As you think about, perhaps visualize, and even plan your reinvention, it’s important – very, very important – to remember that reinvention is a process.
A process, by its very nature, is going to take time to evolve, and it could very well be a bumpy road. Do you remember the last time you learned something new? Perhaps you took up knitting or learned to surf or tried baking bread. These are all skills and they take time and practice before you get it right. New learners make mistakes along the way – you might drop stitches, or fall off the surf board repeatedly, or pull the flattest loaf of bread you’ve ever seen out of the oven a few times before you get it right. Even when you get good at something, you’ll still be learning – the bread will sometimes fail to rise, and that’s just life.
Reinventing yourself and choosing a new career path can cause all kinds of other changes in your life, and that’s what keeps a lot of people stuck. Many times, when we make one big change in our lives, it spawns a lot of other changes – unintended consequences as it may be. These unintended and perhaps unexpected changes may be painful or joyful, but it’s all part of the process too.
- Sometimes, the changes turn out to be blessings in disguise.
- Sometimes, the changes show you something you hadn’t seen before.
- Sometimes, the changes reinforce your belief that what you are doing is right.
If it takes you some time before you are ready to take the next step, sign up for the class, or fill out the application form, just remember that change is scary and it’s OK to be scared. It’s not OK, however, to get completely stuck.
Once you’ve committed to the process of reinvention, remember that it’s a process, a journey, and not a simple switch that has to be flicked on. If it were that easy, it wouldn’t be worth it.
Virginia O'Connor, started out of college as a teacher of high school English, moved on to marketing writing, and then on to the then-new career of technical writing where she remained for over 20 years. She recently started her next reinvention as a writer and content manager for a number of highly successful websites.