Reinvention – aptly described by a quick Google search as “the action or process through which something is changed so much that it appears to be entirely new.” Today’s millennial woman is seemingly always looking for something to change about themselves as prompted by key learnings from what I like to call “adulting”. Our microwave generation wants what it wants now, and all that we want must come sprinkled with all forms of glitter and the promise of emancipation from whatever’s plaguing us.
Who doesn’t want the high that comes with experiencing new things, new beginnings and momentous celebrations that have us snapping our fingers and screaming “Yaaas!!!” every which way we turn!? Let’s face it, the utopian woman is currently basking in the endless euphoria of being hugely exposed to more opportunities to redesign our lives than ever before – if only we believe this to be true for us!
A few years ago I made the intentional decision to change my life – completely – because quite frankly, I was done doing life on the mediocre train. My career, my social capital (the friendship circle), the endless ideas milling through my mind waiting on me to make decisions for when to execute them, the country I was going to live in – all of it; I wanted a change and I wanted it as early as I could get it – legally.
You know how it goes; we want to get rid of the stretch marks after rapid weight loss or post-delivery; and so there we find ourselves in the skincare aisle at the neighbourhood hypermarket, trying to figure out which between the concentrated cocoa butter or aloe era will do.
For someone else, maybe it’s a quest for global exploration and holidaying at exotic destinations because these travel blogs and influencer Instagram pages really have a way of wishing we could pack a bag and venture out to places uncharted at the blink of an eye and the swipe of a credit card. Never mind the “10 tips to getting him to fall in love with you” blogs that populate our feeds the minute we hit “sign in” to whichever platform tickles our fancy. Someone is always feeding us images that capture the imagination, and peddling us ideas of how we should look, feel, what we should eat and what’s the coolest fad to absorb in our current season. But what do we want? What do we really want and how do we get it?
We want to love and be loved, to enjoy doors swinging wide open in every building we dare enter, to catch flights and not feelings, to be able to pursue whatever endeavor without wrecking our minds about the how, the when, the why? But we also know that life is one of those funny things we don’t always have control over. Situations get complicated. People can be weird. The coins don’t stretch longer than the month runs…and so on. When all’s said and done and the pages have been turned, we are still to ask ourselves how positive change can happen for us for the better.
Why is it important to actively pursue reward and comprehension of our needs so we can be better? How much grind will it take before we can truly experience a fast-evolving yet exciting life characterized by authentic, transformational experiences that have us smiling at ourselves because well…life is good.
As a Publicist and Communications Strategist, beyond helping corporates raise their brand equity, I get to work with many aspiring female entrepreneurs who carry numerous ideas but aren’t sure about how getting started will impact their ship. Mentoring young women challenges me to draw from the mistake I made in my younger years of thinking if I dreamed a thing without particularly fighting for it, it would eventually come to pass. In our sessions, I provoke them to think through a host of questions that should help them understand their motives for wanting to redesign their lives – or brands.
“How do I reinvent myself?”
“What does a do-over mean for me?”
“Who’s staying behind and who’s joining me on the transitional road ahead?”
How long with this process take and what are the outcomes for such drastic changes?”
So many questions. Allow me to share my 5, overtly basic tips of getting it together and pursuing reinvention in your life and/or your hustle.
1. Changing oneself requires a great deal introspection and acceptance of the things that you aren’t particularly chuffed about. You can’t change what you don’t confront. Losing that weight won’t happen for you until you accept that you no longer fit in those size 6 jeans you wore all through your 20s. If you’re going at your 8-5 with minimal enthusiasm, perhaps it may be a good time to think through whether you really do enjoy your job, and if not, asking yourself the reasons for staying. Is the money worth the misery? Could it be an outlook thing or a departmental transfer that may get you back on track to actually liking where you are spending 8-10 hours a day? You get where I’m going with this…
2. Your life’s reinvention will involve sacrifice. No boxer ever won a fight without hours and hours of training. Any CEO will tell you about the tens of thousands of hours it took them to get to the top. This is before they get into how after reaching the top, they realise that it’s quite lonely up there and carries a great deal of responsibility. Eeek! Getting out of debt will require you to cut the brunches and get off the online stores. Change requires sacrifice; sacrifice breeds victory! Are you willing to suffer for a little while to reach your finish line?
3. Own your mess; rewrite your narrative. I struggled to get myself together because I blamed everything and everyone for the stuff I wasn’t happy about. If it wasn’t the economy it was the political situation in my country that affected the economy that resulted in my being out here as a Zimbabwean living far away from my family and missing birthdays and and and. Yeah…eventually the excuses should run out. That’s what being a grown up means. It means owning the mess we find ourselves in and rewriting our story through the actions we take to get out from up under our excuses and self-pity. Own your mess and consider the points I made in my first point. Accept and introspect.
4. Of social capital and choosing your connections wisely. There are a bunch of people milling around and doing life with no plan. Don’t be found among them. Social audits are critical to ascertaining who in your life are dead weight, mooches, motivators and cultivators of your gifts. As the adage goes, if you catch yourself the smartest one in a group – #EVERY.SINGLE.TIME – it may be time cut and replace. Nurture relationships that allow your brightest light to shine while you too make a difference in the lives of the people you are connected to. If it to do with your business, be clear about who you will take on as clients and what business is good to walk away from. Yes, we need people, but we can’t serve everyone effectively all the time. The is also such as thing as bad business, and is usually has sketchy people behind it.
5. Lights, camera, action! My profession has me enjoying the arduous task of putting together plans for the brands we present, listing our set of objectives before formulating our strategy. Basically, the “what” and the “how” are quintessential elements for any campaign to be a success. As I mentor women, I ask them what they are doing or what they want to do, and how do they intend on getting the things they’ve listed done. Then we create an action plan. Without execution, a goal can be likened to a wish.
For your life to change, put together a plan of the things you desire to see manifest then draft your action plan which can be as basic as: “To save $500 dollars a month for the next 3 months, I will eat out once a week and make home cooked meals; I will go out only once a month and I will have my hair braided as opposed to buying a new wig.” Sounds basic I know, but those are literally the most rudimentary of strategies I’ve employed to getting out of debt, authoring books, building on my skillset so I could pursue better growth opportunities, getting into better shape – and so on.
Reinvention – “the action or process through which something is changed so much that it appears to be entirely new.” It won’t come without the decision to pursue it, and subsequent actions that will constitute your do over! What bit do you need to be reflecting upon, revisiting and realigning for a better and well-balanced you?