Change is the only constant thing in this world. Ironic isn’t it?
No matter how hard we try to prevent things from happening; some things will never be the same.
You may think you have it all figured out, but in a blink of an eye, everything can change. You lose your job, your career, your loved ones, your family— you may even lose yourself in the process. You may feel like you’re at your darkest and lowest point in life.
However, when you already reached rock bottom, the only way left is to go up.
Start over. Get to know yourself again. Learn to love the person you’ve become, or better yet, strive to become even better! Make your lowest point be your turning point.
Re-invent yourself. Embrace change. Remember everything you learned and use it as a tool to restart your life.
If you still think that it’s easier said than done, have a look at the life experiences shared by these experts and be inspired on how they started over and re-invented themselves for the better.
Coach | Speaker | Author “Battle Endurance – How You Can Be Someone Who Never Quits and Gives Everything You Have To Give“
Let go, live now and win
Having reached the point where my career was killing me, in the literal sense, my best and only real option was to walk away from a six-figure salary in pursuit of my purpose and passion in life. This being the third time of starting over called for a complete and total reinvention.
The first step is to ask yourself, and honestly answer these key questions:
Q1: How do you feel right now?
You may be ok with where you’re at, but you don’t feel that fire burning desire inside, that energy to explore, seek, learn new things like you once did. You don’t feel like you are growing. You know there is more you are supposed to do with your life. These are the seeds of toxic thoughts.
Perhaps you feel hopeless and helpless to do anything about your life. Are you stuck in a rut of misery in what feels like a repeat of yesterday or last week – month – year?
Do you feel like you are standing in place? Or maybe things aren’t that bad, but you know there is more to life. At this stage, recognize that the toxicity level has taken root and is growing.
When the pain of the present becomes greater than the fear of the future, that is when real change begins to take place.
It may be a job or career, a relationship, your health or even a sense of purpose. It could also be all of these. If any of the above describes you and you haven’t changed, ask yourself, “Why not?”
Most likely the answer is fear. The ‘Miracle Grow’ fertilizer for toxicity. Fear of the unknown, fear of what MIGHT happen. Usually, when we get so bad off that we just don’t care anymore, then we become willing to change. The risk of waiting until then, however, is sinking into deep depression or emotionally reacting in such a way that in the short term may feel good but has long-term consequences that are less than desirable.
Depression sets in and levels increase when fueled by our expectations not being met. We get into a pattern expecting everything to happen according to our expectations when it doesn’t, we get upset. This cycle continues locking us into what I call “Expectation Prison,” and we are the only one with the key.
To reduce depression levels, you must determine to find the courage to try and change, for the better. In little steps at first. These small wins will help build your confidence to continue to grow. Whether it be learning a new skill, mastering a bad habit, working on a rebuilding a relationship or in some cases, cleaning out the storage and taking out the trash – i.e., things that you no longer need or use in your life and keeping them around will serve no purpose, take a valuable space or may even cause harm.
Q2: Who are you?
When you have nagging or even gut-wrenching sense that you have become someone other than yourself, you may just have. When you feel like a facade, a phony or fake; always going into character, even around those whom you should be able to let your guard down around; there may be a problem.
When you are doing something you are not supposed to be doing and are where you are not supposed to be, you become someone you are not.
Stop and take inventory. Is this you? Who you really are? Does what you are doing align with your passions, values, and goals or are you just miserably plodding along hoping things will change?
When a car becomes out of alignment, we take it in and have an adjustment made. Otherwise, we run the risk of prematurely wearing out the tires and worse, other expensive components on the car. The same holds true with you. Why wear your heart, brain or other vital organs out, being something you are not or doing something you hate. You get one life. You know yourself better than anyone. Chose to be you, and live the life you’ve imagined, being you!
Q3: Where are you going?
Do you have a clear sense of direction on where you are headed, or do you find yourself suffocating, hopelessly toiling in what you are doing? Do you feel like you are standing in place? Like there is no way out? You will not get to where you want to go by focusing on where you don’t want to be.
Pay close attention to your thoughts. They serve to help you grow or hold you back or hostage to your past. Divorce your past, fall in love, marry and live your now into your future.
