When you move abroad as an accompanying spouse, you spend a lot of time and energy trying to fit in with people who don’t understand you. Giving up your career, not recognizing yourself anymore, overcompensating by baking cupcakes from scratch because grocery store ones just won’t do, dot dot dot.
And you can try and explain what it’s like until you’re blue in the face, telling your story to the most empathetic person on the planet. But in the end, it takes one to know one, and if you’re an accompanying spouse, my guest this week will take the words right out of your mouth.
Claire calls herself a Professional BadASS — the capital “ASS” stands for “Accompanying Supportive Spouse.” For the globally mobile, that’s a creative way to reference people who move abroad with a partner on assignment.
Often giving up their own career, the so-called “trailing spouse” can feel unseen, undervalued, and suffers a quiet self-erosion. This happens while the rest of the world regards their life abroad as adventurous and carefree — which, even when true, doesn’t negate a desire for purpose.
Claire first became an accompanying spouse in 2009. 14 years later, Claire has five international moves under her belt. Today, Claire returns to share updates on her journey, including a new book where she uses her experience to help other accompanying spouses think big.
What You’ll Learn in this Episode:
- Busy but unsatisfied
- Misunderstanding ungratefulness
- Coaching session morning sickness
- Letting go of other people’s opinions
- Wearing jeans that never break-in
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
What will you and I talk about when you come on this podcast to share YOUR success story? In Global Coach Coalition, we THINK BIG, together. So if you’re done playing small, then join our upcoming class right here.
- Sundae’s Website
- Sundae’s Facebook Business Page – Sundae Schneider-Bean LLC
- Sundae Bean – YouTube
- Adapt and Succeed
- IN TRANSIT Hub
- Global Coach Coalition
- Quiz: Which Phase of Transformation Are You In?
- 2023 Ambition Compass Challenge
- BadASS Abroad: How to Get Your Expat Shift Together
- Year of Transformation with Sundae
- Claire Hauxwell
Catch These Podcasts / Articles:
- EP190: Scale of Wholeness
- EP301: The Crumble
- EP302: Infinite Possibilities
- EP303: Fight Mode
- EP304: Triumph In Transit
Who doesn’t love reruns? Well, here comes the Timeless Series. For the next three months, we’ll revive the most evergreen and impactful podcast episodes, blogs, and articles from our archives. And while you quench your thirst for empowering content in Q2, we’re working behind-the-scenes to return with a vengeance for Q3! Thank you for your continued support during these shapeshifting times.
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Full Episode Transcript:
Hello, it is 4 a.m. in New York, 10 a.m. in Johannesburg, and 4 p.m. in Bangkok. Welcome to IN TRANSIT with Sundae Bean. I’m an intercultural strategist, transformation facilitator, and solution-oriented coach. And I am on a mission to help you adapt and succeed through ANY life transition.
I’m going to pick a caption from a book that will be featured in today’s episode and see if you’ve ever felt this, “Is ‘Done’ an emotion because I feel that in my soul.” Now, if you’re feeling, “Done,” right now, then you want to check out the rest of this episode with Claire Hauxwell because she can help us go from that feeling of absolutely done to living a life where you have your shift together. Claire, welcome to IN TRANSIT.
Claire: Thanks, Sundae for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Sundae: Claire you’ve been at this before, where you helped us and some of the things you shouldn’t say to an expat partner, that was our Party Foul episode. And now I’m having you back on after a huge transformation in your own life. Let me tell people about you before we dive in Claire Hauxwell is what she calls a Professional BadASS and that means Capital ASS: Accompanying Supportive Spouse. For those of you who are not living a globally mobile life, that’s another way, a very creative way to talk about those people who are joining their partner as you move abroad. Or living a mobile life to support your family in the job transitions. With nearly 14 years of experience, Claire has figured out living life abroad. She has five international moves under her belt. And she’s really learned how to embrace all things about living an unbounded and global lifestyle, and what it throws at you.
What’s great about her, is her life because of how mobile it’s been globally, helps her understand in a really deep way, living life in transition. Claire’s originally from Michigan and has been relocating both internationally and domestically for many many years. Claire is also a certified life coach. She works with those to gain confidence, shift their mindset, and create a fulfilling and intentional life at home and abroad. And she is the author of the book, BadASS Abroad: How to Get Your Expat Shift Together. It is relatable, it is funny, and it’s part memoir, part guidebook on a life-changing journey. And Claire has been so kind to share some of her journey with you today. So Claire, thank you for joining us. How long have we known each other?
