The Rules Of Reinvention

Starting from scratch isn't an easy feat, but it can be done. Here's our take on how to open new doors andcreate the life you'vealways wanted.

to be is to take a chance that you can live the life of your dreams. Our team of experts, including life coaches, psychologists, spiritual advisers, and career experts will show you how to unlock doors of opportunity. All you have to do is follow the rules.

Rule #1: Understand who you are and where you are.
It’s important to “recognize what’s causing you to want to reinvent yourself,” says Arthur Day, a licensed marriage and family therapist in California, to see if the problem is perceived or real. “Is it age related, peer pressure, family expectations? Is it a specific developmental stage you’re in? Or is it a reaction to something else in your life that you’re unhappy with?” The answers will reveal themselves when you take an honest look at what’s going on. Get a journal and write down every thought that you have about where your life is now. Are you happy? If not, why not? If you could be doing something different right this second, what would it be? Waiting for everything to be perfect can be a block to getting started.

According to a survey conducted by the Reinvention Institute, the barriers to a successful career reinvention most cited by the 350 respondents were lack of knowledge (26.5%), lack of finances (21.4%), and lack of contacts (18.9%).

The self-discovery process that professional coaching or therapy can support will help you decide the direction in which your life should go. But thoughts about who you are and what you want must be written down to be an effective part of the process. Francine Ward, an achievement coach and author, most recently of 52 Weeks of Esteemable Acts: A Guide to Right Living (Hazelden; $12.95) has clients identify what they do well. “And I stress that they can’t do everything and they’re not good at everything.” To help narrow the field, she asks, “What group of people do you love working with?” and “Whose challenges do you really understand?” If you love working with children, for example, becoming a teacher, therapist, or coach could be the right calling for you.

Rule #2: Explore your gifts and talents.
Tiffany Brown, a 27-year-old author and motivational speaker, was hurled into a new life after a family crisis caused her to back out of running for mayor of Atlanta last year. “After my [ordeal], I experienced some difficulty going on to the next stage of my life and career,” she says. Brown’s campaign came to a halt when several events, including family members caught in Hurricane Katrina, the pressures of running for mayor, and the disintegration of a long-term relationship, forced her to pull out before she officially could qualify as a candidate.

To restore her life, Brown focused on a physical, mental, and career rejuvenation. To help clarify her career goals, she took personality and self-assessment tests, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, which assess how people make decisions, process information, and relate to the world. Many sites offer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator for various

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