Reinvention Rebels

Reinvention Inspiration: Revisit Past Experiences to Find Fresh Reinvention Ideas!

November 10, 2022 Wendy Battles Season 4 Episode 9
Reinvention Rebels
Reinvention Inspiration: Revisit Past Experiences to Find Fresh Reinvention Ideas!
Show Notes Transcript

What happens when we revisit our past experiences as fodder for our current growth and expansion?

Have you ever noticed that a fresh perspective can transform an old idea into something new?

And those new ideas can help us navigate the reinvention process in interesting, and sometimes unexpected, ways.

While we may look to the past and be reminded of things that we didn't like or didn't go well, the opposite can be true too.

The past is a remarkable place to help us move forward. Instead of thinking of it with fear or dread, we can approach it with possibility.

Sometimes we had a good idea but the timing wasn't right. Being patient and believing in the power of manifestation can propel our reinvention journey forward in the most joyful ways.

In this solo episode I share:

✳️ What happened when I revisited my dislike for bananas years later
✳️ Why we should stay open to new ideas even if we're resistant
✳️ How revisiting voice acting 20 years later sparked my career as a podcast host
✳️ Why being open to change is so important in reinventing ourselves
✳️ 3 questions to ask yourself that can help spark to new ideas

I've got ideas for you to help you keep moving forward as you reinvent yourself.  Take a listen and try them on for size.

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Wendy: What could you revisit? What might be open to you, if you took a step back? And you look at some of the experiences you've had in the past that you've put to the side? Maybe the timing wasn't right before, maybe the timing is right now. But what are some clues that might help you to figure this out?

Welcome to Reinvention Rebels, stories of brave and unapologetic women, 50 to 90 years young, who have boldly reimagined life on their own terms to find new purpose and possibilities. I'm your host, Wendy Battles. Ready for a dose of inspiration? Let's get to it.

Hey, hey, everyone. Welcome to another episode of the Reinvention Rebels Podcast. I'm your host, Wendy and I am so glad you're here. If this is your first time listening, welcome aboard, I hope that you'll listen to many of these episodes. This is the place to come for information and a lot of inspiration about what's possible when we're ready to reinvent ourselves. I happen to focus on women between 50 and 90, bold, unapologetic, amazing women that are reinventing themselves in the most interesting, sometimes unusual, and kickass ways to see new possibilities as they age.

We talk a lot about how age is just a number and that we can reinvent ourselves at any age or any stage. So, that is something that is needling at you if you're thinking I could reinvent myself in some way, I'm not sure how, if you're looking for some motivation to push you in the right direction, you are in the right place. I vary the episodes, guest episodes, and on opposite weeks solo episodes. And today is just that, it is a solo episode. And it's about this idea of revisiting some of our past experiences. And using that to help us find new ideas, new ideas that can help us reinvent ourselves, so we're going to talk about that today. I'm going to share a couple of stories and I'm going to ask you a few questions about it to get you thinking about it too.

I do want to ask you before we get into it though, did you listen to last week's episode with the very inspiring 85-year young Stephanie Schwartz?  She is something else and I love that she is pursuing a full-time acting career at 85. I mean, who says that? But Reinvention Rebels do. There are plenty of women and I'm sure men too, who are out doing their thing as they age, and have great stories to tell. If you didn't have a chance to listen to it, I encourage you to do so there are lots of nuggets to help propel you forward in your own reinvention journey. And I've linked to it in the show notes below so you can easily find it.

[Reinvention Rebels theme]

So, this idea of looking back to help us in the present and the future. I like that idea and I know sometimes we're not so crazy about going to the past. Sometimes maybe it wasn't what we wanted it to be. But I always think from this moment forward, what can I create in the future? And how can I use some of those past experiences as fodder for what I might manifest? I want to start by asking you this question. Have you ever had a situation where you expected one thing to happen and it didn't and you ended up feeling crushed or totally disappointed? You were so sure you're going to get a certain job or something was going to work out a certain way and maybe you put all your eggs in that basket and you were ready for that and then it didn't happen. That's happened to me lots of times over my lifetime and I'm guessing the same for you too. It's just part of life.

Sometimes things don't work out the way we intend, but what I know is that even though sometimes things don't work out the way we want, I feel like it's always for my greater good. It always ends up working out in the end, although when I'm in it I still can't see that. When I'm in it, I just feel all those feelings of total disappointment or feeling upset with myself or feeling like maybe I could have done something different. I'm working on that, I'm trying to change my mindset, I'm trying to see those challenges as opportunities. And this idea that sometimes that disappointment or that thing that didn't happen that we so wanted to happen, is laying the foundation for something much better to happen in the future.

