“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty.” - Henry Ford
Reinventing yourself simply means striving to improve yourself, evolving into a better, more competent human being. No matter how knowledgeable, successful, or skillful you think you’ve become, there’s always scope for learning something new and becoming better, both professionally as well as in your personal endeavors. So, in a way, the process of reinventing yourself needs to be a constant striving in everyone’s life. Only by continuously reinventing ourselves we can remain relevant to the times we exist in.
Why People Reinvent?
There could be a number of reasons why you’d want to reinvent yourself. Depending on how curious and inquisitive you are as a person and what kind of life situations you are faced with, you’d want to reinvent yourself because
- You Feel Lost: For most people the need to reinvent themselves arises when they feel completely lost in life. This could be because of a failed relationship, loss of employment, loss of a loved one, or any other similar situation.
- You Want to Improve Yourself: Then there are those who are doing somewhat okay but want to improve their primary experience of life by becoming either physically more active, psychologically more balanced, emotionally more joyful and loving, or financially more stable.
- You Want to Be the Best Version of Yourself: Some people are wired in such a way that they simply refuse to accept anything less than perfect! Every now and then, these people tend to re-evaluate themselves on every level to figure out how to consistently grow and become better and better. Inventing and then reinventing yourself is a very organic process for them.
How long it might take?
It largely depends on where you are in this journey right now and also on how you define the term ‘reinvention’. For example, if someone is addicted to smoking, for him, reinvention could mean - to be able to quit smoking for good. On the other hand, someone else’s definition of reinventing himself/herself could be - to reach the peaks of physical fitness by being able to win an Olympic medal for his/her country.
So, this process could take anywhere between 10 weeks to 10 years or more, depending on how resilient, consistent, inspired, and resourceful you are. Scientifically speaking, if you practice something continuously for 66 days (yes 66 and not 21 as many people think!), it turns into a habit.
Can I do it at any age (even 50)?
Yes, why not? When it comes to self-transformation, there’s no age limit of any kind. Just make sure your goals are realistic, and you are consistent with your efforts. That’s it, you are good to go!
7 Steps to Reinvent Yourself
1) Self Analysis
This is the first, and the most important step of this process. After all, when you open Google Maps, the first thing it asks you is your current location. If you have no clue where you are at the moment, how do you expect to reach anywhere in the world?
So, the first step is to sit down and analyze your strengths, weaknesses, motivations, and limitations as truthfully as you can. You can do this all by yourself or you can ask your friends or family members to help you out. The pro tip for self-evaluation is - to analyze your life journey and life decisions from the perspective of a third person.
Close your eyes and imagine that you are watching a film whose protagonist is this person who you call - ‘myself’. Now, just observe the thoughts, emotions, and actions of this person in different life situations he/she has been through. Soon, you’ll be able to pinpoint what your limitations are as a human being, and with what kind of strengths or skills you can attempt to overcome them in order to reinvent yourself.
2) Fix Your Priorities
Now, that you are aware of your strengths and weaknesses, it should be easy to set your priorities straight. More often than not, we tend to waste a lot of time (an entire lifetime, for some people) doing things that mean very little to us. For example - starting a job thinking it’s a temporary arrangement but somehow ending up spending 5-15 years in it. Things like these have happened to so many people and no matter what reasons they have for it, essentially, something like this happens when your priorities aren’t set right. So, it’s very important to ask yourself questions like:
- “Why do I want to pursue this career?”
- “What is it that I’m really after?”
- “Do I put my career ahead of my relationship?”
- “Am I giving my physical and mental health enough attention?”
- “Where do I see myself 10 years from now?” and so on.
Set your priorities right and then plan your next moves. This way, you’ll have a clear idea regarding which aspects of your life need more attention from your side and which ones need just a little bit of tweaking here and there.
3) Don’t Ignore Your Health
Now there’s substantial scientific evidence to show that most diseases are psychosomatic in nature. This means there’s a direct link between how you think and feel, and how your body functions. By constantly living in stressful conditions you are inevitably suppressing your immune system. As a result, you’ll end up attracting a variety of health issues or mental ailments. The opposite of it is also true. If you aren’t taking care of your physical health, your mental capabilities are bound to get affected.
So, if you want to become a better version of yourself, whether professionally or in your personal endeavors, your health should be your number one priority, both physical as well as mental health. You simply can’t ignore them by thinking something like - “I want to expand my business, why do I need to adopt a healthier lifestyle for that?” It just doesn't work like that. In fact, learning how to take care of your mental wellbeing and how to improve the levels of your physical fitness is the most important part of the process of reinventing yourself.
