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Can I Really Reinvent Myself?


People like Madonna, Cher and Victoria Beckham have.  So have companies like Apple, BlackBerry, Home Depot…along with thousands of others.

For individuals it may be about trying to find oneself, hitting a mid-life crisis, looking for more purpose and meaning.  For businesses it’s usually about sharpening competitive advantage in constantly shifting markets.

Reinvention may seem more like a solution for overcoming failure but it’s also a way of positioning for success.  There are lots of self help books and videos as well as case studies on the market but they all start to sound the same. 

A different slant on this topic is presented by “Medicine Cards” (Jamie Sams & David Carson).  It looks to animals as messengers for healing body, mind and spirit.  The whole book with its deck of cards is a compelling read and offers new strategies for next steps.  Two creatures that speak about reinvention are butterflies and snakes.   

Butterflies are more often used to represent transformation because they go through a series of stages much like project management:

  • Egg (is it just a thought or idea?)
  • Larva (do I need to make a decision?)
  • Cocoon (how am I developing my idea into a reality?)
  • Leaving the chrysalis (how am I  sharing my completed idea?)

Snakes may be a less appealing visual but the shedding of a snake’s skin is another way to characterize the life-death-rebirth cycle.  By changing our consciousness, we can change on number of planes:

  • Materially (passion, physical vitality)  
  • Emotionally (ambition, creation, resolution, dreams) 
  • Mentally (intellect, power, charisma, leadership) 
  • Spiritually (wisdom, understanding, wholeness)

Two creatures, similar cycles and lessons.  What we learn is:  this cycle of self-transformation is never ending so developing a reinvention plan is a good strategy!