I feel that this topic is rarely discussed and maybe that's why so many people are stuck feeling stagnant or unhappy. I believe that the complexity of the human mind is so vast that it can't be reduced down to one single persona. Even I have fallen into the trap of believing "well, this is just who I am and who I'll be forever." Of course, one's core values and morals aren't subject to dramatically change over the years but who is to say that other characteristics must remain unchanged as well. Reinventing yourself is a journey I've just recently embarked on and I wish more people would be more open to the concept. Below are the 12 steps I followed to become the person I want to be.
1. Evaluate who you are now.
This is an essential step because in order to change who you are, you first have to identify exactly who that is—flaws and all. Achieving a better understanding of who you are is the foundation for creating the person you hope to be. It is exceptionally difficult to change certain aspects of yourself if you aren't willing to admit they exist.
2. Set goals moving forward.
After recognizing the traits you wish to change, a set plan needs to be put in place. It is easy to say, "I'm going to change this about myself" because the end result is always the first objective we reach for. Instead of getting tunnel-vision, think of this journey as a path of stepping stones where each step is an achievement in itself.
3. Have a funeral for your old self.
Rest in peace to the person you used to be because once you commit to the art of reinventing yourself, they no longer exist. When you completely detach yourself from your past persona it is less likely that you will revert back when the going gets tough.
4. You don't have to announce it.
In this age of digital media, it is easy to announce everything through technology. This isn't something you need to document on Snapchat or Tweet about daily. Do this for yourself and no one else.
5. Sometimes it takes a new environment.
There is a saying that you can't heal in the same environment you got sick in. Apply that mantra to this reinvention. Open yourself to new environments that will provide you with the room you need to grow.
6. Or something even harder...like getting new friends.
Environments are not solely made up of the spaces you put yourself in but the people in those spaces as well. This can be difficult because it is hard to admit that the friends you love may be holding you back from your own personal goals. If you're striving to be a more positive person but are constantly surrounded by negative friends, it could be time to rethink those relationships.
7. Don't be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone.
This is a given when you choose to surround yourself with new people and new environments. The person you once were was a product of the environment you were comfortable in. Now that you are attempting to revitalize your identity, uncomfortable situations are a must. Figure out who you are in a room where no one knows you and solidify those characteristics while trying something new.
8. Create new cognitive and behavioral patterns.
In the act of reinventing yourself, psychological factors play as critical of a role as circumstantial ones. You have to work from the inside out as well. Create new patterns in the way you think. Conduct new behaviors that you normally wouldn't. If normally your mind goes to the worst case scenario, force yourself to find the good in a situation. If typically you would procrastinate in your school work, force yourself to get it all done early. These patterns will soon turn into healthy habits.
9. You don't have to explain yourself to anyone.
There might be people in your circle that question your new thoughts and actions. They may even say something like, "you never cared about that before" or "since when do you do ___." All you have to say in reply is "I do now." In the face of these questions, you'll probably feel the urge to explain yourself—fight it. Nobody needs to know the intentions behind your newfound passions/behaviors.
10. Understand that not everyone has to like you.
With this evolution of your personality, you may find yourself not getting along with the people you once did or having stronger connections with the new people in your life. This is completely normal. Also, refrain from not acting the way you want due to the fear of not being liked. Their opinion of you is not your problem; this expedition is solely yours and no one has to like it but you.
11. Reflect on who you were as a child.
This might seem silly but upon this reflection, you'll discover how much you've changed once before. This will motivate you to do it again. Rediscover your thoughts and behaviors as a child before you grew to conform to your surroundings. Experiencelife.com explains it perfectly: "If you bring a puppy into a room full of children and ask who wants to name her, every hand goes up. The same thing will not happen in a room full of adults. They're reacting to their fear of what other people might think if they raised their hands." Remember who you were before you cared about what everyone else thought.
12. Focus on being the best imaginable version of yourself.
All in all, the idea of reinventing yourself is entirely for your own benefit. Imagine the best version of yourself that you realistically can. Nothing says you can not work to achieve that vision. Sometimes it seems so hard to focus on yourself when life throws a million obstacles your way but reinventing yourself can change the way you perceive those exact tribulations.
Everybody has those moments where the characteristics or actions of others seem more appealing than that of our own. We see somebody in the coffee shop wearing a bold outfit and we think to ourselves, "oh maybe I'll switch up my own wardrobe." Or we might admire the passion of somebody we know and think, "maybe I'll dedicate more time to what I'm passionate about." Unfortunately, we seldom ever dedicate the time to make these changes.
These momentary thoughts are anchored to the internal motivation we all have to change ourselves. What combats this need for change is the amount of effort it takes to become the person you want to be. It means being committed and tending to your persona in a way that is seldom talked about. The truth is reinventing yourself is an endless task requiring daily attention but if the motivation is there, there's no stopping who you'll become.