Determine to reprogram your brain. Practice this until it becomes a habit to replace every negative and toxic thought with a positive and good one. When the voice in your head brings up the past, replace that thought with where you want to and will be in the future. This paves the road for you to travel forward and incites action.
Once you have made the determination that change is needed, I recommend the following approaches to shift away from where you don’t want to be, to becoming the person and living the life that you desire.
In his book “Good To Great”, author Jim Collins describes what he calls the Hedgehog Concept, which is based on an ancient Greek parable. He uses this as a formula for creating sustainably great companies. This concept can also be applied to individuals.
The approach is rather simple. First, draw three overlapping circles. Then label each one as follows:
A – what am I best/better than anyone else at doing
B – what am I passionate about
C – how can I financially support myself doing a combination of circle A and B
Where the three circles intersects in the center is your sweet spot. If you make this your primary area of focus, your vision, drive and goal, you stand a much greater chance and achieving not just good success but sustainably great success.
This main benefit of formula is that it can lead you to purpose in life. The ripple effect of that is indescribable as it relates to life harmony and balance, fulfillment, peace, joy and even happiness. If the center of the concentric circles benefits others, then the impact becomes off the charts in terms of the degree of positive effect both on you and those whom you cross paths with.
This sort of re-invention is a life-changing event. A priceless and even life-saving one when pursued with a dogged determination that is fueled by a desire to never return to an undesirable past.
Read Related Article: How to Make Peace with Your Past? (18 Powerful Tips)
Starting over through reinvention is one of if not the most important exercise you can undertake in your life. If you’re up for the challenge, the rewards are literally endless.
As a powerful weapon against negativity in the pursuit of a fulfilling and meaningful impact with your life, I use the following approach for wringing the good out of challenges and living life to the fullest!
It’s called: Let go, Live now and Win!
- Let Go.
– You need to start by letting go of the things you do not control. Be it the past, people or circumstances you cannot change.
– The time and effort you spend worrying over or being distracted the past, or things you can do absolutely nothing about, causes undue stress, a loss of energy and focus.
- Live Now.
– By that, I mean you need to live in the present moment.
– Yesterday, ended last night. The combined wealth of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Jeff Bezos cannot buy 5 seconds of yesterday.
– The future has not happened yet. When it occurs, it happens in the present moment. So in reality, all you ever have in now, this very moment. You would be wise to make the most of it.
– You need to stop trying to pre-live (what may or may not happen in the future) or relive (what happened in the past) and live now!
– You should celebrate every win along the way. The big ones as well as the small ones.
– By acknowledging your victories, you encourage yourself and build momentum toward achieving your goals.
– By realizing your vision, you become the best version of yourself!
– You can always lift your spirit when you begin to list out the things you are thankful and grateful for by merely shifting your perspective to one of gratitude.
Peter N. Darrow
Entrepreneur | Author, Wise Millennial
Create your own reality
After thousands of hours of therapy, introspection, and meditation, I finally began taking control of my life and creating my own opinions, most of which have evolved far beyond my family’s worldview.
You have the power to create your own reality. Your happiness lies from within and is not dependent upon others.
This is very easy to say and incredibly difficult to perform. It’s okay to express yourself without fear of being judged but you must also carry yourself in an emotionally mature way.
Figure out what you’re REALLY passionate about (NOT what your parents or friends care about). Remind yourself constantly why you’re doing this and what you ultimately hope to achieve from it.
Second, you should surround yourself with like-minded people who share your same passions. Third, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t achieve whatever it is you’re after. Remove any ego and be open-minded. But stay laser-focused on your goal, and don’t get bogged down in the weeds/politics. Stay at 30,000 feet.
Without a strong sense of self, true happiness is unattainable.
Character development is the foundation from which our worldview is established. Otherwise, you’ll easily find yourself “spinning your wheels” and living life on autopilot without even realizing it. You might even find yourself headed down an unsatisfying path.
Yet what I’ve realized is that every minute you spend on inward focus, yields a 10x return on attitude, patience, and fulfillment. Ultimately, an inward focus will actually allow you to organize your activities more efficiently, thus creating more free time, not less. Don’t view self-reflection as one more thing competing for your time, but rather an opportunity to get yourself organized.