Claire: We met in 2018 at FIGT , I think.
Sundae: Can you tell me a little bit about– give us a glimpse of where your life was at then.
Claire: When I went to FIGT that year, I turned 40 that year and well I had turned 40 the year before but it was in my 40th year and I was trying to like figure out what I do now. My kids are getting a bit older. Nobody really needs me here. I have all this time on my hands. I’m busy, but I’m not loving anything that I do. And I was writing but I didn’t do anything with my writing and I was spending all my time giving all my energy to other people. And when I went to this conference, which was kind of like a precipice, which is funny because I think I met you and I was like, “Whoa, she seems like super bubbly.” I don’t know how, I don’t know if we knew each other just from online.
Sundae: Yep, South African connection.
Claire: Yeah, expat life is a small world. But I had gotten to this point in my life where I was like, “What the hell is going on?” What are you doing with your life here? Because like everything’s going on around you and you’re just kind of existing.”
Sundae: Well, I can imagine a lot of people can relate to that right now, right?
Claire: Yeah. And I think this was obviously pre-COVID where a lot of things are like now, we’re still existing in a different world today. But back then, I was just like, “I have to be the perfect mom. I have to be the perfect wife. I’ve got to make sure everything looks perfect on the outside. And I have to help and have to…” Well, I didn’t need to do all those things and I was so busy. What but I wasn’t doing things that I loved anymore. I mean, I loved parenting and I loved being a wife but it wasn’t fulfilling me. I had nothing that was my own.
Sundae: Hmm. How did you know that? Like, you have that language for it now, but what were the signs then?
Claire: I didn’t know it then. That was really the thing. I didn’t know it. And I think what happened was, I started trying to figure something out. Something. I use this term in my book a lot. I use the word, “Something” is missing. And I think I’ve talked to a lot of expat spouses in my time living abroad, which is a lot of expat spouses and everyone’s got a great life. My life is great. I never complained. I didn’t need to complain. I wasn’t, I didn’t have to complain, I wanted for nothing. But something was missing. And it was something for me. It wasn’t like I was giving everything I could to everybody else and that was great and I was doing a good job but I said I can always do more. And I kept doing this but I got to the point where I was getting really uncomfortable with the idea of whatever this something was and it really was like a rock in my shoe.
So it was like, I got really uncomfortable in my own skin. And not uncomfortable from a physical perspective, just I didn’t know who I was anymore.
Sundae: Hmm. The clients I’ve worked with, they say, “I’m happy but unsatisfied.”
Claire: Correct. That’s exactly what it was. I was unfulfilled, I didn’t know what the word “fulfilled” meant because I didn’t know what I liked anymore. I didn’t know. And I and I talked about this in my book a lot because I think, one of the things I say in the book is someone asked me, “What’s your favorite meal?” And, I don’t even know because I only worry about what everyone else wants to eat. That was where I was at in my world. Really uncomfortable and that’s when I had reached out to you. Where I was like, “I don’t know what is happening here.” And I would have been the first person to say, “I will never use a life coach. Who needs a life coach?” I just didn’t know. I wasn’t doing it. And I hesitated for a while but it was like, Something’s gotta give.
I’m doing all the things but I’m not doing one of the things, and that was taking care of me. Or taking care of my needs.
Sundae: So what name would you give the discomfort that you were feeling? Because, obviously, you have to be uncomfortable enough to say “Yes,” to something that probably seems equally uncomfortable.
Claire: Right. Yeah, totally. It’s like when you like, “Oh. I’m a skier.” Great. Let’s put a snowboard on instead. And now throw me down the mountain. It’s like taking on a new adventure. I would say it’s like when a pair of jeans is a bit too tight, you know? It’s because they’re not comfortable anymore. Usually, you can put a pair of jeans on the first day, they’re really stuck. And then they start breaking in and they feel good. It was like the jeans were tight every single day.
Sundae: Yeah, yeah.
Claire: And then it was. “Okay. I have to go up a size, which isn’t a bad thing.
Sundae: Right? Right.
Claire: Because maybe these jeans have shrunk over time. And it’s still the same me. It’s not that I am different physically or who I am. I don’t fit in those jeans anymore the way that I used to. And so, then, it was okay if I have to get a different pair of jeans and now these fit differently and that’s also uncomfortable because you’re having to get comfortable with the idea of like. “I have to size up.” I have to, you know. That’s a really weird metaphor to use, but it would just be like, “I have to be comfortable with the change. I have to feel okay with changing.” And that’s where it was.
