What Your Worst Fear Reveals About You?

FearDon’t you wish sometimes to hide what you think is your worst flaw? Then, to your surprise, and especially because you strongly believe you are really good at it, someone busts you and you blush. It is not pleasant or really efficient. What I’ve learned as a mom, coach and colleague, is that I usually trip on my worst fear and I often create exactly what I dreaded. The more I fear it, the more it blocks my way. It is like you are anxious to remember the name of a new acquaintance and the more you think about it, the more certain you end up blurting something entirely wrong. […]

Confidence Is the Ember of Change

Confidence Is the Ember of ChangeDon’t you feel sometimes that change is like a dark tunnel or a murky place? It is like diving in black waters without knowing what lies under the surface: it is scary and worrying. You start to second guess yourself; to doubt the outcome and you hold on to whatever known you have in front of you, even if it is harmful. Change is never associated with confidence at first; it is quite the opposite: people feel doubts and concerns when invited to change.

What I’ve learned through experience as a coach, and as a human being, is that when you get out of your head, that big producer of worries, to connect to your core and your essence, you reduce the tendency of doubting change. In fact, what I’ve experienced recently was a strong connection to my confidence that helped me start a new project and lead it despite the many unknowns it carried. […]

Ease Change and Follow the Flow

Ease Change Follow Flow - Sara Bigwood Coach NYCDid you ever try to drive while pushing on gas and breaks at the same time? What happened for you? It is like willing to ski but stalling at every turn: you drain your energy, you miss the fun and you get nowhere. Change is like ski slopes or traffic: there is an energy, a flow, like a current in a river that brings you from up to down, old to new, here to there. When you can tap into that current, you literally flow and go places while controlling your energy and usually having a lot of fun in the process. […]

Beliefs, or the Power of Thoughts

BeliefsThis the fifth and last dimension of The EXPAT Method. We discovered Emotions, Xpression, Place, Adaption and now Thinking. As a whole they form the acronym EXPAT and collect the learnings gained during expatriation. They help  individuals mastering personal and organizational change.

‘Why would you believe that a man parted a sea, that another walked on water or that a fairy brings you money when you lose a tooth? Simply because your brain is wired to believe: it seeks stimuli and surprising information as a way to stay focused. But that’s not all; it absorbs all information as real, this is why a book or a movie can move us so deeply: the brain doesn’t discriminate between fiction and reality. The icing on the cake is our ability to reflect on and analyze experiences to bring consciousness, which is a high level of evolution that helps us understand concepts, symbols and virtual reality. Possessing the power of abstraction is both wonderful and darn crazy because then you can believe anything. A belief is thinking that something is true or happening, even without empirical proof. […]

Change Is the Only Constant

Change AdaptationBecause you only discovered three out of five dimensions so far from the EXPAT Method, here is the fourth dimensions: Adaptation. Adaptation is important because of the constant of change. Life is made of cycles, circumvolutions, evolutions and transitions. Accepting it helps you adapt to it. Here is a brief excerpt that states what is adaption when change is the only constant.

Adaptation happens when we use our knowledge (individual or group) to power transformative actions. We have to learn new tools at work to stay up to date, adopt new ways of meeting to become more proficient, work together to boost efficiency, behave in a new way to better suit our age or new setting… Our life is a constant adaptation of our behavior to our development stage, mindset and knowledge. We learn to talk, to walk and then to walk the talk. In fact, adaptation consists simply of building on our foundations: it is because I can talk and walk that I can think and act, then create and build. […]

Why Your Place is Key during Change?

PlaceHere is another excerpt from the book The EXPAT Method, Mastering Personal and Organizational Change. It introduces the importance of Place (which is the third dimension of the EXPAT Method) during change.

“If there is a touchy subject it is this: our place is the number two existential question that all human beings face throughout their life (the number one is “am I loved?”). What place do I have in my family, in my community, with my friends, in my team, in my organization, in my group, in my class? In fact, we ask ourselves this question again and again every hour of the day: what is my place in this subway, what is my place in the queue at the supermarket, what is my place waiting at the traffic lights, what is my place in that lane…? […]

Giving Information is a Way to Shape Your Success

power of communicationAs a treat before the release, I want to share with you some lines from the book The EXPAT Method, Mastering Personal and Organizational Change. This excerpt comes from the second dimension, Xpression and lift the veil on communication during change.

“In the face of change, it is very important to communicate, exactly like it is vital for an expat. A basic rule for change is to bring as much information into the system as possible. If not, you risk creating rumors or secrets: two devils that can ruin the best-intentioned process. When you don’t know something or when you are left in the dark, the mind takes over and, as you will see in the Thinking chapter, it will only produce fear-driven thoughts. Therefore, when you don’t express and share information, you create a stressful environment that triggers dark thoughts. So after dealing with your emotions, it is important to communicate. […]

Why The Expat Method Can Help Change Management?

Change program failure 70Harvard Business Review reveals that 70% of all change initiatives fail. McKinsey and Company confirms in a recent survey that shows 1 out of 3 change program fails. There are multiple reasons, ranging from a natural tendency for change program to veer from its initial target to poor leadership skills, no involvement from employees, lack of effective communication or a proneness to underestimate emotions. […]

What I Learned About Change As An Expat

Change Light bulbI come from a nice country, mostly unknown until recent incidents led Trump to call it a hellhole. Belgium is as sweet as the chocolate it is known for: people are funny, welcoming, humble and accommodating. It is a small country with a somewhat small mind (dixit Leopold II, second King of Belgium). So when I arrived in New York I experienced quite a shock.

I was looking for new horizons and a place where people are driven, active (pro-active even), risk-taking, dedicated and creative. I found it! I loved New York when I visited it twice but I couldn’t understand at the time the true energy that supports this vibrant city. Once we arrived, my husband and our two wonderful young children, we were happy as a seal before feeding. We went places and were mesmerized by the iconic landscape. […]