It's spring and there's lots of movement in the air. Change, which is ever-constant, is highlighted with the end of school and all that it entails. New graduates. New phases of life. New decisions.
We all experience moments in life where we are called upon to make big choices. We come to a crossroads and an opportunity to invent or re-invent ourselves and we must ask the big question: What is next for me?
Such moments can be exciting, disruptive, and frustrating. Reinvention is a creative process that can feel unpredictable and messy.
As I think about the times that I have re-invented myself, or have accompanied others in that process, these six powerful questions have served as helpful guideposts.
- What is so about where I am now? The beginning point for creative change begins with an honest assessment of the current context. The assessment is most helpful if it is done in a spirit of mindfulness - with curiosity and without judgement. Consider the truth about your experience of your life, or the aspect of your life where you would like to grow. There is great power in stating your truth clearly and compassionately.
- How would I like it to be? This is another opportunity to be completely honest. You may notice that this question triggers fears about what you "should" want. It might also trigger thoughts about why you can't have what you want. Notice your thoughts and feelings with compassion, but do not hold on to them. Growth is threatening to our egos and it is common to experience resistance. Stay with the question. If there were no barriers - how would you like it to be?
- What is important to me about this change? As you create a new possibility for yourself, it is important to know your "why". Your "why" provides a sense of purpose and clarity to the changes you are undertaking. This awareness will connect you to your deepest values and help sustain you through the challenging aspects of change.
- What actions will I need to take in order to fulfill my vision? The biggest challenge to reinvention is getting "stuck" and not taking action that will move your dream forward. You may feel afraid or uncertain about how to move ahead. Planning the next steps of your reinvention journey helps to make it less overwhelming. Your dream may be big, but the steps to get you there can be small.
- What do I want/need to let go of in order to take action? As you make plans, you will probably continue to encounter resistance. Changes can threaten our sense of identity or our assumptions. The good news is, you can use this resistance to fuel your growth. Every limiting belief that you uncover is an opportunity to be courageous. When you choose to challenge what limits you, you expand your confidence and clarity.
- What support or assistance do I need in order to move forward and sustain my progress? Being proactive about your reinvention requires that you identify and provide for your needs. You do not need to know all the answers or have all the skills that your dream requires of you. Imagine yourself as the captain of a ship. You do not have to travel solo. You are responsible for charting your course and making sure that you get there. You are also responsible for making sure that you have the necessary provisions and assistance required for the journey. If you find yourself stalled, ask yourself what you need to take the next step.
How about you? I'd love to hear how you've navigated the creative process of reinvention. What have you learned while reinventing yourself? Please share your thoughts in the comments below!