Canada is considered one of the most diverse countries around the globe. Since 1991 Canada welcomed over 250,000 immigrants (this number is supposed to increase to over 300,000 in 2016). That’s 684 per day, 288 per hour.
Back in 2006 our family of 3 was thankful for this opportunity as we left everything behind and started over in this beautiful country.
My husband and I used to live in a small town of Vranov nad Toplou in Eastern Slovakia. We had our jobs, lives and families there. My hubby was a sales person for a local corporation and I was a director of nonprofit organization which I co-founded back in 2002. I loved running prevention programs for young people at local schools and working closely with government organizations, businesses, public and media to support and evolve local community. It wasn’t easy, but I truly enjoyed making a difference in my community.
Saying good-bye to my home country wasn’t easy. Moving to a country where we knew no one was even harder. Country that is so open to immigration wasn’t very welcoming after all… Every step along the way we faced challenges ranging from “no credit history” or “no Canadian work history” to being “overqualified” for entry level positions.
My inbox was full of emails from back home where a team I left behind, teachers, principals, and many others were asking me to come back and continue the work. On the other hand, it was full of refusals to my job applications from local organizations and corporations.
Somewhere in the midst of this craziness I started to lose my inner strength. I started to believe that…
- My skills are not relevant in Canada. I will always be an outsider.
- My accent is an obstacle and I will never belong.
- My contribution is not needed and my passion doesn’t matter. I need to get in the line and move along.
- First generation of immigrants doesn’t succeed. We are just a launchpad for the second generation to thrive.
These false beliefs still creep in when life gets tough. It’s a daily battle to remain strong when people don’t talk to you at networking events or don’t respond to your emails or phone calls. Or when their interest cools off the moment you open your mouth and they hear your accent.
But at the end of the day, we all have our own set of challenges and obstacles. I have yet to meet a person without them. The question is NOT whether that voice in your head is right or not. The real question is what you will do about it.
A Way Out
You see, it would be easy for me to hide in a corner, stop going to the events and talking to people. Isolating yourself is easy. Giving in to your excuses makes sense at times.
But success starts with YOU!
You can choose to toughen up and put in extra effort. Do more and better than others around you. Study more and polish your work more. That little extra effort will set you apart from those around you. It ALWAYS works!
Over the years I was blessed to have opportunity to start and grow my own business. Becoming an entrepreneur was single toughest journey in my life. It was harder than building a nonprofit organization and harder than moving to a new country. It required inner change, personal growth, countless effort and tremendous support from others around me.
Here are some of the key steps that helped me in the past and continue helping me even today.
1. Stop giving in to your excuses
Your excuses help you win pity of others but they won’t help you win the gold.Excuses might help you win pity of others but they won't help you win the gold. Click To Tweet
2. Believe in yourself
You are powerful beyond measure. You are unique and have talents and abilities that are needed. There’s a reason why you were born and you need to stop hiding from it to achieve it.
3. Focus on possibilities
The number one question you should ask daily is “What CAN I do?” We all have limitations, but shifting your focus to opportunities and possibilities will create a necessary shift to lift your mindset and performance.
4. Turn your obstacles into opportunities
When faced with obstacles, start looking for ways how you can work through them, around them or in spite of them. Be creative in your solutions. There’s no single right way to do anything. You decide what needs to be done.
5. Live beyond yourself
It’s easy to get lost in despair when all you can see is yourself. But when you start seeing others around you, their struggles and challenges, and when you become their inspiration, you will discover inspiration to deal with your gremlins and continue getting better day in and day out.
There you have it! 5 simple tips that helped me “survive” my first 10 years as immigrant – far from family and friends, while I built my “new life”, new friendships and new reality. I’m looking forward to live the next 10 as I move my life, my business and my relationships to a yet another level.
Are you looking for more tips to improve your productivity and efficiency? Check our Planning For Success, the ultimate guide to planning and goal setting.