“Why does this always happen to me?” my friend Rachel lamented as we sipped our coffee in a little café. It was 2008 – the height of the recession – and Rachel had just been laid off. Just eighteen months earlier, she had relocated from the Midwest to California to take a prestigious executive position and had been shocked and angered when she was notified that her job had evaporated. When I suggested that this might be an opportunity to reinvent herself, she quickly dismissed the idea as unrealistic.
Over the next few months, Rachel began to despair as her search for a similar executive position brought only rejections. Although she was a highly educated, talented professional, she was so stuck in her rut of hopelessness that she couldn’t envision any other possibilities for herself. After eight frustrating months, she gave up her dream of living in California and moved back to the Midwest.
Many reinvention invitations arrive – as Rachel’s did – packaged as a setback, loss, or the disintegration of a dream. While this can initially trigger feelings of anger, grief and fear, it’s important to realize that you have a choice. Will you continue to spiral into a rut of self-pity and hopelessness or will you shift your thinking to view the loss as an invitation to reinvent your work, your lifestyle or yourself?
Your summons to reinvent might arrive as a wake-up call, prompting you to question how you’re living your life. It might be a scary medical diagnosis for yourself or a loved one. Or you may be jolted into realizing that a precious relationship, which you’ve always taken for granted, is slipping away. In an instant you realize that the life you’re living is no longer aligned with what’s important to you. Will you take this opportunity to reconnect with what matters and redesign your life to reflect your priorities?
You may be called to reinvent yourself by a little voice inside asking “Is this all there is?” Your “successful” career suddenly seems meaningless and empty. The business that you’ve worked so hard to build doesn’t excite you anymore. You sense that life holds something more for you and that you’re being prompted to re-discover what makes your heart sing. You may feel called to get more engaged in a cause that touches your heart or to start that business or earn that degree that you’ve talked about for years. Will you listen to your to your inner voice or allow the business of life drown it out?
You can choose to ignore life’s invitation to reinvent yourself – as Rachel did – and miss an opportunity to reshape your life to be more joyful, abundant and fulfilling.
You can plod on day after day, year after year trying to “fit” into a life that you’ve outgrown.
Or…. you can DARE to accept life’s invitation to reinvent yourself and step into a whole new world of exciting possibilities that you can’t even imagine.
Anne Martin, The Reinvention Mentor, is a coach and speaker who guides women to reconnect with their heart’s desire and re-design their lives for more joy, abundance and meaning. She is available for presentations and workshops on topics such as work/life balance, life reinvention and thriving in transition. For more details, please visit www.daretoreinvent.com