I use the word “reinvention” often because it is a necessary process for most of us as we go through transition—career transitions; life transitions, such as entering midlife or beyond; relationship transitions; and the transitions we face in our lives, work, and businesses from the epochal changes the entire planet is undergoing—economic, environmental, social.
But what exactly do I mean when I use this word?
People sometimes think that reinvention means dropping everything and starting on a new path. Although this might be what we need to do at times, in my experience, it’s rare. This misconception can lead people to a cycle of starting new endeavors without ever finishing any of them because when they hit a rough patch, they “reinvent” again, rather than reassessing along the way and making necessary shifts while continuing to move forward.
Furthermore, that’s not really reinvention at all. It’s essentially a cycle of invention without the all-important prefix. Reinvention is a process of working with who you are, where you are, what you’ve done, are doing, and are capable of. It’s a process of building and transforming based on the best of you as well as the core of what really matters to you. Yes, you often have to toss out old definitions of yourself and of success, as well as aspects of your life that do not really matter, that are merely clutter. Reinvention is a purification process, getting down to your essence, to your core values. But you don’t toss out the gold with the dross.
This is an especially important distinction in these uncertain times. If we look at reinvention as an either/or prospect—either I continue doing exactly what I’m doing or I discard it all and do something completely different—many of us will feel stuck, knowing we can’t afford to throw it all away. Others will throw it all away and very likely find themselves with nothing to show for it because they also tossed what they needed.
Either/or thinking is not the answer. Reinvention is about both/and. You can continue moving forward on your path, doing what you need to do pragmatically while also getting in touch with your visionary voice, with what matters most to you. You can identify what needs to go and develop a plan toward your vision that includes the best of both worlds, the best of who you are now and who you can be.
Reinvention—of our lives, our work, and even our world—is not for only a select few who can afford it. We’re all invited to the reinvention. Come as you are.
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Copyright Karen Sands, MCC, BCC, publisher of the complimentary monthly e-letter Future Works® Gazette and www.KarenSands.com/blog. To sign up for her complimentary e-letter and blog, and to learn more about her tools for positively transforming yourself, your work, and your world, visit www.KarenSands.com on your journey to a greater future.
Image credit: Art with Fruit.