Sundae: And it’s like, “I have to be okay with taking more space in my life.” Or, I have to be okay with saying where I am in my life and where I want to be, there’s a gap there and that’s uncomfortable.
Claire: Hmm. I would assume that it’s like when a snake sheds its skin, right? It’s got to be so uncomfortable, the last, I don’t know how long it takes for them to do that, but that last bit of growth, you have to break out of that skin. It can’t feel good.
And it doesn’t feel good because that’s where I got to the point of like really unhappy.
Sundae: And you’re unhappy and your life is perfect, right? That’s the hard part of like, “Why am I unhappy and my life is perfect?” And that’s because there’s something fundamental and this is something I always try to advocate in the podcast and other forms of like, we are wired for purpose. It is okay to want to have a fulfilling life. There’s so much in our modern society, that pulls us away from connection, that pulls us away from meaning, right? It’s okay to want that.
Claire: Yeah, and I think that there’s a big thing about ungratefulness, people feel that like, “Well, you should be grateful.” I’m super grateful, doesn’t mean I can’t be unhappy about something. And I think people view ungratefulness in the wrong way. My gratefulness has nothing to do with how I feel inside.
Sundae: Exactly. Right. So interesting. So there’s this comfort and you basically gave up one discomfort to start another one. Do you mind sharing the story about morning sickness that we talked about?
Claire: Oh yeah. So okay, so if you haven’t figured it out yet, Sundae was my coach. I did the Year of Transformation with Sundae. And I think I went into the first, I don’t know, two months of sessions, and I was just like, “This sucks.” I really don’t want to be doing this. She was like, “It’s fine. It’s like that in beginning.” And I’m like, “It’s not fine.” But like, “This is normal. It’s all part of the process.” And I just was like, “No. Ew. All I’m doing is getting it all out.” She’s like, “You need to get it all out.” And I was like, “Okay, I’m gonna keep going.” And it’s honestly that Sundae uses the morning sickness, you feel sick all the time and it’s true I did. I had this pit in my stomach for a long time. But then I got over this hump and I was like, there’s no more pit.
Sundae: Yeah. And the pit is like all the bullshit you tell yourself.
Sundae: All the old patterns that are not serving you. I’m actually feel sick in my stomach right now when I’m saying it because it makes me think about, you have to surface it. Otherwise, you’re not going to get around it. Could you put a word to a few of the things that you expulsed?
Claire: So I had to let go of what other people thought of me because I had these ideas that like, everybody’s all else’s opinion mattered, which doesn’t. I had to give up the idea of like, nobody died today so I did a good job. And then I also had to give up that, it’s okay to say “no.” I really didn’t have boundaries anymore. So I would just say “Yes.” And I didn’t listen to my intuition at all anymore so I really had a hard time stopping and thinking before I would say “yes” to something because I was just used to like, “Oh sure, whatever it is that you need. I can take care of it because I’m Superwoman.” And what that does is it creates false expectations, all around. So everybody expects that you’re going to do that. There are some options about you is XY and Z.
And yes, you look great but on the inside it’s like, I don’t want to make cupcakes for somebody. I don’t want to pick that person’s kid up from school. These are all the things that I don’t want to do right but I’m doing them anyway. But why?, I don’t need to. So yeah, I got really comfortable with being okay with saying “no.”
Sundae: Yep. I’m wondering and I’m curious if this is something that you feel too, but when I think about my former self, there were versions of me where what you just said was also probably true for me, but I would have never admitted it to myself, let alone, other people. Tell me where I’m wrong.
Claire: I wouldn’t have admitted it to myself until I’d done the work.
Sundae: Yes, that’s what I’m saying. You would live in a lie; live with the idea as if that’s not a problem. As if you’re not doing that thing.
