Study Abroad is a humbling experience. The more you break away from classmates from your home country and begin to mix with locals you will undoubtedly encounter adversity in some form. Your world view, your habits, your attitudes, and your entire way of being can all be challenged and this can feel like you’ve been shaken or even knocked down.
To complicate it, society often teaches us that we need to be right and that making mistakes is never acceptable. We walk around with measuring sticks, always comparing ourselves to others. Going into Study Abroad as a perfectionist, however, is a terrible idea!
In Study U Abroad I talk about the concept of your Inner Bully, that critic that lives inside your mind and creates all the negative chatter and self-doubt. When you’re in new situations, like Study Abroad, the Inner Bully loves to point out your mistakes and make you feel worse about yourself.
When you listen to your Inner Bully you tend to pull back and retreat to your comfort zone, but by doing so you often withhold the best parts of yourself. Instead of retreating, try laughing at yourself and embracing your imperfections. The most personal growth can occur when you remain open and vulnerable with the people and situations you encounter.