Reinventing Yourself – Part 1

Like many accomplished professionals, you may have embarked upon your career path for reasons that have little to do with your true passions. I have had numerous clients who became accountants, doctors or lawyers due to family values or pressure. Other clients have simply fallen into their career because of the first job they happened upon after university.

The challenge is this. If your career path has been determined by anything other than an understanding of your true talents, interests and passions, chances are your enjoyment of your work is limited. Spending a majority of your time doing things you don’t enjoy is a surefire recipe for low energy, stress and mediocrity. Doing what you love, on the other hand, not only leads to excellence, success and happiness, it is the ultimate source of renewable and sustainable energy on a personal level.

This is the perfect opportunity to break free from doing what you have always done and align who you are with what you do. Here’s how to take this opportunity to break free of old patterns and revitalize your life and work:

  • Identify Influences. How much has your current path/personality been influenced by your true talents, interests and passions vs. the opinions of others?  No need for judgment or regret – simply recognize what is and choose to steer by your own inner compass from now on.
  • Cultivate your Passions. Four key Passions are required to recalibrate your internal compass and ensure that your next incarnation is more aligned with your true self – your values, talents, purpose and vision. Books are helpful, but a good career coach is invaluable for synthesizing your unique combination of Passions and removing the limiting beliefs that have prevented you from seeing and following your Passions before now.
  • Explore your whims. Don’t worry if the things that interest you aren’t practical. While none of your explorations may turn into a viable career, they are guaranteed to produce invaluable knowledge about your own style, strengths and purpose.
  • Pay attention – and take action! My passion for cycle-touring was sparked when I overheard a couple in my favorite coffee shop planning their cycling trip to France. The next day I went out, bought a bike, and began planning my first cycling trip. While not related to my work, this hobby remains an incredible source of aliveness for me to this day.
  • Be willing to let go. When I first arrived in Japan, I had to consciously let go of my corporate identity and embrace my “granola” side by diving headfirst into activities like aikido, ikebana, shiatsu massage, meditation, and Taiko drumming.
  •  Listen to what calls you back. By allowing myself a full year to explore alternate personal and career identities, I had more trust in the vision that began calling me back to certain aspects of my past work in new and exciting ways

While you may fear that the reinvention process will require completely starting over, this is seldom the case.  Reinventing yourself does not require starting over. It simply requires the willingness to entertain a fresh perspective on the foundations that have always been part of how you thrive in life and work.

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