• Jen Knight

What to Do When You Don't Get What You Want


Life often surprises us (and not in the ways we would like!) Especially when you're an expat, life can be an almost constant series of surprises both good and bad.


Last year in August, my husband and I found a house to rent in Phuket. It was exactly what we wanted, it was in the perfect neighborhood, and we were thrilled. We gave notice to our current landlord and it was a done deal.


Until...we were told just before the move that it wasn't available. We never got a clear answer as to why, but that is how life goes when you live abroad! This left us with only a few days to find a new house.


Here's how I coached myself through the situation, and you can try the same process when things don't happen in the way that you planned for or would have liked.


1. Put a time limit on negative emotion


Immediately my mind flipped out. I wanted to find out who was responsible and hold them accountable. I wanted to cry and feel sorry for myself and play victim. I wanted to complain and stew and overthink and worry.


I recognized it was important to not react from these emotions, but to give myself time to process them. I know how easy it is to get stuck in negative emotion, and how unhelpful and paralyzing it can be. So I gave myself a few hours, then committed to moving forward.


2. Examine the situation from a neutral place


I looked at the situation again. Fact: We didn't get the house we wanted. This was a neutral circumstance. But I was making it mean that nobody could be trusted, that we would never find another house as good, that maybe we were wrong to move to Thailand.


Those thoughts were not going to help me move forward. How could I look at the situation differently? Maybe we weren't supposed to get that house...This was always how it was going to be, and I could resist and react, or I could find my way to acceptance.


I worked toward the thought, "We can find another house that will have everything we need for the next year." That thought felt better, more neutral.



3. Take action


Only once my mind was in the right place was it time to take action. I doubled down on my efforts, and we found a house the very next day. It had everything we needed to live a comfortable life for a year, and in many ways it was better than the house we originally wanted!


One of the most important things I do with clients is work through all the things they have going on, banishing frustration and increasing clarity and confidence in their lives abroad.


Working with me is a truly transformative experience, and you can get started by booking your FREE discovery session here: https://calendly.com/jenknight/free-session

About me


Hi, I'm Jen! I am a US expat and have lived abroad for six years, first in Shanghai and now in beautiful Thailand.

I always strive to learn, grow, and be the best version of myself, and I'm so grateful I get to spend my days working with amazing expat women like you:

Women who are smart and want to reach their goals, but need help overcoming stress, overwhelm, and other obstacles so they can create their best lives abroad.

©2020 by Jen Knight