So, sometimes we need those rejections of disappointments to pave the way for what might come. And I think that if we're open to-- taking a look back at some of those things, we might see that there's lessons in them that there's opportunity for growth, and that some of those things we might see as we go back might align with our timing right now, where we are right now. Maybe we weren't ready for that reinvention then or for that thing to happen. But we go back a year later, five years later, it could be 15 or 20 years later and it seems like things just line up. So, I want to give you two examples of what I mean, one is a silly little one and another one is about some things I experienced that were disappointing, but then also worked for my better good in the end.

I want to start with a story about bananas, I might seem kind of funny, but when I was little, I once ate a banana. I was maybe three or four. And for whatever reason I got sick. I don't think it was from the banana, but as I'm sure you know, we associate things, we associate smells or foods or experiences sometimes with other things. For years, I could not eat a banana. I couldn't stand them. I couldn't stand the smell of them. I will say that I like bananas and that I would eat banana bread. I would put bananas in smoothies. I can even enjoy a flambé dessert with bananas, delicious, but actually peeling and eating a banana, mm-hmm, it just didn't work for me.

I did try it again because sometimes we have these experiences, and we might decide "Well, I'll never eat a banana again." Or we might decide at some point, in the future, well let me just try that again. So, I did. As a young adult I tried bananas, I tried putting them on a sandwich with peanut butter. And I still didn't like them. I didn't like them and they gave me heartburn. That banana gave me heartburn or at least I associated it with heartburn.

It probably wasn't the banana. But at the time that's all I could see. It's the banana, the banana is the problem. Fast forward, many, many, many years later, I still wasn't eating bananas by themselves, still putting them in different things, still resistant to eating a banana. But this is what happened. Earlier this year I was doing this eczema detox diet. For years I've had eczema, sometimes really, really mildly, sometimes not at all, and sometimes much worse. I've tried all kinds of things. And at the time, I was having this flare-up. And I went to the doctor [audio cut] they do they prescribed me steroids, but that's not getting to the root of the problem. And one night I was googling and I found this book called the Eczema Detox Diet written by a nutritionist in of all places, Australia. And I ordered the book, I read the entire book. And I said I am going to do this diet. So, you do the diet. There's hardly anything you can eat. You have to slowly introduce things in, one of the first things you introduce is bananas. You try a banana because it's apparently very, very mild. You try a banana to see how it works and even though I didn't like bananas, after depriving myself of all the foods I love for weeks, I said let me try it.

Well, lo and behold I actually liked it. Yes, I liked the banana. It actually tasted really good. I didn't get sick, I didn't get heartburn, and I enjoyed the flavor of that banana. The idea of revisiting something that we might have written off, or said I'm never going to go back there, and seeing it with new eyes. This might sound crazy but then after that, I really started eating bananas and enjoying bananas. Now, believe it or not, I love bananas, I look forward to eating bananas. And I realized that they're such a great way to have a little bit of sweetness without eating a candy bar or a lot of refined sugar that they really work for me, and I'm not allergic to them.

It's a simple example of how we can take a look back at some things that maybe we were resistant to and maybe they could provide us with new possibilities. So, that was just for me a metaphor for what's possible when we're open to trying something new or revisiting something and seeing what might unfold.


Okay, I have to ask you, have you ever considered how you want to feel as you age? Have you ever thought about what your 80s and/or 90s might be like, ever considered that you could feel just as inspired and engaged and full of possibility as you do at a younger age? If that tickles your fancy and makes you think, yes, I want some of that, I invite you to listen to the episode I recorded with my mom, my favorite episode yet, really sweet and special, where she talks about how she's thriving at 89. It's called How I Thrive at 89 with Curiosity, Community & Connection and, "Ah, it is so good." The stories, the laughter, the connection we have, it's just really inspiring. So, I invite you to lean in and listen, you'll find a link to it in the show notes.

Now, I'm going to tell you another story, which has to do with voice, acting, and podcasting. Back in the 90s, I got into doing Voice-Over work. And I didn't know what I was doing, I took a bunch of classes, I started shopping around my demo tape. And back in the day, it was different, you would go to a production studio to do this work with a producer. Now it's very much self-service, where you produce everything yourself. But back in the day, I was doing that.

