My Annual Self Reinvention
I’ve had major self-reinventions at least six times in my adult life. People who knew me as a corporate professional were shocked to hear I had become a professional artist. People who knew me at meditation retreats double-take when they hear I design software-based operating systems. And then I became… a YouTuber. I like surprising people, but even more I love surprising myself.
I believe in self reinvention — as often as you feel the impulse. Try on a range of hats, if one fits you’ll know it. If you’re perpetually seeking, it’s because you haven’t found the right fit. Keep looking, it’s out there (or inside there).
The problem is not typically too much re-invention but too little. It never occurs to some people. And with others, happens too infrequently. Many dismiss it out of hand as unrealistic, a luxury they simply cannot afford in current circumstances — circumstances that somehow never seem to change.
Yet it does not need to cost much, or cost anything. And if you’re not naturally inclined toward such fanciful impulses, then the start of a new year is the ideal time to consider a new version of You.
Don’t go seeking dissatisfaction with life. But to the extent things are not working, ask “for what kind of person would this be less of an issue? Or no issue at all?”
Then ask how you can go about making yourself that kind of person. Re-invent yourself into the person you need to be to overcome the obstacles blocking your desired path.
Of course, this requires that you know and understand your desired path. If that’s unclear, start there. No point in making a new you without a direction. This can’t be done blindly or arbitrarily. Not well anyway.
But it can be done once you know where you want to go, and who would be well suited to get there. You then set forth on becoming that person.
The stories we tell ourselves determine so much of what we can do. The incessant babble in our heads, hashing and rehashing the same loops over and over again. We’re gullible, particularly to that voice inside our own skulls.
We assume that’s us in there. We take its beliefs as our own. We follow along diligently with the story we’re told.
Change the channel.
Take control of the voices in your head, the ones you assume reflect your inner thoughts. That voice is not you. It’s shaped by the junk food you’re consuming on Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and on cable tv and Netflix and in newspapers.
“Your input determines your outlook. Your outlook determines your output, and your output determines your future.” – Zig Ziglar
Then learn to see the inner voice for what it is — a story loop stuck in the past, fearful of the future, desperately looking to escape reality. Recognize what an unreliable narrator you have doing your voice-over.
Make Peace with the Voice in Your Head
I know, you don’t want another person to tell you the answer to your problems is meditation. And you’re right, it’s not the answer. But it is a path to the answer.
Improve Your Inputs
Changing your inputs and detaching from false or misleading self-talk will cleanse the pallet. Now you have a blank canvas on which to paint your new self.
Choose colors, textures, tonality. Sketch outlines. Fill in.
Shape Your Story
Shape a story that fuels you. That enables you. That you’re happy to be with, day in and day out. It’s your story, your life, your dreams.
The activities you do daily will be the brush strokes of the new identity you paint for yourself. Put care into each stroke, and in totality they will form a cohesive image. By taking these new daily actions, no matter how short or small, you will believe you are that kind of person. Your actions are proof, incontrovertible evidence that create belief in the new identity.
Mindset practice, visualization, quality food, fitness, good sleep, empowering habits & routines, pursuit of life-enriching goals will all come together into a new narrative. You have the ability to shape these ingredients into a combination optimized for you.
Cycle Reviews & Planning
An Annual Review & Planning practice is a great way to set this in motion. How you start things matters.
Morning routines, weekly planning, quarterly goal design, and Annual Reviews set you off in the right direction for each of those time cycles with a fast, precise start right out of the gate. Effort compounds with these strong starts for powerful finishes down the road.