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'The Process of Reinvention' from Women's Leadership Author, Speaker and Consultant Selena Rezvani

The Process of Reinvention

[ Monday, Jan 6, 2014 ]
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There's an underlying current of professional women who are seeking to reinvent themselves in 2014.  They may be looking to "unstick" themselves from a tired rut--or, to inject a new and missing element into their lives.

I am part of this group.

In late 2012, I gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl.  This family expansion made 2013 a dream come true, particularly after battling an unpredictable road of infertility.  With their birth, my children brought forth the expansion of my family, my capacity for love--and an immediate need to reorganize my personal and professional lives!  2013 was a time of transition for me as I put new systems in place, adjusted to motherhood, and started to look forward to how I could combine work and my family life.

With a new found sense of invincibility, I spent time focusing on my goals, dreaming a bit, and then putting a concrete plan in place.  I also put significant effort into talking with other profession women, some of whom had reinvented themselves and others who were transitioning.  There is a powerful force in the feeling of sisterhood when you are transitioning...  Women have a unique set of circumstances that often necessitate reinvention and pushing past what "you used to do." 

Here are the steps I used to get started.  I know they will help you get focused on your goals, whether personal or professional:   

 

1) Determine what you want to tweak:  Begin by doing a good post-mortem of 2013.  Note that you don't just want to hammer yourself for weaknesses, you want to locate burgeoning strengths too: "The #1 thing that got in my way last year was..." and "The #1 thing I did right last year was..."

2) Set Your Sights High: Don't suffer from low expectations--if you set low targets, you will hit them every time.  Instead, think about what would delight you in the coming year, not just satsify you: "For 2014 to be a smash success, I would need to...."

3) Divorce Yourself From the Past: If there is something you're looking to change, try talking about it in past terms--starting now (even if you're still doing that thing).  You will be amazed how you gain a new perspective on the habit.  Then, frame how you've changed course.  "In the past, when I used to procrastinate on Monday mornings, I would only create a mountain out of a mole hole for myself.  Now, I attack my worst tasks early Monday morning, which frees up my afternoon for the unexpected."

4) Simplify It: If your goal scares you, good!  That means it's nice and lofty.  Consider breaking it down to its simplest possible form to take the fear out of it.  If you want to run a half marathon in 2014 for example (something I highly recommend), tell yourself: "Running is simple.  It's about putting one foot in front of the other.  That's it.  I can do that."

5) Get moving: Activity breeds activity.  Take your first steps, however small, but don't sit in planning mode. Realize that you may need to step sideways or backwards every so often. That's okay.  Ask, "What's a single action I can take today to advance my goal?"  If your objective is to hit a personal finance goal for example, one day you may only read 2 pages of a book on investing, while another day you contact HR to up your 401K contribution.  Yet another day, you may resist a purchase you suspect you'll regret.  Each of those actions count!

 

A commitment to reinventing yourself is ultimately the most empowering thing you can do when you realize your life needs redirection.  You don't need to look for the answers outside of yourself.  Instead, trust your own sense of what needs to change. I'm looking to 2014 with great anticipation of all that you and I will achieve.  What's on your list?

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