I don’t know the number of times I had to reinvent myself over the years and always for different reasons. Reinvention is usually driven by a few prominent emotions: boredom, restlessness, dissatisfaction, even fear. Sometimes reinvention rises out of personal chaos.
The first reinvention that I was aware of happened when I caused a DUI when I was 23. I realized that I was heading down the path I didn’t want to walk on i.e. I didn’t want to be like my parents and that is exactly what I was doing. And I had to face some cold hard truth about myself.
But I think the most profound and yes life changing reinvention happened when my son was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder, I became a special needs parent and I was sick and tired of the life I was living – except I didn’t know this until after my son was well on his way towards his recovery. During the 3 years I was fighting to keep him alive and simply just going with the motions of what was going on but when I came out of the other side, I didn’t know who I was but what I did know was that the way I lived before was no longer acceptable.
And here’s what I learned since then: We are always reinventing ourselves sometimes we just happen to be more aware than at other times.
Proactive Reinvention: Purposefully Forging A New You
Proactive reinvention can be the toughest to experience because we are in that safe and comfortable space.
Major life changes aren’t immediately required. We might even be able to keep on coasting just as we are, but that’s not a satisfying place for us anymore. Even though reinvention can be scary, we still have the desire to do it because seems better than where we are.
Maybe we’re simply tired and unfulfilled in our lives, our work, or our relationships. Proactive reinvention is not urgent in most cases but allows space for you to be deliberate in your choices.
Ask Yourself “What do I need in my life now? What do I want? What’s missing?”
To answer this question, we must dig deep dig deep, and it’s not a quick process in most cases. Proactive reinvention tends to arise out of a sense of dissatisfaction and frustration about where we are in life or even who we are. We may only know that we want something different.
The challenge here is that you may judge or criticize yourself too harshly. When this happens to me, and it does, I simply remind myself that this life is a journey and that perspective has helped me out of a downward spiral numerous times.
Identify Your Loves and Passions
- What do you value?
- What gets your engine running?
- If you could make a living at a hobby, what would it be?
Getting a handle on what you enjoy and what you love to do, how you love to feel, and whom you love to be around lets you set some big, broad goals. In all cases and steps of reinvention, ask yourself questions like:
- How can I make my passions a way of life?
- How can my loves and passions help me stay financially sound?
- Do I have any support to make the changes to become congruent with my passions?
Sit with this. Spend time dreaming and writing about it and don’t stop until you have nothing else to say about the matter!
Explore Your Immediate Options
Immediate options generally include things like your skill set, your finances, your contacts and social links in life. These can be springboards to the new you. Think of these as assets you already must dedicate to your renewal.
Get a teacher, mentor or sounding board
If you’ve got a general idea of what you want to do, you can start homing in on sources of information and expertise. Those sources can be people who are knowledgeable or experience with the subject matter, profession, hobby, whatever it is that’s appealing to you. If you know you want to reinvent yourself, but haven’t got a lock on a destination yet, there’s no worry. Many people go through the renewal process without any hint of a fixed destination or end-point in mind when they start off.
That said, it’s good to have someone around who can give you ideas, feedback, and support that’s related to your journey. And this is what I offer you in the Rebel Spark Collective.
Consider the Unknown
The unknown is scary, but it can also lead to some great discoveries. There are two big sources of it, too. There’s the unknown out there in the world external to us, and the unknown inside you.
When you change your life, there’s bound to be internal changes that you didn’t plan for. If planning were all it took to reinvent one’s life, it’d be much simpler. And we’d experience less heartache and heartbreak.
Let the possibility of change flourish in you. If you try hard to hang on to everything that you’ve got now, that you are now, nothing will change.
Learn to live with fear while always going forward
Reinvention requires embracing uncertainty. It means getting comfortable with discomfort. Doing new things, trying new ways to be is scary! Allowing fear to stop us from changing is always the biggest block to proactive reinvention.
