What is risk?Risk can be interpreted in a lot of different ways, which we will get into todayDictionary definition
-This fight or flight response is being triggered not only in situations where we are in physical danger, which is good-But it is also triggered in situations where we have to speak in public or where we could choose to take a risk that might help us grow as people in our lives as expats. -Jonathan Fields, in his book Uncertainty (2011) recommended just noticing how “alive” you feel in moments when the amygdala is triggered. -Think about how you might be able to channel that energy -Our bodies are wired to protect us from physical harm but those protective mechanisms seem to hold us back sometimes.
-In my experience, everything feels more intense when you are an expat-the highs are higher and the lows are lower and we are constantly tested -When living abroad, expats have a unique opportunity to create a very rich life, full of experiences that allow them to grow and to learn so much from their experiences. But as expats, we are constantly confronted with a choice:-take the “safe way”, create our own little safe world within the host country and stay in the same place -or take small, gradual steps, small risks and build on those risks to take bigger chances, which allow us to grow.
Survey results will be compiled and emailed to all attendees
Risk is a good topic to be discussing for expats
Isolation- 51.5%Missing retirement income/opportunity: 36.4%Stress/breakup with partner: 36.4%Deterioration of relationships with family back home: 27.3%
-The Pew research center did a survey in November 2011 and asked about the extent to which people agreed with the statement, “Success in life is determined by forces outside our control”. -They found that only 36% of Americans in the US believed success was determined by forces that can’t be controlled (64 percent believe success is determined by forces within their control)-Whereas in Germany 72% of people agreed with that statement. (28% of people believe success is determined by forces within their control)-We can see a big difference-How would you answer this question?-There isn’t any data that proves the link between internal locus of control and risk taking but there seems to be a logical correlation between the two. -If you believe that you control your life and your own success, you might be more likely to take risks.As you adjust to life in the culture that you are in, how does this play a role? If you consider yourself a risk taker and others in the host culture do not.Norman’s pointLocus of control- a term that comes from psychology but can be applied to culture and worldviewInternal locus of control- the person believes that they control their own lifeExternal locus of control-they believe other factors like the environment, a form on God or other people control their livesIt should be thought of as a spectrum, not an either/or
Acknowledge our own subjectivity as Americans.Ethnographic term- subjective I- (Peshkin)- we operate with our own subjective lens while interacting with other people(Lindsay) My father is a small business owner and I got a lot of my ideas about risk taking from himGive our own examples of risk taking in life abroadLindsay- lived in a house of expats in BA where Spanish was the only language that could be spokenShowed up in a remote town in Guatemala (Totonicapan) to look for a place to live, study Spanish and volunteer. There were no other expats or speakers of English in the town.We have nothing to fear but fear itself, Franklink Delano Roosevelt, 1933 the Great Depression
Build your confidence-You have taken many risks in your life. -Let those be the platform from which you take your next risk. -Reflect on them. Write them down. -You took a risk by choosing to live abroad. -To make it more concrete, think about the risks you have taken just this year. -Really think about it. How did you get yourself to take the risk? -What did you learn from taking the risk? -What would have happened if you hadn’t taken the risk?Gail Blanke- Between Trapezes
-By the way, just to note 42.4% of you said that since you became an expat, you are now able to take more risks than before.-So what are those risks? -Reflect on them-Articulate them
Example- risk of isolation- if you move into a neighborhood with local people, not expats, who don’t speak your language-Write the information down. -Be very specific.What exactly will you do if that “worst case scenario” happens. Write your plan. If you have a very clear plan about what you will do if you take the risk and fail, you might feel empowered to take the risk.
-What assumptions do you make about the type of person you are?Are you the “risk-taking type” Is there a risk-taking type??-We tend to put ourselves in boxes, based on what we believe we are capable of. -This is very limiting. -When you hear yourself saying, “I am not the type to____” catch yourself and challenge that assumption.
Could be someone you don’t know or could be a family member, mentor, -Read their books, -read their blogs, -learn about how they view life, -how they approach risk, -how they learn from their mistakes-Post their quotes or stories in your home where you will see them every day
-We all have an inner critic. -We have a bird on our shoulder that criticizes every move we make. -Its purpose is to protect us but it is rooted in our childhood hurts and it is often no longer needed in a lot of situations. -Have compassion for the inner critic-Learn to recognize when it’s not helping you move forward in your life -Pay attention to the times when the inner critic is speaking the loudest.-Develop self-awareness. -Be curious about yourself.- Investigate your thoughts.-Check resources section for a post on language learners and the inner critic-Shift your thinking. Redefine success and failure. Success is taking chances
-Procrastination is not really about laziness. -It is often about fear. -We tend to procrastinate on things when we are afraid of making a mistake, they might be risky, we might be afraid that we won’t do well enough on those tasks. -Procrastination can be linked to perfectionism. Perfectionism is the feeling that if it can’t be done perfectly, it shouldn’t be done at all. For expats:- taking a language classjoining a clubapplying for a promotionvolunteering to make a presentation-If you can notice when you procrastinate, you can push yourself to move forward and take that risk. -Lack of action creates fear. Acting will lessen the fear.
