I think its pretty safe to say that I have changed a lot over the last few years. Life’s ups and downs have meant that I have adapted to new circumstances, situations and relationships. Thinking about this the other day, I realised that I have completely reinvented myself. My look, interests, goals, aspirations, hobbies and general outlook on life has changed to a huge degree from the person I was, say five years ago.
Have you ever felt like reinventing yourself? You probably have, especially if you have ever felt stuck in a rut, or a major event has occurred in your life, forcing you to rethink and change direction. Reinventing yourself isn’t always easy. It may require courage, and commitment, especially if it is a long term goal, but it is possible – at any age! And change is not only a positive step, it is like breathing fresh new air into your life.
You will have redefined and reinvented yourself a few times during your life without even knowing it – consider the person you were at 25 and the person you are today. How many life changes have you been through during that time, big and small? Some will have been undertaken because you decided to take a new path, others may have been forced upon you by circumstances.
Reinventing yourself is exciting, a personal project that you can undertake at any time. There are no limits to where it will take you, other than those you place upon yourself. It could be a career change, move to a new area, or something as simple as getting a new haircut.
Perhaps your reinvention plans are more ambitious: A friend of mine recently gave up her highly paid corporate job to open a dog walking and pet sitting business. She is happier than I have ever known her, and even looks younger!
Perhaps you already know how you would reinvent yourself, or perhaps you like the idea, but haven’t a clue how to start. You may want to change your physical appearance or your job, complete your education or even emigrate! Whatever it is, don’t spend years thinking about doing it, until you decide one day it’s too late. It’s never too late!
Try this exercise: Try describing yourself in a couple,of paragraphs, who you are and what has brought you to where you are today. Read it back. Do you like that description? If not, what can be changed?
It is also helpful to record your dreams and hopes, your life goals and aspirations. What are your priorities? To reinvent yourself it helps to figure out who you are at the moment! Try The Self Awareness Questionnaire to get you started!
Try not to be negative and don’t worry about what other people may think. What would you like to develop or change? Be aware change may involve taking you out of your comfort zone, but challenging yourself either personally or professionally can bring out the best in you and will undoubtedly boost your confidence going forward.
Sometimes it may take months, or even years, to achieve your goal, sometimes it can be completed in an afternoon. Whatever yours involves, tell yourself you can do it, visualise your new self and take a first step on the path towards it.
Be kind to yourself when you are making your reinvention plans and thinking about your current situation. Don’t define yourself in a negative way as this will not give you any confidence to proceed. Also, don’t be afraid of making big plans! Be brave, and don’t let your view of yourself in the past, affect you going forward.
One of the problems around reinventing yourself, particularly if it is an ambitious project, is committing time to it. Most people are so busy beavering away in their lives, (which may or may not be fulfilling), they don’t properly consider a more satisfying future, other than vague, unformulated hopes or ideas that have never made it to the planning stage. If the goal is vague, so will the journey be! If you don’t have long term firm goals, life slips by while you busy yourself with the small things that take up every day. Try to imagine yourself twenty years older, and imagine what you will be regretting not having done. Even if your goal cannot be achieved overnight, if you are consistently working towards something, (as well as getting all the everyday things done), you are likely to feel more fulfilled immediately, even though you may not have actualised the goal yet.
“In order to fulfill your potential, you need to understand your behavior and your motivations, and you need to be aware of why you are the way you are, and the impact that has on other people. You not only need to “define you,” but to define the path you want to take through life, to understand your purpose, and to feel confident in pushing the boundaries.” Fiona Murden
When you are considering your reinvention plans remind yourself to check that this is coming from your personal hopes and aspirations, not anyone else’s. It’s easy to become concerned with what others around us think. Don’t adjust your ‘new you’ goals to anyone else’s expectations or requirements.
Once you have decided to reinvent yourself and planned where you want to be, don’t be put off if things don’t work every time as you try to move in that direction. If it’s a long term plan, (such as getting a degree) there may be a few setbacks along the way, but don’t be put off course. Find someone who supports you and your plan and regularly talk about your progress.
Be brave! Change is never easy but it often brings substantial rewards, some of which we may have never even considered when we started out. If you yearn for change, take a first step along the path and let the journey towards that change define you, as much as the goal itself. ❤️
“It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” — George Elliot