Career Woman

Don’t just be yourself, Be all of yourselves – The path to reinvention

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“You will be so many things and the one thing that I wish I’d known and want to say is don’t just be yourself.  Be all of yourselves.  Don’t just live.  Be that other thing connected to death.  Be life.  Live all of your life.  Understand it.  See it.  Appreciate it and have fun!” Joss Whedon, screenwriter, film and television director

For me personally I have reinvented myself 11 times in 30 years and will continue to do so until my last breath.  I have never really known what I want to do specifically because there are so many things I want to try.  Why just do one thing at the expense of the others.  I started out believing I wanted to go to law school and become a family mediator and the summer before I started law school, I discovered that being a technology sales executive was very rewarding and financially viable and I was presented with an opportunity I could not pass up.  So, to my parents’ disappointment I joined a large high-tech firm and started my sales career.  It was a very successful journey.  Law school wasn’t going away it just got put on the back burner.

Don’t be afraid to explore all aspects of yourself and don’t be afraid to act on opportunities that present themselves regardless of whether this was part of the original plan or not.  Sometimes plans change for a reason; be flexible enough to explore other avenues if your interest is sparked.

Choose reinvention and forged your new path deliberately and with foresight.

When looking at reinventing yourself consider the following:

1. Write down your dreams as if no barriers exist. Dream big; there is no room for limiting beliefs.

Sit quietly, close your eyes, and imagine the people, places, or situations that you need to leave behind. Now, imagine the future that you want, whether it’s simply a feeling, a group of people, or a situation such as a wonderful new job.

Imagine how it will feel to be in that new place. Picture the sun coming up behind your future, the warm glow of the light on your face.

Stand for a moment and silently voice your appreciation for everything that came before. Once you’ve thanked the past, turn toward the sun, and with compassion and gratitude, imagine yourself walking away from the past and into the future.

2. Create a vision of the perfect reinvention outcome

Imagine a scene from it or write about how you’d like it to play out. Where are you living? What do you do in the mornings, afternoon, and evenings? Who are your friends? What do you spend your days doing?  Create a vision board with all of the things you imagine your reinvention to be and hang your board where you can see it.  Make the future come alive.  Write about how it will feel to be there.  Surround yourself with visual reminders of the life you’d like to create.  If it’s a new job in particular field, put objects or images on your vision board.  Anything that reminds you of what you are moving toward

3. Create a process map of the steps that need to be taken to get from your dream to the perfect outcome.

Itemize each step you will have to take to get from where you are today to where you want your reinvention outcome to take you.  In other words, if you are starting a business you will need a business plan and you may need to take a loan and you may need to lease space.  Each specific step that needs to be done to complete your reinvention should be itemized so that you can visually see what needs to be completed for a successful reinvention to happen.

4. Create a chart of workable tasks that need to be completed to accomplish each step and a timeline within which you want the actions to be completed.

What do you need to do, every day, to create that vision? Make it specific. Make a list of everything you need to do and a schedule for when you’ll do it. Then do it and commit to keep doing it, one day at a time.  This will keep you on track to realize your reinvention goal.

5. Every day, go back to that vision of you walking toward your future.

Every morning or evening, close your eyes and see yourself walking into the rising sun, toward your dreams, and reconnect with why you’re moving toward this new possibility.

Reinvention is neither easy nor always smooth. Often, we encounter resistance. We don’t want to let go, even of things that cause us pain or that are obviously already out of our grasp. We often struggle with limiting beliefs or stories about ourselves that hold us back from trying new things.

But there is one way to keep your compass pointed to this new life, even in the midst of any resistance or struggles you may encounter on your path.

Each time you find yourself slipping into old habits—isolating yourself, making excuses not to look for work, procrastinating on a task that might help you advance in your career—don’t bother wondering why you’re doing it or beating yourself up.

Just ask yourself this: “What can I do in this moment to keep moving forward?”

Then, no matter what you feel in the moment—lonely, self-critical, tired, lazy, or disappointed—do something to maintain momentum, even if it’s one small thing. There’s an old adage that says that true courage isn’t about not feeling fear; it’s about feeling fear and acting anyway.

Feel the fear and do it anyway and live all of your lives.

About Anne Marie Cummins

annemariec@thebusinesswomanmedia.com'

Anne Marie Cummins is the author of the Amazon Best Selling book Baby Boomer Bonding and conducts workshops and retreats to help women reinvent themselves after retirement to remain relevant and mainstream.

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