Actor | TEDx Speaker | Radio Personality | Author, “Habits for Success: Inspired Ideas to Help You Soar”
Honor and listen to your intuitive guidance
I think a great place to start is to honor and listen to your intuitive guidance. Once you have an idea of what direction you would like to head then it requires a lot of trust and a belief in yourself that you will find your way once you take that leap and begin to head in a new direction.
Ten years ago, I took that leap while I was running my family business. I had been running this business, which was a successful golf center in Salem, Oregon for 11 years. But I was really unhappy and felt like I had
stopped growing there. I know a lot of people would give their “left arm” to have that job, but I didn’t feel like I was being my true authentic self and that bothered me.
I felt like I had this giant gift inside of me that wanted to come out, but I didn’t know quite what it was; I just knew that it needed to be released. So, I left the business. I had no idea what I was going to do with my life after leaving the golf center, but I trusted my decision.
From that place I just stepped out into the unknown and proceeded to follow my intuition which continued to guide me in the direction of my current profession of writing, acting and speaking. I just kept saying “yes” to opportunities and continued to step out of my comfort zone.
And as my self-awareness grew, so did my creativity and I began to unlock a lot of talents that I had no idea existed inside of me. And before I knew it, I had written a few books, began to act and did a TEDx presentation. I felt like I was finally in alignment with my life’s mission.
If one is wanting to start over in life, I think it’s incredibly important to continue to learn, grow and continue to keep moving forward.
Life is constantly flowing and evolving around us. I feel we should be doing the same. We aren’t meant to be stagnant. Life is so much richer when we continue to grow, mature, and have new experiences. I know it isn’t always easy, but that’s what makes it so fulfilling to continue to test ourselves and see the world with new eyes.
And of course, do what you love. It is as simple as it sounds. It is very important that you be able to do the things that you love and enjoy so that you can truly feel the full capacity of who you are and what you are
You deserve to live life on your own terms. And please remember, it’s ok to start small.
I understand that most people can’t just go and quit their current job. It is possible though to start looking around for others or maybe take some classes on the side to begin to develop some new skills that might lead to a new opportunity in doing something that you enjoy more.
The important thing is to get some momentum going and clarity flowing. If you love to write and want to make it your profession maybe take a creative writing class or work part-time doing something you love until you can do it full time. If there’s a will there’s a way to make it happen.
Speaker and Host of YouTube channel, “Rising Above” | Writing Coach | Author, “To Love Again“
It starts with your mind
Starting over is really a mindset shift. It starts with your mind. You can start over in any minute of any day, including days that you think have gone bad. The moment you are sick of having a bad day and decide you want to start your day over, you can. You have that power.
Starting over first takes a level of honesty with yourself that you’ve never experienced.
It requires you to really reflect upon yourself and look at those edges that you are not content with, that doesn’t bring you peace and ask yourself those hard questions of what will bring happiness and peace.
It takes the acceptance that in order to change you have to change something in your daily routine. Looking at your daily routine and introducing new behaviors and habits will propel you towards a new life.
In my new book, “to love again”, I discuss practical daily habits and rituals that I’ve implemented into my life when I made the decision to make a new life for myself. These are things I still practice to this day and help me stay focused and aligned.
- Be still. Find time every day to just be still and spend alone time with yourself doing nothing but being in the moment. Some would call this meditation. I often think that words intimidate people, so I call it being still. It’s just being mindful of that very moment, practicing being present. It’s in these moments of stillness that you have time to listen to your thoughts and start understanding yourself in a different light. Doing this helps cultivate inner peace.
Read Related Article: 18 Best Mindfulness Books
- Write your three-month goals down and hang them up where you can see it. Create professional, personal and physical goals for yourself to work towards for the next three months. This keeps you focused, motivated, building your confidence.
- Get uncomfortable every day! When you make this a daily routine, it helps prepare your mind and stamina for vulnerability. This can even be implemented in your workouts as long as it’s a conscious effort.