Later in the webinar, we will talk about writing very specific goals, what risk would you consider a success if you could accomplish it?-For now, keep in mind that it is important to create “social” accountability. -Tell the people you care about what you are doing. -Keep them updated on your progress.Bennie Lewis, Fluent in 3 months- Create videos- saying what you will do and by whenStart a blogUpdates on facebookLetters homeYour own personal diaryNotes around your house
- I have an expat friend here from India.- He wants to quit his job and travel around the world.I asked him what is stopping him- he gave me the details about the price of the flight and the difficulties of getting a visa. I told him that if he wants to really make this happen, decide that the details are secondary and move forward from there. Decide that you will take this risk. If you go through the details too much before making the decision, you will talk yourself out of it.It is ok to take a calculated risk, but keep things in perspective.If taking this risk is important enough to you, the details shouldn’t matter.Start with the decision to take the risk, figure out the details from there
-Surround yourself with other people who also take risks and challenge themselves.-Find people who operate with a mindset of self growth, -People who look at life as an adventure and look at challenges as opportunities. -This could be a group of other expats, or local people or a mix. -Norman, were you able to find a group of people who inspired you to take risks while you were living abroad?-How can you find a group like this? Meetup.com, ….??-Distance yourself from those who hold you back
-Develop a daily ritual where you do something that centers you. -Exercise, meditation, chanting, mindfulness training-The activity should allow you to develop a sense of spaciousness in your mind and body and a sense that you will be ok if you take the risk and don’t succeed, -the sense that who you are is much more than any failure or success- you are not defined by your successes and failures-This will also help you develop self- compassion, steadiness of mind
Norman- will present this partVolunteer to give a presentation at workJoin a language classAttend a networking or social event in the local languageGet an internship in the local language
Risk taking for expatriates-3
RISK IT! “The dangers of life are infinite andHOW EXPATS CAN BUILD among them is safety.” A MORE SATISFYING -Goethe LIFE ABROAD The webinar will be starting soon……..
YOUR HOSTS Norman Viss Lindsay McMahon Everyday ExpatEnglish and Culture Support Center
TODAY’S WEBINAR B R O U G H T T O YO U B Y E X PAT E V E R Y D AY S U P P O R T C E N T E R S P E C I A L G U E S T: L I N D S AY M C M A H O N What are some risks that expatriates might take? What does risk mean to you? How does risk-taking differ across cultures? How can we use risk- taking strategies to make life abroad more satisfying?
RISKThepossibilityof suf feringharm orloss, danger(The FreeDictionar y )
WHERE DO WE EXPERIENCE FEAR OF TAKING RISKS? The amygdala is the center of fear, emotion and decision making, fight or flight response Adrenaline is released to create alertness to respond to emergencies We fear judgment by others and our own judgment of ourselvesFields (2011)
WHAT ISRISK-TAKINGFOR YOU?__________Surveyresults willbe emailedto allattendees.
HOW RISKY IS EXPAT LIFE COMPARED WITH NON-EXPAT LIFE? 70.4% of surveyrespondents said that expat life is more risky than non-expat life.
COMMON RISKS FOR THE EXPAT COMMUNIT Y605040302010 0 Isolation Missed retirement Breakup with Deterioration of income partner relationship with family at home
RISKS THAT YOU HAVE TAKEN AS AN EXPATChange in culture Going from familiarStarting a business to unfamiliar abroad Giving birth abroadOne spouse giving Not knowing the up career languageInteracting with Choosing to live in a locals localBuying a house neighborhood, not with other expats
Individual characteristicsRegional differences HOW IS RISK-Local economy TAKING DIFFERENTReligion ACROSS CULTURES?Different interpretation of risk (financial risk, risk of losing face, risk of losing status)
80 SUCCESS IN Percentage that agree LIFE IS70 DETERMINED BY FORCES60 OUTSIDE OUR50 CONTROL __________40 D o yo u a g r e e or disagree?30 W h e r e d o yo u20 t h i n k yo u r c u l t ur e w o u l d fall on this10 chart? Pew Re s e a r c h 0 C e n te r, G l o b a l US Britain Spain France Germany A t t i t ud e s Project, Nov 17 , 2 01 1 .
RISK TAKING IN THE UNITED STATES“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.”“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”
YOUR GOAL__________“Lean intouncertainty.”Move towardrisks.Fields (2011)
HOW CAN YOULEAN INTOUNCERTAINT Y?10 WAYS TOTAKE MORERISKS IN YOURLIFE ABROAD
WRITE 3 SPECIFIC RISKS THAT YOU CAN TAKEIN THE NEXT YEAR TO MAKE YOUR LIFE MORE SATISFYING
CONNECT WITH US ONLINE! Lindsay Norman Viss McMahon Everyday Expat Support Center English and Culture @EngandCulture @isointerhttps://www.facebook.com/englishan https://www.facebook.com/expateveryd dculture aysupportcenter
CITATIONS 1. Zero: Leo Reynolds 2. Fields, J. (2011). Uncertainty: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance. 3. Blanke, G. (2004). Between Trapezes 4. Chris G: Chris Guillebeau 5. Steve Jobs: MarkGregory007 6. Cat in a box: thegloaming 7. Bird on shoulder: ohhector 8. Socks in the air: CraigGrocott 9. “I will”: Carnie Lewis 10. Skydiving: Guy James 11. Analyze: Learning DSLR Video 12. Ice skating: Sean_ Alexander 13. Backpacker meditating: campra 14. 10 Billiard Ball: ( Avichay ) 15. Learn the language: sarspri 16. Amygdala: cheerfulmonk 17. Safety: calignosus 18. Small steps: Arbron 19. Thank you: vernhart 20. Networking: kk+ 21. Internship: TalentEgg 22. American flag: Cayusa 23. Einstein: Zhang Erning 24. Dalai Lama: ImsBildarvik 25. Oprah: Story AccentsAll images are licensed under Flickr Creative Commons.
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES How Language Learners Can Silence the Inner Critic How Video Diaries Brought me to Conversational Fluency in Spanish