Have you ever felt like a failure?
Failure is a common experience for everyone and can have a negative impact on our emotional well-being and self-esteem.
But there’s a solution: Reinvention.
Recently, I felt like a failure when I realized that I needed to make a change in my life because writing was no longer bringing me any kind of satisfaction: neither financially nor emotionally.
So, I had to put my life on hold, do a lot of inner work, and after realizing several things, I made the terrifying decision to say goodbye to writing along with the twelve years of literary career I had built up, all to reinvent myself as a creative entrepreneur.
It’s been a process that has taken me months. I didn’t arrive here overnight, and it wasn’t a decision I made without a lot of thought and consultation with my husband.
I wanted to take confident steps toward my evolution because I needed to move forward and evolve. That’s why the first step was to get to know myself and understand what I truly wanted for my professional life.
Table of Contents:
To talk about reinvention, we must first understand what leads us to reinvent ourselves.
For many years, writing was a genuine passion, a flame that burned day and night, refusing to stop spreading light to give me respite.
I don’t know when or how, that flame started to weaken to the point where ‘writing’ became uncomfortable and required a lot of effort, with the first being to light the flame daily to illuminate my creative space and allow me to feel that emotion that remained hidden in some corner of the shadows.
And as if I lived submerged in a massive storm, it became increasingly difficult to light the flame and keep it steady, even if just for an hour a day.”
I kept doing it, but it became an obligation. I saw it as that job you never want to go to again in your life, but you fear leaving because: What will they think/say about me?
Generally, professional reinvention comes with a triggering situation that prompts that big step: bad investments, bankruptcies, layoffs, etc.
It can also arise from emotional factors linked to dissatisfaction in the field you work in or because personal and professional dreams take a different course.
In a brief way of explaining the above, we usually call all these reasons and emotions: failure.
It’s a situation we have experienced at some point in our lives. Whether in our personal or professional life. However, there’s still a fear of failure, and it’s seen as something incredibly negative.
I believe it comes from the upbringing we’ve had, where we’re taught to meet society’s demands within the timelines agreed upon by it: you have to grow up, study, get a college degree, find a good job, get married before 28, have children immediately, and so on.
If you don’t meet the established timelines, you’re labeled as a failure in one, several, or all areas.
This leads to developing negative emotions that chip away at your self-esteem and confidence because you start questioning your abilities and capacities, becoming an insecure person.
You feel sadness, frustration for not being able to meet the expectations others have of you. You’re ashamed of not being able to fulfill your goals, and you compare yourself to those who have.
In short, a series of emotions and anxieties that no human being should feel just to prove something to someone else, because ultimately, in this society, not failing is synonymous with proving that we’re capable of doing everything right and in the way it’s expected.
I believe that failure or processes of radical change that lead us to reinvention are an opportunity to learn and grow.
To dare to do more and do it differently.
To prove to ourselves that we’re capable of fighting for what we want, regardless of what others expect and think.
Failing is okay. Repeat it as many times as necessary, and don’t listen to who tells you otherwise.
What is reinvention, and how can it help us transform failure into success?
Reinvention is the process of transforming oneself through significant changes, whether in personal relationships, work, or perspectives.
By embracing change and evolution, you become aware of your mistakes, learn from them, avoid repeating them, and thus become a stronger and more successful person.
When you reinvent yourself, you not only learn from past mistakes but also put yourself out of your comfort zone, overcome fears, discover new possibilities and opportunities, as well as acquire new skills and knowledge that will help you effectively face challenges.
For me, it was an adventure of self-discovery. I understood it was time to change when thinking about creating in other ways brought me joy and excitement I hadn’t felt in a long time.
But also, thinking about creating with lines and colors invited me to relax and take life easy.
I discovered what things prevented me from continuing on the path of drawing, illustration, design, and even art. And realizing where my limiting beliefs about my drawing talent began was incredibly revealing for me.
Another thing that left me speechless was creating a creative timeline.
What is a creative timeline, and how that helped me in my reinvention process?
Timelines are used as a therapeutic tool to help you understand your present by analyzing your past, highlighting moments of change, significant experiences, and modifications in your personal history.
With this exercise, I understood that my life was always filled with drawings and colors.
I was able to recall things like, at the age of eight, I had painted a mural on one of the walls of the house where I lived with my mother.
When is a good time to reinvent yourself?
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, reinvention often occurs after an event that shakes the foundations of your life: separations, global financial crises, losses, bankruptcies, bad investments, businesses that don’t thrive despite attempts, layoffs, etc.
When you’re seeking a new purpose or direction, or when you want to achieve a goal or dream.
In my case, it came after realizing that my goals and desires had changed, and writing was no longer aligned with these goals.
And that’s why I started self-evaluating.
Self-evaluation is a good first step towards reinvention.
I believe it’s completely necessary to do, and you should do whatever you feel is necessary to clarify things for yourself.
Ask yourself questions like: What skills do I have? What am I passionate about? What makes me feel happy and fulfilled? What do I need at this point in my life? What is my priority? What can’t/won’t I compromise on?
Once you’ve identified your strengths and weaknesses and your overall current situation, you can move on to creating a strategy that allows you to explore new opportunities and learn new skills. This could include education, training in technical skills, work experience in a new field, and exploring new hobbies.
It’s also important to surround yourself with people who support and inspire you. People who you know will advise you from the heart. Look for mentors, advisors, or even friends and family who will encourage you on your path to reinvention.
Steps to reinvent yourself and turn failure into success
If you want to transform your failures into successes and reinvent yourself, here are some tips that helped me in my process of reinventing from a writer to a creative entrepreneur:
- Question yourself thoroughly. Ask yourself the existential questions you need to ask. They can be similar to the ones I mentioned above. Be patient and be kind to yourself because this is a tough process and is often like shock therapy, where you may discover things from your past that you hadn’t realized but that will help you break free from limiting beliefs and patterns that prevent you from moving forward with confidence.
- Analyze your skills. Make a list of skills and strengths, as well as your weaknesses and areas for improvement. Identify the skills you need to reach your goals and work on developing them.
- Set realistic goals. Define your short-term and long-term goals and work on them consistently. Make sure they’re realistic and achievable, but at the same time challenging for you.
- Learn from your failures. Instead of being overwhelmed by your failures, embrace them, accept them, and learn from them. Analyze what went wrong without feeling bad. Remember, failing is okay. Identify the lessons learned and use that experience to improve in the future.
- Seek inspiration. Find inspiration in people who have reinvented themselves. It’s also helpful to find successful role models in the area where you plan to reinvent yourself. Study their steps to success and follow their example. Read books and articles, watch movies or documentaries, and attend events that help expand your perspective and motivation.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Surround yourself with people who support and encourage you to achieve your goals. Avoid negative or toxic people who may discourage you or divert you from your objectives.
Final advice on reinvention:
Reinvention doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process that requires effort and patience, but with perseverance and determination, you can transform your failures into successes and achieve your goals and dreams.
Don’t give up!
Are you ready to reinvent yourself?
Share your experiences and strategies in the comments.