- Don’t watch T.V. or minimize your daily T.V. time. I know this sounds crazy, but really, watching T.V. is an unproductive mindless time filler. Rather, do something with yourself enjoying the company of yourself. Write, read, meditate, give yourself a facial, get a manicure, exercise, sit outside and just enjoy the day being in the moment of life, be present. Exchange the T.V. time to show yourself love.
- Hang notes up for yourself to see every day. I often hang positive messages for myself in places that I will see first thing in the morning and the last thing at night to affirm whatever message I feel that I need.
- Read a book a month. The average American reads one book a year. Don’t be average. Read. Fill your brain with motivating stories, ideas and different perspectives of life. Show yourself love by expanding your mind.
- Exercise. Physical activity keeps the connection between your mind and body; which is real, validated through Epigenetics. When you exercise your body releases endorphins that help you feel happy. Exercise is a way of thanking your body for all that it has done for you because really, you only get one.
- Eat healthy. I’m not a nutritionist or health expert, and I know that everyone’s body reacts differently to all types of foods. I just know that when 80% of your food intake is healthy, you feel better physically and mentally.
- Watch your words. Stay conscious of what you say about yourself. When I started doing this I was surprised at how often I either put myself down without even knowing it or affirmed feelings that I didn’t want to have. The things that you say after “I am”, is what you become. Instead, only verbalize feelings you want and things you love about yourself.
Public Relations Officer | Founder, Career Solutions by Laura
Change is also being brave
I’ve had to start over and reinvent myself a few times in life.
2011– I was laid off for the first time – and in the depths of the Great Recession. That meant navigating being unemployed and having to look for a job for the very first time during a time where unemployment was at its peak. I hadn’t been without a job since 1985. Every time I’d changed jobs it was because I had been offered a new one. The process for me had been very different up until this time.
2012– I changed industries after 25 years from finance to higher education. With the initial industry change came another 2 additional changes in completely different industries and completely different roles. I had to sell my skillsets in one industry as applicable in another.
2016– I separated then divorced in 2017 after 25 years of marriage, which created a lot of other changes forcing me to reinvent the world as I knew it and find a new normal, a new way that I identified myself with the world around me.
Of course there are a lot of details I can provide to you about these changes and the specific re-inventions of myself that I did but what I really want to share with you are some of the things I did or the reasons why I think I have been able to successfully navigate them and be a different person today.
Change always means doing something different. I think that’s the first lesson I learned.
To be successful during a change, you must be willing to do things differently. By doing things differently not only can you learn new skills, but you may also find new paths. When I was laid off, I was forced to job search differently – and am I glad that I was. That personal experience led me to my side gig where I help others navigate their career changes the way I had to navigate mine.
New paths lead me to my next point – opportunity. Change brings the opportunity to explore something new. I have been fortunate (yes, I now consider my life changes to be gifts) to be given the gift of change. It has forced me to consider what is it that I love in life and then find a way to get paid to do it. This exploration has landed me a great day job while I build and grow my own business on the side.
These last five years (most of my major life changes have occurred within the last five years) I have also grown a lot. To succeed during change you must grow so, Change forces Growth. I experienced a lot of growth during this time. Not only did I have to learn how to be on my own as an individual, but I had to learn how to live alone (something I’d never done before), manage my finances along (there’s no second income to fall back on when you live alone) and I’ve had to grow professionally.
I’ve had to take what I know, that value that I know is me and prove how it can work in different scenarios professionally. It’s risky business but one that’s paid off for me exponentially.
Change or reinventing yourself is risky and that’s why people don’t like it – you’re never sure what it’s going to look like on the other side. A book club colleague that I don’t know very well told me shortly after we met – she thinks I’m very brave. When I asked her why she thought that she looked at me and said, “because I couldn’t be on my own, I couldn’t do all the things you’ve had to do. I’d have fallen apart.” So, change is also Being Brave.
I couldn’t have survived the life changes I have, re-invented myself the way I have both personally and professionally if I hadn’t learned the “Lessons of Life Changes” –
- Do things differently
- It’s an Opportunity to Explore Something New
- Changes forces Growth
- Be Brave
Sandra Hilton, PT, DPT, MS
Doctor of Physical Therapy | International Instructor and Speaker | Entropy Physiotherapy & Wellness, LLC
Be determined to be the person you choose to be
I remain fiercely and ruthlessly determined to be the person I choose to be. That sits on the bookshelf at eye level in my room. It’s something a friend said to me in a philosophical email chain during my divorce years. I was searching for lights along the path to give me courage during some truly horrid times.
