We want it badly.
To turn our lives around and become the person we wish to be.
But despite our determination, endless self hate, or number of self help materials consumed, we can’t do it.
And we conclude in our minds that it’s unattainable.
Yet, we see others making light work of our seemingly impossible mission. And we begin labeling ourselves a special kind of stupid for not doing enough.
Please, stop this!
Everyone, even the best of us, has wrestled with this problem. What matters is striving to come out on top.
Changing your life is challenging.
It’s not as straightforward as how our bodies mature or how seeds transform into trees.
(Even those require complex processes we don’t see)
Reinventing yourself requires absurd amounts of hard work and patience.
However, once you lay the groundwork, you will lighten your struggles. The journey becomes easier.
So don’t get discouraged. You can ascend this mountain.
You only need to take the right, foundational steps.
Let’s see what they are.
Be The Realest
You want to reinvent yourself, but before that, you need to make a vital decision.
That is to start being true to yourself.
Our society is rapidly changing. The present looks nothing like the past we passed through.
But with this change comes benefits. And risks.
The risks are sometimes less evident, so we put on our running shoes and run because of FOMO.
Change isn’t wrong, but we need to be wary of our speed.
Move too fast, and we can’t assess our options to take the best actions.
But move too slow, and we’d lose out on good opportunities.
So how do we counter these issues? By knowing what we want so we move at our own pace.
Though that, my friend, can pose another problem.
As social beings, we thrive through socialization. By understanding the times and trends, we can connect and nourish our relationships.
But our greed is a stumbling block.
Everyone wants to be seen. Everyone desires to belong.
No one wants to stand out anymore because it’s a lonely venture.
So we conform forcibly to chase what we don’t need.
Paraphrasing a tweet from James Clear, he said status optimizes our lives for society, but authenticity does so for us.
You must be authentic to not just achieve but also enjoy your most fulfilling life.
Be original. Redefine your purpose based on what you truly need and build your life around that.
Strengthen Your Whys
Clarifying the “why” of a decision is critical to achieving it.
It lets you understand why you must take that unknown step. It’s your chief motivator, without which retreat is the more probable outcome.
So why do you want to change?
For every reason, you need to ask yourself 2 questions:
- Are they achievable?
- Do they make sense?
Of course, realistic expectations encourage us to chase our goals more, but a sensible one gives an even greater push.
We’re more likely to understand a change if the reason appeals to our “justice” system. Justifying them on a “it’s the right thing to do” basis would motivate you to try harder.
This would also stop you from building a hollow life. You’d value quality more than quantity.
Maybe you crave better friends because your old ones are toxic.
Or you want to switch to your dream career because you’re more proficient in that field and can’t envision yourself advancing in your current one.
Whatever changes you hope to make, write reasons for them.
As long as they’re reasonable and sensible, you can make that change.
Have A Mind Of Steel
As you take those new steps, your mind would panic.
Threat or no threat, it’s not going to make it easy for you.
You’re out of your comfort zone. You’re stepping into a place you’re unadapted to and have no idea how to handle.
The experience would unsettle you. It would stir up negative thoughts and amplify their effect using your messy past.
Unless you do something, just know the end is imminent.
Because you couldn’t handle your thoughts, your emotions would best you and make you quit.
Your inner voice loves these situations.
I always wonder whose side he’s on? For something so personal and integral, he’s meant to be an angel maybe 80% of the time.
But no, our hidden voice is a complete b****.
Pardon me, but it’s the truth.
On a bad day, he’s prime Muhammad Ali. Swift in punishment. Intent to kill with every strike. Merciless.
Sometimes, the fight is won before we even step into the ring.
But as fearsome as he was, Ali didn’t always win.
So what can be your Joe Frasier in moments like these?
When you are mindful, troubling thoughts can’t sway you. You can harbor them solely for learning and discard them without haste.
Then you can use the knowledge to improve your life.
Everyone needs to learn mindfulness. Once you build up yours, your inner voice on a bad day wouldn’t be so tough.
Take Regular Progress Reports
In business, quarterly reports show investors how a company is faring. With these, they decide whether or not to hold a piece.
However, these reports don’t benefit only them.
The exercise also helps those in charge determine the “health” of the company.
They can gauge what works and what doesn’t and strategize ways to rectify the bad and boost the good.
What am I getting at?
By keeping accounts, you can track your progress with your goals. This way, you can optimize your reinvention process.
You could do this by yourself or with a close one. In fact, studies show the latter is very effective.
In this one, participants in 5 groups were given specific instructions as follow:
- Participants in Group 1 were tasked to think about their goals and then rate each (check out the dimensions in their study).
- Groups 2-5 were asked to write their goals and then grade them like group 1.
- Group 3 did the same but added action commitments/points to theirs.
- Group 4 was told to add action commitments and then send their goals and action commitments to a supportive friend.
- Group 5 added action commitments and sent their goals, commitments and weekly progress reports to a supportive friend.
Check out their progress.
Group 5 was the most productive due to a simple addition: sharing their progress with a friend.
Maybe it’s because they wanted to impress. Who knows?
But one thing is certain.
You can achieve more by being accountable to yourself or, if possible, a friend.
Reinventing yourself is a tough nut to crack.
We’re changing a way of life we’re so used to even though we resent it.
It’s assuring and familiar. Something our new path doesn’t have yet.
But with the tips above, you can make the transition smoother.
In most cases, the hard choices we make help to simplify our lives. We only need to choose wisely.
If you don’t feel fulfilled, there’s every reason for you to escape that life and chase after a better one.
The best time to reinvent yourself was a while ago. The next best time is now.
So what are you waiting for?
Bio: I’m Jeffrey Sparington. An anonymous blogger at ProductiveBay who writes on personal development for himself and others.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.