There comes a point in life when you start feeling restless, don’t you? I mean you’re itching to try something new, start something afresh, explore new avenues. I guess it’s a natural part of growing up, watching the world around you, soaking in the different senses and feeling excited to be part of this thriving ecosystem. But there’s also a desperate desire to break out of the old system and embrace new opportunities. It’s the call for exploring and discovering untapped potential. And for those few who heed the call, its leads to a more profound sense of fulfilment. This is how we reinvent ourselves. By embracing the changes we’re announcing that we are ready to challenge ourselves, learn and unlearn along the way, and adapt ourselves to the resulting changes around us.
Reinventing yourself means letting go of the old, maybe habits or practices or just attitudes, and replacing them with better, powerful options. Reinventing is not just a token change but a willing transformation with long-term impact, something which brings about changes in you in a much deeper way. It’s comforting to be in the rut, the comfort of familiarity, of being in the ‘known’ zone. But you’ll never know what awaits you unless you decide to step outside this happy space and try something out. Reinventing yourself is about stepping out of your comfort zone, voluntarily, knowingly, with an objective in mind.
Reflect, Re-evaluate, Re-invent
Reinventing yourself is a process. It involves reflecting and re-evaluating your choices. It can be your strengths, weaknesses, interests, or even career choices. It pushes you to think deeply about what you really want and what you can do. It certainly does not mean you throw caution to the wind and quit your job and dump your responsibilities.
Start with self-reflection. Think about where you are, what you are doing, how’s it going, what kind of space are you in, do you feel a vacuum – a deep empty space within you – that is desperately calling for your attention, did you see yourself in this space when you started out, and many more such uncomfortable questions which you would rather avoid. If it helps, try writing them down so that the list is staring at you, reminding you of the gaps that need filling. It’s not an exercise to make you feel bad. Instead look at it as course correction, taking a new route to the destination.
Once you’ve done with the reflection part, start with the self-evaluation. This is like the report card. It will reveal what’s the truth of the matter, how you actually feel, what is missing, or want, in life to make you feel good about yourself. I know I’m making it sound so easy and simple. But that’s not how it is. But until and unless you doesn’t go through this exercise, you will forever be stuck in a rut and never attempt to look beyond. The outcome may not be life-altering, but it may be the first step to achieving self-satisfaction, of being happy with yourself.
Set clear (doable) goals
I look at reinventing oneself as creating a better version of yourself. And this is possible because you’ve accepted yourself as you are – strengths, weaknesses, shortcomings, et al. And now that you’re aware of them, it’s time to start working on yourself. To find peace you don’t have to shut yourself up in some cave in the Himalayas. You’ll find peace within you if you’re able to spend a few moments of the day doing things you enjoy.
Start off by setting up one or two short-term goals. Something like reading 100 pages daily from that book lying by your bedside collecting dust, or learning a new skill complementing your strengths or just sticking to the schedule and going for a walk everyday, come what may (believe me, this is not as easy as it looks). Go easy and try it out for a week or so. If it’s going great, then way to go, carry on.
With your short-term goals sorted, now plan for the long term. What do you want to achieve eventually? One of my friends, who was slightly overweight, started with daily walks and has, this year, run 3 marathons. Amazing, isn’t it? She has transformed herself from a flabby, overweight mom to a passionate runner, full of energy, all in a few months. I feel so inspired by her. Period. So start off small and then take the leap. We owe it to ourselves to reinvent a better ourselves.
Growth and learning are part of re-inventing yourself
I know from personal experience that it works, this whole exercise of reinventing oneself. While I was happy and content working and teaching kids, it was not something I saw myself doing forever. After a few years, I needed to explore uncharted territories. I had some major doubts after I resigned. But the need to break out of the template life was so strong that I started off by first trying to learn as much as possible about creating things online. One thing led to another and here I’m with a store online and creating stuff which was unthinkable till a few months ago.
This whole process was not without a few hiccups. There were times when I seriously doubted my sanity. I mean, I was happy teaching then why the hell was I giving it all up? But I also knew that that happiness was short-term. There were things I wanted to do and now was the perfect time to start off if I ever wanted to. Not that I was not happy with who I was but I wanted to reinvent myself into a better version of myself, a person who was not ready to give up on my dreams.
The learning process was so frustrating sometimes and embarrassing (at all times!) but it was also humbling. It taught me never to close my doors to learning. It is through learning (whatever it is) that we get offered opportunities to improve ourselves. My inspiration is my mother-in-law who at 80 years has mastered the use of her smartphone (though my kids nor my husband will agree with it as they’ve to keep undoing a lot of her failed attempts at something). But the bottom line is you won’t get there unless you start.
Adapt and take action
Being positive and open to change is a big factor in wanting to reinvent yourself. I’ve friends who keep complaining about work or about home or something or the other. And when I ask them what they’re doing about it – zilch, nada, nothing! Now, how can anything happen if you’re not ready to take any action? No Captain Marvel is going to come to our rescue. Actions need not be drastic or dramatic. Start small after re-evaluating the situation – start with doable changes like changing the attitude, or the way you approach the problem, or finding an achievable goal. It’s all doable and it’s all up here, in our heads. All it needs is persistent and focused efforts to create a better version of ourselves.
Celebrate progress and stay committed
I know it’s possible because I’ve seen it happen. Every opportunity I got I tried to learn something new, try something out which I had not before. I grabbed these chances with both hands and put in my best. I was doing it for myself so I shut my mind to unsolicited or negative feedback. Over the years, I feel good about how my efforts at reinventing myself at different stages of my life have borne results. It didn’t happen overnight but it has surely happened, and that’s what matters. Reinventing yourself is a gift to yourself, well-deserved and hard-earned.
Reinventing oneself is all about self-love; not in some selfish manner but in trying to become a better version of yourself. We all have it in us – strengths, passions, ideas, and talents, which often get overshadowed as we try to blend in, become part of the crowd. That’s ok but you can still stand out. When you’re happy with yourself, you radiate positive energy which can create a ripple of good vibes. So don’t stop yourself. Reinvent yourself, and become a better you.
I feel happy (and proud) to share that I’ve published two books on Amazon.com. These are for primary-grade learners. Feel free to click on the link and explore. The first one is Introduction to Grammar Book 1 and the other is Addition and Subtraction Maths Workbook which is available on Amazon.com, Amazon.in , NotionPress and Flipkart. Would love to hear your feedback. And, my earlier book “Hey Dad, Can You Increase My Allowance?” is now available on the Kindle Unlimited store. Happy shopping!