The only thing constant is change. We are challenged, almost daily, by the conflict of push and pull. We want to make good decisions for ourselves and our families. When it comes to decisions, we often get stuck in a rut and make choices out of habit. The route we take to work, the cereal we buy at the grocery store, how many times we hit the snooze button in the morning. Habits are hard to break and they are certainly what keeps us in our comfort zone. Why else would anyone keep a bad hairstyle from the 1980s? Even worse, why would we ever stay in a job that is taking us nowhere or stay in stagnant relationship that provides little nourishment for our soul? There is, however, a solution in every problem, but we need to be willing to look for it. Big challenges require big vision and bigger change. Enter stage right, the reinvention.
It actually isn’t dramatic at all, and it usually comes with no fanfare, no grand entrance and very little hype. But is does come with a bunch of emotion, worry, and self-doubt. When you are in reinvention mode, it feels great and scary all at the same time. You’re free, you’re refreshed, you are loving life and you are scared. The difference between the old you and the new you can be put into motion by the simple turning of a figurative switch. Make a decision and get to it. Once the decision is made, being overworked becomes being overjoyed. Don’t tell yourself you can’t make the change because change is “complicated.” It doesn’t have to be complicated. Put on your big boy briefs and get to work. Stop settling and start moving. Yes, I am talking to you.
What will that catalyst be? It might me waking up one day to discover that you have finally had enough. It might be an enlightening conversation with a friend, coworker or relative. In any case, it will require a decision and then action. First, the decision. You need to decide that it is time for a change. For just a moment, set aside the fear that says “you can’t” and focus on a perfect world of “I can.” Second, take action. I have a very close friend that talks about a principle of a flywheel. Flywheels can be difficult to get started and require a lot of upfront energy to get into action, but once they are moving they chugalug with very little effort.
So let’s get to it. I did it and so can you. Too old to reinvent? Think again, I was almost 50 years old when I started my reinvention, well over 20 years in another world, coming from an entirely different industry, different market and different mindset. So how did I do it? I made a decision, just as you will too. But you will need to make up your own mind, I can’t do that for you.
Here are the practical steps to reinvention:
Be willing to accept change in your life. Change is not a four letter word. Allow it to enter your life and your decisions. Don’t let the fear of change hold you back.
Burn the boats. Once you make a decision, keep moving forward and do not stop until you win. Ryan Estis, a successful consultant, keynote speaker and friend talks about the idea of burning the boats. Do not allow for a Plan B. There should be no retreat, no surrender and no choice BUT to win. If you have no boat to go back to, you have no choice but to move forward.
Visualize the new you. Say it into existence. Make plans and talk about the new you. It may require a bit of “fake it until you make it” attitude, but I can assure you it works like a champ. In my own personal experience, before I had written the first word of my book, I was an author. Sure, it took 20 weeks of writing, another 10 weeks of editing, a boatload of design and plenty of patience after uttering those words the first time but, “I’m an author.” became my reality.
Develop a step by step action plan. Your best bet is to make a plan and spell it out, step by step. If you don’t know how to do it, follow someone else who has gone before you. Don’t have a relationship with anyone that has gone before you? Make that your first step. I had no clue about the steps I needed to complete in order to become a professional speaker or author, but I knew the right people to ask. It’s incredible what you will discover when you open your mouth and start asking questions.
Seek out support. Disconnect from naysayers. Feed your brain with good, and move away from bad. Seek out the people currently in your life that provide positive energy. For me, I have an amazing network of cheerleaders that regularly boost my energy, bring me back up if I feel down, and keep my head in the right place. Under no circumstance should you align yourself with anyone that will allow you to get away with “average” or second place results. Right now, you need to be pumped up. See my post, 24 Seconds That Can Change Your Life.
Be willing to fail. Don’t let a temporary setback keep you down for good. Remember, you’ve burned the boats, you have no way to get back. I can assure you, you will hit roadblocks and detours along the way and at times you will want to climb under your covers and wait it out. Do not retreat. You got this.
Enjoy life and all it has to offer. There are many years of happiness in front of you and if you take off the rear view mirror and stop looking backwards you will see all that life has to offer. Life is best played with a positive attitude, a huge smile and a soul filled with love.
I would love to hear about your reinvention. Tell me about the new you, the old you went down with the boats. xo