One foot in front of the other
All that we have is each other
One foot in front of the other
Walk the Moon
Have you ever felt stuck?
You started off the year with new goals and refreshed dreams somewhere along the way you became distracted, bogged down, and may be disengaged.
I have experienced seasons like that in my life. It wasn’t like I intended to get stuck or drift off course, but it happened.
If this sounds familiar you have only three choices:
Live in denial and pretend like everything is fine.
Quit, give up on the goal, the dream, the vision.
Re-engage, begin to move forward again.
It’s funny how life will send you little reminders if you are paying attention. A few weeks ago I was on the road to a speaking event with the leadership team of the Gila National Forest in Southern New Mexico when some great lyrics caught my attention. It was a song by the group Walk the Moon titled One Foot in Front of the Other.
The lead vocalist, Nick Petricca in a Rolling Stone interview noted, “The song is about starting out into the unknown, being faced with uncertainty and what could be an uncertain future and to take the first step anyway.”
Petricca’s words remind me of the words about faith in the New Testament book of Hebrews 13:1, “Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is evidence of things we cannot see.” NLT
The resonating theme to me in this catchy tune is the theme that one has to keep moving forward, taking one step at a time, one step in front of the other.
I believe that this is one of the key components of resilience which is the ability to resist the manifestations of clinical distress, impairment, or dysfunction that are often associated with acute stress, upsetting life events, and personal trauma.
So is it time to get unstuck? Is it time to refocus? Is it time to use your resilience muscle?
If you are sick and tired of being stuck and you don’t want to live in denial or give up, I have some excellent news for you! I have six things that you can begin doing as soon as you finish this article that will give you some energy to start moving forward again.
Quit staring in the rearview mirror of your life. Quit focusing on the past, let go of it. If you need help with this, see your spiritual leader or get therapy.
Don’t be distracted by the bugs on your windshield, change your perspective.
Begin by taking baby steps. Avoid you little inner perfectionist voice and take action.
Consider your purpose on this planet. Hint: It’s not your job, it’s that thing that makes you tick, your passion.
Believe in yourself. You are a unique person that is fearfully and wonderfully made. You have a unique blend of talents and gifts. Rather than doubting yourself, I want to you make a gratitude list, once you finish this article. In that list, I want to you write down some of this gifts and abilities and be grateful for them. Refuse to sabotage yourself with deep-seated fears and false beliefs.
Change your thinking patterns, and you will change your life and outcomes. Incidentally, I have a free twenty-minute online course that you can sign up for today. It will give you the secret to managing your thought life in such a way as to improve your health, relationships, and business outcome.
What do Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran, Jamie Fox, and Viola Davis have in common?
They reinvented themselves.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, world-famous wrestler to respected film star.
Jamie Foxx started out as a standup comic, turned singer with numerous # 1 Billboard hits and Platinum selling albums not to mention the fact he is an Academy Award winner.
Taylor Swift who has made a dynamic and successful shift from being the darling of country music to a dominating pop artist.
Viola Davis who was trained at Juilliard in theart of classical theater made a successful transition from stage to television to becoming a two-time Oscar winner. One for her portrayal as a 1960’ housemaid in the comedy-drama The Help and another for her role in Fences.
Ed Sheeran who has transitioned from a Gaelic folk singer to a rock vibe, then into a very marketable alternative sound that crosses many genres.
Why do you think these individuals needed to reinvent themselves?
I believe it was to remain viable in today’s marketplace.
The explosion of social media, the Amazon effect, and other massive cultural shifts are changing the way we do everything.
What about you?
Have you ever considered reinventing yourself?
Today, using some of John Manchin’s keen insight on three type of reinvention, I am going to ask you to take a look at where you are.
So, when you are looking to reinvent yourself, you need to realize you only have two options, change or die. Maybe not physical death, but the death of a vision, death of hope, end of a dream.
I recently read an exceptional article by John Manshi, an attorney, entrepreneur, and actor who I follow on Medium..com His words connected profoundly and profoundly, and mirrored my own experience. In the interest of full disclosure, the balance of this post is an intermingling of his article with my story.
Manshi reveals the three types of reinvention people go through in their lives, strategic moves which people can choose to make or not.
The Three Basic Structures of Reinvention
Is there a distinction between change and reinvention? Yes, all reinvention required change, but not all change is reinvention.
The Reactive Reinvention
This type of reinvention is usually sudden and immediately impactful.
You experience a job loss
You suffer an injury
You make a colossal misjudgment or mistake
Your spouse, or significant other cheats on you
Your company’s business model undergoes an abrupt change
Each of these events can lead to a reactive reinvention.
Reactive Reinvention comes about when an external event occurs and compels you to make changes. In this type of activity, you must change to advance your life and those things you hold dear. You cannot go back because the activating event that caused this is irreversible.
I experienced this twice with my work as a ministry professional. The first being when I moved to New Mexico, the second when the Senior Pastor left the church I was serving in New Mexico.
At that point, I had an epiphany. I needed to go back to school, obtain my counseling degree, and become a licensed professional counselor.
While the event shook me to the core, it caused me to take an intense and serious looking into my vocational call as a people helper. The lesson gleaned from this experience is you core calling will not change, but the way you live it out may be radically different from what you thought it would be.
The beauty of this type of reactive reinventions is even though it can and most likely will be an arduous task to start, the person you become will often be better and stronger than before.
