“Each phase of the transformation process has distinct milestones,
is progressive, and is not revisited.”
~ Suzy Ross
You may have noticed that I refer to myself as a “reinventionist”. There’s a lot behind my choice to use that tag for myself and my practice.
Mostly it’s because I’m drawn to working with people engaged in reinventing themselves because this has played such a large role in my life. I have re-invented myself, from the boots up, at least three times. And I’ve learned some valuable lessons I want to share with you here and in my coaching practice.
And clearly this is a universally experienced life passage— more so in today’s multi-tasking life than ever. People at 30, 40, 50, 60 even 70 are finding themselves needing or wanting to take their lives and careers in a new direction.
You may be looking at making some big changes because you just got a divorce, lost your job, survived a serious illness—or retired. Or maybe an inner voice is telling you that your life could be better, bigger, more satisfying.
Time for a reinvention!
But, before I get down to the 3- stage approach I most often use with clients, here’s my one big secret: This is a gift.
As you move through all of the ups and downs of crafting your new life, hold on to the knowledge that this breaking of new ground Is a gift to be savored. This may be the only time in your life where you consciously choose what’s next with intention and some degree of wisdom. You’ve already tried something (or things) and learned what worked and what didn’t. You’re an educated you at this stage. Someone ready to act instead of react.
So, take a breath and find the excitement as you take aim at your mindful future.
Step 1: Reflection
Begin the process by hitting the Pause button. Don’t let your inner saboteurs hector you into grabbing at any old action. You’re not a shark. You can afford to hover and look around—like a hummingbird.
This is the time to do whatever it is that you find relaxing: exercise, meditate, go dancing, paint a picture, garden, get a massage. Once you’ve lowered your anxiety a little with one or all of these methods, take an honest look at what worked and what didn’t in the situation you’re leaving behind. Making a Pros and Cons list would be good. And really flesh this list out—be deeply honest with yourself. (This will work whether or not the change was your idea.)
Let’s say you’re leaving a marriage, the “Pros” might have included the feeling of security and a shared enjoyment of nature. The “Cons” might have been a lack of passion and shared humor. And so on, for whatever it is you are moving on from.
Now it’s time do the values exercise on this blog (or review values notes you have from working with your coach), Then compare your Pros and Cons list with your values list. Can you see that the issues that fell into the “Cons” column were areas where important values were not being honored or nourished? These responses likely made you feel unhappy, frustrated or unfulfilled.
This can be a big AHA moment! Now that you know the cost, chances are these values are things you don’t want to give up or ignore as you’re imagining and building your next phase. Your values will be the landmarks by which you navigate a more balanced, fulfilled future.
And that’s the point right? For this next choice to be better, more aligned with what you really long for?