How do people dig in deep and persist when it is so hard? How can a person stay compassionate and kind in the face of betrayal?
The path needs light; look to your friends and those who inspire you. Define who you chose to be. That’s more than a vision board or a list of qualities, it is a deep dive into yourself. I keep the notebook
that outlines the key points I used to define the person I choose to be:
- What do you stand for regarding ethics and integrity?
- What will you tolerate in your own behavior and those around you?
- What are you willing to compromise, and what are you not willing to do?
- What do you need in order to feel like you?
- How hard are you able and willing to work to be this person?
- How will you keep love and laughter in your life?
And then you must endure the rigor of taking the steps to get you from where you are to where you choose to be. Each day allows us to practice being who we chose to be.
For me, that was taking the risk to open a private clinic, move to a new city, trust myself and my brave business partner. I took a giant leap of faith to build a future of compassion and kindness in health care, as a professional speaker, and in my home.
Life showed me betrayal and sadness – and I found a path lit by compassion, adventure, and a willingness to fiercely be who I choose to be.
Jill A. Johnson-Young, LCSW
Author, “Your own path through grief: A workbook for your journey to recovery” | Co-Founder, CEO, and Clinical Director of Central Counseling Services
I was a child protective services social worker in adoptions, married for 23 years, and set to stay with my county job until full retirement age. Then my wife, Linda, died. That’s when reinventing became an option for the first time.
Within a few months I left my job and safe county career to move away from negativity and a job that did not accommodate the needs of my kids, and I married the hospice nurse who cared for my late wife. I have to give credit for the remarriage to my late wife- Linda told me to marry Casper and told Casper to marry me.
We both told her to stop- and neither of us thought she was right. It turns out she was, and we were married, I moved out of CPS and back to hospice, which was my career for about ten years previously. I also started a small private practice with my best friend, but with no intention of working there full time until retirement, and as a comfortable back up plan. Three years later Casper died, after a horrendous battle with Lewy Body Dementia.
Plan C: reinvent me, my career, and go where I wanted, not where life took me and out of my safety zone.
As I was trying to do as many hours as I could and to keep up with a now-negative environment in my hospice, I had a stroke. A minor one as they go. I could not drive for some time. I use a cane for balance. I have some issues I can accommodate. I called my days as an employee done. I quit my job, I moved into full-time private practice, I decided to focus on grief and loss, dementia, and end of life as my primary focus in my practice, and I married the funeral director who took care of both of my wives.
My life is now running a practice that was going to be two of us and is now 22 clinicians, two offices, three books I have authored with three more in the works, doing speaking engagements on my favorite topics around the country, being part of my community’s dementia programming, seeing clients as I choose to, and bringing my poodles to work. My business partner and I now offer our staff medical benefits, we will start retirement plans for them next year, and we are leaving for Hawaii in two weeks to attend a conference with a group of clinicians we have met as we expanded our practice and created online programs we each offer.
Ten years ago I was going to be a hang-in-there county employee, and I could never imagine being married to anyone but Linda. I am now a business owner, an online business owner, I get to do all the speaking gigs I can find, which is my passion, I have time to write children’s books on grief and loss and adult books as well, I am married for the third time (but I have never been divorced!), and I set my own hours and wear tennis shoes to work if I feel like it.
Stepping out of safety and into who you want to be, especially after a loss, is an awesome way to rediscover who you are, and what you have to offer. (Finding someone who wants to marry you after you have been widowed twice before age 50 is pretty amazing too).
Former Career Ambassador at the George Washington University | Founder, Transizion
It’s important to take a step back and visualize your future
After you’ve visualized your milestone and goals, work backward. Ask yourself, “How do I reach that goal?” Working backward will help you reverse engineer your life and map out the steps that are ahead of you.
Then comes the important part: action.
