Have you ever dreamed about what you would do if you had the chance to reinvent yourself? It may seem daunting, but there are big rewards to be reaped. After all, “no guts, no glory.” And whether it is taking on a new job or industry, starting your own business, or something as personal as losing weight, you can gain as much from going through the process as the end result.
So if this is such a great idea, why don’t more people reinvent themselves? Well, there could be a number of reasons — fear of the unknown, lack of support (professionally or personally), comfort and complacency, fear of failure and old habits that die hard. Or they just don’t know where to start.
Reinventing yourself isn’t something you visit each year as Jan. 1 rolls around. Entrepreneurs are continuously reinventing businesses and seizing new opportunities. It can be thrilling, and, as an individual, reinventing yourself provides a platform to reinforce the best of you and build it into something even better.
Here are some components that I believe are important to reinventing yourself:
1. Visualize and write it down
If you have something you are passionate about doing or changing, write it down. There is a psychological shift that moves things into action when you write them down. Once you have them written down, outline the steps you need to take. Plan for issues that might keep you from achieving your goal. Add to your plan as needed to keep moving forward. I like to keep the main points in front of me. If you want to go back to school, put your basic to-dos on a Post-it and place it on your bathroom mirror or on the dash of your car. Keeping your goals in front of you and visible provides you with strength and focus.
2. Learn new skills, explore opportunities
Growing your skill set allows for expansion of your role or your expertise. Curiosity is the key. Have you ever wondered how or why something is done a particular way? Did you ask? You never know until you ask and there may be a better or more efficient way. You may be the idea person in your organization but will never reach your potential because you stay in your safe zone and stick to what you know. Instead, seek to find answers and insert yourself into opportunities.
If you are passionate about a subject or process, volunteer to be part of the team working through the issue. Why do you think we have community leaders on boards and committees? Yes, they have passion for the cause, but they also learn from others in the process. You may find that you have skills you were not aware of or that could be reinforced to make your contribution even greater.
My only caution here is don’t take on too much at one time. Instead, build a foundation of knowledge that will help drive you toward your goals.
3. Find your motivation
A positive attitude goes a long way. It is important to surround yourself with people and images that lift and energize you. If your goal is more personal, such as weight loss, consider a visual of the beach or a new tie or dress you will reward yourself with at the next milestone. Remember, your motivation doesn’t always need to be at the end of the journey. Celebrating along the way builds momentum and increases motivation.
As with all things, be aware that there can be those who will want to discourage you. Or who are out for their own gain. These individuals always exist, some even present themselves as a motivator when, in fact, they may be just the opposite. Remember, you are responsible for your actions, so do not let them discourage you or keep you from achieving your goals. Your best motivator is you, and a “make it happen” attitude fuels you to move forward.
4. Give yourself permission to fail
Know that every step along the way will not be successful. Otherwise we would all develop “perfect” plans for our lives. Learn from your setbacks or failures. Often, failures are just opportunities to redirect and get on the correct path. Your choice to forgive your setbacks and learn from them can further motivate you and provide reinforcement that you are moving in the right direction.
Reinventing isn’t easy. It requires determination to push through obstacles and challenges. However, by writing it down, being open to learning something new and surrounding yourself with positives that motivate you, you are likely to reach your goals and discover something even more exciting about the uniqueness of you along the way.