The idea of reinventing yourself is tempting, but the scary part is that there aren’t any guarantees that you’ll like your new self, new job, or new life. So how do you reinvent yourself in the midst of uncertainty and fear?
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“Thank you for this article,” says Jan in response to How to Find Your Dream Job. “Only someone who has gone through this can understand what it is really like at age 47 to reinvent yourself. Thanks for highlighting the thing that keeps us stuck the most – fear. I’m afraid that once I pursue my ideal job that I may not like it. After all, I prayed and begged for this job. I got it and now hate it. I’m afraid that my new career will be the same way. What do I do now?”
That’s a great question – and I have a few ideas for reinventing yourself, based on my own experience. I love recreating, rebuilding, renewing, refreshing my life – and I love change! Admittedly, this does make it easier for me to gleefully tackle the topic of how to reinvent yourself when you have no guarantees. But even if you’re anxious or uncertain about making changes in your life, my ideas may give you something a little more solid to stand on…
3 Tips for Reinventing Yourself
“The artist never entirely knows – we guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.” ~ Agnes de Mille.
Yes, you are an artist! Your medium may not be oil paints or colorful yarns or pencil and paper, but when you reinvent yourself you are engaging in a work of art.
And you never know for sure how your creation – your reinvention of your life – will turn out.
But you will leap anyway? I hope so.
1. Compare your current life with the unknown future
You have a very simple choice: stay in a job you hate, or take a risk and end up in a new career that you might hate. It’s very possible that you will go through the pain of overhauling your whole life – going back to school, finding a new job, adjusting to new coworkers, learning your new responsibilities at work…only to find yourself unhappy and unsatisfied. Again. Still.
If you stay in this job you hate, you know what your future holds (unless, of course, you change your perspective of your position – which I discuss in the third tip below on how to reinvent yourself). If you take a leap of faith into the scary unknown future where there are no guarantees, you still don’t know what your future holds. You may love it or you may hate it.
“I’m afraid my new career will be the same way. So what do I do now?” asked Jan. You decide if you’d rather stay with the awful job you have now or if you’d rather take a risky leap of faith and see what happens next. It’s the blue pill or the red pill for Matrix fans.
If you’re ready for that beautiful risky leap of faith into the great unknown, read 10 Tips for Making a Career Change at 40. Reinventing yourself might be easier than you think!
2. Embrace each step of the reinvention process
Hating the job you’re in is a very important part of the process of reinvention. Why? Because this job is revealing valuable insights and information about who you are and what you want out of your life. You’re learning about your personality, career skills, interests, and passions.
Reinventing yourself takes time. For instance, it took years for the idea of SheBlossoms to develop! Three or four years. I started my Quips and Tips blogs in 2008, and shifted over into Blossom more than a year ago. Last month I created SheBlossoms. Reinventing yourself – or your job – takes time. This is good.
Just yesterday I created my mission statement: “I teach women how to receive God’s power, love, and joy so they can live in freedom and authenticity, and navigate rocky relationships with peace and confidence.” And I have no doubt I’ll reinvent that mission statement as time unfolds.
The process of reinventing yourself is not an overnight task – just like the growth of a flower, a raspberry bush, a clump of moss on the side of a tree trunk.
3. Explore the roots of your unhappiness
Maybe it’s not your job or career that needs to be changed. Maybe you don’t need to go back to school or upgrade your credentials or find a different job. Maybe the roots of your dissatisfaction aren’t in your career.
Is it possible that you’ll be unhappy no matter where you work?
Sometimes learning how to reinvent yourself isn’t about changing your external situation. Sometimes reinvention has to come from within. That’s why my mission statement starts with receiving God’s power, love and joy! If we live in the river of life and energy that flows from Him, then we will be free to be our authentic selves. Reinventing myself is a daily process that God is steering; this makes it easier than struggling to learn how to reinvent myself under our own steam.
What to Do Next
Read Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future by Dorie Clark. She provides a step-by-step guide to help you assess your unique strengths, develop a compelling personal brand, and ensure that others recognize the powerful contribution you can make. Whether you want to advance faster at your present company, change jobs, or make the jump to a new field entirely, the goal is clear: to build a career that thrives on your unique passions and talents.
Take time every day to learn more about reinventing yourself. How? A good starting point is to write your thoughts about my three tips on how to reinvent yourself.
What do you think about…
- Comparing your current life with the unknown future
- Embracing each step of the reinvention process
- Exploring the roots of your unhappiness
Don’t just gloss over these ideas! Take time to write about them, reflect on them. Learn more about yourself, and you will get more and more comfortable with your uncertain and exciting future.
Get comfortable with the idea of reinventing yourself without a guarantee of success or happiness. Faith isn’t about everything turning out okay. Faith is about being okay no matter how things turn out.
If you could reinvent yourself without any risk of failure or disappointment, what would an ideal day in your life look like?