Action is the key to success. Once you’ve mapped out your goals ahead, take little steps to reinvent yourself. Every small step leads to something more, and, over time, these small steps will count toward something much greater.
Start with a diet change or eating dinner earlier. Start a new gym regimen or try to finish that mile one second quicker. What matters is taking small actions often. The cumulative effect will lead to bigger and bigger changes in your life.
What’s critical to note is that you don’t just wake up and become someone new. This is a process that you need to be honest with. Your buy-in needs to be total and absolute. Commit to your reinvention and set yourself straight when you’re not accomplishing those little tasks.
Owner, Breyer Home Buyers
Create habits to attain your vision
When reinventing yourself, you may have grand visions of how your life may be. While it’s important to keep that final result at the front of your mind, what’s more important are the habits that you are going to need to develop to attain that vision.
Big changes in your life are a result of incrementally small steps compounding your life towards your goal.
Make a list of the habits that you need to acquire for the first year. Don’t try to start them all at once. Instead, pick the single most impactful habit and work hard to develop that habit.
Then, every 1-2 months, stack the next most impactful habit. Focusing on your habits that you need to develop instead of not being at your goal yet will get you to your vision quicker than you realize.
Sheri McGregor, M.A.
Founder, Rejected Parents | Author, “Done With The Crying: Help and Healing for Mothers of Estranged Adult Children“
Quitting doesn’t have to mean giving up
Society conditions us to keep trying, to get back on the horse, that if at first, we don’t succeed we should try, try again. . . . Those sayings have a place and can be helpful, but sometimes it’s more sensible to quit, start over, and reinvent ourselves.
Quitting doesn’t have to mean giving up. It may instead be simply giving in—to our circumstances, to reality, or to another person’s choice we can’t control and that affects us. In giving in, we free ourselves to pursue something new, to embrace a healthy, happy future, and to move forward in a life we can treasure. When you let go of one thing, you’ll have time for others.
Tips to get started:
- Make a list of things you’ve always wanted to try, and then get started. These don’t have to be earthshattering activities. Learning to ice skate, grow vegetables, or how to golf might not sound like a big deal, but will activate new ways of moving, thinking, and planning. By trying new things, you try on a new you.
- Go on a wonder quest. Stop to appreciate a gorgeous sky or listen for the sounds of nature (birdsong, the rushing of wind through leaves). When you attune to finding wonder, the world and the people in it look different. Wonder is everywhere—even in your own skin.
- Break your routine. By getting out of your rut, you open to new possibilities. Just taking a new route to work offers a different perspective, and helps you see yourself in a new way too. Breaking from routines helps you break old habits that may be holding you back.
Reinventing yourself may sound impossible, so start small. One baby step leads to another on a discovery path that uncovers a new and better you.
Author | Speaker | Consultant
Reinventing yourself is about progress, not perfection
Reinventing yourself is first and foremost an inside job – it’s about mental and emotional flexibility, creativity, and resourcefulness.
Reinventing yourself requires developing the ability to see yourself in a variety of different roles – not having your identity totally invested in one job, one career path, or one set of skills and abilities. If you cling to, “This is the way I’ve always been; this is who I am; this is the only job/career I know” then you’re stuck – it’ll be very difficult, if not impossible, to reinvent yourself.
In my workshops on “Reinventing Yourself in a Tough Economy,” I teach people three magic words: “Up until now.” For example, “This is the way I’ve always been, up until now.” “This is who I am, up until now.” “This is the only job/career that I know, up until now.”
Those three magic words function as sort of a mental circuit breaker – they free you from the tyranny of the past. They open up the possibility of change. Even just a little opening in how you think about yourself and your identity is a start. To paraphrase Leonard Cohen, “cracks …. that’s how the light gets in.” So once you discover that your past need not dictate your future, then you’re taking one small step in a new direction. You can begin to explore new possibilities.
The next step is to make a list of all your skills, talents, and abilities. In business, it’s called a skills inventory. But I like to include more than skills – I encourage folks to list their attributes as well, their personal characteristics – like resilience, determination, the ability to follow-through on things, the ability to pay attention to details without losing the big picture, etc. The first step in reinventing yourself is taking an inventory of what you have to work with – skills, talents, experiences, attributes, character strengths, etc.
