5 Ways to Overcome Common Reinvention Obstacles

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I’m excited to have another guest post on my site. For most folks, we change careers at some point during our journey.   Without someone to guide us, this journey will be filled with trials and errors.   Let me introduce Hollis Thomases. She is founder of ReinventionWorks and creator of Mega Reinvention 2016, the preeminent online confab for career transformation. She’s passionate about helping people find their next future. Connect with her on Twitter @hollisthomases

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I view reinvention as intention change; as deliberately pivoting away from something you know towards an unfamiliar path. I’ve reinvented myself professionally at least twice before (three times if you count the almost instantaneous pivot I had to do after my last career reinvention), and I’ve reinvented my life significantly at least once. I’m no stranger to reinvention obstacles, and I don’t shy away from them. It’s not that I love jumping hurdles, but I know well enough by now that if you plan to reinvent, you have to accept upfront that obstacles will be part of your reinvention process.

 

The reinvention journey – the path you will follow in order to transform your future – might be one of the most arduous things you deliberately choose to undertake. You will experience joy, liberation, fear, discomfort, and many, many decision trees. It’s why reinvention stories make for such great stories and movies.

 

The obstacles that will be thrown in your way vary from person to person and situation to situation, and therefore we can’t necessarily predict and prepare for them. There are some things that you can do, however, to help you overcome these obstacles.

 

  1. Get your self-reflection on. The reinvention process will force you into self-reflection, of this I am certain. Many people, however, are uncomfortable being self-reflective. Your mind may be a walled garden you have intentionally ignored for many years to protect yourself from feelings and emotions you’ve been unprepared to handle. I will tell you that now is the time to reckon yourself to this discomfort, to embrace it, and to start early. The sooner you become familiar with your sources of discomfort and the areas in which you feel weak, the better off you’ll be able to also conquer your other reinvention hurdles.

 

  1. Muster your courage. Just as you might need to talk yourself into doing something to confront an everyday fear – from taking a perilous roller coaster ride to boarding a plane to fly – you need to fortify yourself for your reinvention journey. Change is already a scary proposition for most people, but intentionally changing away from the known into the unknown can either be terrifying or exhilarating…or a little bit of both. Why not think of your reinvention journey as one big “excellent adventure,” so you’re thinking of working up your courage for something fun?!

 

  1. Tap into your creativity. Sometimes reinvention feels like one big complicated algebraic word problem (remember those? Ugh!). There’s just one problem to solve after the next after the next. Your reinvention journey will require ingenuity, creativity, and old-fashioned street smarts to get you over, through, or around the next hurdle. To unleash that power, do the kinds of things that let you free your mind and find answers (or at least the path to the answer). That might be taking a walk or taking a nap. It might be reading a good mystery novel or doodling on a pad of paper. It might be cooking a gourmet meal, or it might be lifting weights. Whatever “that” thing is for you, just do it…and do it a lot.

 

  1. Be adaptable. If “the only constant is change,” then, by its sheer nature, the reinvention process invites steadily constant change. Just when you think you may have figured something out, you’ll realize you have it wrong. There’s generally a lesson in what you got wrong, so use that lesson and adjust course. A sailor at sea cannot control the wind, so when the wind changes direction, she must adjust her sails. And when the wind dies altogether, there are motors, oars, and currents to take advantage of. Doing nothing for very long, however, isn’t a viable option.

 

  1. Seek support. No one reinvents alone. Time and again, Reinventionists talk about the support they received that allowed them to see themselves through to the end of their journey. That support comes from different places: spouses, family, friends, community groups, resource centers – even perfect strangers. When you’re reinventing, you cannot be bashful. You’ve got to get out there, let people help you, and better still, ask for help.

 

If you’re in need of help, I encourage you to check out Mega Reinvention 2016, the 100% online video conference coming this January. Its curriculum of 25+ sessions, spread out throughout the month (1/2 – 1/31/16), was designed to touch on all of these obstacles of career reinvention, particularly for people in the middle of their careers.

 

Will 2016 finally be the year of your reinvention??

Closing the Year

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The end of the year means different things to many people. For a company, it means focusing on wrapping up the books and making sure they achieve the sales target for the year. For individuals, it could mean assessing the current year and planning for the next year.   It could also mean making another New Year’s resolution, which will be tackled with much enthusiasm in January through March then dropped thereafter.

