Who are you currently, today? Who were you 5 years ago? 15 years ago? 25 years ago? Have you changed?
Have you changed in some ways, but are deep down the same person you’ve always been? That’s typically how life unfolds.
If you ran into someone you knew 20 years ago or 10 years ago, but haven’t seen since then, what would they say after coming away from a deep conversation with you? “He/She hasn’t changed a bit!” or, “He’s/She’s really come a long way,” or, “He’s/She’s not the person I remember.”
Be honest. What do you think they might say?
Do you feel like a different person than you used to be?
Here’s the thing. Most of us just going along with life. We inherit beliefs. We take on the culture. We learn what colors look good on us and stick to it. We make decisions – go to school or don’t… take this job or that… marry and have kids, or not… choose to go to church or not. We act in ways that feel right to us, or automatic to us. Some habits we kinda sorta wish we could change (like always being late everywhere you go) but we don’t actively do anything about it.
For me, there have certainly been habits and things in my life I ‘wished’ were different. But many, many things I have changed purposefully, intentionally at some point.
It’s like waking up – realizing you have power, and then acting upon it.
For example, my dad was always late, and I hated growing up always arriving late – to school, to birthday parties, walking into Sunday school late… countless times being late. Unfortunately, I took it up. I was always late myself as an adult. I guess it was what I was accustomed to, even though I hated it.
Then one day, maybe around age 27 (?), I woke up to the fact that I could change. So, I did. I set my intention on the importance of being on time. I owned that I had a choice. I realized how good it made me feel to be on time, or early. I felt more relaxed, and it felt way more respectful to the people I was meeting. Change. You might call it re-inventing yourself, but this is a small step, a habit changed.
Yet, what if you changed many small things, many habits of action and of mind. Would that qualify as re-inventing yourself?
I was listening to a webinar recently from Sam Ovens. He’s a successful consultant and was sharing tips on how to moved from debt, living in a tiny space and being depressed to the multi-millionaire sales leader he is today. He had re-invented himself, to craft the person he wanted to become.
When I thought about this, it made sense. The person you are now is Point A. And who you desire to be is Point B. How do you move from A to B?
We do it lots of ways. In terms of building success, we say, ok, I’ll read these books, go to this self-development seminar, take these trainings, invest this amount. That’s amazing.
But if you’re not happy or if you’re not successful, then something isn’t aligning between Point A and Point B. Sam Ovens suggests really shaking things up drastically.
He made a list of who he would be if he were successful. On his list, he became quite detailed – even listing things like his hairstyle, how he would dress, what his office would look like.
Now, my close friend came to see me the other day with her beautiful long, dark hair flowing past her shoulders. I hadn’t seen her hair in years probably. She always keeps it tied back, close to her head. I commented on how lovely her hair looked down and flowing and she said something that really stuck with me. She said, “When I envision myself happy and successful, this is what I look like.”
Wow. I love that.
Do you have a picture in your mind’s eye of what you look like at your peak of happiness and success?
I’ve been so involved in personal and spiritual growth that I know I am a different person now than I was 10 years ago, or even 3 years ago. I love evolving, endeavoring to become kinder, wiser, more loving, happier, more successful.
But the truth is, to be able to do ‘the next level’ of success for me, I have to grow into it. I’ve always had to grow into it. Speaking on stage? I was not a person who could do that successful 10 years ago. I would sweat and stumble over my words. I had to become someone who could do that. And when I envision myself on stage now, I get an image in my mind’s eye.
Sam Ovens goes drastically further in his suggestion to change who you are. You are you – but a different version. He advised one of his clients to do the opposite of every habit he had. Examples: his client went to bed every night at 9pm, so Sam advised him to stay up til 4am, his client had been vegan for 7 years, so Sam advised him to eat meat. Wow.
There was a long list of these items that were particular to this client, and of course, the moral of the story was that this client became uber successful.
What about you? What do you think about re-inventing yourself, inside and out? Being the You 2.0?
I’ve been sitting with this idea for a little while now. I’m reminded of a Seinfeld episode where George says…. “What if every impulse I’ve ever had has been wrong? What if that is why my life is such a mess? What if I chose to do the direct opposite of every instinct?” In the episode, he does so and his life blossoms.
I think it’s an interesting, slightly funny and even odd endeavor to begin to randomly do, think, act and even look like a different person (different version of yourself). Change your hairstyle, change your clothes, change what you eat, change where you hang out, change your nightly routine, change the music you listen to, change your morning wake up time, etc.
Yet so many times, we live the same day over and over again – yet expect change.
Wake up at 6am, have breakfast (usually same thing), drive same route to work in the same car, interact with same people at the same office, work on the same or similar projects, eat the same things for lunch, drive home listening to the same radio station, eat the same dinner with the same people, have the same evening routine, watch the same television shows, and then go to bed to do it all again the next day.
What would it be like to flip the script? Re-invent one thing or ten things about yourself?
If you’ve been in personal growth, you have probably done versions of this before (think Miracle Morning, taking on meditation as a beginner, investing in a personal trainer at the gym).
For me, I’ve been thinking about who I am, what I do, what I eat, what time I go to bed, and even what I look like. Part of it is, “What does the most successful and happy version of me really look like?” And part of it is, “How can I mix things up to shake up my self-image, my comfort zone and my reality?”
I work late, often til 1am.
I’m considering going to bed at 9pm.
I wear glasses. They are a definite part of my identity.
I’m considering (and have been doing this for a few days now) going to contacts.
I have long hair and have for most of my life. Plain, simple, straight.
I’m considering a new hairstyle. I’m thinking shorter, Brazilian blow-out and color… maybe? How bold do I feel!
I am a coffee drinker. Black, sweetened, mocha lattes, iced, hot.
I’m considering become a tea drinker.
These are a few ideas rattling around in my head.
How have I already re-invented myself in the last few years?
I was an introvert. Quiet, shy, reluctant to talk to strangers.
I have become way more of an extrovert. I enjoy meeting new people and talking to strangers. I love connecting with people.
I was self-conscious. Worried about how other people perceive me.
(Still working on this one but it’s way better)
I was a big news fan. I would watch Anderson Cooper every day.
I have cut the news almost entirely out of my life. I only know/remember what channels the news is even on because I see my husband turn it on once in a while.
So, tell me… What does your re-invented self look like?
What would it mean for you to try something new, step outside of your comfort zone, be a different version of you? Do you think it makes a difference?
When you close your eyes and picture yourself in your ideal life, what do you look like? What do you wear? How do you walk? How do you carry yourself? What do you do? Where do you go? How do you talk to others? What lunch do you order? What time do you go to bed? What is your morning routine?
It’s not about changing yourself to please anyone. It’s about you becoming the best version of yourself.