Reinvent Yourself – Each time a major shift happens in our lives—a graduation, a career change, a major move, or losing a loved one—we have to change our SHAPE to reach our full potential. Each major shift gives us the opportunity to go to the next level, but only if we are willing to move out of our comfort zones and reinvent ourselves to embrace new possibilities.
A few weeks ago, I was listening to Bishop TD Jakes, and he said: “Don’t shape yourself around the environment you are in or came from.”
The things you want are always possible and the only real obstacle in your path to a fulfilling life is you, because (like Les Brown said) “we all carry the baggage of insecurities and past experience.” Trust me I know. The environment I grew up in is not like the environment I am in today! The opportunities I have now I didn’t even know existed growing up. In life, you must constantly reshape and reinvent yourself.
How to Reinvent Yourself
To reinvent yourself you must move from your current SHAPE into your Destiny SHAPE. SHAPE is an acronym for Specialness, Heart, Attitude, Purpose, and Experience.
Specialness is about delivering your unique promise of value; your special gifts that no one else has but you. Know your strengths, values, skills, and passion and use them to separate yourself from others. Communicate what makes you different and special so others understand how you add value. Let others know, so you can obtain the resources needed to reach your next level of success. When you reinvent yourself around your “specialness” it gives you the edge and you’re in charge of creating your possibilities.
If your heart isn’t in it, you’ll give up and go back to your old SHAPE. Your hearts passion is what motivates you, gets you going! Many of you may already know that without passion you’ll have trouble overcoming those obstacles along your journey. Your PASSION will:
- Attract people to you – employers, business partners and clients
- Inspire others to see your vision
- Increase your confidence
- Help you to be persistent in your purpose
As you reinvent yourself you have to have an attitude of success. What I mean is that you must carry the attitude of who you are MEANT to be- not who you USE to be.
There is this auto repair business that has been in the family for two generations; they have a happy staff and customers love to visit their location to have them work on their cars. For as long as anyone could remember, the generations of owners were extremely positive happy people. They have this tradition that the front line staff wears a badge, saying Business Is Great! So, most people assumed they were happy and positive because they ran a successful business. In fact it was the other way around. The business was generally good; however, it went through tough times like any other business. What never changed- was their attitude, and the badge saying Business Is Great!
Anyone who saw the badge for the first time would ask, “What’s so great about business?” And it tended to start a conversation, which involved them talking about lots of positive aspects of business and work, like: their passion for fixing cars, meeting new people every day, the fun and laughter in the work environment, and so on. And no matter how miserable a person was, they’d usually end up feeling a lot happier after just a couple of minutes listening to all this infectious enthusiasm and positivity.
You see when you have the right attitude; you are destined to achieve your goals. Perception is reality and you want to create your own perceptions before someone else creates the wrong reality for you. So what do you think those customers told others about that company? I bet they said, that’s a great business.
Your purpose is internal. It’s about your identity, your importance, and your impact. Not everyone knows their purpose. Some people go through their entire lives never knowing their purpose. Without purpose, you have no direction in life. Without purpose, how can you define success? Without purpose how can you express your shape?
I call myself an accidental entrepreneur. My goal was to climb the corporate ladder of success and become a marketing VP. I did everything right; went to college, attended graduate school, was a top performer on my team at work, then one day the truth about corporate American was revealed to me (nothing against you guys who are still in it) when someone else determined whether I could advance my career within the company I work. At that moment, I realized that my purpose was not SHAPED by this corporate environment; my purpose was something else. Two months later, I FIRED MY BOSS and started my own marketing consultancy firm which led to creating the brand, The Marketing Lady.
Now, 11 years later I’m doing what I am passionate about which is empowering people to succeed in business and live their dreams through entrepreneurship. The last 11 years I’ve been in business has not been easy. From divorce, financial debt, to losing a major client; I’ve had to re-invent myself many times. Maybe you haven’t found your purpose yet. If that’s you, I recommend you read The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren to uncover what you’re meant to be.
To be successful and happy with what you do, it is best to find opportunities that put your best skills to use. Think about all the things you do well, the industries you have experience in, and then communicate the experience that reinforces your “unique promise” of value because this is how you want to be known. Maybe because of life’s past experiences (good or bad) you’ve found your purpose; you can use your expertise to create unlimited opportunities. People become millionaires by sharing their experiences with the world through books, CDs, and movies. People have started organizations that have impacted millions of lives, just because of their past experiences.
Perhaps, you want a career change or starting a new career. Leverage the skills you have to get the job you want. For example; a colleague of mine was a marketing executive with major bank. She is very passionate about philanthropy and her ultimate career goal was to obtain a senior level position that supported her passion for non-profit work. When her bank was acquired by another bank, her position was no longer needed. Instead of panicking because of the loss of a job, she saw that is an opportunity to pursue her true passion. She listed all of her skills and experience that would add value to becoming the new company’s community development manager. She understood how important it was to convey her transferable skills and create an opportunity. That’s what reinventing yourself is all about.
7 Steps to Reinvent Yourself
- Have a vision of the future you want to create. Start by writing a personal mission and vision statement. Ask yourself, what do I really want? How do you want your life to be? Because when you visualize, you materialize. Your mission is your purpose for being. It’s who you are.
- Have goals and the steps you plan to take to reach them. Our goals help us chart the course. Have supporting goals for every piece of the vision. Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, says “As you begin to take action toward the fulfillment of your goals and dreams, you must realize that not every action will be perfect. Not every action will produce the desired result. Not every action will work. Making mistakes, getting it almost right, and experimenting to see what happens are all part of the process of eventually getting it right.”
- Stay positive and motivated by aligning your environment to support your new SHAPE. Hang around positive people, read positive affirmations. Why? Because, obstacles will try to block the path to your dreams and you need to be motivated to stay on track.
- Share your SHAPE (specialness, heart, attitude, purpose, and experience) with the world
- Address your weaknesses and bad habits. To truly reinvent yourself, you must minimize the unhealthy attributes that could jeopardize you from reaching your destiny SHAPE.
- Brand yourself. Create a personal image that reflects your SHAPE. Create a motto or tag line you go by. Branding yourself gives you a leg up on your peers. And lastly,
- Be authentic. Be who you are and not what others think you are.
- There was this little kid, who didn’t want to be who he was. He wanted to be like Billy and Billy didn’t even like the kid. The kid walked like Billy, talked like Billy; and signed up for the same team as Billy. Billy began to hang around Herbie; So Billy walked like Herbie, talked like Herbie. So the kid became confused because he was walking/talking like Billy who was walking/talking like Herby.
- And then it dawned on the little kid that Herbie walked and talked like Joey. And Joey walked and talked like Corey.
- So here he was walking and talking like Billy’s imitation of Herby’s version of Joey, trying to walk and talk like Corey. And who do you think Corey was walking and talking like? Of all people, he was walking and talking like the kid!
- Be Yourself – because someone else is already taken!
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Tarsha Polk, The Marketing Lady, is a Dallas-based Small Business Consultant, International Speaker, Marketing Strategist and Author. You can connect with Tarsha on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Email or at her office Mon-Fri from 10am-5pm at 972-987-0565.