To me, the year end is a time to take stock on how I did this year.   Here is what I look for:

  • What are my greatest learnings? Focus on lessons learned and avoid the same mistakes.
  • What did I do wrong that caused the most grief or trouble? Ouch! How can I prevent it?
  • What did I do well? I need to continue that next year.
  • What relationships did I establish? How can I continue to make them better?
  • How did I add value to my mentees and the people I coach?
  • What is the most important lesson that I learned this year?
  • Which member of my inner circle added value to the team?
  • Which member of my inner circle needs to be pruned? Because they no longer add value and share the same vision.

Closing the year is a time to sit down and compare things. How did the Will of 2014 stack up against the Will of 2015?   Did I grow spiritually? Did I learn and apply my knowledge? What other areas can I improve on?   My biggest win this year is learning from the people I coach and mentor.   Their different perspectives and viewpoints helped me expand my understanding.

In closing, how was your year? What made you smile? What made you cry? I hope you’re pleased with your progress.   It is time to review and plan what you want to achieve next year. Check your multi-year plan and adjust accordingly. May 2016 bring you good health and success.

Developing Confidence

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I’ll begin with this quote from Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”

It is a great quote which reminds us that without our acknowledgement no one can put us down. However, it is easier said than done.

Confidence, although it sounds simple, is not simple at all. It is complex and it is not biased. Many people from all walks of life suffer from lack of it. Some find their way while others continue this lonely journey until the end.

Many folks go through life failing to realize their potential because they lack confidence. These people are not dumb or inept; they are bright and have achieved great marks in their academic pursuit. However, confidence is still lacking. Why?

Confidence is something that is shaped by your environment. The people you’re around and those who influence you. It is also attributed to life events and things that occurred in your life.

Growing up, I had my fair share of suffering lack of self-confidence. In my situation, it was the people close to me who affected me the most. I was not the brightest or the smartest amongst the children of my parents. The strong emphasis on academic achievement was the key measure used by my parents.

I was told repeatedly that I wasn’t smart like my siblings, that I would not be able to accomplish things in life and that my future would be bleak. People around us, including teachers, often made comparisons that I wasn’t as good as my siblings. It did not help at all. People’s perception becomes your reality when things seem to be falling into place which further reaffirm everyone’s perception. It took me many years to snap out of it.

How Do You Develop Confidence?

    • Loving Yourself – Acknowledging that you have a unique talent and abilities, that you exist in this world for a specific reason. Seek to find that meaning and be at peace with it. It is a journey and the more you do the more you get to know yourself. It is like peeling an onion; each layer enables you to know more about yourself.
    • Believing In Yourself – We are all born with unique gifts and talents. No one knows you better than yourself. Remember when you say you can’t, you’re really not able to do it. It is worth noting that world records are not created because people who said I can’t.
    • Take Stock, Start Small, Go One By One – Take Stock of things you cannot do. Then start small and tackle one of them. According to William Jennings Bryan, “The way to develop self-confidence is to do the thing you fear and get a record of successful experiences behind you.” This is exactly what I did. Now, instead of thinking “I cannot do it,” I go ahead and do it and challenge myself. If I used to study three hours, I add one more hour and examine the outcome. If I can’t learn it one way, I ask someone for help and offer to help them too. Little by little you start to develop the competency and strength to improve your self-confidence.
    • Don’t Wait – Do It Now – Don’t wait until everything is just right to start. It will never be perfect and the more you wait the more you’ll fall deeper in the hole of lack of confidence. Remember, building something requires you to start somewhere. Do it now even though you’re afraid. Remember that for each positive outcome, you’ll develop confidence. No matter what happens, life always has challenges and obstacles.
    • List Your Strengths & Weaknesses – Continue to showcase your strengths and create an action plan on how you will address each of your weaknesses. By turning weaknesses around, you’ll begin to feel better about yourself. Remember that preparation is your friend. Waiting and doing nothing is your enemy.
    • Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself – There is clearly nothing accomplished by feeling sorry for yourself. You start feeling sorry for yourself, hours and even days elapse; nothing changes and you’re still in the same situation. Therefore, what is the benefit of spending your precious energy in an unproductive exercise? Pick yourself up and dust things off and get back on the saddle. You can do it only if you do something about it.
    • Ask For Help – We are not alone in this world, although we might feel that way sometimes. Ask for help, seek guidance and don’t do it alone.
    • Celebrate Each Small Win – Learn to recognize that a big accomplishment consists of daily habit and practice. Therefore learn to enjoy your accomplishments and uplift your spirit.

