My journey to reinvent began one year ago. While each stage felt like an eternity\u2026looking back the time flew by. I realized that I had slowly lost my sense of self. I defined myself by my family and employer at the expense of friends and hobbies. When in a blink of an eye my children had grown up and my job was gone, I was lost. Rediscovering myself is hard and involves learning unconditional acceptance (flaws included) and following my passion.\u00a0 When my mother said, \u201clearn to love yourself,\u201d I never appreciated how difficult or valuable this advice was. (She was smarter than I realized).\nI needed to understand my likes and dislikes, find space to grow, explore and to break the mold I had created. While I listened to advice from others, I recognized I was different and my new pattern needed to cater to me. I discovered that I needed routine, structure and to be busy. I adopted the adage, \u201cChose a job you love, and you\u2019ll never work a day in your life.\u201d I\u2019ve been writing, speaking and researching, focused on gender equity and diversity & inclusion \u2013 and it feels right. I began with one personal question \u2013 why me? (why was my career trajectory different than my male colleagues?). I discovered it was a common question in need of an answer. Women and men really do exhibit behavioral differences and simply recognizing these patterns can help others reach their potential. My mission became creating a brighter future by sharing what I learned \u2013 and the results have been amazing! \u00a0\nLesson no. 1: Try it, you might surprise yourself\nSome people find it exciting and invigorating to step outside their comfort zone. And while that does not apply to me, I discovered that fearing the unknown and imagining what could go wrong held me back. Confirmation bias enables us to justify our fears because by believing something will be true it appears to be so. This happens because we fail to objectively collect information. For example, does the phone really ring more when you are in the bathroom or are you just more aware of it? Because I am learning to be open minded and began trying different things I discovered I am a talented writer and speaker.\u00a0\nLesson no. 2: Believe in yourself\nIt is difficult for me to objectively judge myself. I am amazed that people benefit from my experience. Part of the problem is that I set the bar too high and see only my faults. I also assume that if I can do something, anyone can do it too. I am learning from conversations with others that we are all uniquely talented, each with a different set of skills. By working together, we can produce greatness that could not be accomplished individually.\u00a0\nLesson no. 3: The grass is not greener\nWhen I look at other people, they seem so self-assured. And it is only when they share their \u201cstories\u201d that I realize that we have similar insecurities and challenges. The grass is not greener on the other side, sometimes what other people have looks better, but it\u2019s not. I have learned to be honest and transparent, airing my doubts and appreciating any assistance I receive. We all have different challenges, the trick is to learn to be happy with what you have, and not be envious. The ideal is to cheer on others and applaud their accomplishments rather than seeing them as competition.\u00a0\nLesson no. 4:\u00a0 You can\u2019t know \u2013 so don\u2019t even try\nDon\u2019t overthink or wonder what others think. It is impossible to know what\u2019s in another person\u2019s mind and worrying only delays you from acting. To quote Dale Carnegie \u201cInaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage.\u201d Trust your instinct, consider the risks (what\u2019s the worst thing that could happen) and Just Do It!\u00a0 Commit to a course of action and follow through.\nLesson no. 5: Own your destiny \u2013 you only live once\nThe leadership journey of 12 female CEOs identified behaviors these successful leaders shared. They all own their ambition, see themselves as leaders and develop the confidence to volunteer for and take stretch assignments (even before they felt ready). They take charge of a situation without expecting support from others and focus on long-term goals. This provides time, space and is empowering. And they self-promote\u2026 because if you don\u2019t tell your story who will?\nMost importantly, take the time to connect with yourself, discover what gives you joy. Become comfortable being yourself. This was the hardest lesson of all because it requires breaking established patterns. I went from working long hours for a large company to struggling to fill my day (which drove my family crazy). Now I am juggling multiple projects and exploring careers I had only fantasized about. I discovered that reality is so different than what I had imagined. Much that I thought was factual \u2013 was a product of my interpretation. I try to see everyday as a new adventure, with unlimited possibilities. I am learning to grow, laugh and follow my heart.