Always. Unlike reactive reinvention, when you must make big changes or face even worse situations than self-renewal, proactive reinvention seems optional when we get scared, so we have the option to retreat into safety. Safety is great. However, clinging to the safety of the familiar ensures you will never reinvent yourself.
Something that was shared with me about how people view me is that I am fearless, which is probably accurate but I didn’t always see it this way. But I’ve come to see the benefits of growing up in foster care and then getting on an airplane at 18 without knowing a thing about where I was going.
But I do understand fear and that it is necessary for us to push through because stepping into who we want to become requires living with fear.
Consider as an example the situation of leaving one career for another, more ideal career. Common wisdom says you must have another job before leaving your current job.
That wisdom in this situation kills any chance of getting that ideal job. It’s very hard, maybe impossible, to prepare for a completely new profession while working a full-time job.
Making a jump from the known into the unknown safely, with no risks, doesn’t happen. There is always some element of risk. Learning to live with risk in order to get something you dearly want is one of the biggest rewards of reinventing yourself.
So are you ready to say yes to reinventing yourself? Ready to say yes to you?
You don’t have to let life happen to you, you can create it however you want it. You can design the life you really want. It starts with the decision to take control of your life and going after the things that are important to you. It’s time that you let go of fear, learn the things you want to learn and open the doors to opportunities. And you can start today!
#1. You can learn to identify what makes you happy in life.
Get in touch with your strength, your gifts and what brings you joy and also energizes you. When you have this knowledge than you’re already on your way to forging your own path.
Take a moment to assess yourself and your life. Write about what feels really good and what doesn’t and then make a list of your strength, gifts and the activities or people that bring you joy.
#2. You can learn to appreciate failures and mistakes as learning opportunities.
When you design your own life, you learn that all the missteps and obstacles that you face in life are not setbacks or failures. Instead, they are opportunities to learn and grow from. Being happy in life and achieving your goals is a process. It won’t happen all at once, even the Romans didn’t build their empire overnight.
Something that I became super clear on these past few years that sometimes you have to throw Spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks because all that learning and growth to figure out what makes you happy becomes knowledge through the process of trial and error, and keep making and learning from mistakes.
Designing your life allows you the freedom to set your sights on a goal that makes you happy and be at peace with the process of learning and evolving that must happen in order for you to achieve that dream.
#3. You can find a fulfilling career. And then find a new one.
Designing your own life means you don’t have to be stuck in your current job and that you can reach for new aspirations at any point in your existence. Years ago I thought being a CPA was a thing I need to be doing only to realize I am not a cubicle type of person which then let me down the proverbial rabbit hole of “what do I want to be when I grow up”. This means tapping into your imagination and envision different futures for yourself all of which could make you happy and fulfilled. Finding the career that brings you joy and energizes you is filled with passion and doesn’t have to be out of your reach. Where there is a will, there is a way!.
This means you pick the one job that fulfills you today, and when that stops being your passion, you know you have the skills and mindset to find the next great opportunity. After my stint in accounting, I ended up working with people who have intellectual disabilities and it was awesome. And then life threw a curveball in my way with my son’s illness and liver transplant and I chose to go after my degree in Counseling. And yes, working as a therapist was definitely fulfilling and filled my passion, at least for a little while.
And today, I am doing what I love and am passionate about in every way – whether it be through coaching and mentoring, creating art, or moonlighting as a virtual assistant.
#4. You can learn to navigate the biggest decision points in your life with ease.
Designing your life teaches you how to assess, make evaluations, envision multiple outcomes, and select among many different choices.
These are all essential life skills because you’ll be making tough decisions along the way. Once you feel confident that your process works and is bringing you happiness, you’ll start to see many ways these skills are transferable to all the decision-making points in your life.
My own biggest challenge was in embracing my multi passions and realizing that I get easily bored doing the same thing over and over again and that I thrive on variety and the ability to use all of my skills – maybe not every day but definitely most of the time.
