When things are bad, it’s the best time to reinvent yourself. – George Lopez
Is it Already Time for a Total Life Reinvention?
Do you ever feel kind of stuck?
You can, of course, feel physically stuck, but the kind of “stuck” I’m referring to is the emotional and mental stagnation that builds up over time due to sub-par results that bring very little fulfillment.
Don’t get me wrong, your life is probably okay. I mean, it’s livable, right? You can put up with it, and that would normally be fine, but, what’s eating at you is that you seem to be making very little progress.
You’re, of course, not a lazy person. You consistently work toward your goals, seem to be keeping yourself busy, but for one reason or another things are just not moving forward as you had imagined.
You feel kind of unfulfilled, not fully present, and you’re constantly questioning your choices, decisions, behavior, habits, and actions. In short, life is presenting you with more questions than answers, and this feels kind of unsettling.
You feel as though you have all this untapped potential locked away inside yourself, but you just can’t seem to bring it outside yourself. And that’s your biggest problem.
Internally, you have this intense desire to change, but externally, things are just not panning out as you had expected. What you’re doing, simply isn’t working for you. In fact, it could be hurting you, big time! Just, maybe, it’s time to make some drastic changes. Just, perhaps, it’s time for a total life reinvention.
What it Means to Reinvent Yourself
To reinvent yourself means letting go of stuff that is currently holding you back. It means letting go of outdated habits, routines, roles, and responsibilities that keep you from living life to its fullest.
To reinvent yourself means changing the direction of your life. It means making a new set of choices and forging down a new path that expands opportunities, options, and possibilities. However, to change your life, you must first begin by changing yourself. And to change yourself, requires you go through a process of self-discovery.
A process of self-discovery may involve finding new ways of thinking or of doing things. It might include, establishing new habits and routines that expand your options or help you to adapt to adversity and setbacks in more optimal ways.
To reinvent yourself might also mean setting a new set of goals and objectives, and then drawing out a plan for achieving them. This, of course, will require building a new set of patterns and behaviors that are aligned with the goals you want to achieve. But, more about that a little later.
To reinvent yourself does, however, require some sacrifice. You need to potentially give up things that you have been clinging onto for many years. Likewise, you might need to muster up the courage to do things that you normally just don’t feel comfortable pursuing. This will also require a great deal of mental energy, planning, and focus.
To reinvent yourself, you will likely need to continuously challenge yourself and your perspective of reality. You will need to actively stretch your comfort zone and proactively push yourself in a brand new direction.
When you’re reinventing yourself, you are effectively building a better version of yourself. This, therefore, requires a commitment to growth and development. It requires a commitment to doing things differently and pushing the limits of what you previously thought was possible.
Given all this, this journey of reinvention, probably won’t be easy. You may, therefore, require a great deal of support from your family and friends to get you through this period of change and transformation. However, the reinvention always begins with you. It starts when you make a commitment to changing how you work, live, and interact with the world around you.
A Six-Step Process for Total Life Reinvention
What follows is a six-step process that will help you begin the process of total life reinvention.
As you work through this process of steps, you will come across a set of questions. Take time to answer these questions thoroughly. They will help you to better understand yourself as well as the commitments you will need to make as you venture down this new and exciting path.
Keep in mind, that these steps might not provide you with all the answers you are searching for. But, they will certainly get the ball rolling and help you establish the momentum needed to begin the process of transformation.
Step 1: Accept Full Responsibility
Your current life and circumstances are a direct result of the choices you have made. In other words, all the choices you have made have brought you to this point in your life.
All the joy and happiness you currently experience is because of you. Likewise, all the problems and issues you now face are a direct result of a culmination of choices you have made.
Given all this, the only person responsible for your life is nobody else but you. Yes, other people might or might not have played a factor. In some way they have. But ultimately you chose to move down this path, and therefore everything you have or don’t have in your life right now is of your own making. And because it’s of your own making, you must commit to taking responsibility.
