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Have you ever wondered how to reinvent yourself?
We all feel lost and out of sync at times, but when the feeling persists, it is difficult to see the wood from the tree and take action to make life happen for us.
“Life doesn’t happen to you, it happens for you.” Tony Robbins
In this post, I’m sharing 5 transformative exercises to help you reinvent yourself and take control of your life. I know, it’s a big claim. But it worked for me and many around me. It will work for you too as long as you take action.
Why Do You Want To Reinvent Yourself?
Change starts with motivation. And you can only find motivation if you understand what drives you towards change in the first place. So take a step back and think about what got you here…
The first thing you need is to answer: “Why do you want to reinvent yourself?”
Maybe you don’t feel challenged in life anymore, you’re too comfortable and have no opportunity to grow. Maybe life is getting a bit boring. Or, on the contrary, you constantly feel stressed and frustrated. You’re dreading work, exhausted, burned out.
Whatever the reason, if you feel like you need to reinvent yourself, you are not aligned to your values and goals. You might think you don’t have those, but this feeling in your gut doesn’t go away. Things just don’t feel right.
Before moving on to the next step, take time to reflect and understand why you want to reinvent yourself.
Keep A Journal
Asking “how to reinvent yourself” is often easier than answering “why to reinvent yourself”.
If you’re struggling to find your “why”, start a journal. Make it a daily practice for a while, focusing your effort on what drives you towards change.
Journaling has huge benefits but for our purpose, it will help you uncover and process your thoughts – a bit like having your own therapist. The mere act of writing down what drives you to make a change in your life will give you clarity and fuel the motivation you need to make this change.
How To Reinvent Yourself
These 5 exercises on how to reinvent yourself will help you dive deep into what your perfect life and your ideal self look like while appreciating the things that bring you fulfilment today.
Exercise 1: Visualise Your Perfect Day
I love this exercise because it’s so practical.
Think about a perfect day in your future. What would happen? Be precise and write down how the day would unravel, from what time you get up and what you have for breakfast to what you do for each hour and who you do it with.
It might seem like a difficult exercise but it really isn’t. You’ll surprise yourself and learn what really matters to you in the end.
This exercise is the first step to getting the life you want as you’ll realise that part of your perfect day is within your grasp.
It certainly has helped me appreciate that by making certain tweaks to my daily routine I could get closer to my perfect day. For the rest, keep reading…
Exercise 2: Find Your Strengths
The best way to make changes to your life is to find what you’re good at and use it to get what you want.
We all have our unique strengths and weaknesses, and we all have aspirations. You’re on your way to success when you learn to leverage your strengths to achieve your aspirations.
In order to find your strengths, you need to combine two approaches:
- Work on self-awareness, how you see yourself and how you interpret your thoughts, feelings, passions and reactions in terms of your strengths. A good place to start is by writing down what activities gives you energy. What strength do you use to perform those activities?
- Seek external feedback, how others see you and your strengths, behaviours and reactions. I’ve recently asked a few friends what they see as my 5 top strengths and the results were eye-opening. Another way is to do a personality test (for example, 16personalities.com offers free MBTI tests).
Exercise 3: Define Your Ideal Self
What would the best version of yourself look like?
We all have characteristics we value in ourselves and others. Perhaps you already have those characteristics but would like to develop them further. Or perhaps you see them in others and want to emulate them.
Back to writing down your thoughts: what are those ideal characteristics? Are you confident? Generous? Inspiring? Positive? Non-judgemental?
Now think about the small steps to take and habits to develop to show the characteristics you’ve listed. For example, if you want to be more positive, you could start a gratitude journal or commit to praise someone every day. If you want to be more confident, you could start keeping track of your successes or do breathing exercises before a presentation.
Think back to your strengths – how can they help you create your ideal self?
Once you gain clarity over what your ideal self looks like and what it takes to get there, it will be in the back of your mind and trigger small changes to get you there slowly (and sustainably).
Exercise 4: Find Your Pillars Of Success
Sometimes the best way to ensure happiness in the future is to take a hard look at the present and what we feel is out of whack.
Matthew McConaughey gave a commencement speech at the University of Houston in 2016 which was an eye-opener for many graduates. As part of his speech (around 11 minutes in), Matthew talks about his 5 pillars of success. In other words, the areas of his life that matter the most to him: being a good husband, a good father, being healthy, having a successful career and meaningful relationships.
Take a step back, and think about what matters to you. In your perfect future, what balance are you achieving on your pillars of success? What does it look like now?
Keep your pillars in mind and commit to reviewing your balance regularly – at least monthly – and implement changes in your life where you feel out of balance.
Another way to find your pillars is to do the “wheel of life” exercise – rating yourself from 0 to 10 for each section, and reflecting on which of these sections really matter to you:
Exercise 5: Find Your Ikigai
Ever heard of Ikigai? It’s a Japanese concept that essentially translates into “reason for being” (or “raison d’être”). I’ve saved this for last as it combines what you’ve already discovered about yourself with a bigger sense of purpose.
The concept of Ikigai can be translated into a useful framework that sees your purpose at the intersection of four essential life components: passion, vocation, profession and mission.
In other words, when you have found Ikigai, you do something that you love, that you can be paid for, that you are good at and that the world needs.
So how do you find Ikigai?
It is a life-long process, but you can get started by answering the found fundamental questions:
- What do I love? (passion)
- What did you love doing or thinking about when you were a child?
- What activities do you do in your spare time that make you happy?
- Go back to exercise 1, 3 and 4 for inspiration
- What am I good at? (vocation)
- What are your skills and strengths?
- What do people ask you help for?
- Go back to exercise 2 to find the answers
- What can I be paid for? (profession)
- What product or service could you sell?
- Or what job could you do?
- What does the world need? (mission)
- What / who inspires you?
- What makes you angry, frustrated?
Once you’re done, share your thoughts and findings with supportive friends or family and ask them to challenge and add value to your thinking.
The answers you find using the Ikigai framework can be truly life-changing.
How To Keep Reinventing Yourself
After going through the 5 exercises in this post, you will no doubt have more clarity on what makes you tick and where you should focus your energy to reinvent yourself.
This is the first step though. For the changes to last, you need to turn this process into a habit.
Here are a few things you can do next:
- Write a personal mission statement and read it every day
- Review your habits, keep only the ones that align with your ideal self
- Surround yourself with people who support you and you can learn from
- Make “stepping outside your comfort zone” a way of life. If it feels uncomfortable, you should probably do it
- Keep failing, keep learning – everything in life is a learning opportunity, especially failure
- Join a community of like-minded people
- Work with a coach or a mentor
These exercises on how to reinvent yourself are truly transformative. I have used them many times and continue revisiting them at least once a year.
Finding your true self is not about reaching a destination but about enjoying the journey. Circumstances in life change. Your environment changes. You change.
If you’re on the road to a better self, you need to know that at times you will fail. And that’s completely normal. Embrace it and approach failures with a growth mindset.
And once you’ve figured out how to reinvent yourself, pause for a while, learn, enjoy… and start again.
What have you learned about yourself from doing these exercises? Have they prompted you to make changes to your life?
Let me know in the comments. And if you found this post useful, please share!