With the mornings getting lighter and the evening getting longer, we start to feel our spirits lifting, day by day, as Winter turns to Spring. It's the world's yearly reinvention of itself, and it's a transitional time that I hope will encourage you to do the same.
If the 'current you' doesn't feel right, or is no longer 'fit for purpose', you can reinvent yourself. That can be a bit scary at first, but also intensely exhilarating and rewarding.
Maybe you've been under pressure and stressed, working in a job you no longer like, or perhaps your career or business are not where you imagined they might be right now.
Fortunately, every day presents a fresh opportunity for reinvention, to be someone different, someone who achieves dreams, rather than watches them float by.
However, true reinvention isn't about making a few subtle changes. It's about making, deliberate changes to what you do and how you do it, and knowing clearly why these are important and matter.
So how can you kick-start the process?
1. Don't give in to your inner voices. These try to protect you by telling you that it's best to avoid change, and that no matter how painful things are, you are still better off where you are.
It's simply how the human brain is wired to react - instinctively, not logically - when it's scared. If you let them, these voices will put every conceivable obstacle in your way until they beat you into submission and you end up staying where you are.
So embrace change, don't fight it.
Rather than being put off by the prospect of doing something different, use that natural apprehension to power your efforts and ambition. And when you encounter an obstacle, think of ways to get around it. Have you read my recent blog 'Thinking like Sherlock Holmes'? There are often more solutions than we think, if only we allow ourselves to 'see' them.
2. Push beyond your comfort zone. Often the only thing stopping us from making progress is ourselves, so the more you push at your own boundaries, the more breakthroughs you will make, as you discover that any discomfort you feel is only temporary and can be coped with.
3. Don't hold onto labels from your past. When you reinvent yourself, you are truly starting from scratch, so what you were shouldn't limit what you can be. Better still, start relabeling yourself as the person you want to be. So, if your plan is to set up a business, then as soon as you start to work on the idea, think of yourself as a business owner, as an entrepreneur. You don't need tell others, but you do need to tell yourself, until you really 'feel' it and you become one.
4. Reinvent yourself with purpose. There is no point in changing yourself unless you are going to benefit from doing so - emotionally, financially, spiritually, and in your relationships and general well being.
"Do work that matters," is the advice of best-selling American author, cultural commentator and entrepreneur Seth Godin, because when you do that, you make a difference, introducing change and spreading ideas that are to the benefit both yourself and others.
5. Be excited about what will happen when you reinvent yourself. Imagine how your life will be as a result of this transformation by immersing yourself in the 'positives' that you'll enjoy from the experience, instead of focusing too much on how exactly you will make these changes. If it helps, write down on paper every conceivable reason why doing something different would be better for you - you'll find that the advantages quickly outweigh the drawbacks, both in number and importance.
6. Be a 'self-starter'. Taking action is often all that separates an unfulfilled life from one that is rewarding and enjoyable. Do something, see if it works. If it does, do more of the same. If it doesn't, try something else. Do whatever it takes to get going.
7. Manage your inner resources. Once you have begun the process of reinvention, don't allow it to peter out. Try not to force things too much, too soon. You will either fail in your efforts, or simply run out of steam, resulting in disappointment and frustration. Frequency and consistency are what matters. This is an on-going process, and attempting an 'overnight' reinvention will inevitably turn out to be insubstantial and unsustainable.
8. Build momentum. Don't look too far into the future by trying to 'join up all the dots' in advance, or the task will seem overwhelming. Give yourself time and, as you keep going, things that once felt uncomfortable become normal and natural.
9. Find a sponsor. A coach or mentor can make the process of reinvention easier and quicker, saving you time and pain by advising you, offering feedback and holding you accountable to your dream.
You have an exciting life waiting for you. Make today the day when you get started!
Now I'd love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below- Which one of the 9 steps do you need to focus now to change your professional life for the better?
Looking for more inspiration from the Award winning author, speaker and coach Maite Baron, then download 2 free chapters from her Nautilus 2014 Award winning book Corporate Escape The Rise of the New Entrepreneur. With the bonus that you will receive her weekly thought provoking updates. Get your download here.