Claire: Well, that’s just because that’s just the way it is. And I think that that’s probably part of it is that, it doesn’t just have to be the way it is. Can I provide cupcakes? Sure, but they’re coming from the grocery store. You didn’t have to make them. They just have to be cupcakes. I feel like we are putting expectations on ourselves that are above and beyond what anybody else is putting on themselves. So why is it okay for Susie down the street to provide nothing and I’ve got to make up for something? And that’s where I think a lot of accompanying spouses, we’re trying to compensate for something because a lot of us leave careers. A lot of us, maybe were caretakers of our parents. Or a lot of us leave a lot of purposeful things when we leave to go to another place. And that’s not just to say when you leave the first time, if you’re like me, where you’ve left me times you can get used to it. And then, oh, crap. Now I got to leave again. And all the things that became part of me and more purposeful to me, now, I got to go and recreate that. And so that overcompensates for all the things I don’t have that were filling the something. And that’s part of the transition. But if you know how to prepare for them. Yeah, you’re halfway there.
Sundae: So I really appreciate the transparency that you have about how it was. And I think a lot of people can understand that and they relate with that. So we’re going through the morning sickness, you’re confronting all of the crap that no one wants to confront. And then what?
Claire: I think then what it was, I was able to think big. What did I want my life to look like? And I think that’s what a lot of us are afraid of doing because we don’t really know what we want. Because we’re so focused. Yeah, we forget. We get so focused on others. And I would say that this could happen with somebody that is not in my situation or an accompanying spouse. This could be somebody that is working, has a full-time job, that also has kids, that doesn’t have kids. That it could be anybody. If you’re just doing things because that’s what you do, you still have to fulfill you.
Claire: And you have to make the time
Sundae: It makes me think about you know, this podcast is coming right on the tail of the focus on the Four Phases of Transformation. And we talked about Infinite Possibilities, how anything is possible. And where people get stuck is where they forget how to want, is exactly what you were talking about. And that moment of, wait a minute, “What if I open up the door?” and I imagined, like you said, “Think big. What could be possible?”
And that’s what you said. You have to think big. But my observation and with my clients and even what happened, I think with us as when you do open up that door of what’s possible, I believe in you, I see you. And just like with you and your clients, you see lots of possibilities but they’re not ready to see that yet. Can you think of an example of that in your own journey, where the doors started to open and it was hard for you to see into what else would be possible?
Claire: Yeah, I think there was a point where you and I would talk and you’d be like, “Well, what if you did this? Or what if you did that?” And I’d be like, “No, no no.” And then you talked about me becoming a coach and I was like, “Hell no. That is not where I’m going. I don’t want to do that, that’s not me.” And you were like, “Okay, we’re just going to put a pin in that over there, and we’re going to keep going.” And for me, I was the type of person and I know I can think back to the time when we were working together on this, I always talked about, “I like helping people. I like getting them through these Journeys. I like helping them figure out how to move forward.” And you were just like, “Mmm-hmm. Yeah. Mm-hmm.”
Claire: I can see your face like five years ago. So yeah, we don’t know what we don’t know
Sundae: And I remember there was a time where you really really resisted having your own thing, like your own business, right?
Claire: The word “monetize,” came up. And I was like, “Yo, why would I want to monetize anything?” Really? And that’s because I’d never like, the idea of “entrepreneur” at all. Which still scares the hell out of me today because it’s still new. That’s a journey that I am still going through. But at that time I just wasn’t ready for it because I couldn’t wrap my head around, just the first part of that.
Sundae: Yeah. And so this kind of goes back to the beginning and I’m going to let everybody read your journey in the book to find out more. But what I’m seeing is this pattern, we talked about again, back to the podcast, where we talked about the Four Phases of Transformation.
- The Crumble was, my life, it’s good, but not good enough type of thing. I’m looking for fulfillment, that the crumble, what am I going to do?
- Where you finally get uncomfortable enough, right to do something, then we go through Infinite Possibilities, where it’s like, “Let me think big. What could it be?” And then some resistance around, “No, I can’t make money doing this. I would never become that,” right? That’s that limiting belief.
- And then you did the work. And that’s, I mean, your journey is captured in the book and that’s when we talk about Fight Mode. You did the work you showed up and now you’re getting the fruits of the labor. What advice do you have for people who? Are seeing themselves and where you were in 2018?
Claire: Just don’t let it slip away because the more time that you waste not taking advantage of this, of the knowing. You know in your gut, whether you want to believe it or not, you know in your gut what you’re feeling. And my advice would be, if there’s one thing that you can do is start listening to yourself more because that’ll give you the bravery to take the steps to find all the things your somethings. Give yourself the courage by just listening to yourself. Because I didn’t always listen to myself and I let too much time pass. We can’t get back time. So we have to take advantage of it. Dealing with a life coach is not like dealing with a life coach like we think it is really is different. And I’m now such a big proponent of it obviously but do the work inside, listen to yourself and then find somebody that gets you. Because if you can find somebody that gets you, it doesn’t feel awkward and weird and strange. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ugly cried in front of somebody.
