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This turned out to be life-transforming. I am now absolutely certain that had I not leaned into therapy so early in the crisis I would have had a much harder time surviving it, let alone thriving on the other side. Professional counseling can be especially valuable if your need for reinvention involves shame. Growing scientific evidence suggests that shame is one the most painful and destructive emotions. Guilt is believing that you have done something bad; shame is believing that you are bad.
Shame means feeling worthless, rejected, cast out.
The professional counseling and deep dive inner work not only helped me survive the onslaught, but it actually empowered me to reach a place where I feel more enough than I ever have in my entire life. In what seemed like a blink of an eye I lost my title, all my current clients, every single one of my active work projects, the home I had lived in for four years and, at least in some circles, my reputation.
Dr. Jane Simington
The sense of loss was devastating and, because I had always based so much of my self-worth on my work and doings, I felt utterly cast adrift and valueless. Every talent, every skill, every bit of professional and personal experience was still in me. The same is true of everyone. You can lose things, positions, jobs, titles, homes, lovers. But no matter the loss you still are what you are and all your talents and experiences are right there ready to help you open up the next phase of your reinvented life.
Because of the circumstances that led to the unasked for pause in my career my usual work channels were closed to me for over a year. This was so horribly painful.
At first I was resentful and terrified and my ego stung. I really had to scramble just to pay the bills. I got a paid gig as a writer. I took on some research work. I started teaching personal development courses. I also started volunteering for causes I loved but had been too busy for. And, guess what? I realized that by fighting so hard to hold onto my old familiar view of myself I was actually limiting my full identity.
Not only was I everything I had been before but I was also a professional writer, a wildlife healer and a great dog-fence builder! By clinging to the old image of myself, I was masking my bigger, fuller, more creative bad ass Self with a capital S! Sometimes one of the hardest things about self-reinvention is the need to cut loose the people around us. To reinvent strong you have to shed the people who undermine you.
Instead be very intentional, spending time with people who are positive, moving forward and genuinely want good for you. Sometimes these are the old, dear friends that stick. When I finally let it sink in that it would be months before I could resume my career my self-value plummeted.
Ten Rules to Reinventing Yourself
Some part of me knew that I needed to find a way to feel like I was making a positive contribution. I joined a volunteer organization that builds fences for dogs who were living their lives on the end of a chain. It was incredibly good for me. Their canine joy and forgiving natures were infectious. And, being part of the community of fellow volunteers helped overcome my sense of isolation. Giving to someone else is one of the very best ways to feel valuable and abundant because it proves you have enough to spare, you have something of value. I am beyond grateful that I already had an established practice of meditation, journaling and spiritual connection before my big mess slammed into my life.
However, what I was going through was so intense I knew I needed more. For a while every book I read was on the subject of spiritual growth in difficult times. I started working with a Course in Miracles. Whatever spiritual path you choose be sure to include gratitude. It is essential not to let the challenges blind you to goodness and abundance you already have.
We attract what we focus on. And there is nothing better for keeping a hopeful positive outlook than practicing gratitude. Connecting to our spiritual aspects is essential to shaping a strong self-reinvention. These times of turmoil can break us down but they also hold the promise of breaking us open into deeper, richer more beautiful lives. Getting in touch with spirit, with our true inner selves is key to seizing that awesome gift. But it is absolutely essential to living your fullest life. Thank You for your Reinvention article.
I read the 10 Steps iam Grateful You were brave enough to share. Is this decision honest and fair?
If this decision is to better my position, will it hurt others or be taking advantage of others? Move on, recreate, but learn a lesson from your failure and do your best to make restitution. Thank you for your honesty! You're not too old. Life has not passed you by. And yes, there might be something wrong with you, but you can do something — a lot of things — to turn the ship around.
Make the year you blaze your own trail. Make it your year of midlife reinvention! New to Midlife Tribe? Start Here.
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If this article was beneficial to you, please consider subscribing and sharing with someone you think would also benefit. Please note this disclaimer regarding affiliate links in this article. Also published on Medium. All the best to you in , too. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed. December 26, Life , Podcast. Today, two years on, my life has indeed been reinvented. I accepted that quitting my job wasn't the answer.
It's impossible to be creative when you can't pay your bills, and the more desperate you are for results, the more they tend to elude you. Thus began the seeds of Midlife Tribe. I found teachers and mentors to help me navigate my way through unfamiliar territory. I enrolled in their Days to Freedom program and it was a game-changer for me. You can listen to the interview at the bottom of Cedric's post, The Snowball Effect.
I made my family more of a priority — particularly my parents. I mean, they're old, and one day they're gonna croak. The last thing I want is the regret of neglecting the two people who've meant so much to me over the years. Spending more time with my folks is definitely one of the best decisions I made in I made a commitment to work on my project regardless of the outcome. Besides, the algorithm is a cruel mistress. I would do this thing whether I felt like it or not because the work was its own reward.
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It still is. I simplified my life. Junk mail went straight into the bin. Surfing on eBay stopped. I donated two-thirds of my clothes. I sold stuff, gave it away or turfed it out. I started saying no to things I didn't want to do — without excuses — and in many cases, without explanation. I killed off all my consumer debts. And then wrote a book about it. I went to bed earlier and got up earlier. Sleep became a major priority.