Getting Unstuck ~ 6 Steps Toward Reinventing Yourself

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Two years ago I resigned from my corporate job.

It was a job I loved for a really long time. A job in which I invested countless hours, logged thousands of travel miles, and worked with really smart people whom I respected, admired and just plain enjoyed being with.

Quitting my job was a really big deal for me.

Not because I’d no longer be traveling, or even because we were losing my income and my family’s lifestyle would change. It was a big deal because I lost my identity.

Besides being a wife and mother (even bigger deals,) being who I was in my former career defined me and gave me confidence. In that role I was who I thought I wanted to be.

But I was stuck.

I had done what I dreamed of doing when I took the job. In some ways I was just going through the motions.

It took a lot of courage and a lot of tears to finally make the decision. Even then I dragged my feet. I was scared and sad.

I’d like to say that from the moment I quit I felt light and happy and free. But that would not be true.

In true Southern fashion I took to my bed and stayed there for several days. I was tired — physically and mentally. Most of all, I didn’t know who I was supposed to be.

I wish I could tell you that recreating my identity was as easy as pie. The truth? It is really, really hard work.

If you are ready to make a change but you don’t know who you’ll be and you’re scared about what will happen when you finally make the decision — well, here’s what I learned about that time and the steps that helped me:

6 Steps Toward Reinventing Yourself

1. Have a Plan

Don’t quit unless you have another job. Or have a plan to live on savings or your partner’s income.  It’s no good trying to figure out who you are going to be next AND worrying about paying the bills.

2. Go to Bed

Most likely you are going to be tired. Even if you haven’t been working a ton of hours, making big decisions can really zap your energy. I am a firm believer in going to bed when you are tired. Stay there if you want. Watch an old movie. Catch up on a tv series you missed. Read some books (see # 3.)

3. Read

Choose authors who have experienced a transition, had a life changing experience, or who just write beautifully. I read Marianne Williamson, Anne Lamott, and Mary Oliver.

4. Be Ready for the Unexpected

I swear, every time I coach someone through making a job change and they plan on having “time just to breathe,” something happens. For me, it was a serious injury and an extended hospital stay for my Mom. For a colleague it was a death in the family. My neighbor found out she was expecting. It never fails.

5. Volunteer

As a young wife, I trained and volunteered for our local Hospice, but stopped when I started having kids. I long dreamed of going back and I did. Doing something for someone else is key.

6. Focus less on who you want to be, and more on who you don’t want to be.

More on this in a coming post, but know that being healthy, sane and open to the possibilities can bring things into your life you could never have dreamed of.

Change is inevitable. Most of us reinvent ourselves several times over a lifetime. Sometimes its better to just accept what’s coming and find out who you are meant to be.

About Laura Harbolt

Laura's passion is helping women succeed in small business. With years of sales and teaching experience she will help you create a meaningful business so you can make money and make a difference.

Comments

  1. What a great article. I admire you for both walking this path and sharing your wisdom with us!

    • Laura and Sherra says:

      Thanks Karen – we’re looking forward to women like you sharing their collective wisdom here!

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  1. […] Part 1, Getting Unstuck, I outlined six steps toward reinventing yourself. #6 is a technique that will get you closer to […]