7 Steps to Reinventing The Beautiful You
Reinventing yourself throughout your career is essential because careers have seasons and so does life. The reinventing doesn’t just happen along the way, it’s something consciously pursued.
Working is something I have relished even before I had any concept of career. 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.
During high school, that job morphed into working in the store as a sales clerk. Eventually, my responsibilities expanded to include being a cashier and dressing the windows. It was a perfect blend of helping customers, systems, and being creative.
My last two years of 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 organization and the ability to work with a wide range of personalities.
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 like the plastic overlay 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 me starting my own business writing and publishing Bible curriculum for preschool and elementary age children. In fact, that business went on for thirty-one years!
The initial position at my church led to overseeing Children’s Ministries at three different churches. Ultimately those leadership opportunities opened the door to being a part of the Executive Leadership Team at a church and overseeing the development of other leaders.
A New Season
One by one my three children went off to college, allowing me to enter another new season of life and an opportunity 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 and developing leaders, it also pulled together all my many random work/life experiences and my passions in the most wonderful way!
Seeking to reinvent yourself? Are you entering a new season of life? Feeling bored with where you are right now? Itching to develop yourself further and take on fresh challenges?
As a coach, I speak people nearly every day who are eager to reinvent themselves. They express the desire to reinvent themselves by wanting to …
- Increase their confidence
- Develop better habits
- Expand their skills
- Tackle a project outside of their comfort zone
- Move in a new career direction
- Find a more fulfilling way of working and living
- Dismantle negative or limiting beliefs that are holding them back
Maybe you’ve tried reinventing yourself and it hasn’t panned out. Or maybe you are unsure of what reinventing yourself would or could look like. Sometimes imagining yourself in a new way is tough!
Curious about what it takes to reinvent yourself? Well, 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 give up before you get there. And you’ll need that “want to” to motivate you to make the inevitable changes.
How badly do you want work and/or life to be different?
2. Trusting God
Nothing gives me confidence to move forward more than knowing that I’m following God’s leading. What’s tricky is that God often only gives me the next step without a crystal-clear picture of where I’m going or what the reinvented me will look like. This girl who adores planning and predictability is not 100% comfortable with heading towards ambiguous destinations and pursuing a reinvented me at times feels that way.
The not fully knowing definitely requires faith! Glancing back on my life, I see that when I‘ve trusted God and stepped out in faith, each step has led to another step, and each step has taken me towards something perfectly suited for me. Even more surprising is that it’s almost always been something I would’ve never dreamed of doing on my own. God definitely knows me better than I know myself!
I’m not going to pretend that trusting God comes easy or naturally to me. Nope! It takes faith, which is stronger the more connected to Him I am. That’s why it critical for me to spend time with 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. God rarely speaks loudly!
3. A Vision
In light of the fact that God doesn’t always spell out the details of where He’s taking me, having a vision may seem contradictory. Yet He still seems to gives me some sort of visual to hang onto as I begin to step out. 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 very general idea of what the reinvented me might look like.
Where I end up rarely looks the way I expected. God has so much more for me than I dare to dream up on my own. Thankfully, what God has for me is so much better – even if the process is more challenging! He graciously keeps the hard moments ahead hidden so that I don’t hesitate to start out or get discouraged along the way. And when I do encounter the tough times, it is a chance to depend on Him more.
4. New Perspectives
You have an image of yourself – a way of seeing yourself. In order to reinvent yourself, you are going to have to expand the way you see yourself by…
- Looking back at the hard and the amazing experiences – what skills, character traits, and abilities surfaced? How might those skills transfer to new situations?
- Exploring your passions and interests – how might you incorporate these into your new pursuit?
- Discovering how God sees you – what’s He nudging you to do that feels too big, too impossible, or too unlikely?
- Asking others – what do they say you do well and what are some surprising ways you might use those skills?
- Brainstorming what could be – dream, journal, ask yourself what if…
- Taking Assessments – they often highlight fascinating new aspects of YOU! Some suggestions…DISC, HBDI, Sparketypes, CareerDirect, Enneagram, or Working Genius.
- Working with a coach to help you navigate the process!
5. Baby Steps
Reinventing yourself isn’t an overnight adventure! It’s actually a process that is perpetually in the works!
As you take baby steps, be prepared to experiment, make mistakes, and learn as you go – it’s all a part of the process. Just don’t stop taking steps! Each baby step completed is progress. Even small steps keep you moving forward towards reinventing you!
6. Be Persistent
Getting started – that’s the hardest part! There will always be distractions trying to keep you from taking that first step.
If you are one of those that sets out all gung-ho and then fades, being persistent and consistent is particularly important for you! Do something every day that moves you closer to the reinvented you.
7. Get Support
When it comes to reinventing yourself, who you surround yourself with matters. Make sure you have a circle of people around you who are supportive and encourage you through the ups and downs of the process.
Consider enlisting the help of a coach – someone to help you navigate the unknown! If you’ve never experienced coaching before, you just might be surprised by how enlightening and transformative that process is!
Is it time for you to reinvent yourself?
© Can Stock Photo / nielshariot
First posted on 7/25/17, this blog has been updated and revised just for you!