Take charge of where your life is headed
It’s coming to that time of year where we can wind down, relax and rejuvenate, and, as a New Year approaches, we can find the mind-space to focus on the changes we wish to make in our lives.
Change and disruption is all around us and it’s constant. In the midst of juggling your busy, and sometimes overwhelming, daily life, you might begin to wonder how you can manage to steer a steadier course.
Rather than simply being swept along by outward change, it’s crucial to feel what you truly desire in your heart, what you know deep inside is needed, and take the necessary creative and structural steps to generate positive change in the areas you wish to focus on.
Purposeful change is crucial if you are to live life with your hands on the wheel of your destiny.
Here are 5 key insights that will help facilitate successful change and reinvention.
#1 Reinvention may require less, not more, activity
Reinvention is not necessarily adding things to your life and doing more – it may require simplifying things and doing less. For example:
– moving to a 4-day week so you can give yourself space to rest, be there for your family, or focus on your creativity.
– saying no occasionally to others, and saying yes to yourself
– giving up your high-powered career so you can work in your own business at a more leisurely pace.
If you are ready for positive change, a wise approach is to take time to let the direction reveal itself, rather than go into a frenzy of activity so you can paper over the stress of not knowing exactly where you are going, or if things will turn out as planned.
The right action may be to wait. Relax. Let the answer reveal itself from within you, and don’t rely solely on your logical, busy mind.
#2 Key qualities you need for positive change
Whilst the desire for change easily manifests, to actually do something about it is difficult. We all have our individual inner resistance, wanting us to stay safe and secure in our life as it is, even if it is not ideal.
To reinvent yourself in any way – around your career, your health, your relationships, your financial situation, your dreams – you need to develop the key traits of courage, open-mindedness, flexibility and imagination.
These qualities ensure you are open to exploring options and new directions, and don’t get stuck in too narrow a view.
Before you get going on action plans, explore the broader parameters of all the elements at play. Mind-mapping is a good tool for this, making for + against lists, keeping an ideas journal, or talking to a mentor, coach or trusted friend.
#3 Manage your resistance to change
Humans are wired for creativity, innovation and the propensity for reinventing and restructuring our lives. But we are also wired to resist change.
When you decide to change something in your life, to improve it, to take a chance, to go for gold, the main voice of resistance within you is the Inner Critic.
It’s the inner voice that criticises and judges you negatively and directs you to avoiding behaviours, or non-action, instead of living the life you want.
The Critic appears unannounced, buzzing negative self-statements to keep you in the status-quo, often in different disguises such as fear, comparison, doubt, judgment and perfectionism.
These voices are all self-protection mechanisms designed to shield us from failure, pain, embarrassment and more.
Become aware when these voices are influencing your decision-making. Take a stand when they appear and tell them to get back in their box.
#4 Risk is part of the equation
Reinvention is not a straight line to the finish. There may be setbacks and bumps along the way that slow the process, or take it in another direction.
You may not hit the bull’s eye of success immediately but the seeds of your success can be in the trials, errors and failures.
There are countless stories of well-known people who have had setbacks in their lives. They pick themselves up and begin again, taking the learnings from the past, and try another direction with different elements.
Risk is part of the equation. If you are adverse to risk-taking, take a calculated risk, or risk a little.
One small step is enough to get you going.
#5 It’s never too late to reinvent yourself
To ride the wave of 2015 and beyond, we all need to realise that reinvention is an integral part of living at this time.
If you don’t reinvent, you risk becoming stale and irrelevant.
Creating purposeful change that you want, will keep you refreshed and revitalised, even though, at times, the road may be difficult and the destination not so clear.
Your full potential is waiting. So start now.
Use your unique gifts.
Listen to your heart.
What will 2015 hold for you?