Yes, your life might be far from perfect, but, to play the victim card, or to shun responsibility will only deplete your personal power. And with limited personal power at your disposal, you are unlikely to find the strength and motivation needed to instigate positive change.
The key, of course, is to take full responsibility for your life and circumstances. Assume full responsibility for the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. And, that, of course, is the first step to reinventing yourself.
To take responsibility requires that you value the present moment. Value what you have, what you don’t have, and the possibilities that lie ahead.
Now, take a moment to openly acknowledge that:
I accept how my life is and how I am at this very moment.
I accept the choices that have led me to this moment.
There is real value in this moment, I just need to find it.
I appreciate all that I have and all that I am in this very moment.
I am fully responsible for the life I have created.
I am ready to let go of the past and move forward to a bigger, brighter and more exciting future.
Change is only possible if you are open and willing to make change happen. And taking responsibility is a big part of that process. It will help to get the ball rolling.
Step 2: Undertake a Self-Assessment
To reinvent yourself and transform your life, you need to ask yourself some tough questions. Asking these questions may not be easy. Self-evaluation and introspection are rarely easy. In fact, the whole process can be rather daunting. However, it’s a necessary part of the transformation and an essential requirement for total life reinvention.
To begin with, consider why exactly you want to undertake this process of reinvention. Ask yourself:
Why do I want to reinvent myself?
Why is reinventing myself important to me? Why now?
What do I honestly want to get out of this process?
Are these good enough reasons for wanting this?
Is reinventing myself within my personal control?
Your reasons for reinventing yourself must be compelling enough to push you forward. That is the only way you will begin making the necessary changes.
A halfhearted desire for change never works. If you’re half-hearted, you simply won’t do what is needed to make change stick. It just won’t work, and you will remain stuck where you are indefinitely until you finally decide that change is necessary.
Having identified compelling enough reasons to change, it’s time now to identify your passions, your values, and to clarify your vision for the future. These are all things that will excite and drive you forward toward making the necessary changes to your life.
With this in mind, ask yourself:
What do I find personally fulfilling?
What are my skills, talents, and abilities?
What am I intensely passionate about?
What things am I not so passionate about?
What do I value most in life?
What do I truly want?
What do I want to achieve and get out of life?
How do I see my life in the future?
How do I see myself in the future?
What’s my vision for the future?
What specific goals make up that vision?
Are these goals congruent with my values?
Do these goals conflict with other life priorities?
When specifically will these goals be achieved?
What kind of person do I essentially want to become?
How will I know I’m making progress?
What will it realistically take to make these changes?
Answering these questions will help you get very clear about what it is you’re most passionate about, the things you want to change, and the requirements for making those changes stick. However, change is only possible if you take the initiative to instigate change. And that’s where opportunities come into the frame. Ask yourself:
What opportunities are available right now that could help me reinvent myself in optimal ways?
How could I take advantage of these opportunities to create positive change in my life?
What opportunities could I create for myself that could help me instigate positive change?
To successfully make changes to your life you need to become aware of the opportunities that could make that change possible.
Opportunities are, of course, abound. They are everywhere. You just need the ideal mindset to make full use of the opportunities that are presented to you. Use them as a platform to begin the process of change and reinvention.
Step 3: Choose to Let Go!
Why do people so often fail to make change stick? They have all this motivation and willingness to make transformative changes to their life, but for one reason or another they just don’t follow through. Why is that?
The reason why the majority of people don’t make change stick is that there exist too many conflicts. You may, for instance, want to achieve a particular goal. However, you also have all these other goals, priorities, commitments, obligations, and responsibilities that essentially suffocate your goal before it ever materializes.
Given this, you need to be willing to let go of all the stuff that may prevent you from moving forward. In other words, let go of all the stuff that doesn’t support your vision or the vision of the person you want to become. And, yes, that also means letting go of people, places, situations, habits, and literally anything that isn’t aligned with that vision. Ask yourself:
What things must I let go of to move forward?