Sundae: If you’re not crying, you’re not doing it right.
Claire: Right? Ugly cry. And then you laughing and then you’re like, “Okay, this is good.” So just give yourself the courage to do it because it’s all about your worth it. I mean you really are.
Sundae: Well I want to take a little side step here, we talked about this before we got on the call about this idea of life coach and what’s so funny is most people that – – first of all we need to define what a coach is because there’s a lot of sort of like the energy, that’s attached to some coaching schools or some processes or methods or people have no training. So, I just want to define coaching for a second for people who are listening.
- Coaching, the purpose of coaching, if you look at the International Coaching Federation, coaching is where you assume your client is the expert of their life. And the coach has methodology to help the client find their own answers, right? And so, the coach is an expert in the methodology to help that person get out of their own head. Or to see what’s possible. But it’s all through that collaboration. So it’s that collaboration together where it makes it happen. I think that’s important.
- Coaching is not therapy, it’s not counseling, it’s also a caveat. I think it’s important to say. And that coaching is focused on now and the future who you’re becoming. It’s not something that digs way back in the past and helps you find out why.
There are people in the industry that kind of ruin it because they don’t have called qualifications so they’re not delivering results, etc, etc.
So I did you think it’s important to just say that out loud and the other thing I want to say about this is I had a situation recently where I reached out to one of my mentors and I said, “Hey are you accepting clients right now? Because I have something I’d like to bring to you in coaching.” And they’re like, on that topic and coaching, and I was surprised by the response because the compliment was, “Sundae, you’re so good at what you do. Why would you need coaching?” And my answer was, “I am so good at what I do because I engage in these kinds of processes so that I don’t stay stuck.” Because I’m also human. And I also get stuck in my stuff.
And it’s like, for me, I need this. This is how I operate. I need a sparring partner. I need someone to call my bullshit. I need someone to remind me who I am, right? I also need those things. And l just want to say that for people who don’t know what that is and what that process is you get a taste of it in your book, right? But I just felt like that was an important side comment because what you did, I thought was so important, is you tried to do it on your own and then you noticed, you’ve kind of exhausted all of your creative resources and you wanted to make progress. So it was at that point where you said, “Hey maybe I shouldn’t do this alone.”
Claire: Yeah, and there’s no shame in asking for help, right? And I think that’s one of the things that a lot of people right now face. They’re afraid of asking for help. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. It just makes me better at what I do. Cuz now I can do things that I couldn’t do before. I didn’t have the tools to do those before.
Sundae: Yep. Absolutely.
Claire: And it builds confidence and it’s all about, how do we get better together versus why do I have to struggle on my own? That idea just drives me crazy. “I am okay, I got it. I got it. I got it. I got it.” Well, if I just help you carry it for a little bit here, then it be easier and we get to the next step and then we’ll see where you go.
Sundae: Oh, and I’ve been that person. I remember being pregnant and I’d have like two loads of groceries on my hips, huge belly, opening the door of the key, and my husband’s like, “Do you need help?” I’m like, “No, I got this.” In hindsight, I’m like, what the heck?
Sundae: So I’m sure there are people who are listening who have been there 100%. So there was something I wanted to follow up with that. You got you and you didn’t ask for help. It’s like you asked for a sparring partner so you could do better. And this is when clients say to me, thank you for my support. I’m like, “You’re the one who did the work,” you know. I mean, it’s the individual who is bringing their crap and things that are hard, they’re the ones doing the hard work, right? So, I think it’s important that this is a team effort and the one who’s bringing their topic to the session as the one is doing all the hard work.
Claire: Yeah, and one of the things that I’ve noticed working with clients is, especially in the beginning of coaching there like, “I just need someone to tell me what to do, and why.” That’s not going to happen here.
Sundae: Yeah. Yeah.
Claire: I’m not gonna tell you what to do. We’re gonna talk it out, but this is gonna, remarkably this is going to come from within.
Sundae: We’re gonna dig it out of you, I like it.