I’ll close with this:

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Be yourself and overcome the fear of what people will say about you, because chances are they are not paying attention to you. Do not cloud your mind with worry when you can spend the same amount of energy making yourself better and achieving things you otherwise thought you could not accomplish.

In the end, when we conquer our fears, we will come out of our cocoon ready to tackle the world. Writing is a labor of love, share this to your friends who you think need a pick me up and a catalyst to jumpstart themselves.

A great day – a lesson is learned

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Drive Chip and PuttJuly 16, 2015 today was a great day, for a lesson has been learned that will be important for years to come. My daughter Faith has been playing golf for three years now. Each year I observed that she made progress and her love for the game continues.

Two years ago, I saw the Drive Chip and Putt at the Masters on TV.   It consists of the best young golfers representing different parts of the US.   I mentioned that to my daughter and she said she wanted to give it a try.   We did and the first two years yielded tough lessons and heartbreak for her.   She knew that she has a long way to go to achieve her goal.   Last year we decided to change coaches. The objective was to find someone who could spend more time with her and help her develop her skills.   We were introduced by Faith’s friend mom to Coach Jun Espiritu.   He coaches at the PGA tour in Paramus.   Faith started to improve because she is learning the logic of the game. The game is not about hitting the ball around the course, but rather understanding how to adjust and maneuver through the situation presented. Dealing with the situation and making it happen.

Faith has been preparing for the Drive, Chip and Putt for a couple of months now. This journey started when, right after last years’ event, we changed to a new coach and the transformation started this year. Early this year she made it a goal to make the next round.   Last night she had a lesson with her coach. When I arrived from work, I asked her if her stuff was ready.  She checked her stuff and realized that her glove was missing.   We looked everywhere but could not find it.   We look through her old stuff and found an old pair, thinking she could use it on Thursday.

When we arrived at Galloping hills, we bought a bucket of balls and proceeded to warm up. After hitting about a dozen of shots, she complained her hand hurt. She took the glove off and there was a blister on one of her fingers. She said it was painful. I accompanied her to the club house to ask for a Band Aid and I decided to buy a new glove. She said the blister hurt and was bothering her.   I thought to myself, all this work came down to a blister that could potentially ruin it for her. I told her to take a deep breath. I reminded her that she worked hard to get here that she needed to block it out and dig deep. To be successful, at times we must work through adversity to know ourselves and what we can be capable of. She said she would give it a try. One of her drives was over 200 yards. Three skill challenges later, she was moving on to the next round. She was so happy to place 3rd overall at the local qualifier. She was 2nd in Driving and 3rd in Putting.   She learned a valuable lesson in dealing with adversity and learned that she is capable of achieving great things.

When a lesson is learned, it is always a great day. We’re so proud of our daughter. ⛳️

Do Not Do List – What is holding you back?

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Last week, I was teaching part three of the 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth to our constituents at our company.   As I was presenting, one topic, what came to mind is the “Do Not Do List.”   Like anyone, I often struggle as I work at overcoming some of my weaknesses in life.   This is a daily challenge and I persevere to keep at it.   So I thought it would be appropriate for me to write my blog on this topic.

What is a do not do list? It is a list of things that are holding you back.   It could be habits, practice or behaviors that prevent you from making progress.   On my list procrastinating is number one. I have the tendency to put things off because I think that I can get it done tomorrow.   This habit has caused me a lot of trouble because I failed to accomplish the things that I need to do, therefore I cannot move to the next step.

Here is how you create your list

  • On a piece of paper, fold it in the middle.   Write weaknesses on the top left section and action item on the right side
  • List your weaknesses – these are habits, behaviors and practices that are holding you back
  • For each weakness – write it on the left side of the paper and on the right side list action items that you need to do to improve or eliminate your weakness.  More importantly, state when you will work on it.
  • List the impact of each item to your life – how much impact does it have in your life? Does it hold you back?   Mark it as High—very impactful, Mid— impactful, Minor—little impact, that holds you back
  • Prioritize – do this by marking the most impactful first. High impact to minor impact.
  • Start now – don’t wait another day. Start now and make it happen.
  • Persevere and be persistent – do not stop and be persistent.   Consistency is the key to your success.

