The do’s and don’ts of reinventing yourself

Maybe it’s because it’s the start of the new year.  Maybe it was a break up.  Maybe you’re just ready to try something different.  Whatever the reason, you want to become a better version of yourself: the stronger, or the more stylish, or the small talk savvy, superhero version of yourself.

I’ve reinvented myself a few times in the past 5 years; I’ve experimented lightly with different looks and styles to see which felt most natural or confidence boosting.  Here is some advice about purposely changing yourself that I’ve picked up along the way:

1) Do listen to the people around you

It seems counterintuitive, doesn’t it?  I mean, why do you care about what anyone else thinks of what you’re going to change about yourself?

Before you go crazy with all the self-renovations, try talking it out with a confidant first. Sometimes, we don’t realize that other things are motivating our desire to change.  For example, getting a tattoo that says “screw my ex” might not be a choice that comes from a place of self-betterment.  Don’t think of it like “getting permission” from the person; think of it more as making sure that it doesn’t sound like you just want to retaliate. Remember people, the goal is to make yourself better.  Stick with me, here.

2) Don’t be too impulsive

Sure, everyone loves spontineity, but you just want to make sure it’s ultimately helping you out.  Abruptly starting a coke habit might not be the type of change you benefit from.  Hyperboles aside, sometimes some decisions feel better in the moment than later on.

Basically, put a little bit of thought into the changes you want to make to yourself before you actually go for it.  It could save you a trip to your local rehab clinic.

3) Do make sure you’re changing for yourself

I feel like I read this advice everywhere–maybe that’s because it’s a pretty universal tip. And, take it from me, it’s actually really hard to follow.  I won’t deny that I care about what other people think.  I’m not something who doesn’t listen to what they’re saying.

It’s one thing to listen to what others are saying, and it’s another thing to change things about yourself because they want you to.  Change only if and because you want to.  If you change all these things you actually liked about yourself, the reinvention didn’t do you much good, did it?

4) Don’t discount the little changes

Any change you make to yourself that’ll help you improve yourself is progress–don’t negate that progress, no matter how seemingly minimal!

You eat spinach now.  You started Portuguese on Duolingo.  You’re going to kickboxing classes on Thursdays.  These are all things that are helping you long-term, and you should be proud of yourself!  Don’t get stuck in the loop that you have to look almost unrecognizable after your reinvention for it to be a success.  Remember your ultimate goal, and stick with that–sometimes, a change in your physical appearance isn’t necessary for said goal.  For example, finishing your degree doesn’t usually require liposuction.



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