Claire: It might take a while but I don’t have the answer because my answer- and this is something that I have. And I think that this was one of the reasons why Sundae told me, like early, you should become a coach and all these things that we did. And when I toyed with writing a book I was like, “Who the hell wants to listen to what I have to say?” But then I was like the way that I wrote my book was, this is what I did, this was my journey. I’ll tell you all the things, they might not work for you, but this is what worked for me. And I’m very up front about that when I do speaking engagements or if I work with clients or when I talk about the book.
I don’t have a doctorate. This is from what I know of myself. This is my journey.
Sundae: Yeah, and, if you can go through that journey other people can go through their own version of it. Right? Like, whatever that means for them.
Claire: Yeah. And some of the things might work for you. But that doesn’t mean everything’s going to work for you, right? It’s not a Bible. It’s not the Encyclopedia of self-development.
Sundae: So I’m curious, like when we think about this, when you think about your journey and the ups and downs, what are you most proud of?
Claire: That I didn’t give up. I remember, I don’t know if you’ll remember this, but I remember coming to a session and having really negative energy, just didn’t want to be there.
I think I had moved and was in the middle of it and just like, “This sucks.” I moved back to Switzerland. I miss South Africa. And I remember sitting there and every time I think about it, I get mad at myself because I wasted all of it. I was giving up on the process, because I remember you called me out at the end of the session you were like, “I don’t know what’s going on with you but this is not right. This, isn’t you.”
Claire: And I walked away from that and it was like I was almost just like, I’m done with this. I can, you know, I don’t need this anymore. I can, you know, whatever and it was what I needed at the most. Mmm. So I’m really glad that I never gave up on it because it is hard. And it doesn’t mean that it’s going to take six months and it’s going to be over, right? And I think that that’s another thing too, is that I still love when I can call someone and say, “I just need to have someone hold some space for me for a little while so I can get this out.” And I know the right people to call. I can call the right person and go, this person’s going to call me on my BS. This person’s going to just be really considerate or empathetic to the situation. I know who to call but it doesn’t end just because you do it and you go through a year or six months or whatever, it’s a continual process.
Sundae: That was what I was trying to come back to before is that I was just having a conversation with a client about this before we hopped on the call. I worked with the client for a year and she did some amazing work and then we reconnected a year or two later and life kicked her in the teeth. And she said, “Sundae, I’m so glad we worked together when we did because at first, I was under the impression that life would get easier because of what we were doing. But then I realized that life doesn’t get easier. I just have more tools.”
And that honestly, I think was also my naive idea way back, when I first started I thought that we would solve things and then they would go away, right? You dissolve a thought and it never comes back or you identify a pattern and then it’s gone. But it’s not that. It’s about when things get hard or when you get up against yourself or against things that are hard external to you, you just develop different strategies, different tools, different resilience, different ways of looking at. And that isn’t sexy marketing, right? We want quick fixes, we want instant and then gone forever. And I don’t believe in that. I don’t think life is that simple. I think our lives are more complex than that. And so that’s that’s just where I’m at and you’re right. You can just show up to hard things in new ways.
Claire: Right. And I think hard things aren’t going to go away just because you get through something, something else is going to come. Like a global pandemic, like a war, like aging parents, like there are a few things. Teenagers. All of those things. All the same time, all of them at the same time. And I think that there’s like this moment that of clarity sometimes that you’re like, “Oh wait, I remember. How did I deal with this? It’s not the same situation, but how did I deal with this?”
It’s almost like, “What would Sundae tell me to do?” Not that you tell but like, how would we have that conversation? And You have to do the hard work. And you have it there in you and now you can do the harder things. Those things were hard and now, there’s harder things.
Sundae: Yeah, but they’re not as hard to get through because you’ve done the muscle building so to speak to lift those things. So do you mind, if we flash forward? I am going to leave the rest of your journey for them to read about in your book. It’s actually really funny. I got in trouble on the airplane because I was laughing out loud while I was reading it. But let people read it. It’s fun, it’s light but love about how this is what I saw in you, is I saw a fresh direct way of speaking about reality of globally mobile lives in ways that weren’t being talked about and needed to be talked about, that demystified or it’s spoke, a truer truth, so to speak, right? So check it out.
It’s really, really beautiful, but I will fast forward. That was this book talks about your journey, but you’ve been on such another journey since then. You just keep going. Keep changing. Can you catch people up? Tell us a little bit about what kind of transitions you’re feeling right now and what form of transformation is happening in your own life right now.
