This time of year, many of us reflect on the year that’s just gone; making plans and setting goals for the year ahead. I’m no different.
But 2017 was, for me, a truly ‘annus horribilis’, where I was derailed from business and life after the unexpected death of my brother just before Christmas 2016. I wrote about it, and some of the lessons I learned, here.
Other than that, I couldn’t bring myself to blog in 2017. I felt I had nothing to say. I just had to cocoon myself and ride that wave of grief wherever it took me. I was lucky to have understanding regular clients and scored most new work via word of mouth.
Then, a little over one year after losing my brother, our favourite next door neighbour died in a car accident. He had similar psychological afflictions to my brother and there were uncannily similar threads between the two losses: police knocked on our door to inform us both times – a year and one day apart. Their funerals were even on the same date. You just can’t make this stuff up!
To say this re-triggered my grief is an understatement. What can we do, though, but prevail?
Now, as I look back on 2017 and forward to 2018, I feel a glimmer of hope, a smidge more motivation and a whiff of anticipation.
It’s said one of the gifts of grief is the opportunity for transformation. To begin again, rebuild your life, find new meaning, cause and conviction. I feel this is true – once you get over the survivor guilt.
So, over the new year break, I’ve done more than my usual amount of reflection. The image I kept getting in my mind and soul was of a phoenix rising from the ashes. Such a potent symbol of rebirth and reinvention from the ruins of the past.
I’m keeping this theme in mind as I contemplate the year ahead. And I’m keeping things simple.
My goal? BE MORE ME.
I’ve even done that ‘word of the year’ thing.
Not intentionally, it just came to me.
And it’s simply, YES.
I intend to say “YES” to more invites, experiences (especially fun, soul-sustenance stuff) and work.
REFLECTION + REDIRECTION = REINVENTION
Step 1 is: MAKE MORE EFFORT
From my appearance to getting out there and engaging with others, I’ve let things slide. Grief does that to you. This won’t be easy, as I’ve become lazy since working from home, and accustomed to my own – and my dogs’ – company. I mean, why frock up when no one’s going to see me? Hang on, why NOT do it just for me? I’m saying “YES” to dressing up and going to more networking events. I might even sign up to a co-working space! And I’m taking the time I need to enjoy being more me.
Step 2 is: REFOCUS & REBRAND
Who hasn’t done a course or workshop on defining your USP, target market and ideal client? It’s small biz 101, right? And revisiting your branding is a natural part of your personal and business evolution, yes? Well, I’m going through my cluttered ‘brand wardrobe’ and choosing what still fits and turfing what’s SOOO not me anymore. Not just appearances, but attitude and overall purpose.
Still, my visual branding did need a shake-up – and it finally feels the right timing to do it. I’ve changed my brand colours, my new-look website is being designed and I’m refining my messaging to better reflect who I am and who I want to appeal to.
New look to be unveiled soon…
Step 3 is: SPEAK MY TRUTH
This should be easy, yes? Nuh-uh, not for this people-pleasing introvert-empath. I tend to mould myself to the company I’m in. Sure, we all do that at times. But how helpful is it, really?
From now, I’m going to OWN my introverted-ness more in my messaging. Own my woo-woo-ness and my rebellious side. I’ve even coined a phrase: “feisty but nice-ty”. Yes, I can be both.
So that’s my plan for reinvention. You know, I nearly didn’t publish this post… but I wanted to put it out there as a way to hold myself accountable.
How about you – how has a life event been a catalyst for change in your business and personal life? How did you deal with it and what did you learn?
I’d love to know!
(image credit: Hans via Pixabay)