Reinvention – aptly described by a quick Google search as “the action or process through which something is changed so much that it appears to be entirely new.” Today’s millennial woman is seemingly always looking for something to change about herself as prompted by key learnings from what I like to call “adulting.” Our microwave generation wants what it wants now, and all that we want must come sprinkled with all forms of glitter and the promise of emancipation from whatever’s plaguing us.
Who doesn’t want the high that comes with experiencing new things, new beginnings and momentous celebrations that have us snapping our fingers and screaming “Yaaas!!!” every which way we turn!? Let’s face it; the utopian woman is currently basking in the endless euphoria of being hugely exposed to more opportunities to redesign our lives than ever before – if only we believe this to be true for us!
A few years ago, I made the intentional decision to change my life – completely – because quite frankly, I was done doing life on the mediocre train. My career, my social capital (the friendship circle), the endless ideas milling through my mind waiting on me to make decisions for when to execute them, the country I was going to live in – all of it. I wanted a change, and I wanted it as early as I could get it – legally.
You know how it goes; we want to get rid of stretch marks after rapid weight loss or post-delivery, and so we find ourselves in the skincare aisle at the neighbourhood supermarket, trying to figure out whether the concentrated cocoa butter or aloe vera will do.
For someone else, maybe it’s a quest for global exploration and holidaying at exotic destinations because these travel blogs and influencer Instagram pages really have a way of making us wish we could pack a bag and venture out to places uncharted at the blink of an eye and the swipe of a credit card. Nevermind the “10 tips to getting him to fall in love with you” blogs that populate our feeds the minute we hit “sign-in” to whichever platform tickles our fancy. Someone is always feeding us images that capture the imagination and peddling our ideas of how we should look, feel, what we should eat and what’s the coolest fad to absorb in our current season. But what do we want? What do we really want, and how do we get it?
We want to love and be loved, to enjoy doors swinging wide open in every building we dare enter, to catch flights and not feelings, to be able to pursue whatever endeavour and the why. But we also know that life is one of those funny things that we don’t always have control over. Situations get complicated. People can be weird. The coins don’t stretch longer than the month runs... and so on. When all is said, and done, and the pages have been turned, we are still to ask ourselves how positive change can happen for us for the better.
Why is it important to actively pursue reward and comprehension of our needs so that we can be better? How much grind will it take before we can truly experience a fast-evolving yet exciting life characterised by authentic, transformational experiences that have us smiling at ourselves because well... life is good.
As a Publicist and Communications Strategist, beyond helping corporates raise their brand equity, I get to work with many aspiring female entrepreneurs who carry numerous ideas but aren’t sure about how getting started will impact them. Mentoring young women challenges me to draw from the mistakes I made in my younger years of thinking that if I dreamed a thing without particularly fighting for it, it would eventually come to pass. In our sessions, I provoke them to think through a host of questions that should help them understand their motives for wanting to redesign their lives – or brands.
“How do I reinvent myself?”
“What does a do-over mean for me?”
“Who’s staying behind and who’s joining me on the transitional road ahead?”
How long will this process take and what are the outcomes for such drastic changes?”
So many questions. Allow me to share my five overtly basic tips for getting it together and pursuing reinvention in your life and/or your hustle.
1. Changing oneself requires a great deal of introspection and acceptance of the things that you aren’t particularly chuffed about.
You can’t change what you don’t confront. Losing that weight won’t happen for you until you accept that you no longer fit in those size six jeans you wore all through your 20s. If you’re going at your 8-5 with minimal enthusiasm, perhaps it may be a good time to think about whether you really enjoy your job, and if not, asking yourself the reasons for staying. Is the money worth the misery? Could it be an outlook thing or a departmental transfer that may get you back on track to actually liking where you are spending 8-10 hours a day? You get where I’m going with this.
