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Reinvent Yourself

At the end of a year that has been disruptive in every sense, reinventing oneself has become as challenging as it is necessary. This article proposes some ideas and reflections on the need for personal transformation.

You must reinvent yourself! I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard these four words over the last few months: my partner, my friends, my colleagues, even my mother, everyone seems to have agreed to give me this definitive advice. In fact, I am convinced that many of you have received similar (and well-intentioned) suggestions or advice from people around you.

So, I would like to get your opinion: do you find these four words really motivating?

Personally, I don’t like to be forced, so the verb “must” doesn’t work to encourage me. As for “reinvent myself”, it sounds so ambitious and vague while it overwhelms me rather than motivates me. In fact, the last few times someone said to me “you must reinvent yourself“, I felt like replying “why don’t you start first“?

What happens is that these two words generate in me the typical resistance to change. And that is good news. According to the change curve model (Dennis T. Jaffe and Cynthia D. Scott), being in the resistance phase means being already in the transformation process and moving towards the exploration phase. The most critical moment is in the transition between these two phases, which requires that we accept to leave behind “what we had before” to focus on the immediate present, with an eye on the future.

“It is not the beginning or the new situation that people find disturbing. It is what has to be “let go” from the past situation that triggers the human emotions.” (William Bridges)

The digital transformation, the 2030 agenda and all the other changes to come push us to undertake this process of personal transformation, with some vertigo, but above all a lot of enthusiasm. Now that we are ready to “reinvent” ourselves, more questions arise: how to do it, with what intensity, for how long, and where to start?

After reflecting on this, I have identified five ideas that I would like to share with you.

  1. Whenever someone close to us says “you need to reinvent yourself”, we can take the opportunity to involve them in this process of personal change, and ask them the following two questions:
  • What quality do you perceive in me that can be helpful in this transformation process?
  • What aspect do you think I should strengthen/improve to reinvent myself?
  1. Based on the feedback received from others, we will identify our strengths and areas for improvement. In terms of strengths, it is essential to include personal qualities and hobbies, even if they seem irrelevant. For example, I will always remember that when I arrived in Spain, I got a job, not because of my experience of several years in Human Resources, but because of a 15-hour training course I had attended. We never know in advance what can make a difference, and even less so in such a changing context as the present one.
  1. Do not hesitate to ask for help, sharing information, knowledge, and experience with others. The “self-made man” or “self-made woman” model belongs (fortunately) to the last century, today the ability to develop a network of contacts and work collaboratively is a key success factor.
  1. Cultivate our curiosity and creativity in any way we can think of, reading, listening to music, watching films, visiting exhibitions, walking in a forest, or surfing on the web, many things can serve as sources of inspiration to develop business ideas or ways to rethink our professional career. And of course, training constantly!
  1. Accept uncertainty and complexity as part of the game. As with learning a language, if we try to know everything and memorise everything from the beginning, we will be doomed to failure, because it will seem an impossible task. It is a matter of making a constant effort, being aware that there are many things that we still do not know, but that little by little we will assimilate new aspects that will help us to advance in our process of personal transformation.

I am convinced that there are many more ideas that can facilitate this transformational journey, and I encourage you to share them here and anywhere you choose. Are we going to reinvent ourselves? Sure, we have already started…

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