What happens when you leave your career and your professional identity after 40-50 years in the corporate world? Golf, travel, grandkids are all great, but they won’t fill the 12-16 waking hours of each day. Reinventing yourself may be your next step.
Many of us need and want to feel like we still matter. We want to feel like we are being useful in the time we have left. Here is a five step process that can help you find your way on the reinvention journey
Why is it important to have a process to reinvent yourself?
Reinvention can feel overwhelming. It can be scary. Some people may try a few things and then give up. Some people don’t have any idea where to begin.
If you are like me, having a process helps you stay focused. It makes sense out of something that could feel uncomfortable. It puts structure around the journey.
Additionally, using steps to reinvent yourself can provide you with the opportunity to explore new roles, ideas and hobbies you might be interested in. The steps in the process of reinvention may include a life review, looking at new life theme options, creating some action plans.
Here are some steps you may find useful to follow:
1. Reflect on what was important to you when you were young.
2. Listen to your inner wisdom to help you find your purpose.
3. Take action and experiment with possibilities.
4. Make yourself a priority and focus on what you want to do.
5. Seek out opportunities to be of service to others.
Reflect on what was important to you when you were young.
Reflecting on what was important to you when you were young can be a great way to help you uncover your purpose in this next stage of life. When reflecting on your past, think about the passions, interests, and dreams that may have been put on hold due to various reasons. This is where reflecting on your life story could be helpful.
A great exercise to try is to answer questions such as “What have I always loved to do?”, “What brought me joy when I was younger?”, “What was I good at?” and “What would I do if no one paid me?”. Answering these questions can help you uncover your passions and dreams and can lead you to a purpose that you may have never considered before.
Reflecting on your past can also help you remember the things that made you feel alive, the things that made you feel inspired and excited. It can help you tap into your creativity and uncover opportunities that may have been forgotten. It can enable you to reconnect with your strengths and talents and discover new ways of using them.
The path of reinvention is not linear. It can be a winding road, filled with ups and downs. The stage of reinvention is a time to be open to change and to be willing to take risks and try new things. It is important to be patient with yourself and remember that life is a journey, and that you are constantly evolving. Taking the time to reflect on your past can help you uncover your passions and interests and can help you take your next step in the journey of reinvention.
Listen to your inner wisdom to help you find your meaning.
The next step in the reinvention process is to listen to your inner wisdom. This can be done by going within and getting quiet, allowing yourself to get in tune with your true self and what you really want.
Journaling can be a great tool for tapping into your inner wisdom and uncovering your purpose. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can help you reflect on what you want out of life, and what it is that truly brings you joy. Ask yourself questions like, “What would make me happy?” and “What are my values and what is important to me now?”. Taking the time to journal and reflect on your thoughts and feelings can help you gain clarity on what your purpose is and what you need to do to pursue it.
Don’t critique what you write, just let it flow. As ideas come to you, keep writing, even if they sound crazy or intimidating. This is your opportunity to explore different ideas and possibilities. Reinvention is a time of exploration. You will figure out the how later.
Another way to get in touch with your inner wisdom is to meditate or practice mindfulness. Meditation and mindfulness will bring you a sense of calm and will help you to become aware of your thoughts and feelings. Remember they call this a practice. I meditate every day, and thoughts are constantly popping into my mind. That’s ok. There are several apps you can download to help you. I use headspace.
Take action and experiment with possibilities.
The third step in the reinvention process is to take action and experiment with possibilities. This is an important part of any reinvention. You may find this step uncomfortable. Change can be uncomfortable.
This is a time to tap into your curiosity. Ask yourself questions like, “What if I volunteered to do <insert action>? How would I feel about offering that help?” Or ask yourself, “I always wanted to do X, how will I feel if I never try?” Another question would be “What legacy do I want to leave? What difference do I want to have made?”
Taking action means setting goals and taking small steps towards those goals. Experimenting with possibilities means continuing to take action even when it feels difficult. It means staying curious. It means having the courage to try something new. It can be intimidating to take a leap of faith and try something that you’ve never done before. However, taking risks can be incredibly rewarding and can open up many new opportunities.
Reinventing yourself does not mean that you have to completely abandon your current life, but rather to be open to trying new things and taking new approaches.
Make yourself a priority and focus on what you want to do.
Making yourself a priority and focusing on what you want to do is essential for successful reinvention. All of the above steps are ways to explore who you are now and who you want to be.
Many of your roles have been defined by others’ expectations of you. The work you did may have been satisfying and it may have been draining. Either way, in this stage of life, it is not about the ‘shoulds’ that have been imposed on you. It is about finding what you want to do to feel useful, meaningful and to feel like you are living on purpose.
Lastly, make sure you are taking care of yourself by getting enough rest, eating healthy, and exercising. This will help you stay energized and motivated on your path to reinvention.
Seek out opportunities to be of service to others.
The final step in this reinvention process is to seek out opportunities to be of service to others. Volunteering and being of service to others is a great way to tap into your own purpose. You can serve in whatever way is meaningful to you, whether it is through direct service, working on a nonprofit board, or helping out in your community. Being of service to others can help you gain new skills and experiences that can serve you in your current and future endeavors.
Being of service to others can also help you build meaningful relationships. It can help you connect with others in your communities who are also seeking to make a difference. Through these relationships, you can gain support and mutual encouragement to continue working to make a difference in the world.
Finally, being of service to others can help you experience more joy and satisfaction in your life. By doing something for someone else with no expectation of reward, you can find a sense of deep fulfillment that brings you joy and peace. In addition, when you are of service to others, you can gain a greater sense of self-worth, as you are doing something meaningful and worthwhile.
I’d love to hear how you apply The Reinvention Process to find meaning and purpose in your next stage of life.
Leave me a comment on how it went for you or drop any questions you want me to answer! If you’d like to talk about reinvention, schedule some time with me using my Calendly link.