The second step is to think about the future. Who do you admire? This includes people you know personally as well as people you don’t know, but you know of them – people you’ve read about, people you’ve heard about, people you admire from a distance. Do some research. Find out more about them. How did they get where they are today? What steps did they take? What mistakes did they make? How did they recover from setbacks and disappointments? Learning from other people’s experiences is the key to wisdom and success. Don’t reinvent the wheel – learn from others whom you admire.
The third step is to start to move in the direction you think you want to go. You don’t have to have a complete plan – all detailed and laid out in a timeline. Just start with one small step – it could be almost anything – enrolling in a class, making an appointment with a therapist, reading a self-help book or an inspirational book, committing to a new daily practice (like meditating for 10 minutes a day, etc.).
Once you take the first step, the second step will become apparent. Then you take that one. You just keep moving in the direction you think you want to go – one step at a time.
You’ll make mistakes for sure. You’ll be going down a path and realize that you don’t like this path after all. So you simply change direction and start down a new path. Life is full of detours and roadblocks – all part of the process.
Most importantly, celebrate your successes, no matter how small. Reinventing yourself is about progress, not perfection.
Analyst | Realtor | Writer AH-THENTIC
Necessity and fulfillment can be the impetus of starting over and reinvention
Both have been the case for me in my journey. Keeping the momentum for that impetus can be challenging because it can be stifled by fear, uncertainty, not knowing where to start, lack of focus, lack of confidence, and laziness.
Especially since starting over and reinventing yourself can seem like standing on the edge of a cliff with a huge gap to the next cliff. Perhaps you don’t even know what you want to reinvent yourself into. So how do we get around the barriers and look towards the unknown?
To begin, you need to know what it is that you are trying to become. If you don’t know, I highly recommend reading “Designing Your Life” by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. This book will help guide you to figure that out.
Once you have determined what you want to become, follow these steps:
First, recognize and accept that getting from who you are to who you want to become is going to take time, effort, and won’t be easy. You may not even know how long it will take. You also may not know how to get there.
Second, do some research and ask for help from your network of professionals, friends, and family.
Third, break down the end goal into smaller goals and write them down. It makes the path more palatable and allows you to celebrate mini wins, which will keep you motivated.
Fourth, set a time frame for how long you are going to take to achieve these goals. You may underestimate this, but at least you have a target date you are moving forward to, and as you get closer, you can reassess if necessary.
Fifth, share what you are trying to do with others. They can help to keep you accountable and by sharing it, you are more likely to work towards it.
In the midst of this process surround yourself with things that will motivate you. I love to listen to music, diffuse oils, read quotes, and read books to inspire me.
Follow the Power of Positivity on social media. Exercise can keep help you energize as well. When I am trying to push a friend to work on their goals, I often say, “I try to push the needle forward a little every day.” I’ve also learned that trying something and failing is better than never trying it at all.
There are always lessons to be learned, the experience is priceless, and you can say, “At least I tried!” Remember, the idea of change is frightening, but it can be so exciting as well. Let that drive you to get you there.
Founder and CEO, LadyBossBlogger
If there is a will, there is a way
I had to start my career from scratch and reinvent myself in a developing country.
Prior to that, I had worked hard to climb the corporate ladder in the wedding industry and landed an incredibly well-paying job as a National Wedding Sales Manager. I loved my job and everything I did, but one phone call changed my career forever. My fiance’s brother had been missing for a week and he had called to tell me that his brother was murdered. I was stunned.
I immediately called my boss asking if I could attend the funeral and he said NO… because it would affect sales. So I quit and moved to Honduras to be with my fiance and his family during this tough time. However, I didn’t realize how hard the transition would be for me.
First off, I was now jobless and living in a developing country where the unemployment rate is more than 80%, secondly, I didn’t speak a word of Spanish so I was completely isolated and had moved away from everyone and everything I knew.
So I had to reinvent myself. I decided to start a blog about who I wanted to become – a LADY BOSS BLOGGER.
It was a hard and grueling year, but now just 2 years later, LadyBossBlogger has amassed 150K+ followers and fans from all over the world and I’ve helped thousands of women start their own online business and blogs. It took just one event that could have sent me spiraling down a dark path, but instead, I took my circumstances and turned them into gold.
