If you understand that your attitude can make a positive difference to your settlement process, what would you change?
Relocating to a new country and starting again can be full of promise and opportunity. And it can be very stressful. The settlement process and its many challenges can be overwhelming for newcomers and immigrants, and very unsettling.
There are so many hurdles to jump, from finding suitable employment or gaining relevant work experience, integrating into the community, adjusting to social customs and cultural differences, accessing healthcare and other social services, finding secure housing, parenting as kids immerse themselves in a new culture…the list is endless. This can create feelings of frustration, disillusionment and alienation.
But where do these feelings come from? And what can you do to change them when you can’t change the circumstances you’re dealing with?
Think -> feel -> do -> results
Your feelings are connected to your thoughts – what you think about and focus on.
If you dwell on all the negative thoughts – the things you aren’t happy about, the things you wish were different, what’s not going as expected – you will create negative feelings. Those feelings impact your behaviour – what you do, or don’t do, the decisions you make – which has consequences for the results you get.
It can be easy to justify, and get stuck in, a loop of negative thoughts when you are facing adversity. But this negative attitude isn’t going to change anything. It only serves to make you, and those around you feel miserable. It definitely won’t make you more likeable, or employable.
Instead of creating negative feelings from negative thoughts, try the opposite! A positive attitude can help you feel more settled, capable of managing whatever happens, motivated to find a way forward, and tolerant of a situation as well as of others. With a good attitude, you will find it easier to keep an open mind and heart when you experience the inevitable setbacks and difficulties.
So, it’s helpful you remember you have the ability to choose your response to what happens to you. You have control of your internal response (your attitude) to the external circumstances and situations that are beyond your control.
We often stand in our own way, and usually don’t realize it. We put the blame for how we feel outside of us, either onto other people or the situation we’re in, and then feel justified in behaving negatively.
The reality is that when you choose to change your attitude you feel better and so you do better. Just because we have this response-ability, I’m not suggesting it’s always easy to do…but it is possible.
The first step is self-awareness. Notice your thoughts by listening to what you are saying, both silently and aloud. Notice how the way you think makes you feel. Ask yourself if those feelings are enabling you or limiting you.
Be honest. Are you making excuses for how you feel, or for your behaviour? Can you work on your attitude?
Reflect and ask for feedback. When you are not getting the outcomes you want, that might be a good opportunity to reach out to others for feedback and take the time to think about how your thoughts are influencing your actions and what might need to shift.
Your most important resource
Your attitude not only affects you, but it also has a profound effect on others.
Getting just about anything we want in life usually requires us to co-operate and communicate with others. Your attitude is the key to success in building relationships. This requires an open mind, optimistic outlook, a willingness to listen, an interest to understand different perspectives, and the motivation to learn. Have confidence to ask for what you want, be flexible, develop patience with yourself and others and be proactive in making connections.
Above all, be open to accepting what you can’t control and willing to change what you can. All of this and more is possible with some discipline, effort and determination.
You already have what you need to build a new life in Canada. The choice is yours to make. Every day.
Accepting the reality that attitude is your most important resource and valuable asset will make a huge difference in your life. How can this help you grow and succeed?