2. Your life’s reinvention will involve sacrifice.
No boxer ever won a fight without hours and hours of training. Any CEO will tell you about the tens of thousands of hours it took them to reach the top. This is before they get into how, after reaching the top, they realise that it’s quite lonely up there and carries a great deal of responsibility. Eeek! Getting out of debt will require you to cut the brunches and get off the online stores. Change requires sacrifice; sacrifice breeds victory! Are you willing to suffer for a little while to reach your finish line?
3. Own your mess; rewrite your narrative.
I struggled to get myself together because I blamed everything and everyone for the stuff I wasn’t happy about. If it wasn’t the economy, it was the political situation in my country which affected the economy, which resulted in my being out here as a Zimbabwean living far away from my family and missing birthdays and so on. Yeah...eventually, excuses should run out. That’s what being a grown-up means. It means owning the mess we find ourselves in and rewriting our story through the actions we take to get out from under our excuses and self-pity. Own your mess and consider the points I made in my first point. Accept and introspect.
4. Of social capital and choosing your connections wisely.
There are a bunch of people milling around and doing life with no plan. Don’t be found among them. Social audits are critical for ascertaining who in your life are dead weight, mooches, motivators and cultivators of your gifts. As the adage goes, if you catch yourself the smartest one in a group – #EVERY.SINGLE.TIME – it may be time cut and replace. Nurture relationships that allow your brightest light to shine while you too make a difference in the lives of the people you are connected to. If it is to do with your business, be clear about who you will take on as clients and what business is good to walk away from. Yes, we need people, but we can’t serve everyone effectively all the time. There is also such a thing as bad business, and it usually has sketchy people behind it.
5. Lights, camera, action!
My profession has me enjoying the arduous task of putting together plans for the brands we present, listing our set of objectives before formulating our strategy. Basically, the “what” and the “how” are quintessential elements for any campaign to be a success. As I mentor women, I ask them what they are doing or what they want to do, and how they intend on getting the things they’ve listed done. Then we create an action plan. Without execution, a goal can be likened to a wish.
For your life to change, put together a plan of the things you desire to see manifest then draft your action plan which can be as basic as: “To save $500 dollars a month for the next three months, I will eat out once a week and make
home-cooked meals; I will go out only once a month, and I will have my hair braided as opposed to buying a new wig.” Sounds basic I know, but those are literally the most rudimentary strategies I’ve employed for getting out of debt, authoring books, building on my skillset so I could pursue better growth opportunities, getting into better shape – and so on.
Reinvention – “the action or process through which something is changed so much that it appears to be entirely new.” It won’t come without the decision to pursue it, or subsequent actions that will constitute your do-over. What bit do you need to be reflecting upon, revisiting and realigning for a better and more well-balanced you?
About the author
Yvonne Chiedza Mtengwa is an international speaker, Amazon best-selling author and the Co-founder of Quintessential F, a testimonial-based blog and movement that seeks to inspire and empower women to find their authentic selves through spiritual growth and affirmation. Passionate about the issues that affect young women, she has in recent years taken to chronicling her experiences when mentoring women, also hosting inspired meet-up collaborative events for women under the #QFCoffeebreaks and Quintessential F Power Brunch banners across Southern Africa.
Yvonne recently launched the Reinvented series of events, inspired by her desire to connect and empower readers of her book “Reinvented: Challenging insecurity to live authentically through faith,” and is actively developing her Reinvented Today brand which seeks to empower women to transition into their next level best across all areas of their lives.
Yvonne is also the Founder and Managing Consultant for Narratives Inc., a boutique Brand Development & Communications Consultancy offering a host of social media and conventional media related services for women-owned and led initiatives, SMEs and brands across multiple sectors. Narratives Inc.’s formation was inspired by Yvonne’s vast experience as a Marketing & Communications strategist, with a professional career spanning 15 years across the U.S.A., Southern Africa, UAE and greater GCC markets. She hopes to one day run a media firm that services Africa’s fast-evolving entrepreneurial scene.
A lover of all things travel, lifestyle and immersive experiences, in her spare time, Yvonne enjoys spending some quality time with her husband and two children. Yvonne currently resides in Abu Dhabi.