My first grandchild was born just before the holidays. With her birth, came a new role for me – that of grandmother. I had looked forward to this new role for months – and when it actually happened, I also had to work through all of the implications of that new role. This included everything from embracing that I now have a beautiful granddaughter – and, the realization that I am actually a grandmother (am I really old enough to be a grandmother?). This wonderful event has caused me to be creative and reinvent myself – incorporating my new role into who I am and the contribution I can make from it.
To do the reinvention, you must be willing to take a higher level of responsibility for your life. There must be new thinking. The following questions can help identify what needs to change due to the reinvention:
- What do I want to contribute with this reinvention? The reinvention should be consistent with my purpose and support me in living on-purpose more of the time.
- What do I need to learn to be congruent with this reinvention? New skills may be needed for the reinvention to stick and be sustainable.
- What do I need to let go of to be successful in this reinvention? Many times, the behaviors that made me successful in the old role don’t provide those same benefits in the new role. The old behaviors have to be reinvented as well – either adjusted or retired for new ones.
- How do I feel about this new role and the reinvention? A sure way to sabotage a reinvention is with unexpressed emotion. They keep us stuck so expressing all of the emotions, many times complicated and conflicting, are key to the shifting into the reinvention.
Once we have looked at our reinvention, we may need to consider others’ reinvention as well and how we see them. For example, as I reinvent into grandmother, I have to reinvent my view of my daughter and see her in her different role as mother. Without my view and acknowledgement of her reinvention, I will keep treating her the way she was before, not currently.
These concepts extend to our teams as well. How do we give people the space and time, with a new role, for reinvention? How often have we grown and reinvented as individuals – just to go back and work with a former team who can’t see you as who you are today. How often have you gotten a new team member on your team with whom you have a history? Do you give them the opportunity to show you how they have grown and reinvented themselves? Can you let go of who they were and embrace who they are?
George Bernard Shaw said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself”. Use the changes in each new role as fuel for creativity and reinvention of yourself. And give yourself, and others, the gift of reinvention recognition and acknowledgement. It will support you and your team in achieving the next level of results.