It takes courage to stay interested — to be interesting — and to live an interesting life. You have to reinvent yourself over and over.
~Robin Fisher Roffer
Ever wondered what’s next?
I have learned that just when I think everything in my life is under control, suddenly it’s not. Bam. Everything changes. Guaranteed.
An unexpected event occurs. The need for change is black and white. And, from time to time even when my life is status quo, I ponder the shades of grey, like why – when nothing is really wrong — I start to experience a shift, a restlessness an understanding that I am starting to get stir-crazy with certain aspects. There is a little voice nagging me to make some changes but I’m not exactly sure what those changes would look like. I have learned over time that those little things nag at me for a reason; so now I give them a voice and a place in my life.
Steve Jobs once shared that he would look in the mirror every day and ask himself “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do?” He believed that when the answer was NO for too many days he knew he needed to change something.
I like that.
Transformation doesn’t come easily because it’s human nature for us to resist change. Whether we want or need to change, shift is a constant in our lives that, quite frankly, we don’t know how to handle well. There is no how-to manual, a one-size-fits-all solution, because transition is a personal experience for each of us. Ultimately change brings us closer to who we are as we embrace and expand our own humanity.
Reinvention is not a re-do because we didn’t do something right the first time. It’s an opportunity to consciously redesign any part of our life — a little bit at a time — by building on all that we have accomplished and the lessons we have learned as we chart our unique journey toward success and satisfaction. It makes no difference whether we are seeking a personal or a professional tweak; it’s an on-going evolution that makes us feel like a new person and yet more like ourselves than ever before.
Every so often the very thought of switching things up terrifies me — almost to the point of immobilizing me. Welcome or not, change always takes some getting used to. So, I resolve that no matter how daunting, difficult or frightening it may be, I can do it if I take it one step at a time. That helps me to push past my angst and helps me to obliterate that feeling of being utterly and uncontrollably overwhelmed during the shake-up.
I have discovered that the journey to change involves several steps. Sometimes they play out in slow motion and in other situations they need to be dealt with in fast-forward mode because they are so instant and urgent.
Here’s how I get ready to take a leap and make it an exciting and energizing adventure to a new beginning and something great.
Knowing what I want makes the process easier but sometimes I just don’t know — yet. So, I start the search for answers. Clearing my mind gives me energy and allows me to focus on the path ahead as I take the time to think about the big things in my life and to reflect consciously on what really matters to me. I punctuate my thoughts with more question marks than periods.
Those who know me will agree that patience is not one of my strong virtues. I want to know, and I want to know now could easily be a mantra for me. Yet, I have learned to be okay with myself while I am in the thinking stage and to understand that I shouldn’t make the mistake of rushing into the doing stage.
As I begin the journey to the person I truly want to be I make commitments to myself that I will keep. No empty promises. By making my dreams a size too big I can grow into them. Once I have a clear vision I start basing my decisions on things that will make me happier and move me toward my destination. I want to feel my passion and I want to be clear about what makes me want to get out of bed in the morning as I reclaim my personal power and acknowledge what is right with my life and let go of what isn’t.
Change always takes much longer than I expect. I accept that it’s all right to not know the answers. They will come when I least expect them. I give myself permission to explore and embrace what’s next. I try to be gentle with myself, to let go of fear of failure. I don’t let myself get caught up in perfection paralysis.
I know that reinvention never stops. Transformation is a choice I make moment by moment each and every day. I know that my happiness is not a dot at the end of a road — a final destination — instead it comes from the many places where I can grow as I experience my experiences and feel my feelings. Sometimes change is magnificent and exhilarating. Other times it’s messy and painful. Either way I can’t hold back change. I can choose how I react to it and ensure that it serves to inspire me — not terrify me.
At the end of it all, I hope I can say that I have become a more courageous and graceful self and that I’ve lived the full length and width of my life.
We are all frightened by change and the unfamiliar, but those who remain receptive — despite their reluctances — can discover new passions and possibilities.
How can you make your life more awesome than it is now? I challenge you to imagine your next steps using your own uniqueness, to get out of your comfort zone and to feel excited about a future full of possibility. Then take a bold step forward because it’s up to you to put new life into the life you’ve been living.
You must make the choice to take a chance if you want anything in your life to change. Every chapter of your life demands a different you. Embrace change, harness its power and realize your dreams.
An excerpt from Wear Your Life Well: Lessons on the Journey to your Truest Self
Copyright: Helene Oseen 2017