What things are currently holding me back or keeping me stuck?
What things don’t support my vision for my life and for the person I wish to become?
What people, places, situations, habits, and beliefs might hold me back from making the necessary changes I desire to make?
How will I begin to let go of all these things?
What short-term sacrifices will I need to make?
Change requires some sacrifice. You need to be willing to sacrifice and let go of stuff that no longer serves a purpose.
You might, for instance, have this beautiful thick and warm winter coat that’s the envy of all your friends. However, you are now choosing to permanently move to a warm tropical climate. Common sense says that you of course no longer need that coat. Wearing it will not only feel uncomfortable, but it will also actually slow you down. In fact, wearing the coat along your journey will make you feel excruciatingly hot. So hot, in fact, that it will force you to give up on your goal and turn back into the comfort of a cooler climate.
Yes, this analogy might seem strange, but I do hope that it gets the point across that we need to let go of stuff or otherwise that stuff will pull us right back to where we started.
You cannot become the person you want to be, by holding onto the person you are today. It’s just not possible. So, just let go and move forward without the baggage of your past.
Step 4: Time to Reinvent Yourself
Having completed all the groundwork within the previous steps, it’s time now to begin reinventing yourself and reinventing your life. This is essentially where you proactively start building upon your vision in a very specific and direct way.
What you will essentially be doing in this step is transporting yourself into the future through storytelling. In other words, you are going to be telling yourself a story about your future self and about the life you live.
Imagine for a moment your future self at some point in time. It could be 5 years, 10 year or even 25 years from today. See your future self and your future life in your minds-eye. Now ask yourself:
Where exactly am I living?
Where specifically am I working?
What goals am I working on?
How do I spend my free time?
Who do I spend most time with?
What do I value most in life?
What skills and knowledge do I have?
What kinds of roles do I play?
Am I a parent, teacher, leader, employer, partner?
How am I as a person in each of these roles?
How does envisioning my life in this way make me feel?
While envisioning this future life, also imagine how you look, the clothes you wear, your hairstyle, how you move your body, your facial gestures, etc. Do you smile often? Do you frown? Do you laugh? How exactly are you in various situations?
Consider also your speech patterns. Do you talk less and listen more? Do you talk faster or slower? Do you speak louder or software? Do you speak about different things than you do today? What things? What new interests might you have? How do you talk and interact with others?
Also, consider what a typical day looks like for you. What do you do? Who do you spend time with? What habits and rituals do you indulge in? Where do you go on holidays? Etc…
Envisioning your life in this way helps you picture what your future life might be like. However, to get to a point where you are living that life, you will need to make some substantial changes. And those changes begin with you. They begin with a commitment to changing yourself and to aligning your thoughts, habits, choices, and behaviors with your future self.
With this in mind, ask yourself the following questions:
Given how I’ve imagined my future life, how must I now begin to change as a person?
How must I change how I interact with other people?
What empowering beliefs would it be helpful to adopt?
What skills would I need to learn and master?
What key attributes will shape my character and help me become this person?
What core values will I need to start living?
What will I expect and no longer expect of myself?
What standards will I uphold and what things will I no longer tolerate?
What excuses will I never make again?
How will I hold myself accountable for becoming this new version of myself?
Your objective here is to permanently bridge the gap between where you are in your life right now, with where you would like to be in the future. However, bridging that gap always begins with internal change and transformation. In other words, it begins with you, and with all the changes you are willing to make to reinvent yourself.
Step 5: Use Visual Reminders
Having outlined the specifics of your total life reinvention, it’s time now to capture the essence of these changes in visual ways.
One of the biggest challenges people have when it comes to reinventing themselves is that they struggle to stick with things for long enough. In other words, they quit before they even have a chance to establish new habits, beliefs, and patterns of behavior that would bring about the changes they desire to make.
The solution to this dilemma is to create visual and written reminders that will help keep you focused on the big picture, i.e., on the person you want to become.
