reinvent yourself

You can reinvent yourself with a series of thoughtful, strategic steps. If everything in your life is going wrong and you feel the need to change your life, it may be time to step away from the old and move toward the new.

What do you want your life to look like?

The first step toward changing your life is figuring out where you want to go. Sit down with a piece of paper and a pen and start writing down your thoughts. What do you want your family life to look like? What do you want your career to look like? Who do you want to be in the big scheme of things? Do you want to contribute to your town, city or country in certain way? Do you want your life to include certain people that you have drifted away from?

Once you have written down all your thoughts, sort them out into different buckets such as personal, professional, and social. Visualize what your life would look like if you accomplished each one of the ideas on your list.

Where are you now?

Now that you know where you want to go, figure out where you are now. What do you have today that you want to keep in your life and develop further? Write down all the positives in your life that are working for you.

Create a List of Priorities

It can be easy to get overwhelmed at the thought of changing absolutely everything at once. Pick two main priorities that you absolutely want to work on now. Prioritize the rest of your list based on how important each item is to you.

Create a Plan to Reinvent Yourself

Start with the two top priorities on your list. You know how you want your life to look. How do you want to get there when it comes to the two most important areas of your life? If your top priority is to affect a career change, then create a tactical plan for how you will get there. Are there people you can contact that are in the career that you want to be in? Can you further your education so you can get a foot in the door of a new career? Create a list of strategies that you can use to get to your new destination. Break the list of strategies into goals and timelines.

Leverage Your Strengths

Figure out what your strengths are and use them to achieve your goals. As an example, if you are naturally great at talking to people, use your communication skills to interface with a number of people that have already done what you want to do. If you excel at leadership, then use your inherent skill set to pull your friends and family together to help you with your reinvention goals. If you are creative and innovative, brainstorm about different and unique ways to achieve your goals with out of the box strategies.

Look for a Role Model

Is there anyone that you want to emulate during this process? Sometimes it is easier to find different role models for each area of your life and then strive to learn from the positive characteristics of each role model. If possible, talk to your role models and ask them how they achieved some of the things that you are interested in.

Tell Your Story Differently

One of the most important pieces of reinventing yourself is to talk differently. Your perception of yourself needs to change before you can change the perception of others. How do you want others to see you? How do you want to view yourself from this point onward? If you want to feel more confident and appear more confident, talk about all the positive things that are going on in your life when you talk to other people. If you want to change your career, talk about all the changes you are making so other people know and can help if you need them to.

Create a New Personal Brand

As you start talking differently, you will realize that you are defining yourself differently. Part of the process of reinventing yourself is to encapsulate this change in how you're defining yourself into a new personal brand. Are you moving from being "stuck and average" to "dynamic and entrepreneurial?" Decide what you want your own tagline to be and then make your changes around that specific tagline. If you have chosen "dynamic and entrepreneurial" as your new personal brand, then as you move toward your goals, ask yourself how a dynamic and entrepreneurial person would accomplish a particular goal. You may be surprised at how often you will come up with different ways of doing things because you asked that question. As an added bonus, as you start to do things differently with a personal brand in mind, you will start changing your own perception of yourself because you will be proving to yourself that you are changing. You will also be squelching that internal critic that constantly tells you that you can't achieve something when you know that you can.

Work Hard to Build Credibility and Create Lasting Change

Work hard to accomplish your strategic goals and to meet your own timelines. As you start to put pieces into place, you will build credibility with yourself and others. Be consistent and patient in the way you approach things. Accomplish one goal at a time and build up to creating a big picture that you are happy with. Don't be afraid to ask other people for advice during this process. It is important to set your ego aside and be open to all kinds of input and feedback. In addition, because you are taking the risk of stepping away from your comfort zone, make sure that you reward yourself for each step forward. You can reinvent yourself if you commit to a specific vision and create a strategy to achieve it.

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