Can You Really Reinvent Yourself?
When we’re unhappy, it’s natural to want something to change. We seek comfort in thinking if only my life were different; if only I were different! Have you ever wanted to simply reinvent yourself?
Before I got married, I changed everything about myself to become what I thought my husband wanted. I wanted to catch him and make him choose me. In the end, it turned out he didn’t want ME. At least not the “me” I’d created for him. As a result, I hated the person I’d become while trying to please him. I began to mourn the self I’d left behind. So the answer to the question of whether we can really reinvent ourselves is Yes, indeed we can.
What we can change is our identity. Who we think we are and how we act are completely malleable like Play-doh. We adjust and re-shape our looks, our behaviors, our friend groups, our jobs/careers, and our relationships. We do it all the time out of necessity when we have to.
Break-ups force us to adopt new ways of being. We get fired from a job and have to re-imagine who we are as an employee, as a person of value. Injury, loss, and grief all make us question who we are and the choices we’ve made. Reinventing the self is nothing more than deciding to think and act differently.
After that painful marriage, I wanted answers about what happened to me, why I so easily abandoned who I was for another. And more importantly, why it didn’t work. I’ve spent the last 18 years studying transformation. It’s a huge passion of mine. That’s the good that came out of my failed marriage; I learned a better way to “change.”
So yes, we can reinvent ourselves, but we should take great care in who we’re trying to become, and why.
Attempting to change your identity can just as easily turn out to be a negative experience as a positive one. When you’re motivated by external forces to change, it doesn’t always produce the best results, nor is it sustainable. It all comes down to motivation.
Like, do you want to change because you want to get something? Or someone? Do you want to change because you don’t feel “good enough” as is?
Or do you want to change because your Spirit is calling you to be more of your authentic self?
So rather than focus on “reinventing yourself,” consider the option of evolving yourself. Evolving is different than reinvention because your motivation is different.
One of these leads to a sustainable, satisfying life and the other leads to repeating patterns of loss, frustration, and confusion. Rebecca Webber writing in Psychology Today claims, “Researchers from the University of Rochester found that people who are intrinsically motivated—working toward things they find personally fulfilling—are less depressed and more satisfied with their lives than those who are extrinsically motivated, striving primarily to impress the outside world with a big paycheck or lofty job title.
Intrinsically motivated people are also more likely to achieve personal goals, according to a series of studies led by Ken Sheldon, a psychology professor at the University of Missouri. He found that “people who had self-concordant goals were the most likely to make steady progress because they were more likely than others to devote sustained effort despite the obstacles and distractions.”
What all of that means is adopting the right mindset and motivation when seeking change will produce more lasting, satisfying results.
Evolution is already happening within you whether you know it or not. You can ignore this natural cycle of growth or you can work with your Soul’s desire to seek authentic expression.
For me, reinvention was only really possible when I chose to set my soul free, to make it the guiding voice in decision making rather than fear or worry. Whenever I’m struggling, examining all the logic, and trying to weigh out options, I know I’m trying to manage my identity rather than allowing who I am to unfold. In those moments, what I really need to do is go within, get quiet and listen to the voice of my Spirit which always sees me as my greatest self, always knows what I’m really capable of, and always wants the best for me.
Self-awareness isn’t something many of us were taught growing up. We have to learn it. we have to engage in honest self-discovery. We need to take time regularly to listen to Spirit and then learn to trust it over the mind’s endless chatter about what’s logical or makes sense from the outside world’s perspective.
Reinventing the self requires you to imagine yourself in a new light, as a new person, and then take repeated actions to support the identity you want to create. All personal development programs are designed to teach us this process. And there are a lot of good ones out there and anyone committed to change can find success with them.
More importantly than seeing into your future you might try to see into your soul for an image of who you already are because the chances of being successful moving into that is a lot higher than trying to become something you “think” you need to be for your life to feel successful.
The proof is that the Universe already supports your soul’s growth. That’s how you were able to grow in your mother’s womb and be born into this world. If you believe that process is still taking place then how might you tap into the flow of that support? How could you more fully engage the creative process of making your life?
What if you didn’t need to be someone different, but more of the amazing self you don’t even yet know you can be?