I specialize in helping expat women reclaim their self-confidence and discover themselves beyond expat identity struggles, and their happiness in a new country, and I’ve had the privilege of assisting more than 400 individuals in their journeys.

Living abroad as an expat is incredibly thrilling, but it comes with its own set of unique challenges.

These challenges often include feelings of loneliness, anxiety, cultural differences, and more.

Why do I do it and why do people reach out to me for help? There are a lot of commonalities that I want to cover here.

 

The expat women I help and why they reach out to me

I work with expat women from various corners of the world, and they share some common characteristics. My clients typically fall in the age range of 25 to 60, are fluent in at least two languages, and often have remarkable courage and independence.

They are courageous, they’re brave and they are highly intelligent.

Why do they reach out to me?

Because these expat experiences mean they struggle with anxiety, burnout, and even depression, often due to their high expectations and perfectionist tendencies.

They can also find it challenging to adapt to new cultures, deal with loneliness, and sometimes develop dependency on their partners.

I provide support as a psychologist for expat women in a variety of areas, with a primary focus on helping expat women regain their confidence and navigate their new lives.

I address issues tied to expat identity struggles, the difficulties of being understood in a foreign culture, and the significance of sharing feelings.

Empowering Expat Women: Navigating Challenges, Reclaiming Confidence, and Embracing New Beginnings - Expat Identity Struggles

 

Expat identity struggles

Expat identity struggles are a common challenge for expat women. Many go from being independent and accomplished individuals in their home countries to feeling like they’ve lost themselves in a new culture.

They’re in a new country where they don’t speak the language, where their partners are the Kings or Queens of the country, and they have to adjust to it.

This identity shift can lead to anxiety, making it difficult to express their true selves.

They question, who am I here?

I’m the wife or I’m the partner of… That’s wonderful. But that’s it. I’m that?

They want people to see them for who they are, but it’s also difficult if you can’t speak the language or if you’re so anxious to go outside because you feel like a child, like a toddler.

 

The darker side of expat life

This identity shift can be coupled with thoughts that they should be ‘successfully living’ in their new expat life. They need to focus on making new friends and need to focus on doing new hobbies.

Expat life is beautiful. It’s amazing and you have so many things, so many opportunities that other people don’t have.

BUT there is also a dark side. This shadow side that is not addressed enough.

For the people left behind in your country, you feel you have to appear to be happy.

So if you’re struggling and express that, it can be met with ‘Why are you freaking complaining, Lucy. Yeah. Hey, you are living in Montreal. Come on. And I’m stuck here in my boring life. Shut up. Don’t complain.’

BUT we deal with a lot of things as expats that they don’t know, and they will probably never know.

Things that shake your base, your identity, who you thought you were. And you’re dealing with that by yourselves.

It’s completely unrealistic. Some expats have not only been dealing with this kind of feeling for not just one year, sometimes for ten, before they decide to get help.

It’s this thought you’re ‘not entitled’ to feel that way. They think, ‘I have a great life. I shouldn’t feel this way. I shouldn’t complain, right?’

‘It’s the life that I chose. I should not complain. I should accept and embrace what I have. If I start complaining, even if it’s a small thing, I feel like I become a failure’.

IT’S NOT TRUE!

Empowering Expat Women: Maintain Connections at Home - expat identity struggles

 

The importance of sharing and seeking help

So what can you do to help you navigate these challenges and reclaim your identity and confidence?

 

Talk

It’s important to share your struggles and seek help as an expat. I encourage expat women to open up about their challenges, be vulnerable over the need to appear strong and perfect.

Let go of that mindset that we are super women, we don’t want to be weak. Other people have to perceive me as a strong, confident, successful woman.

Please complain. Please look for help. It doesn’t have to be a psychologist for expat women. It can be a friend. It can be a mentor. It can be a support group. But this is normal.

Let it out.

Find someone you feel comfortable with.

 

Confidence is a skill

I firmly believe that confidence is a skill that can be developed and nurtured. Waiting to feel confident before taking action may hinder progress, so I encourage expat women to practice and build their confidence over time.

I feel insecure a lot of times. If I start waiting to feel confident I might not do it and I know how important it is for me to do it, so I remind myself, OK, this is a skill I have to train my muscle.

The more I do it, the more confident I get.

 

Maintain connections with home

It’s so important to nurture those deep and meaningful relationships with loved ones back home. These connections can provide a source of energy, motivation, and emotional support during your expat journey.

Empowering Expat Women: Navigating Challenges, Reclaiming Confidence, and Embracing New Beginnings - expat identity struggles -Pinterest

 

You are not alone: Expat identity struggles and rebuilding a life abroad

Living as an expat can be both beautiful and challenging. Many expat women hesitate to share their struggles including their expat identity struggles, often due to the fear of appearing ungrateful.

Talk about it, there are people that want to help you, let them. If they don’t know that you’re struggling, they can’t help.

By embracing difficulties, seeking help, and nurturing confidence, you can rebuild your life abroad and find fulfillment in your new home. You just don’t have to do it alone.

Find out more about my methods and approach here.

Do you want to know more about on how to overcome Limiting Beliefs of life abroad? Check my Workshop here

Searching for useful and effective strategies? Download my 9 Tools to overcome Expat Anxiety Freebie

Want your 30-Minute Free Consultation? Book Here! and let’s start the road to the expat life YOU want to live!

Check the testimonials of clients living the life abroad they want!

By your side,

Gabriela

If you are an expat woman who wants to live a joyful, successful and fulfilled international​ life, Gabriela is the Licensed Psychologist and Mentor you need.

She helps you reclaim your self-confidence back and design your expat life in your own terms. Gabriela has more than 20 years of professional experience, speaks 3 languages (sometimes in one sentence, like you!) and has supported more than 400 expats overcome anxiety and burnout, build meaningful relationships and enjoy their international lives, wherever they are, wherever they are heading.

Gabriela offers counseling to expat women in Spanish, English and German.