Why You’re Not Reinventing Yourself
May 13th, 2014 by Marcy Schwab
You can go to any bookstore in the self help section and find many books on the topic of reinventing yourself. Doing an Amazon search of the term, “Reinventing Yourself”, turned up book after book with those words in the title. Including, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Reinventing Yourself by Jeff Davidson. Really? There’s even an Idiot’s Guide for it.
Instead, I welcome you to think of making positive changes in your habits, outlook, and mindset. Once you have a picture of where you (not someone else!) want to go, you can utilize your perspective, strengths, and energy to make positive change happen.
It’s Not Reinvention, It’s a Mindset Shift Because of Awareness
You cannot even begin to try to reinvent yourself. And why should you, anyway? You have the sum of your years of experiences that provide all sorts of insights that allow you to see the world bigger and more broadly than you did before. The mere fact that you are considering a “reinvention” is a result of the experiences you have and the benefits that you believe will happen when you make a change. You can only see the power of the change because of awareness you now have. Self awareness and social awareness are the fundamental building blocks of Emotional Intelligence. Because of who you are and what you have done, you are able to acknowledge the mistakes you have made and what you learned from them, you have a sense of what has made you successful so far and what you want to do more of. Your awareness gives you the jumping off point to create new possibilities for yourself by changing the way you look at the world. It’s about pivoting – putting your mind to a positive change – and not forgetting all that you have learned up until now.
Pivot based on your Strengths
We pivot many times on our life journey. An obvious pivot happened when you graduated from school and made a decision on what type of first career you wanted to have. That career choice may have lasted a little while or a long while, but it was a change of scenery that required new ways of managing your day-to-day life. Changing jobs whether in the same field or an entirely new one required a new outlook, new way of doing things, and new people with whom to interact. In this case, you were building yourself in this new environment. What did you utilize to be successful in these new environments? Almost certainly you leaned on your strengths to help you accomplish what you set out to do.
We all have core strengths that take us to higher levels of accomplishment. Knowing what those are and using them to overcome our so-called deficiencies is vital to growth. No one can be great at everything, and I would suggest that most people have 3 – 4 core strengths. I also believe that you are who you are and there are certain things that you will just never good at. That doesn’t mean you can’t be successful; it means that you can and should use what you are good at to make those weaknesses less visible or less important. Picking the right job that highlights your strengths, for example. Pivoting from strength gives you the best chance for success and happiness.
Develop New Habits, Make Positive Changes
As you think about your next move, it helps to understand where do you want to go and who do you want to be next. What needs to be true for you to be successful in your new environment? What do you need to do differently now that you are thinking differently and moving in a new direction?
One of two things needs to be true for change to happen well. The first is the easier of the two. The change needs to feel natural. If it’s in your nature to do this new thing, it will happen easily and with a small amount of thought. We hope for this type of change because it’s the easiest to lean into.
The second is much harder and it is often why we fail when trying to change something (how about your eating or exercise habits?) If the change doesn’t feel natural, it will be take a lot more effort to make it stick. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg is a current bestseller that does a great job explaining our habits and how we can create new ones. New habits give us the means to make positive changes and pivot on our strengths.
You wouldn’t want to reinvent yourself. There are so many beautiful things about you that make you who you are. Instead, think of how you can pivot on your strengths to make positive changes in your life that will help you get where you want to go.
What have you changed for the positive?
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