“When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” -Alexander den Heijer
The other day I was reflecting on why people settle in certain places. It had been freezing for the past couple of days here in the Netherlands. The canals were covered in ice and people were ice skating everywhere. This made me think of my little duck friends I often see hanging around in the ponds and canals. And just as children ask curious questions to their parents, I asked my boyfriend “Where do ducks go when it freezes?”. And his answer blew my mind:
“They just go somewhere else looking for better conditions.”
This caused me to think. If animals are capable of migrating to different places in search of a better habitat, why don’t humans do so too?
I’m not suggesting you should move from one place to another and escape the cold seasons. You could do so if you wish, but I’m talking about looking for conditions that go beyond the weather, like work or study opportunities. Or leaving a relationship that isn’t working anymore. When the soil in which we plant our feet doesn’t make us happy anymore, wouldn’t it be fair to embark on a new journey and just like birds, look for better conditions?
I know many people who were born in the same town as I was, and they continue to live there. Some of them moved to bigger cities, and others moved to other countries, like I did. In my case, I wanted to explore the world. I knew that if I permanently stayed in my hometown, I wouldn’t experience the growth I was seeking. I wanted to speak to strangers in foreign languages, and marvel at new places. I wanted to be free and to fly. So I looked for those conditions that suit my deepest desires. The result? I found the love of my life along the way. Not only that, but I also found new career opportunities. Five years ago, I never would have dreamed of running my own business or starting a writing career. Moving abroad broadened my horizons like I never imagined.
The other day I was watching a video by Eric Thomas, one of my favorite motivational speakers. And at some point he said, “Your place of birth is not your permanent address.” I found this statement outrageously true for me. We tend to feel very attached to our place of birth, and sometimes this attachment doesn’t let us evolve.
In the past, men and women were denied education. Nowadays, we have more access to education and the possibilities are infinite. We can apply to the best universities in the world from the comfort of our homes. The internet has made it easy for us, and we can even look for job opportunities in other countries. Our nationality doesn’t define our worth, and we are all capable of succeeding, regardless of where we come from.If we accept that we can flourish and succeed wherever we go, then we’ll be successful. Click To Tweet
However, it takes courage to get out of your comfort zone. But the good news is that this character strength can be built. And courage is more powerful than doubt and fear. If you’ve got courage, you won’t have a fear of not belonging because you’ll know your worth is in your heart. When you’ve got courage, you’ll feel confident that you have what it takes to face hardships.
So how do we build courage?
We build courage by facing what we’re afraid of. Like Martin Luther King once said, “By taking the first step even when we haven’t seen the whole staircase.” We build courage by giving up perfection, and taking risks.
So be brave enough to tell your family and friends you’re embarking on a new journey. Be brave and sell your stuff in order to buy that plane ticket. Be brave and make a career change. Be brave enough to leave that toxic relationship.When you are determined to change your life, you’ll find a way to do so. Click To Tweet
Don’t be afraid if after some time you decide to go back to where you started. At least you’ll have tried. And as life approaches its end, there won’t be any space for “If only I had…”
Birds don’t blame nature or themselves when conditions aren’t perfect. They just move and look for what’s best for them. We cannot blame others for our current situation, nor ourselves for not being where we want to be. But we can stand up for what lights up our heart.
If for whatever reason it happens that you cannot literally fly or move from your current place, then make sure your current living environment makes you feel safe and happy. Ask yourself what you can do more of, so that living in that particular place becomes more enjoyable.
So what journey, dream, or idea have you been delaying? Are you ready to fly?
Finally, I’d like to share this video with you. I hope it will ignite the courage within you, giving you the gentle nudge needed for you to take action.