your mind to possibilities…
You are unique.