4) Make a Plan
By the time you’ll arrive at this step, you would’ve already figured what needs to be changed and to what degree. So, this step involves finding a way or a number of ways to make things happen for yourself. This isn’t just about setting goals. Planning involves designing a proper method or a system of some kind to achieve what you need to achieve, keeping in mind your current circumstances and availability of resources.
- Define Your Core Values: You can start this process by defining your core values to build a strong foundation upon which this entire system could be built. Define what’s your identity and what’s the purpose of this transformation. What motivates you? And what are you willing to give up?
- Time and Energy Management: Explore different ways that can help you manage your time and energy in a more effective manner. There are so many time management techniques and productivity hacks (including a number of time management apps and websites) which you can make use of for this purpose.
- Make Some Re-adjustments: Figure out how to re-adjust your daily schedule to make room for activities like going for a run, reading a book, writing a journal, watching a TED Talk, learning how to meditate, learning a new skill, or anything else that you feel would help you become more productive.
5) Don’t Just Think About It, Do It!
This is about getting out of your comfort zone and actually doing all those things that you’ve planned to do. Because no matter how elaborate your plans are, if you do not have the courage to implement them, they are as good as non-existent.
Just using your willpower is not going to work for everybody. So, try to make your plans in such a way that the whole process becomes interesting and fun for you. For example, if you have a competitive nature, you can make this process into a game with multiple levels to be achieved.
A lot of us have the habit to procrastinate, because of which we spend hours and hours thinking about something but never actually doing it in reality. Make sure that’s not what this whole endeavor ends up becoming. Go out, meet new people, try new things, step out of your comfort zone, and change the way you think, and that’ll help you change the way you’ve been doing things all your life.
6) Ask For Help
While you are on this mission to reinvent yourself do not hesitate to ask for support from your close friends or family members. A lot of people tend to disconnect with their loved ones while going through a self-transformation, thinking it’s some kind of a ‘dead serious journey they need to take alone’. If you’ll make this process such a grim and grave affair, you’ll soon lose interest in it.
In fact, an important part of reinventing yourself is to learn how to make your connections stronger with your own family members and with new people, mentors, or people who themselves have been through such processes before. This will help you stay inspired as well as grounded.
7) Figure How to Remain Motivated
One of the most important aspects of reinventing yourself is to see how to keep yourself motivated till the time you achieve all your goals. So many people start this journey with great enthusiasm and diligence but soon that fire fizzles out and they are back to square one. Here are three easy ways to make sure that doesn’t happen to you:
- Remind Yourself Why You Started: Whenever you feel demotivated or feel like giving up, remind yourself why you started this journey. Focus on the bigger picture and on your end goals. That’ll help you regain some clarity and confidence to continue this process.
- Adapt As the Situations Demand: If you’ve hit a wall (or so it may seem) and there’s nowhere to go, consider changing your approach. Adapt and evolve new strategies to solve the same issues, but don’t give up.
- Stay Optimistic and Reward Yourself: It’s okay to feel gloomy once in a while. What’s NOT okay is to allow these feelings to turn into full-fledged emotions that’ll make you quit this wonderful project altogether. Stay optimistic and after accomplishing each step of the journey, reward yourself with something. It could be something as simple as treating yourself with a piece of cake, a new pair of shoes, or lipstick, or taking a day off work and going for a picnic. It is one of the most effective ways to overcome laziness as well.
Reinventing yourself is all about re-evaluating and re-calibrating yourself to reach your highest potential as a human being. However, the bottom line is that it’s not easy to change your old habits and thinking patterns. But if you are dedicated, motivated, and organized enough, it’s doable and the results are absolutely miraculous, life-changing, really! With the help of the steps given above you can practically change the course of your life to become happier, healthier, and a more balanced individual. And that’ll productively improve your personal as well as professional life.
Our guidelines are designed to just point you in the right direction and you are free to modify them whichever way you want, to suit your individualistic needs. Just never lose sight of why you are doing this, and spend a considerable amount of time analyzing how your mind works (what is it that occupies your mind most of the time and why), fix your priorities and develop a more hands-on approach to reach your objectives. Be consistent, be positive, and soon you’ll see how incredibly (slowly, maybe for some people, but definitely impactfully) your life improves.