Working – it’s something I have relished for as long as I can remember. On Saturdays when other kids were playing, I went to “work” cranking out thousands of bows for all the baby gifts that were purchased and wrapped at several children’s clothing stores. Because I was paid by the bow, I came up with a creative system to keep track of the number of bows I produced.
That job eventually morphed into working in the store as a sales clerk, while in high school and later my responsibilities expanded to include dressing the windows. It was a perfect blend of helping customers, systems, and being creative.
While in college, I worked full time at Merrill Lynch making sure that the brokers in the office got the latest news that came over “the wire” – the old fashioned way of getting urgent minute by minute info before the internet. That too required an organized way of doing things and the ability to work with a wide range of personalities. I can vouch for the fact that brokers or financial advisors are not all the same!
I eventually “moved up” and became the assistant to several brokers before moving on to try my hand at sales for a company that manufactured graphic overlays – that’s what they call that plastic display on your treadmill. After a move, new opportunities in health insurance surfaced where I continued to derive a great deal of satisfaction out of work until my son was born. Then my priorities began to shift. Even though I was still fond of working, I no longer felt it was my main priority. I knew it was time to reinvent myself.
And reinvent myself I did – with God’s help! I was offered a position at my church, which then lead to starting my own business.
Years later, one by one my three children went off to college forcing me to enter another new season of life. It was time to reinvent myself again – this time as a Certified Professional Life Coach. Not only did this step enable me to do what I loved most about overseeing leaders by bringing out the best in them, it also pulled together all my many random work and life experiences, and my passions in the most wonderful way!
Can you relate to the desire to reinvent yourself? Are you about to enter a new season of life? Feel bored with where life has you right now? Eager to develop yourself further and take on fresh challenges?
As a coach, I talk to people all the time who are eager to reinvent themselves. They express the desire to reinvent themselves by…
- Increasing their confidence
- Developing better habits
- Expanding their skills
- Tackling a project a bit outside of their comfort zone
- Moving in a new career direction
- Finding a more fulfilling way of working and living
- Dismantling negative beliefs that are holding them back
Reinventing yourself doesn’t just happen. It involves making some significant changes! And most people are resistant to making changes – even when it is for a worthwhile cause! Maybe you’ve tried to reinvent yourself and it hasn’t panned out. Or maybe you are unsure of reinventing yourself would look like. Sometimes it can be tough to imagine yourself in a new way!
What does it take to reinvent yourself? It takes…
1. “Want To”
The process of reinventing yourself is not for wimps. There will be ups and downs and some crazy zig zags along the way. If you don’t have a significant “want to,” you will peter out before you get there. Like I mentioned already, reinventing yourself means you will have to make changes, and changes don’t come easy for most people.
How badly do you want things to be different?
2. Trusting God
Nothing gives me confidence to move forward more than knowing that I am following where God is leading me. The hard thing is that God often only gives me the next step without a crystal clear picture of what the reinvented me will look like. This girl who adores planning and predictability is not 100% comfortable with heading towards things that are fuzzy. For me, that can definitely make the trusting harder! Yet, glancing back on my life, I see that when I have stepped out in faith, each step has led to another step, and each step has taken me towards something perfectly suited for me. And it’s almost always been something I would have never dreamed of doing on my own. God definitely knows me better than I know myself!
I am not going to pretend that trusting God comes easy or naturally to me. Nope! It takes effort. It means staying connected to Him on a daily basis, not just reading His Word, but soaking it in – meditating on it. And it requires actively listening to His whispers.
3. A Vision
In light of the fact that God doesn’t always spell out the details of where He is taking me, having a vision may seem contradictory. Yet He still seems to gives me a target of some kind for me to begin taking steps towards. That’s what happened when I made the choice to make my family my priority after having kids or the vision to pursue becoming a coach later on in life. In both cases, I had a general idea of what the reinvented me might look like. I have to be honest, in my experience where I end up rarely looks exactly the way I expected – typically it’s better, although often more challenging getting there!
4. Baby Steps
Attempting to reinvent yourself can be daunting! That’s why it helps to break the process down into more manageable steps. Completing baby steps also allows you to see that you are making progress. Since God doesn’t always cooperate with spelling out every step you need to take ahead of time, plan on remaining flexible and adjusting your steps along the way if necessary. And be prepared to experiment, make mistakes, and learn as you go – it is all a part of the process.
5. Be Persistent
Getting started – that’s the hardest part! There will always be dozens of ways to invest your time, oodles of urgent tasks that will compete for your attention, and tasks that seem easier that will keep you from moving forward. And the temptation will be to keep pushing off taking that first step. Remember, even tiny baby steps add up! Just do something! Don’t let yourself get away with excuses, procrastinating, or giving in to your fears!
When it comes to reinventing yourself, who you surround yourself with matters. Make sure you have a circle of people around you who will support and encourage you through the process. And it never hurts to have the help of a coach who can help you navigate the unknown! If you’ve never worked with a coach before, you just might be surprised how enlightening and transformative that process can be!
Is it time for you to reinvent yourself?
© Can Stock Photo / nielshariot