I was doing that, I was doing that, but I wasn't getting a lot of work. And after a while I gave up. That's the kind of thing it's like being an actor, you have to keep pushing, you have to be open to overcoming rejection, you have to really believe you can do it. And at the time, I really didn't. I just thought I'm never going to be good at this. I leaned into the stereotypes. There's so much more work for men than women, it's often celebrities, that there isn't enough work for little old me, and I gave up. But I continued to use my voice in different ways, speaking, I have been asked to do messages on voicemails at work, lots of different ways. I was still using my voice, but then in 2018 for some reason, I got this idea to try the Voice-Overs again. I made a fresh demo tape because it's been like 18 years. And then I got started and trying to market myself, but I have to tell you my heart wasn't in it. It just didn't feel right. It didn't feel like what I wanted to be doing. I wasn't really that interested in recording ads. Nothing wrong with that, it's just not where I was at. But it's really interesting how I uncovered this idea of podcasting. I'd listened to podcasts for many years. I love podcasts, and at the beginning I never thought that I could do that too. I don't know why, but it just didn't dawn on me till one day, I was doing a lot of meditating, I got quiet. The name Reinvention Rebels bubbled up, over time I figured out, it was a podcast.

But I think it's that idea of going back and revisiting something. In this case, revisiting the idea of Voice-Overs and using my voice. But sometimes that thing we're good at or we enjoy doing could manifest in a slightly different way. Because I got clarity that my reinvention wasn't about ultimately doing the traditional voiceover path. But then I got this clarity that it was about using my voice for good to inspire people, and in this case on the podcast. What's awesome is that I'm using these skills that I developed a long time ago that I took out of the closet and said let me try this again. I was open to the possibilities and that led me to my best reinvention yet as a podcast host using the skills that I developed in 1996. And I honed over many years. And those circumstances led me to where I am today. So, that's the idea that you never know, because dreams can change, and we change over time.

And when we're open to revisiting possibilities, and things that have unfolded, all kinds of amazing things are available to happen especially if we get quiet and we're listening, and we tune into our intuition, and we start to lean into what lights us up. What brings us joy, something we do no matter what, well that's how I got on this path. And I'm telling you this story because that same thing is available to you. It's not going to manifest in the same way as it did for me, you're on your own unique reinvention journey. But what could you revisit? What might be open to you if you took a step back? And you looked at some of the experiences you've had in the past that you've put to the side? Maybe the timing wasn't right before, maybe the timing is right now. But what are some clues that might help you to figure this out?

So, here are three questions that I'd like you to think about that might help you with this idea of revisiting. Question number one, what's an experience that stands out for you as memorable or interesting or exciting or caught your attention in your past at some point? Number two, what hobbies or interests have you put on hold? Is there something that you love to do a long time ago, but just stopped doing it? Or is there something that you've always wanted to do, but you never really started? Or maybe you got started, but you couldn't sustain it because you're busy with other things? What are some of those things that you can go look back on and see if that might inspire your reinvention journey? And also, this third question, what's something that's happened in your past that's been a disappointment? What's something that felt so terrible at the time that convinced you just couldn't do it yet when you think back and reflect now with some perspective and distance you think, "Ha, well, that might be something, hmm," then get that job or I didn't find that person or it didn't work out or whatever happened? What's something like that that was disappointing, but could potentially get you thinking about your reinvention or might be a spark on your reinvention journey to really get things started?

So, those three questions, "What's an experience that stands out from your past? What hobbies or interests have you put on hold for a later date and you're ready to re-explore, and what has been a disappointment that you might reflect on and could create some helpful information as you think about reinventing yourself?" I'd love for you to noodle on those questions over the next week, take a few minutes, go to a quiet space, write them down, noodle on them and see what unfolds. It's really in the getting quiet and still that we can hear our inner wisdom that can help light our reinvention path.

So, how can you carve out some time in the next week or two to lean into that, to noodle on these questions, and see what bubbles up? This idea that we can revisit past experiences to provide fresh ideas on our reinvention journey. I can't wait to hear what you have to say about that. I'd love to know. Pop me a note at And let me know you're thinking about that, and of course, look for me on social. I have all the links to my social media accounts in the show notes. And I'm really interested to hear, what you have to say.

Also, if this has sparked your imagination, I'm going to encourage you to go check out my free download five questions to spark your curiosity and inspire your Reinventing Rebel journey. Because it all starts within. And I've got five really easy questions, you can ask yourself if you have that feeling like I'm ready to reinvent but I need little help getting started. So, check that out. Again, link to that is in the show notes. I can't wait for next week because I have another amazing guest. And I can't wait to share this episode with you. But until then, please keep shining your light. The world needs you and all that you have to offer.


Hey, rebel. If this episode inspired you to think about what's possible in your life, I'll share a little secret. Any of us can reinvent ourselves no matter where we are in our lives. any age, any stage. We just have to decide to get started. Here's a super simple way for you to get going with your reinvention dreams. Download my audio, five questions to spark your curiosity and inspire your reinvention journey. I share five key questions that will spur your thinking, help you uncover your dreams, and motivate you to take action. Because if not now, when? Details in the show notes. Let's get inspired together.

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