By Dr. Evans Baiya
If there was ever a time to contemplate a reinvention, it’s now. The last year and a half has been challenging for a variety of reasons, and we’ve all collectively experienced it—although in different ways. If you want your future to be different, reinvention is the answer. If you want to find solutions to many of the issues that have recently been uncovered and make the change that you want, this is an excellent time to begin.
Here are the six steps to reinventing your future, in a way that is both achievable and sustainable.
Get uncomfortable. This is the very first step. Comfort kills growth so in order to grow, you need to feel uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to be painful, but it has to urge you to want to take a step forward.
There are two ways to do this: You are either internally driven to continually advance or you are pushed into an uncomfortable position. Discomfort comes in many forms, and regardless of the cause, life, relationships and business give you plenty of opportunities to be uncomfortable. You have lived through 2020, after all.
Being uncomfortable does not always make you want to advance. In fact, sometimes when you become uncomfortable you want to avoid it and retreat to a place of comfort. This is regression or a slow death. You cannot create a better future by regressing. You create a better future by embracing discomfort as an opportunity for advancement. Discomfort is the first of multiple ingredients needed for growth.
Create a different environment. If discomfort is the seed for advancement, then in order for this seed to germinate you must create the right conditions for it to grow. This means that in order to reinvent yourself, you will need to change the conditions of how you think, how you operate and how you exercise thoughts into action. If any of those three are missing, then your potential for taking full advantage of the discomfort is minimized.
An example: Maybe you want to change your job. The reason could be that you dislike your boss, so your boss becomes the source of discomfort. But in order to take action and actually change your job, you have to think differently: you must reposition yourself outside of your current job and begin to search for other work.
Change the way you think. Thoughts create images, images contribute to creation of habits, and habits create results. Without change of thought, even if you change the environment, even if you have discomfort, you will never maximize the power of reinvention. You are what you think. If you think the same way you thought in 2019, you will get 2020. If you want to change your future, you must change the way you are thinking right now.
The bottom line is creation starts with thought, so find ways to stimulate your thoughts. Where do you get inspiration for your thoughts? If you want to change what you think, change your source of inspiration. You must consider the process of thought synthesis as well. If you are always feeding negative thoughts, you will never get a positive image. You are what you think.
Build resiliency. Very infrequently does reinvention occur without setbacks. Nothing in life or business that is worth achieving is easy. You must be persistent. Resilience requires discipline and structure. It is a constant series of changes that begin with you. You may have the right disturbance, the right environment, and the right thinking process, but if you don’t build stamina you can easily give up. Moving forward requires and consumes energy.
Resiliency can create a snowball effect. A snowball starts small but as soon as it overcomes that initial resistance of soft snow, it can become bigger and bigger, until finally it becomes too big to cause an avalanche. If you want change but lack resiliency, you may find yourself hopping on the next trend and never get the chance to create a snowball effect.
Create a plan worth following. It is not the size and the scope of the plan that matters, it’s all about creating a plan that you believe in based on the image of reinvention you desire. As long as you have a plan that you believe in, you can adjust and build on it as needed. The secret for reinvention is self-belief and drive. That is what enables you to have the right habits and invest in the right skills and eventually deliver value.
Your plan should contain details—milestones, timelines, measurable goals. These are the aspects that make a plan more than just a vague dream, but instead a roadmap to success.
Realize that growth is not limited. Push harder; never stop. Every time you go through a step that tests your resilience, know you can do more. You are only one discovery away from uncovering a better and more powerful you. You cannot achieve true reinvention if you tell yourself that you have already arrived when you have only seen one milestone. Great mountains have continuous peaks. Once you reach the first peak, you can see the additional possibilities that are before you.