Reinventing yourself – Change the way you live your life.
The topic of reinventing one’s self is a life theme that is particularly close to my heart. In fact as I write this blog post I feel my eyes begin to well up with tears of positive emotion and immense passion. There is just so much to say about this topic.
Reinventing yourself takes courage and a great amount of strength and determination. Once you decide that you want something different for yourself, for your life, then that is when the magic begins. There is something wondrous that is awakened deep within the chasms of your soul and psyche, and that awakening is your awareness. Once the proverbial light has switched on and you are finally at home within yourself to see, then and only then can you begin the adventure of your life, to live, love and appreciate every moment of it!
What does it mean to reinvent yourself?
Simply put, it means to change the way you live and or exist. To change your life. Now this change could be radical or gradual, superficial or deeply cognitive and cerebral, you could be looking for a complete paradigm shift. For example you may be changing your career, or you have decided to get divorced, or lose weight. Maybe you need to overcome some kind of anti-social or self-destructive behavior, or you may want to become more assertive, or more popular, or to change religion. Maybe you have decided to live openly as a gay person. The list could go on… The point is that you identify an area in your life that needs to be improved and changed, in order to achieve the authentic life that you want for yourself, or at very least a better state of existence. But that’s easier said than done!
Why is it so difficult to suddenly change within the situation you are in now? Because of ‘social expectation’ and ‘social identity’: Social expectations are a set of expectations and beliefs that other people around you have about you. It’s very hard for some people to let go of beliefs they hold about you because most people believe that people do not change. The reality is, as in life, nothing is static, energy flows, things change and life is fluid! Your change will progress more smoothly and successfully if the people in your immediate life are aware that you are reinventing yourself, and they support your transformation. It is important to be open with the right people in your life regarding your self-reinvention.
Social identity relates to how we identify ourselves and what we think of ourselves in relation to others. For example, we can identify ourselves according to religion or culture, political affiliation, vocation (writer, artist, neurosurgeon), or relationship (mother, father, great-aunt). You can have many social identities, for example as a South African, Jewish, black male who works as a writer. So as you can see, our identity is not made up of only one dimension, it is multi-dimensional and may be subject to change, and reinvention.
The way you see yourself may be just as difficult to change as the way others see you. Social identity can provide people with a sense of security and a framework for socializing, so it can be scary to find a new way of being. You need to change your own way of thinking as the first step in reinvention. However, how you view yourself in terms of your own social identity also influences how other people treat you. It is up to you to show that you are in a state of transformation and change, or have self-reinvented, it is up to you to show people how the new you is to be treated; what is acceptable and what is not with regards to your self-identity change. Stick to your guns, they will eventually have to accept you in your new state of being.
“People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.” Warren G. Bennis
Take time to reflect on the things that you would like to improve and change. Visualize the authentic life that you would like to live and set high goals, but please be realistic! I just mean set goals in order to achieve the change. Break the components of your self-reinvention up into workable, digestible and achievable tasks.
Find your passion; find it in every aspect of your life, from work, general interests, love and life. To live in a state of passion is a true gift!
Stay motivated, be resilient and flexible within your transformation – remember everything is everything! Whatever life throws your way is all part of it! Keep going and progressing with your self-reinvention. This is your story, this is your life; the opinion of others belongs to them, not you! You have a responsibility to yourself and your life to live a life that is authentically fulfilling and abundantly happy! With this comes freedom and the knowing that you can reinvent yourself when and as needed. The time for self-reinvention, transformation and change is now. It’s always been now. Embrace it!
“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.” C. S. Lewis
Wellness Practitioner & Psychological Counselor
Edited by Alison Best