Reinvent a New Identity

January 18, 2009

Most of us define ourselves by our careers, our money, status, physical beauty or wealth. The problem with this type of definition is that you lose your identity when you lose the career, money, status, beauty and wealth. Then the question becomes, “Who am I without my _________(fill in the blank.) Most of us don’t know who we are outside of our jobs, our roles or our possessions, status, health and beauty.

Many people are experiencing this “IDENTITY DRAMA” right now because of the changes we are forced to make in the state of economic uncertainty.

The challenges we face in our world right now REQUIRE us to REINVENT a  new identity…one that will sustain us in j0433140the storm and shape the world to come.

What if in creating a  new identities we could actually change the world?

Jim Carey said on the Oprah show  that he defines himself in three words: “I am Love.”

Can you see how this belief would make you behave around others? If you define yourself as “I am love” then how do you

  • Respond to criticism
  • Treat yourself
  • Treat others
  • Interact with your children
  • Deal with customers

Can you see how the way you define yourself makes all the difference? Everyday even if we don’t intend to, we answer the question, “who am I?”

We answer the “Who am I” question,  in our behaviors, in our words, and in our moment-by-moment choices.

Here’s the challenge: Pick a new way of BEING to define yourself then “act as if” that is who you believe you are. Here are some choices to get the juices flowing:

  • I am lighthearted
  • I am intelligent
  • I am  secure
  • I am joyous
  • I am a child of God
  • I am wise
  • I am a problem-solver
  • I am creative
  • I am compassionate

Think about this new identity and set an intention to “BE” this new identity when you are in an argument with someone, when dealing with a potential client and with your friends and family. Please let me know what words you decide on to define yourself, and share your declaration with the world by posting below.

PS…please sign up for the SYD Signature Series where we will be discussing these important issues that will help us all be the change we want to see in the world.


Four Stages of Life Reinvention

October 13, 2008

Have you ever looked at someone you admired and you wonder “how did they do it?” The natural tendency is to compare yourself and come to the conclusion that you will never be able to have the successes they have had.

This is the wrong mindset because you can’t look at one photograph out of someone else’s

 One Photograph in the Album

One Photograph in the Album

album and think you know about the whole album. Reinvention is a process that comes
in approximately four stages.

1. Dissatisfaction

2. The Search

3. Questioning

4. Commitment

Dissatisfaction

My journey of reinvention started about fifteen years ago with a feeling of dissatisfaction. I knew there must be something more. At this stage, you search for meaning and purpose and you pray for a sign.  I remember thinking that if I could just get a sign as to what I was supposed to be doing then I could start reinventing my life. What people fail to realize is the signs are all around. Most of us just don’t know how to recognize the signs.

The Search

Dissatisfaction is a sign you have been asking for if you are really ready for change.  After all, human beings are only motivated for two reasons: to eliminate pain or to gain pleasure. Most of us will do more to eliminate pain than we will to gain pleasure; therefore dissatisfaction is a necessary ingredient on the road to reinvention. If you weren’t uncomfortable you wouldn’t be willing to change or to try new things in the search. The search can be fun or scary as you step outside your comfort zone.

Eventually you enter the questioning stage.

Questioning

When your search leaves you feeling empty you start asking questions such as “why am I so miserable?” and “why can’t I figure it out.” Then something magical happens when you discover that if you want a better outcome you have to ask a better question.

This opportunity happened to me through a friend, Marsha, who asked me a great question: “What would you do if there were no limits?  After much stuttering and stammering, I said, I would be a dancer or choreographer.

Marsha said, “That’s not going to happen, you aren’t even taking dance lessons!” After some prodding I said my second choice would be to be a motivational speaker.

Wishing is one thing and doing is another. In order to reinvent you must get to the commitment stage.

Commitment

In the commitment stage you start taking action. Once again you experiment with your life much like you did in the “search” phase, but now you have direction. Once you have direction and meaning, discipline is easy. You do difficult things because you see the value of how your undertaking moves you forward.

I started going to Toastmasters to learn the craft of public speaking. Toastmasters totally changed my life.  For four years I attended meetings and I loved every minute of it.  In addition I went back to college and finished my bachelor’s and master’s degree.