With this in mind, take time to create a vision board that highlights your goals, your vision, your future, and the total life reinvention you are committed to making. Include pictures, words, magazine photos, snippets of articles that inspire you, etc. You can also pin small meaningful physical objects to your vision board for added inspiration.
Attaching physical objects may, of course, not always be possible. In such instances, doodle these objects onto your vision board. Yes, actually spend time personalizing your vision board with crazy doodles that represent all the things that you would like to become as you move through this life reinvention process. And if you just don’t know how to doodle, then join the Free 40 Day How to Doodle Course.
You, of course, don’t need to limit yourself to just doodling. You can also write on your vision board describing your goals, beliefs, standards, values, and key attributes that are required for this life reinvention.
Alternatively, you can use post-it notes that you scatter all over your house and office. These post-it notes can provide quick visual reminders of the life reinvention you are trying to make.
Another idea is to transform your physical environment. The “new you” that you are transforming into might not be congruent with the environment you currently work and live in. Possibly, this environment needs a few upgrades, or just maybe, this environment won’t serve the “new you,” and therefore, relocating somewhere else might be the better option.
Possibly, reinventing yourself might mean moving to another city or country (watch: Under the Tuscan Sun). Or, it could just mean relocating to a new suburb or home. At other times, all you might need is a little time and space to think and reflect on your life’s journey. In such instances, a short vacation might be all that’s required.
The purpose behind all this is to keep you focused and feeling motivated as you work on reinventing yourself. However, focus and motivation aren’t sufficient to guarantee change. You also need a clear plan of attack.
Step 6: Build Your Plan of Action
If you’re serious and committed to making change stick, then you need a plan of attack. In other words, you need a plan of action that will help you build momentum as you work toward your goal.
Your plan of action must list down how you will get this process of change started, what you will focus on, and how exactly you will make progress in the coming days, weeks, and months.
To help you outline this plan of action, ask yourself the following set of questions:
What exactly do I need to do to fulfil my vision?
How specifically will I accomplish my goals?
How will I begin the process of change, transformation, and reinvention?
What major decisions will I need to make along this journey?
How will I make those decisions? What criteria will I use?
What mini-habits must I develop that will help me reinvent myself?
What key milestones must I set that will help keep me on track?
What daily repetitive tasks must I schedule that will keep me on target?
How will I keep track of the progress I am making? How will I know I’m on track?
What weekly routines must I establish that support my goals?
What small things could I implement that would make a significant difference?
What will it take to fully commit to all this?
What potential sacrifices might I need to make to stick with this plan?
What’s a realistic time-frame for accomplishing all this?
Having a plan of action in place, is, of course, fantastic. It will certainly help you get started along your journey. However, no journey will ever be as smooth as we imagine it to be. As such, your life reinvention journey will probably be riddled with an array of challenges and obstacles that you will need to face and overcome.
With this in mind, take a moment to ask yourself:
What could potentially hold me back along this journey?
How could I possibly hold myself back?
How could I sabotage my own progress?
There are, of course, numerous ways you could sabotage your progress. For instance, holding onto limiting beliefs, unhelpful thoughts, making excuses, emotional upheavals, and a lack of responsibility or accountability could become your downfall.
In addition to this, succumbing to fear, to uncertainty, procrastination, self-criticism, or getting caught up in the instant gratification trap will very swiftly sabotage all your hope of change and transformation.
To avoid falling into these traps, ask yourself:
How will I deal with all these setbacks and challenges?
How will I keep myself focused and motivated over the long-haul?
How will I keep moving forward even when faced with significant adversity?
Resistance is a natural part of change and transformation. Sooner or later, you will face it. And how you deal with this resistance will determine whether or not you successfully reinvent yourself in the end. This is where having a clear plan of attack is essential to your success.
Without a plan of attack, you will face uncertainty. And when unexpected setbacks arise, you won’t know what to do. But with a plan of action in place, you have concrete steps you can follow that will help you get through any obstacle or challenge you face.
