The Road to Reinvention
It Is Never Too Late to Reinvent Your Who!
Reinvention involves changing yourself or your lifestyle to improve your overall quality of life. Even better, reinvention is letting go of the person you think you OUGHT to be and becoming the person that you WANT to be. It is taking control of WHO you want to become to achieve your full potential.
Sometimes, feeling stuck, depleted, unsatisfied, or deeply unhappy with a particular aspect of our life or ourselves provides the impetus for transformation. We can alter our physical appearance, our career, and even the manner and extent to which we “show up” for our relationships.
Many of us reinvent ourselves episodically as we come to turns and crossroads in our lives. We can also choose to revamp when we simply want to look or feel better, so long as we are ready to do the work—mental, emotional or physical—to get there. There are times, however, when moving through change can be daunting or confusing, even when we feel certain that something better lies ahead of us. Successful reinvention is not a random event; it requires a plan. Depending on your objective and timeframe, the plan can be very short and simple or more detailed. The key is to be clear about the changes you want to effect and honest about your willingness to do all that it will take to achieve your goal.
Reinvention can be an emotional road and no matter what your age, growing pains are inevitable. Frequently, the most difficult part is kick-starting the reinvention process and defining your path forward:
- Make peace with your past and the circumstances that brought you to where you are. If, for example, you’ve left a job or ended a relationship, embrace, or at least accept, it as an opportunity for positive change. Heavy baggage holds you back.
- Take quiet time to ponder your vision for your future along with your ideal image of good health, good parenting, etc.—whatever aspect or aspects of your life you seek to reinvent. While it’s important to understand and prepare for potential challenges, try to refrain from ruminating on what could go wrong; instead, focus on what would make you happy. Think about the strengths and skills you will need to leverage for success.
- Write about your reinvention. Make your vision come alive on paper and read through it daily.
Once you have clarity with respect to the changes you seek to implement, approach your reinvention just as you would a major project at work, a business plan for a new venture or a comprehensive proposal to win over a new client— unless, of course, it is your approach to work projects, client proposals and business plans that requires reinvention. You deserve at least the same level of detail and dedication that you would bring to bear on any project that regularly commands your time and attention! Moreover, a firm plan of action will help you hold yourself accountable for what you say is important to you.
Your plan might consist of the following:
- List your specific reinvention goal or goals, and all the action steps required for each, in a logical order for completion.
- Set reasonable time limits for each action step to help you stay on track.
- Read, research and read some more. Increasing your knowledge will boost your confidence and provide you with even greater insight. Reading about other individuals with similar struggles or goals can be very encouraging.
- Come up with your own daily affirmations or borrow inspirational quotes that resonate and fit your mission. Post these affirmations where you will often see them to stay motivated.
- Get support! Enlist the help of experts, mentors, your professional network and loved ones throughout your journey.
- Keep from getting overwhelmed by tackling only one or two goal items at a time. Your other goals will be there for you when you are ready.
Your reinvention plan should “feel right” to you, and it must align with YOUR values. Therefore, be flexible and expect to tweak your plan as needed. Finally, be kind to yourself if you don't always adhere to your intended plan of action. Remember, reinvention is a process! Learn from it and move on.
Fran McConnell, CPC, ELI-MP, is a certifiedprofessional coach, workshop facilitator, public speaker and reinvention expert. She is owner and founder of The Balanced Owl, LLC. Connect with her at Fran@thebalancedowl.com or visit TheBalancedOwl.com.
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