“No man ever steps in the same river twice. For it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” Heraclitus
And the beauty, that is, but it didn’t fit in the title. 😀
I love to reinvent myself and I love to stay the same. There is a fine line between those two. In the picture you can see me doing the same thing: speaking in front of people. I have been doing this since 2005 and probably will continue to do it till the day I die. Yet, there is a big difference in thinking, acting and interacting in those two Crinas up there.
I grew up in a regular working-class family in a small town in East of post-communism Romania. That means we struggled a lot to make ends meet. And it was ok because most of our friends were basically in the same boat more or less. This also came packaged with the desire to find solutions and find new and new ways of solving common problems. For example, if the girls in school were wearing a specific type of clothing which I couldn’t afford, I would probably find something similar in a second-hand shop and adjust it manually. It wouldn’t look just as good, but it would be close and would do the job. If I couldn’t ride the bus to school, I would find the best routes for walking and also had a cellophane raincoat for bad days. I knew all the little streets from my house to high school and I would get there faster than a bus and in bad days I had fun on the road throwing stones in puddles. I didn’t have money to hang out after school with the cool kids so, I focused on studying and reading.
And years ago I decided I want to invest in my training abilities, and got rejected from my first national Training of Trainings programme. It hurt. Then I found other training of trainers international programmes and I purposefully organised events and trainings in order to practice those skills. And I would continuously seek ways of delivering trainings to whoever was crazy enough to receive me. And I failed often times, and stood up and did it again and grew.
Reinvention often times comes with the pain, with the hard and with the weird. I wanted the fashionable clothes, I wanted to go with the bus, and I sure wanted to go out after school… but sometimes life brings to us challenges that have the potential to change us. For the good or for the bad. And that is a choice we can all make consciously. And I wanted to become a trainer despite the rejection, so I stubbornly/purposefully planned for it.
The thing is that we are continuously reinventing ourselves, even if we want it or not, in smaller or bigger pieces. My belief is that we are day by day transforming after every interaction after every experience we live. And if we can see it in the others, it is present in us as well.
Now, how do we reinvent? Do we let life decide for us? Do we cling onto our old selves because we have arrived in a good place, a place that feels good? Or do we consciously look at ourselves and decide to go out there and chisel ourselves, build and sculpt ourselves in a purposeful way?
Having a Reinvent Yourself mindset means that we look at life as flow, not a rigid structure, a constant change, being flexible and fluid.
Reinvention is about the degree to which we strive to become. Our ability to give new meaning to life’s events, manage complexity, think in a more strategic, integrated, purpose-driven and interdependent ways.
Yet, what can we purposefully do in order to foster this mindset? Here are 3 “little” things you can try:
1. Build optimism and antifragility.
Optimism means imagining things about the best possible future, interpreting things that are happening to you now or have happened to you in the past in a way that projects the positive.
The 3 dimensions of optimism according to Martin Seligman
PERMANENCE – time
Permanently bad: the extent to which you believe that the negative things that happen to you will last forever or have permanent causes.
Permanent good: the extent to which you believe that the positive things that happen to you will last permanently or have permanent causes.
PERVASIVENESS – space
Pervasive bad: the extent to which you believe that all negative things that happen to you will spread to all areas of your life.
Pervasive good: the extent to which you believe that all the positive things that happen to you will spread to all areas of your life.
PERSONALISATION – me/others
Personal bad: the extent to which you blame yourself when negative things happen to you.
Personal good: the extent to which you take credit when positive things happen to you.
And optimism goes hand in hand with antifragility and the ability to bounce forward after met with obstacles, stressors, shocks in our lives.
In order to reinvent yourself, you need to be optimistic and go through the pain of antifragility.
2. Develop humble confidence.
Which means to get confident enough about your strengths and expertise so that you admit your ignorance and weaknesses, as Adam Grant would put it. This means we are confident enough to admit we still have a lot to learn and understand that there might be things about ourselves and about the world that we don’t see and we don’t see it as others see it.
In order to become humble confident, it is essential to love conflict, to learn how to navigate paradoxes and seek different perspectives, seek feedback. It is essential to understand that hearing and experimenting new perspectives, opposable ones, even if hard or weird, is at the core of deeper digging into ourselves, our beliefs and our way of acting.
When not afraid of going to the other side of thinking, of exploring how others see things, of tasting different perspectives, then and only then we can grasp more of us and who we can become.
3. Be self-aware. Reflect on yourself frequently.
And this is a big and important one. And it’s not easy to do. When you go into REAL reflecting mode on how you react, think and go about in the world, you need to be able to step out of “I am right” mode and go into exploring mode.
When you are open to change and growth, that is reinvention, this process hurts. It hurts because you discover the YOU who you are is not sufficient anymore. You need to part ways with that YOU.
And the process is also beautiful as you discover a new YOU, who you can become.
And I am going to throw in the concept of “true authenticity”. You know… that thing when we believe we have discovered ourselves and we have come to the end of the process and then, whenever something doesn’t fit into our world we reject it with a patronising: “I am not like that”, “This is not me”.
Well, the process is not finite. It never ends. As long as we live we will be met with challenges and obstacles and new experiences and hard and weird and beautiful. Each of those has the potential to contribute to our authenticity in a wonderful way.
So, if you want to build a reinvention mindset ask yourself:
1. Do I see the world through others’ perspectives to understand more?
2. Do I believe the future will be better provided I put my best efforts?
3. Do I believe conflict is a healthy way to gather more views and learn?
4. Do I see new sides of me emerging whenever I overcome a challenge?
5. Do I sit with myself long enough to make sense of what was?
Who were you 10 years ago? Who will you be 10 years from now?
Articol scris de
Senior Trainer & Organisational C