Once you have the list, you need to change your habit and the things that you do in your life. In order to make progress, we must change our habits.     There will be days we don’t feel like working on our weaknesses, but a day wasted means we are day away from achieving our goal.   I advise that you keep at it and be persistent.

Writing is a labor of love, share this to people you now will benefit from reading it. Let me know if it works for you by commenting on my post.

 

The BEST

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I’ll start my post with John Maxwell’s quote, “The best you can hope to do in life is to make the most out of whatever you’ve been given.”     This is part of the law of intentionality.   It means that in order for you to make progress, you must be able to work with what you’re provided.

Over the past seven years, as I embarked on the journey on my passion for talent and leadership development, I started to blog, share my inspirational quotes through various social media channels like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. My aim was to inspire others to believe in themselves and bet on themselves to succeed.   And at the same time to stop listening to those who tell them it cannot be done.   When we don’t value ourselves, no one will.   No one will raise value unless we do it ourselves.

As I touch on the topic of chasing your dream, it is worth nothing that your dream must be realistic.   I excchanged messages with someone I respect on this topic that we cannot just tell everyone to chase your dream.  That if someone worked hard and never gave up, they would achieve their dream.   What if your dream is not realistic? What if the person doesn’t have skills and experience to ever achieve it? That would mean we are giving false hope.

Here are some of the points I want to highlight:

  1. To dream is great because it inspires you to pursue something, but make sure it is realistic. That it is attainable.
  2. Create a plan – create a plan on how you will achieve your goal. Make sure to track your progress throughout the year and continue to adjust your plan.
  3. Create a training plan – a training plan is needed to move you from point A to B. You need to gain new knowledge and skills to get to the next level.
  4. Bet on yourself – if you don’t believe in yourself, no one will.   Be confident of your talent and capabilities
  5. Seek a mentor – if you’re trying to learn something or the ropes on how things are done, seek a mentor.
  6. Seek a coach – if you’re experienced and seek to move up to the next level, seek a coach.
  7. Be positive – be realistic but be positive and focus on the lesson learned from mistakes and move forward. Avoid people who aim to bring you down.

In closing, I want to encourage everyone to aspire and dream. Bet on yourselves and keep at it.   As long as you’re making progress, you need to continue your journey.   I will urge everyone not to give up at the first sign of defeat and to keep at it until they get the job done.

Doing the right thing

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Play-nicelyI’ll start my post with a quote from Oprah Winfrey, “Real Integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody’s going to know whether you did it or not.”     In life, we are often faced with challenges such as meeting people and stakeholder’s demands.   This creates a complicated situation in which some people will do certain things just for the sake of satisfying the majority but going against their personal values and beliefs.

In my over 24 years in the workforce, I’ve seen a myriad of things that people do just to make things happen. Some people do whatever it takes to get it done, like doing it at all costs. These sacrifices at times affect people’s life as they have to give up a lot to get things done. But just like anything else, you’re only as good as your current performance.   Prior performance is often forgotten; sadly yes, that is the reality we live in.   Furthermore, we see heads of public organizations and government figures getting in trouble because they did something they should not be doing.   This is also pervasive in the athletic world, where some athletes think they are above the law.

In sports, it is often a challenge when coaches focus so much on wins that it becomes the be all end all. When win becomes a measure of success instead of learning the skills to get better and improve future chances.   Because of the need to win, players at times play hurt or the coach will put in players who are hurt.   In doing so, you could sacrifice the future of the player.   In recent weeks, I’ve faced the same situation, my team was off to a slow start and our shots were not falling. In addition, my strategy was not working, coupled with one of my best player being injured.   A few days after the injury, we had another game.   I thought about playing her since she was available. In the end before I drove home from work, I made a decision to seat her.   As it turns out, our opponent never showed up and I ended up asking my team to have a scrimmage.

As I look back at that situation, what helped me make the decision was to think about the long term health of my player. I’d rather take a hit now than to risk my player having a further injury.   It goes back to doing the right thing regardless of the situation.   I’m thankful for the opportunity to be challenged and came out with an experience that further strengthens my commitment to doing the right thing.   As Ms. Winfrey says, doing the right thing is doing it regardless of anyone looking at you.   In essence it is a commitment that makes sure you stay true to your core values.

Writing is a labor of love, if you like my post, please share with other. If you don’t agree, let me know your viewpoint as I can always learn from you.