I hope my story inspires you to not let the situation you’re in keep you down… if there is a will, there is a way! You got this!
House Sit Diva | Author, “How to Become a Housesitter: Insider Tips from the HouseSit Diva“
For 30+ years, I was a political consultant/activist in California, where I was often the statewide spokesperson for campaigns. In my early 40s, I decided to run for office myself in the culmination of a lifelong dream, got my butt kicked, and decided to take a year off politics.
That was 13 years ago. I’m now an award-winning writer and newspaper columnist, book coach and editor. I travel full-time — and have been for 9 straight years! — as a housesitter where I live in someone’s home at no cost while caring for their pets.
I’ve housesat in London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Gibraltar, throughout Africa, Hanoi, Osaka, Kuala Lumpur — even Ya’an, a village in China where I was the only non-Asian face Isaw for a week!
It wasn’t always an easy transition. After my campaign loss, I was lost. (No one ever writes about the candidate who lost…) I knew I didn’t want to return to political consulting, but I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was heavily in debt, had an overly mortgaged house and few job prospects. Once I realized my house with its strangling mortgage was not really the albatross it seemed, but was my biggest asset, I fixed it up as a vacation rental and started living elsewhere for free. The housesitting evolved from there.
So did the writing and reporting. I traveled to the Middle East several times and reported from Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and the West Bank. I co-led a delegation to Damascus that volunteered to help Iraqi refugees. I spent a summer in Beirut helping Syrian refugees.
While housesitting, I’ve written about hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) while attending the 70th commemoration of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, about the changing definition of rape in sharia and secular law in Malaysia, about newly arrived Syrian refugees in Berlin while volunteering at a refugee registration center, about Central American refugees arriving in Mexico.
My life is simpler now in many ways. Without a consulting practice, office and staff to fund, I am much freer emotionally, financially, psychologically. I’m so enthusiastic about my new housesitting/traveling lifestyle.
Professional Life Coach and Facilitator with a B.A. in Psychology | Founder, Inwardology
Each of us truly has everything we need inside of us
It was mid-2010 when life gave me the gift of opportunity to re-invent myself.
At that time and from that perspective, it surely didn’t look like that to me. As I navigated several different aspects of my illness, it was loss that took the spotlight: loss of my health, loss of my energy (to give and to enjoy), loss of my abilities (to participate in basic life activities like work and play), loss of my home (from not being able to work) and so on.
It took a while for me to notice that what emerged from all this was an inviting blank canvas that called me to create from the under-appreciated place of beginning again.
With the blessing of having little (material wise), came the gift of not needing that much money to keep it all up which then translated into more precious free time outside the busy-ness of life. It was a luxury I hadn’t experienced before and I accepted the opportunity to create a more meaningful and purposeful life.
A lot of my time while whole-healing was spent wandering through my own inner landscapes re/discovering life lessons and bringing full presence to myself. I wanted to discover what the heck it was that I was meant to bring to this world. I knew in my bones that we each have unique gifts to offer yet a survey of the work I had done so far had resulted in the conclusion that I had spent a 20-year career in human services helping people wrong. Though I had been operating from the goodness of my heart, there was a very important piece of wisdom I still needed in order to best serve others.
Like many others today, I was suffering from the common illness of busy-ness and loss of authentic connection to something greater than (and to) myself. My personal cure from this illness ironically showed up as cancer.
It taught me about a truth very essential to everyone: that each of us truly has everything we need inside of us. I had witnessed my physical and emotional body heal in the hammock of solitude and contemplation.
Now my work involves the privilege of helping people design their living starting by illuminating their own unique inner beauty, creativity and resourcefulness. I have learned the difference in the impact of holding a mirror for others to see their best selves over just calling them into some lifeboat.
It is so much more empowering and it reminds me that it is all about something much bigger than each of us. As ‘small scale’ and slow-paced my work is growing, I finally feel in authentic alignment with my deepest values in service to others. What a privilege to be able to live from the inside out, to feel small and humble yet so very deeply connected. I wouldn’t change it for anything.