#5. You can imagine multiple futures for yourself, then decide which to pursue.
Design is a process that involves choices and options with the believe that it can happen for you and when you take the time to imagine multiple futures you can also see the varied pathways ways to get there.
You see that several different options could bring you joy, and you are reminded that there is not one right future or path for you. Knowing this is freeing, allowing you to change directions in the future or start again when you find your passion and joy waning.
Rebel Spark Goal Book
It's time that you find a different way to set goals and make them happen.
It's time that your intuition works hand in hand with your heart and soul because you have a calling and it's time to stop being afraid to go after what you want.
Use this Goal Book to help you step into awareness of what has or hasn't worked, and be honest with where you are in your life right now.
And then make a decision to change it by calling in the vision of your future self and the life you desire.
The monthly pages are here to help you map out actions while the inspired living pages are here to support you to be in the moment.
Use the mind maps to work through any problem and move through frustration or just simply understand your world through visualizing it on paper.
Every day your mind carries prominent beliefs that stop you from fully engaging in your life.
Every day your heart is aching for forgiveness and move into a space of love.
Every day your body reminds you of taking care of yourself.
This is the time to purge your beliefs, allow yourself to embrace the blessings and step into forgiveness. It’s okay to feel grief and have a good cry. This does not make you weak. In fact, it will help you release what has been weighing you down so you can move into the space of healing your wounds.
If necessary, detoxify your body by changing your diet, doing a cleanse or drink more water. Whatever feels right to you, do that. If you have a medical condition, please consult your doctor to make sure you do not cause yourself any harm. But just increasing your water intake can help revitalize your body and your spirit.
Declutter your home, one room at a time, to help shift the energy in your living space. Hanging onto things that no longer fit into your life, have a tendency to drag you down or keep you stuck.
Sometimes the purge is slow while at other times it needs to be radical.
Maybe you need to cut off all your hair or give it a drastic color change. I have seen this a few times that when a woman cuts her hair, change is about to happen.
Maybe you need to get rid of all the clothes that no longer fit. You know the ones you’ve been waiting to fit into again? Here’s a thought I want to share with you: Your wardrobe will change over time and you can always purchase no clothes that fit you better than the ones you keep hanging onto.
Maybe you need to let go of old bedsheets and blankets and get ones that help you feel calm and refreshed.
Maybe you need to let go of people that drag you down, you already know a person in your life like that. It’s okay to let people go with love and recognize that they were only here for part of the journey.
And maybe it’s time for you to shed the thoughts, beliefs, and stories you’ve been telling yourself that hinder you from moving forward.
Give yourself permission to purge and make space for the new.
There’s nothing wrong with you.
Somewhere in this journey, you were told who to be.
Someone told you that you that life is a linear path.
And somewhere along the line, you’ve molded yourself into that person.
You’ve caged yourself without really meaning to.
And you didn’t even see it until one day you had a thought, an experience or came across and article that made you think for just one moment.
It made you think about the kind of life that you want but haven’t allowed yourself to believe it’s possible. It made you think about the career you have been dreaming about and the relationships you crave.
And yet something inside of you stopped you from acting on them because your entire life you were told on who you should be.
The time has come to break free.
It’s time to be who you have always been deep down inside and allow that person to emerge in all its glory.
It’s time to stop hiding that incredible person you are and pave your way your heart is calling you too.
It’s time to remove the mold and see that beauty that shines from within you and let it brighten the world one ray at a time.
Do not allow other’s to tell you, who you are for they too have been molded.
The mold is fear keeping you chained to a life that is dull and boring.
Conformity is a death sentence to your soul.
You are amazing free-thinker and deserve to share your thoughts to make the world a little brighter.
You have opinions and perspective that are worthy of being heard to help the shift towards healing.
You have something amazing to give to this world and you owe it to the world to unleash them.
You have an amazing soul and it’s time embrace it so others may be inspired and motivated to live a life according to their own rules.
Don’t wait for things to happen to you, start making them happen.