The Proactive Reinvention
You want a new job or a promotion
You want to start a new business, write a book, or share your art
You want to improve your health or finances
You want to develop a new skill
You want to have a new adventure or experience
America is the land of dreamers and entrepreneurs who believe there is a better way to live
I have traveled the world in the past several years, and I can tell you from up close and personal experience, there is no other country in the world today which gives its citizens the freedom to fully pursue your dreams.
Proactive Reinvention is when you purposefully and intentionally change to take advantage or a trend or an opportunity that is in front of you.
On a personal note, one of my proactive reinventions was to become a Crisis Response Specialist.
As an ordained minister, chaplain and mental health professional I have been involved in helping people with events ranging from automobile accidents, natural disasters, acts of terrorism for some years. Also, I have served as a Stress Management Consultant Team for international agencies.
Early on I was keenly aware of how people respond to natural disasters; human-made disasters, mass casualty events and other disruptive events. Intrigues by my observations and reading, I began some independent studies in the field of Psychotraumatology, humans resilience, stress reactivity, and post-traumatic growth.
This proactive reinvention has opened the doors for me too as a specialist in both Disaster Mental Health and Employee Assistance Consultant who helps companies with Disruptive Workplace Events.
The crazy things about proactive reinvention are the power to condense an incredible amount of training into a relatively small, intense amount of time if you desire to transform is strong enough.
The third type is a by-product of failure. As mentioned before, I experienced this when I failed to be accepted into the counseling program all those many years ago. Also, the job loss in Albuquerque and the intense financial struggles for the next short season intensely confronted me on the need to rise out of the ashes of what I perceived as some of my miserable failures
The Reflective Reinvention
Reflective Reinvention occurs when you fail at something, but you still have a strong desire to continue on a particular path.
You may have failed numerous times. You may feel like a complete loser because of the number of times you have eaten the bitter tastes of failure. Nevertheless, something deep inside you will not go away.
The key to reinvention and transformation at this point in the game is to change something about yourself.
The only way to change yourself is to reflect on your situation. A simple way to do this without going into a negative spiral is to ask yourself three questions. What am I doing right? What am I doing wrong? What can I do better or differently? After spending some time of honest reflection and counting the cost to make the changes, you will have clarity as you make the necessary adjustment and changes in your life.
Manshi proposed a question: Why do I care if there are three varieties on the theme of reinvention?
He continues, being able to identify the one you find yourself in is the key to determining the strategies you will need to move forward.
First, each style of reinvention calls for distinct, calculated strategies actually to make the necessary changes.
Second, when you utilize the correct strategy to the type of reinvention you are going through you immediately accelerate the desired outcome.
Third, if you fail to implement the suitable strategy/s, you will, no doubt, waste precious time and might not reach your desired outcome nor reach your full potential.
Here are some of very insightful thoughts Manshi shares about reinvention strategies.
The Reactive Reinvention Strategy
When you are trying to reinvent yourself reactively, you have an enormous amount of energy and motivation. Not all of this is positive, edifying energy, much of it can become detrimental, life-sucking energy, destructive power.
That negative energy comes from self-doubt, self-loathing, anxiety, depression, loss, and possibly physical pain.
Here are a couple of “must do’s” to make this transition go forward:
Learn to manage the energy, both internally and externally. By doing this, you can use the positive, kinetic energy to propel you forward. If you fail to do this, there is a possibility the negatively could consume you.
To reinvent, it is imperative you use this burst of energy and transform it into your burning purpose.
The Proactive Reinvention Strategy
If you are going to reinvent yourself proactively, you must spend some time reviewing and analyzing trends. You must become opportunistic in the art of seeing what others cannot or will not see. You need preparation, education, and focused learning.
You will have to create margin in your life so you will have free, unencumbered time to prepare, learn and move towards the new opportunity to trend.
Finding time in the nooks and crannies is the most critical aspect of proactive reinvention.
For me, it meant working on my second Master’s degree while working full-time and being deployed for Desert Storm.
The Reflective Reinvention Strategy
When you engage in reflective reinvention, you have experienced multiple failures of something. As for myself, I had this crazy idea I should write. I attended some small writer’s conferences and workshops and began to submit to various magazines, online journals, as well as local outlets. I received many more rejections than acceptances, while these dismissals slowed me down, they did reveal I had something to say.
If your best effort and knowledge does not result in success, then the problem is easy to diagnose; you need information and input from a source outside of yourself. This might come through a mentor, a friend, a personal business coach or consultant.
This step can be a difficult one for many people because it may involve swallowing some pride to realize you are having trouble figuring things out. Being prideful will not allow you to see the back of your head. You need a mirror, a camera or someone else.
There is no shortcut. It is the only way to succeed. You need to consider finding a mentor, coach, consultant, or some source to help you with this step. They may be able to provide a missing or overlooked piece of the puzzle that you are trying to solve.
In my own, small but growing journey as a writer I have been so workshops, seminars, writer’s groups, mastermind groups, as well as critique groups. I have submitted proposals, received multiple rejections, while at the same time, having some things published. I have had friends make helpful suggestions have helped me improve in this area of my life.
So what am I doing to help with this reflective reinvention strategy:
I am learning about my blind spots and am finding workarounds
I am lowering some of the gates of my self-pride and am allowing others to speak to me.
I am growing an accountability group to help increase my effectiveness as a person, spouse, and people helper.
What about you? Are you either entering into one of these reinvention phases, in the middle of it or coming out of it.
I would love to hear about your journey in the comments.