I’m frantically pounding at my keyboard this morning, after having shown a few of my colleagues the cover to my debut book: “Reinvented: Challenging insecurity to live authentically through faith.” I’m excited. It’s been a fight to get this text out, largely because a great component of growing and getting out of my own way had involved committing to confronting the things that have kept me in the same place to begin with.
This morning, the water fountain conversation touched on a lot of issues I discuss in my book, such as the need for validation at the home or work front, condescending attitudes which keep us from growing professionally, the fear of stepping out into entrepreneurship and off course, finding that balance as a woman wearing multiple hats. As three women huddled around the coffee-making station, it felt good to be the one, for once, with clearly thought out plan.
I’ve been working at reinventing myself over the past few years, to this post is to encourage anyone who feels like the ladies I was speaking to, who keeps telling themselves enough is enough yet another year rolls over and they are still frustrated, still agitated and still feeling confused about how to move from status quo.
Without going into too much about what you should be doing to bring about a new you (because you already know your reasons why and keep trying to convincing yourself that everything is alright and will work out), let’s talk a little about why you cannot roll out of another year into a new one without looking to usher in a new you:
1. Because the world is waiting for you and your ideas. Believe it or not, there is enough room for you to bust out an idea that has already been done a million times over, and be successful at it! Hailing from Africa, I am loving the ongoing discourse on sustainable development and how the youth can get involved into building a better future across enterprise on our continent. How can I succeed at offering something that’s already in the marketplace you may ask? By making yourself a component of the differentiation strategy. Your work ethic, your ability to network and win the hearts (and cheque book) of your audience, your product presentation, your pursuit of innovation and radicalism as it relates to achieving your objectives; your personal touch can change the world if you believe it will! Everything you see being done or sold has been done or sold before. It’s what spin you put on it that counts!
2. Because you can’t go another day doing things the way you’ve always done it. Any motivational speaker and transformational change leader will tell you that you have to continue to evolve. To reinvent oneself requires you to become a different person, taking stock of how far you’ve come and how well you are doing in bridging the gap between who you are today and who you aspire to be. By learning new things (intellectually or experientially), building on your skills, networking with people who are successful at what you aim to achieve and pursuing new opportunities related to what you are working towards, you are bound to with time, figure out how to do things differently.
3. Because you’ll love yourself more for it. Let’s face it; days are longer and borderline unbearable when you don’t love yourself. As humans, we can struggle to appreciate ourselves for several reasons including battling with issues to do with insecurity, compromising on the things that matter the most to you, difficulty with picking yourself up after bankruptcy, relationship breakdown, health challenges and so on. Being intentional about bettering yourself will put you on the fast track to higher self-esteem and confidence in your skills and talents. Everyone wants to feel good about themselves – why not join them?
4. Because there is a bank of readily available resources to help you improve yourself. From free webinars and training programmes, to cheap e-books and podcasts, there is a wealth of information available through all media-forms to give you information on how to build your idea into profitable business, make the perfect pitch, or even meet your soulmate! On every subject matter, there is information. Because there is information out there – heaps of it – we have no excuse for not evolving, not learning and not growing.
5. Because it’s never too late to usher in a new you! Whether you’ve been working at losing a couple of pounds, are desperate to switch careers or need a new set of friends, there is always something to be learned along the journey of all those experiences. Diverse experiences shape us and give us an opportunity to learn more about ourselves. I have sat down and spoken to clients who made career changes from the medical field to politics and others who have quit their jobs in financial services to start a cupcake company for example. The underlining message was that they felt so much better for having taken a leap of faith and trying something they have always dreamed of doing. Some through caution to the wind while others mapped out a meticulous exit from status quo to work towards the life they truly wanted. The result was not only a change in the course of action, but a change in the person they became. Age had nothing to do with the resulting success, just a sheer will to experience self-mastery and live life on their own terms!
At the core, reinventing ourselves constantly and consistently keeps us relevant to the times we live. It also does wonders in boosting our self-worth and coming to grips with our full potential. I leave you with a great quote by Nobel Prize-winning American novelist and short story writer William Faulkner where he said summed the importance of personal reinvention by stating:
“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Do not bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.”