All it takes now is to get started. Take your first step and begin the process of change and transformation.
When Facing Setbacks and Adversity
Even with a plan of action in place, your journey toward total life reinvention, certainly won’t be easy. You will still face challenges that will derail your efforts at times.
You, of course, can’t possibly prepare for every possible scenario. However, you can certainly train yourself to handle unexpected challenges in more optimal ways.
For instance, when facing problems, adopt a solution-oriented mindset. Instead of complaining about the problem, or indulging in self-pity, challenge yourself to find a solution that can help move you forward. Ask yourself:
What will it take to get this done?
How could I find a way through this?
You will, of course, make mistakes along this journey. Things will happen, and errors will be made. Instead of cursing yourself for making these mistakes, try to learn from them to help improve your efforts the next time around.
One of the best ways to confront challenges is to take an experimental approach to problem-solving. This essentially means embodying a scientific mentality where everything you do becomes an experiment.
Some experiments will work, while others won’t. Study the data and learn from every experiment, then make adjustments moving forward. At least this way you won’t ever get permanently stuck. Yes, you might get delayed, but you will eventually find your way through any challenge.
And, if at some point you do actually get stuck, then take time to ask for help. Approach other people who have successfully reinvented themselves and transformed their life. Approach people who have similar goals, values, and passions, and ask for their help, perspective or guidance. You can even explore opportunities for cooperation. Alternatively, you can find a mentor who can be your guide along your journey toward transformation.
To successfully reinvent yourself you will need a strong support network of people who will be there for you during the tough times. Take time to find these people and actively work on strengthening the bonds that tie the both of you together.
Reinventing your life certainly won’t be easy. No journey of change and transformation is easy. It’s riddled with challenges and difficulties that could very abruptly derail your efforts. However, as long as you persist and persevere, you will eventually get there.
In the end, no matter what happens, be sure to celebrate all your successes. Yes, we all desperately want to reach that end goal. However, real joy can only be found along the journey and in our continued growth and development.
Consider for a moment that your journey of total life reinvention actually has no end. For as long as you’re alive there will be new mountains to climb and milestones to reach. Therefore, this journey of total life reinvention is a continuous evolution of change and transformation. It doesn’t end. It just evolves.
Given this, a commitment to total life reinvention must be a lifelong commitment. We must always be in continuous motion reinventing ourselves and a multitude of ways every single day of our lives. Only in this way will we find true and lasting happiness and fulfillment.
Time to Assimilate these Concepts
Did you gain value from this article? Is it important that you know and understand this topic? Would you like to optimize how you think about this topic? Would you like a method for applying these ideas to your life?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I’m confident you will gain tremendous value from using the accompanying IQ Matrix for coaching or self-coaching purposes. This mind map provides you with a quick visual overview of the article you just read. The branches, interlinking ideas, and images model how the brain thinks and processes information. It’s kind of like implanting a thought into your brain – an upgrade of sorts that optimizes how you think about these concepts and ideas. 🙂
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Gain More Knowledge…
Here are some additional links and resources that will help you learn more about this topic:
- 5 Steps to Reinvent Yourself: Create the Future You Visualize @ Tiny Buddha
- 7 Ways to Reinvent Yourself @ Success
- 10 Less Obvious Ways to Reinvent Your Life Next Year @ HuffPost
- 15 Steps I Took to Successfully Reinvent Myself After Losing Everything @ Entrepreneur
- 15 Ways to Reinvent Your Life When You’re Feeling a Little Hopeless @ Elite Daily
- 20 Steps to Reinvent Your Life @ The NDDC
- How to Begin the Process of Reinvention and Change Your Life @ Forbes
- How to Reinvent Your Life Anew @ WikiHow
- How to Reinvent Your Life for the Long-term @ Lifehack
- Start by Reinventing Yourself @ Psychology Today
- The 5 Rules of Reinventing Your Life at Any Age @ Prevention
- The Ultimate Cheat Sheet for Reinventing Yourself @ James Altucher