We can all feel stuck from time to time.
Sometimes we’re in need of a life makeover, but we’re not quite sure how.
This article will walk you through the ways to reinvent yourself to realize your full potential.
1) Do a life inventory to evaluate what needs to go and what can stay
When we want a change, it can be tempting to throw the baby out with the bathwater. What I mean is that we can get a bit overzealous.
We want to makeover our life completely, but in the process, we fail to see what we already have going for us.
That’s why a little life inventory can help you take stock of where you are.
So create a list.
Take an honest look at what you appreciate in your life, and what you would like more of.
- What do you like about your life? What feels aligned and in tune? What brings you happiness?
Even when we are ready for change, it helps our mindset to look at what we already have with a sense of gratitude.
- What do you feel is missing? What would you like to welcome more of? What do you crave?
It’s also important to consider what you need to start saying “no” to if you want to grow into your full potential.
- What needs to go from your life? What brings you sadness or pain? What bad habits, outdated thought patterns, or even people are holding you back?
2) Make sure you know your deeper values
As you look to your future and decide what goes and what stays, you’ll need to check that it aligns with your deeper values.
The funny thing about core values is that we all have them, but we often give them little thought.
They are like the guiding compass that helps us figure out what’s right for us. What you’re prepared to compromise on and what you’re not.
We only have limited time and energy to invest, and you want to make sure it goes to the things you personally value most.
For example, some people may want lots of money and a big house. Others may crave career status and job satisfaction. Whilst some would rather devote the most time to their relationships.
If you want to realize your potential you need to make sure that you are shaping your life in a way that serves you best.
Spend some time getting better acquainted with your values.
This can steer you in the right direction for your life revamp.
Because often one of the biggest obstacles many people face when trying to reinvent themselves is knowing what they really want.
Luckily, the next thing on our list can help with that.
3) Play the “what if” game
Here’s the tricky part:
Fear and doubt can hold us back from so much potential. We don’t always realize the self-limiting beliefs we have.
We take options off the table because we are scared we cannot achieve them. Because of this, it’s so easy to lose touch with what it is you even want out of life.
You convince yourself your dreams are unrealistic or achievable, so you bury them.
A good way to discover those bigger dreams and desires is by playing the “what if” game.
Because it’s hypothetical, there is no pressure. There’s no plan you need to formulate right now, only ideas to explore.
It lets you unleash your imagination and get those creative juices flowing.
So grab yourself a pen and paper and start to answer these questions:
- What if money were no object, what would I do, where would I go, what would my life look like?
- What if I knew I could not fail, what would I try, what would I do?
- What if I had 5 more years left to live, what would I stop putting off, what would I finally get around to starting?
- What if I didn’t care what anyone else thought, how would I shape my life for me?
This can be a really good way to uncover what you want most in life, without focusing on limitations.
4) Don’t box yourself in
When we’re really young, we explore life with open-minded enthusiasm. We are filled with potential and possibility.
As we grow up, we’re increasingly pressured into making choices that seem to narrow down our options.
Until one day, you turn around and feel like the choices you made years ago have put you into one narrow little box that seems hard to get out of.
We use labels like “I am a mom” or “I am an accountant” that seem to end up defining us.
We’re so much more than that, but we can start to feel limited by our labels.
I once asked a guy I met what he did and he replied:
“I am creative.”
I’ll confess, his unconventional answer sounded pretty hippy at the time. But the more I thought about it, the more I loved his response.
Because the jobs we do or things we pursue in life are always linked to something far bigger and more significant about us.
They are based on our natural strengths, you just need to get back in touch with yours…
5) Look for your strengths, and work outwards
When we ditch the labels, we start to widen our potential.
So it doesn’t matter that all your career so far has been spent in a call center. What matters is the transferable skills you have that you can use to reinvent yourself.
For example, personally, I think I’m a communicator. That is one of my strengths and passions.
Maybe you are:
- A people person
- A problem solver
- Good with your hands
- Great with numbers
Go looking for your natural gifts, talents, and interests. Know that you can apply them to so many different things.
Literally, make a list of them.
If you’re unsure or struggling to see them, ask your friends, family, and loved ones.
6) Take off the pressure and get curious by trying new things
It’s understandable that realizing your full potential can feel overwhelming.
And often when we pile on the pressure, it has the opposite effect. We get lost in overwhelm and procrastination.
When we make things a lot more fun, it’s easier.
Focusing on fun doesn’t mean not trying challenging things, it just means letting go of any set expectations.
Because that’s usually what burdens and disappoints us.
Instead, get curious.
Take a playful approach to trying new things out. Don’t set any clear demands on yourself for the outcome.
Just make exploration your goal:
- Explore new hobbies
- Sign up for new courses
- Give activities a go that you’ve always wanted to try
- Join groups or meet-ups
- Play around with your image and try on different clothes
You never know what could be a good fit for you unless you try.
Of course, having a curious approach isn’t about letting yourself off the hook.
It’s also essential you are disciplined and diligent in taking action.
7) Commit to taking action
I don’t like the idea of goals, not in the traditional sense anyway.
Because I think they’re too tied up to narrow expectations, which don’t always work out.
Instead, I think action is key. Because the focus is more on the doing than the outcome.
That way, there is no way to lose, it’s all just part of the process of growth and development.
And clearly, when you want to make changes in life, you have to take action.
You need to roll up your sleeves and get things done, rather than just thinking about it.
So, make a commitment to taking action. It might be doing one small thing every day or something bigger every week.
It’s about working out your next best steps and following through on them.
Perhaps it’s things like:
- Going to a networking event
- Sending out your CV
- Applying for jobs
- Researching a topic you’re interested in
- Devoting time to nurturing a skill
But much like with goal setting, you still need to make sure they are:
- Clearly defined – what will you do?
- That you set a time frame – when will this happen?
- That the actions are small enough to be achievable, but scary enough to feel challenging
Because as we’ll see next when it comes to realizing your potential, tackling your fears is going to be unavoidable.
8) Push your comfort zone
Whenever we feel stuck, it’s time to be bold.
I spent years with a quiet discontent that life was passing me by, but I didn’t know what to do about it.
It took me quitting my job, leaving my home country, and pretty much my entire life behind to realize that it’s true what they say:
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.”
But here’s the funny thing:
It had nothing to do with quitting my life, and everything to do with pushing my comfort zone.
I took the extreme route, but only because I hadn’t found the courage or motivation any other way.
- Do things that scare you — fear can be a sign that it is important to you.
- Go looking for new opportunities, even if they intimidate you.
- Strive to do at least one thing a week that leaves you with sweaty palms.
- Devote time to working on your weaknesses as well as your strengths.
We need to take a leap of faith sometimes.
When we do, we realize that finding the courage to jump is the hard part. The freefall afterward just takes care of itself.