Has the phrase “you have to step out of your box,” ever sent your cortisol levels skyrocketing into fight or flight mode? “Expanding your box” sounds more palatable, less intimidating. Dorie Clark talks about (in her book, Reinventing Yourself) the need to constantly re-evaluate who you are, what you’re doing and how it’s working for you.
The constantly changing world demands resilience in order to keep things flowing. Balance is the prerequisite since all dimensions of life (emotional, physical, spiritual, financial, intellectual, educational, social, and occupational) are interconnected. Weakness and lack of homeostasis in any dimension creates stress, resulting in the seesaw effect as we strive for equilibrium. It’s important to identify when the seesaw begins to tip and make corrections before experiencing consequences such as excessive tiredness, irritability, excessive eating, reduced productivity, illness, job dissatisfaction, etc.
Reinventing yourself begins by reviewing your strengths and areas of potential growth. You can then develop a plan to enhance strengths and shore up your potential growths-expand your box- and open up more exciting opportunities. Although uncomfortable at first, by taking small steps to build confidence and having a mentor for support, you can override your fear. By becoming aware of obstacles and developing a plan to remove them (or make them less obtrusive), they soon became past hurdles that you’ve successfully conquered. Growth doesn’t occur by staying in your comfort zone. Strength is derived from overcoming challenges. What a self-esteem boost!
It’s sometimes difficult to recognize change, which may lead to relapse into old, familiar patterns of behaviors. As you gain confidence in new abilities (it takes time and repetition to develop and reinforce new habits), this becomes easier. Act confident and others will begin to reinforce your positive changes. Eventually, new patterns will be formed. Align yourself with supports who will acknowledge your strengths. They will validate your new path and the momentum will lead to other areas of growth. How exciting!
Who you are today doesn’t need to be who you are tomorrow!