“Life isn’t about finding yourself, life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw
I’ve always found makeover shows fun to watch – I love when an unknowing candidate is selected to receive five-star treatment to create a total turnaround in their appearance. The best part is when the participant walks onto the stage after their makeover, often looking like they stepped out of a fashion catalogue with immaculate hair, designer outfits, and a dazzling smile to top it all off.
But it’s easy to get distracted by the facade and miss the subtler shifts. If you look closely, you’ll see that the change goes a lot deeper. It’s as if they shed an old layer of skin to reveal a new part of themselves. The physical change essentially transforms their inner world, which liberates them to see themselves in a different light.
I believe that makeover shows exemplify the importance of reinventing ourselves. Life is in a constant state of motion, and it changes our circumstances as time goes by. Resisting this force to flow along with the tides goes against the natural order of things. Adapting our ways will allow us to move forward and stay in the game, unencumbered by slowdowns and stagnation.
This is especially true today when change is happening at break-neck speed. Unlike our parents and grandparents, who grew up in an era when it was okay for people to stick with the old ways, reinventing ourselves is essential to our progress.
As a Millennial, I’ve witnessed how globalization and the growth of technology have made it easier for my peers and me to move between careers, travel frequently, and take risks to access new opportunities. Our experimental mindset is vital to developing a cohesive identity.
Yet, change isn’t easy for everyone. Some people find it natural to seek change and revitalize themselves regularly. On the other end of the spectrum are those individuals who can’t stand the idea of even minor change. They are usually the ones who face midlife crises at the point that they reach their threshold after subjecting themselves to years of ‘sameness’.
It isn’t always obvious when we need to create a shift in our lives. We don’t receive blatant alerts from the universe informing us of the right moments. Unless we’re tuned in and committed to our personal development, it’s natural to avoid change because of the discomfort it brings.
Although reinventing ourselves and our circumstances almost always require us to have the courage to step outside our comfort zone, the process doesn’t always have to be drastic and sudden. If you plan your steps carefully, taking it one step at a time, you might actually enjoy the act of building a better version of yourself and pushing the limits of what you thought was possible.
It’s possible to reinvent ourselves without having to change our fundamental character. Just like Apple regularly upgrades its products by enhancing them with brand new features and removing snags, we too can do ‘updates’ that lead to better versions of ourselves.
Apple, however, has a massive marketing department that stays up-to-date with trends and let’s R&D know when a product update is required. We need to build an inner mechanism to figure out when a ‘self-update’ is needed.
Here are four signs that you should keep an eye out for:
1. You feel bored and dissatisfied with your current circumstances: If your mood is dull on most days and you find that you have to drag yourself out of bed, chances are that you’re bored and you’re craving change. You’ll experience dissatisfaction and often daydream about the things you’d rather be doing. This could manifest itself in negative ways such as addictions and escapist behavior. Things that you used to take pleasure in might actually begin to annoy you. Pay extra attention if people are starting to notice your irritable behavior.
2. You feel blocked and stuck: If you feel like you’re being prevented from moving forward in your current circumstances, it’s a strong indication that some kind of shift is necessary. You might feel like a mouse running around a maze and getting nowhere. No matter what you do or say, it never results in anything worthwhile, and you worry that you’ll be stuck in a rut indefinitely. Without change, emotional and spiritual stagnation builds up over time and prevents the flow of abundance from entering your life. If doors aren’t opening, you need a different game plan.
3. You’re closing a chapter in your life: Endings that lead to significant life changes, such as a breakup, graduating from school, or relocating, are the perfect opportunity for reinvention, both physically and lifestyle-wise. With every ending, there are beginnings for which we must be prepared. When the wheel of life turns, it’s a golden opportunity for us to re-align with our vision.
4. You’ve had an awakening or breakthrough: If you’ve experienced a spiritual breakthrough or an ‘aha’ moment, you might want to express this realization to others. Perhaps you’re finally able to release a self-sabotaging pattern, or you’ve received creative inspiration to write a book or a song. A shift in the tectonic plates of your soul will swing your personal frequency and create space for personal reinvention.
The butterfly is a poignant symbol of transformation. The caterpillar enters a cocoon and stays inside it for as long as it needs to before it emerges as a graceful butterfly. Unlike the butterfly, we will go through this cycle several times in our lives. Our job is to ensure that every time we’re out of the cocoon; we’re ready to fly into the future, with poise and confidence.
All my best on your journey,
Reflection Question: Do you feel the need to reinvent yourself? What are some of the initial steps you’re willing to take?