I did a video some (now many) years ago on the importance of relocation for focus and clarity. At the time, I didn’t know about the true depth of boredom, or how it affected me. I knew I was often paralysed, chained to my bed and somehow managing to do none of the things I stood for.
Relocating has always had this power on me. The power to remind me how little any ties I had to society, any worries I had, any stress I had, were. Walking outside or in a new city makes me feel anonymous. No one knows me here. No one cares if I have straight A’s or if I remembered to forward the email. Not a soul knows how I was catfished for a straight year but I was so lonely that I let it happen. The tall guy with the cool sweater doesn’t even notice I’m there as he passes. I don’t know where anything is and nothing knows where I am — not even those back home. My anxiety and doubts grow humble when I remember that my reality is a construct.
Our realities are like maps drawn out based on the reactions and signs we’ve taken in throughout our lives.
“We define what we deserve, others also define what we deserve, apparently there is a huge difference and we spend our life constructing the same.” ― Pushpa Rana, Just the Way I Feel When we are distressed, our problems feel like they engulf us. We perceive a gap between us and something very tangible, something very necessary, something required of every human being.
But the truth is that those expectations that are causing us pain, have been defined by us and the environment we live in. They are not the reality. The reality is that there are no ‘have tos’ ‘musts’ or ‘shoulds’. Our problems are amplified by our insistence on repeating and believing in our outdated maps of life, and the echoing of voices we’ve heard before. We start to feel an attachment to the truth we’ve believed in for so long. We can’t see past the socialisation passed down to us.
Leave your environment and leave behind the outdated map
Leaving our environment helps to show us how limited our understanding of life and our stressors is. The map you have used to navigate your life doesn’t work in this new place. You were so fixated on the map, but now, it’s not here and everything is new. Moving or visiting a new place doesn’t get rid of our problems, but it helps us to step away from them and view them with fresh eyes. It helps us to humble our problems and to strip them of the power they have on our mood, attitudes and self-respect. If you take conscious moments outside of a space tied with expectations, you can return to it, ready to loosen the ties those expectations have to you.
The onus is on you.
It can be against commonsense to lean into the reality of zero expectations. The framework you’ve lived in thus far has been very clear about what it expects of you. You’ve seen that reality give and take away money, power, health and wealth. It feels a bit ‘surreal’ and ‘unrealistic’ perhaps it even looks like denial to admit that everything you’ve struggled in and fought inside wasn’t real or isn’t necessary. If you choose to hold on to the expectations someone else has placed on you, that’s no one’s fault but your own. Understanding where your limiting beliefs have come from is not enough. It’s only the beginning.
My parents made me think that an office job is the only way. → My parents valued one thing, but I am choosing to value something else. People will hate me for ___. That’s what they’ve always shown me. → My peers have planted fear in me, but I won’t live for them and choose to live for me. Don’t settle for an explanation without a resolution. Use your next relocation to sever yourself from toxicity and step into your personal power.
Rae is a mindset coach and language professional coaching self-mastery to ambitious and multifaceted individuals. Subscribe to the blog to read more articles about mental health, productivity and life as an ND.