What do you most fear? Failure? Rejection? Loss? The unknown? How do your fears prevent you from pursuing your professional goals?
IDEAS provides many opportunities to develop professionally by leveraging your skills to restore hope in overlooked and forgotten communities. Often it's easy to hesitate and ask, Is that really a good idea? What if I don’t like the country I’ve chosen to go to? What if I miss my family and friends too much? What if I fail after telling all my friends and family about the great adventure that I’m going to embark on?
Behind many of these questions is fear. Most of us are, at times, caught up in fear. So, what are some of the fears you might be facing as you contemplate a new professional opportunity overseas? How do you put those fears into perspective, conquer them, and step forward into that next adventure?
- Fear of the unknown. Ultimately, life is full of unknowns even if we never leave home. The only way the unknown becomes the known is to step out of the familiar and into new situations. Your life will be changed in indescribable ways even if things don’t work out exactly the way you expect. IDEAS opportunities will connect you with those who have already faced the unknown and will be able to encourage you in your next steps.
- Fear of danger. Yes, this one is a big one for those going overseas and perhaps for their parents and family as well. Perspective helps a lot. Safety is relative, and dangerous things happen even when we stay home. It helps to learn more about the country you plan on visiting and to get insight from those who already live there. IDEAS provides crisis preparation, training, and support before and during your assignment.
- Fear of failure. We’ve all done things that turned out to not be the best fit for us personally and professionally. But failure is seldom as devastating as we imagine, especially if we learn from those experiences and grow from them. What if you don’t love the country or the assignment you commit to? What if you are challenged by the new language you hear? Taking time to evaluate the challenges, even the failures, will guide you on the next step of your journey. You’ll learn more about yourself, your gifting, and the goals you want to accomplish. My family’s first overseas assignment was to a country and assignment where we felt a profound sense of failure. But that experience led us to a new place where we thrived for a number of years.
- Fear of fund-raising. Fund-raising is an amazing opportunity to discover the support network you might not even know that you have. Friends and family will surprise you by their unexpected support. And IDEAS will help—we’ve got great ideas and experience in raising funds.
If you’re interested or intrigued by an opportunity you see to work overseas, take a small step to face your fears. Consider a vision trip or a short-term assignment before thinking about living overseas for a lifetime. Take the first step and contact us. We love to help professionals step into their next adventure!
About the Author: Barb is the IDEAS Director of Community Life and and has lived in Cote d'Ivoire and France. Enjoy other blog posts by Barb, such as 8 Ways to be the Ideal Overseas Guest.