Risk. Reinvent. Repeat!

by Libby Gill

Summer is over. School and work are back in session. Maybe you’ve been slowing down or even gotten completely stuck.   Don’t beat up on yourself, it’s all part of the human condition.

The first step is to determine where you’re stuck so you can begin getting unstuck.  Take a look at the list below and see if can pinpoint your stuck spot.

  • You know what changes you need to make but you’re not making them

  • You know what you want but you have no idea how to get there

  • When you think about change, you feel totally overwhelmed

  • Your life is basically good, but there’s one area that you keep avoiding

  • You are living other people’s ideas about who you are and ignoring your own

  • You’re willing to change everything about your life except the one thing you know will actually make a real difference

  • You’ve lost a job, a loved one or a nest egg and it’s got you totally shut down

I know a lot about being stuck.  I had been stuck in a family plagued by alcoholism and mental illness, in an overweight and out-of-shape body, in a marriage that wasn’t right for me, and in a career that I’d outgrown.  At age 47,  when some people are slowing down, I decided it was high time to reinvent my personal and professional life.  I started my first business as an executive coach, published my first book, lost 25 pounds and became newly single.  I learned that if you want to reinvent, you’ve got to take a risk. And then keep on taking them for the rest of your life!

Often the hardest part of reinvention, which is really more about re-claiming your gifts than truly re-inventing yourself, is to create some new risk-taking habits.  As you begin to take increasingly bold risks, you’ll begin to build confidence and competence.  Pretty soon those baby steps will become grand leaps that will get you where you want to go with ever-greater ease.  Start small and keep making those incremental changes.

To help get you started, here are my 5 Top Tips for Risk-Taking Success:

1.   Challenge the “INR.”  The Immediate Negative Response, or INR, is that knee-jerk resistance to change which causes us to freeze, retreat or disengage from an impending risk, even when we expect the results to be positive.

2.     Counteract “Riskophobia” with relaxation.  Asking the boss for a raise, interviewing for a job, or even going on a blind date can stir up anxiety.  Overcome fear of risk-taking, what I call Riskophobia, with a regular practice of deep relaxation, including breathing, meditation or visualization so you can picture that job interview all the way from “Hello” to “You’re hired.”

3.     Resist the slippery slope of excuse-making.  Even if the excuses are true – “I’m too old,” “I don’t have the right degree,” or “I don’t have enough time” – find ways to transcend excuses and start taking action.

4.     Assess your “Advance or Avoid” behavior patterns.  Become a student of your own risk-taking patterns.  Are there some risks toward which you easily “advance”?  Others that you’d rather “avoid”?  As you become more aware, begin to build your risk-taking repertoire by trying bold, new risks that will advance your goals.

5.   Steer clear of “Limiters” and embrace “Liberators.”  It’s been said, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”  What kind of company have you been keeping?  Maybe it’s time to mix it up a bit. Watch out for the Limiters who, unwittingly or not, may limit you because of their own fears and jealousies.  Instead, surround yourself with Liberators who sometimes have more faith in your ability to liberate your dreams and reinvent than you do yourself!

Catch Libby Live on Catalyst Business Radio in 32 Markets

Listen in the third Tuesday of every month at noon PT / 3 pm ET for Libby’s ‘Monthly Mindshare’ when she provides practical strategies for business success.  Listen live or catch the podcast replays at http://www.catalystbusinessradio.com/.

About Libby Gill

Libby Gill is CEO of Libby Gill & Company, an executive coaching and brand strategy firm.  An international speaker, Libby is the bestselling author of award-winning You Unstuck: Mastering the New Rules of Risk-taking in Work and Life.  Her new book, Capture the Mindshare and the Market Share Will Follow, will be released in May 2013.  Libby’s clients have included Nike, Warner Bros., Microsoft, Disney, Oracle, Kellogg’s, PayPal, Deloitte, and many more.