The commitment stage is about the action journey.

There are many myths about reinvention and the success journey. Unfortunately, many well meaning people succumb to false beliefs about how the Law of Attraction works,  and about the power of belief.

To read more about “Reading the Signs” and to get an autographed copy of Success is a Given, click here.


Looking for Purpose? Six Re-Invention Steps to Success

October 1, 2008

Recently I spoke at a conference using the title of my book, “Success is a Given: Reading the Signs While Reinventing Your Life.” As would be expected, many in the audience were in the midst of reinvention, looking for purpose, reinventing their career or entering a new decade of life. These life transitions, I call “the search.”

Four major themes emerged though personal conversations:

  • I don’t know my purpose
  • I just turned 40 and I want something more
  • I’m scared, frustrated and overwhelmed
  • I don’t know what to do

It’s easy to let the drama of life-reinvention trigger unhealthy conversations that keep you farther away from your goals. The communication we have with others is always evidence of the emotions going on underneath.

I understand the emotions because I traveled a similar path about 10 years ago. I was getting ready to turn 40, I had worked in a factory all of my life and I was searching for a purpose and a new career. Once I actually quit my job, the world was open to possibilities…in fact, too many possibilities which is just as frightening as none at all.

You go from being marooned on an island with no escape to complete freedom floating in the middle of the ocean with no map, too many islands to choose from and just a couple of oars! It’s easy to let your attitude slip into negativity and desperation as you row in circles trying to chart your course.

Here are six easy tips to reinvention success.

1. Slow down

2. Get some structure

3. Create an inner purpose

4. Experiment

5. Master your communication

6. Start where you are

Slow Down
Slow down and take a breath. This is not the time to panic. When you are searching too hard, you mistake activity for productivity. One woman said she was spending 10 hours a day searching on the computer to find just the right opportunity. I asked her if she was willing to go inward and listen to her voice. Just because you are busy doesn’t mean you are rowing in the right direction.

Get some structure
To increase your personal effectiveness and productivity create some boundaries. If you are completely out of work, set up a schedule for yourself. Get up at the same time every day. Set up specific times for job searching, working out, and create daily routines. Creating boundaries for yourself makes you feel in control instead of lost at sea.

Create an Inner Purpose
Don’t allow searching for your life purpose be the big drama that’s keeping you stuck. Too many people are looking for some big magical ah-ha moment that signifies they finally got their purpose. Although some people claim to have such a moment, the reality is that life is lived in small segments of the “now.” Looking for the big purpose can be like trying to row to an island 5000 miles away. At some point it just gets exhausting and you never truly arrive.

Look first for an inner purpose and then you can always be on purpose no matter what you do to make money. For example, when I was in the midst of my life-purpose drama, I could not for the life of me figure out how to leave my factory job. I came up with an inner purpose called ICARE which stood for “Improving Communication and Relationships Everywhere.” Then I knew that was my north star for everything I did, even while working in the factory.

Experiment
Give yourself a break. Do you really need to have all the answers right now? Life is about enjoying the journey. Give yourself some time to experiment. Try volunteering for a project. Take up a new hobby. Get to know yourself. If you are going through a re-invention such as divorce or career change, it’s important to experiment with life to know what you want to create for the next phase.

Master Your Communication

Master Your Communication

Master Your Communication
Watch the language you use while in the stages of reinvention. Be mindful of sounding like a victim.
Negative self talk becomes negative public talk. Change your attitude and your words will naturally follow.

One woman I talked to kept talking about “I don’t know what to do” and “the reason what I want isn’t possible is because…” No wonder she was feeling lost. My advice to her was to say instead, “I’m in an exciting period of life reinvention and I’m so fortunate to get to try new things, experiment with my life and create exactly what I want for the next phase.

Start where you are.
Life gives you opportunities in each moment to be purposeful. Don’t fall for the illusion that you need some fancy career or big life calling to be purposeful in your life. I remember creating a mantra while I was still at Kraft Foods. Instead of complaining about the job I would say, “Someone has to make cheese.” If you can be on purpose in the mundane, your presence will lead you to the bigger purpose you are searching for.

What myths are you believing about re-invention and success? Get your free copy of The 3 Success Myths and 4 Lies by clicking here.