Claire: So there’s a few different things, right now, if I look at my life, as a globally mobile person, I’ve become a stair in my world. So, I’m now kind of like having not just packing up, I’m usually that three-year person. I’m probably not going anywhere anytime soon. So like there’s a little bit of, that’s different. Those transitions lead through everyone’s leaving. Or everybody knows that they’re leaving in this certain time and I’m like but we’re not.
So that’s part of it and there’s things that you can do to help that. Solopreneurship. It’s like that’s a total shit show sometimes because I don’t know what I like. I’ve always worked for a corporation. When I worked outside of the home, I work for a corporation, I walked in, they gave me a badge, they gave me a computer. Here’s your software program, learn it. It was totally different. Now I’m kind of like, “What do I do today?” Right? So that’s part of it.
I’m learning that I’m parenting teens! I’ve never done that before. I’m preparing to be an empty nester soon. Well, not really soon. I still feel like one will leave. Don, he’s like, “But I’ve got to get ready for that one to leave.” There’s potential for me to be on a different continent from that person. He’s only 18 years old and still needs their mom sometimes. And I have aging parents so I am going through that transition of taking more, I don’t know if it’s a responsibility level, but there’s just that. So there’s a lot of different moving parts that are going on at the same time.
Sundae: Yeah. Kind of sounds like it. So we talked about Ambitious Transformation in Transition. What is your definition of ambitious right now? What is ambitious for you?
Claire: I think because I’m in like an uncomfortable growth stage, in a lot of ways, I’m in the uncomfortable growth stage. If you look at the hero’s journey or whatever, it’s like the uncomfortable growth stage, I just continually have to show up. It’s just showing up as me and if those who know me, if you read my book, if you follow me on social media, know me personally, you get what you get. I’m really no fluff person and so if I know that I’m staying true to that and showing up and being there for all the people, that I need to be but showing up continually for myself. So that I can give them only things that they need. That’s ambitious for me. But I have to come first. And that’s why I think it’s ambitious because everyone’s like, “Who the hell puts themselves first?”
Sundae: And it’s a complete reversal from your former pattern of what you’d started talking about in the beginning of this episode. Meeting everybody’s needs, ignoring yours, people-pleasing. And that’s why I wanted to bring you on today because I think one, you’re so generous in sharing the real story. I think It’s a chapter in your book, “I’m fine.” And I always say, when people say they’re fine, I’m like, “I don’t believe you.” I work with too many people to know how real lives are actually. Well, of course, we’re not always fine, there’s some area of our life that weird being humaning and could use a little bit of TLC for your journey.
I think is so awesome in terms of where you’ve got come from and then also the transparency about the journey. Appreciate that so much. I’ve been able to watch you go from that space to actually supporting people in that space.
So if you follow my work, you know that Claire is part of the Global Coach Coalition. So she went from that whole personal journey and that’s what I love about what you’ve done, you’ve done the real work. It’s not academic, it’s not just like in your head, you memorized a few things. It’s that you’ve you embody it. You’ve done the hard work. So when you work with others, you get it right in your bones. And I think that’s really important and yeah, I think it’s cool. So shameless plug for Claire, if you are looking for support, she’s also a member of the Global Coach Coalition and is a facilitator of Adapt and Succeed.
She also does things on confidence. So if you want someone by your side You didn’t give me permission, so I hope it’s okay I’m sayong that. I’m shamelessly plugging you right now so Claire is awesome or just check out her book.
Anything else that you want to leave people with when we look at getting your shift together, right? It’s about these shifts that you make in your life. And these sort of last words of wisdom for people.
Claire: Just don’t be afraid to take – we talked about opening the door. Don’t be afraid to open the door because you don’t know what’s ahead of you. Let’s say, you got to be brave. Just take the brave stuff to open the door. Don’t have to walk through it today but now you can see that there’s other things out there and yeah, that’s the first step to getting your shift together.
Sundae: So good. That’s so perfect. And now you see why I had to have Claire on right after my series on transformation. We talked about the Crumble, Infinite Possibilities, Fight Mode, and Triumph In Transition, you can see Claire’s journey in each one of those phases she’s been through. So check those episodes out if you haven’t. Check out her book and of course if you want to be someone who supports others, check out Global Coach Coalition.
So Claire, thank you for being here, it’s been awesome.
Claire: Thanks for having me.
Sundae: My face hurts from smiling, which is always a good sign. All right, I will leave you all with the words of Joseph Campbell: “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”
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