So you want to reinvent yourself.
Perhaps you feel as though you’ve hit rock bottom, and you want to build yourself back up from what feels like scratch. Maybe you lost your job, you're coping with the loss of a loved one, your partner kicked you to the curb, your business plan fell through, you're coming out of a longer-term illness that had you quarantined for quite some time. Or perhaps you’ve just hit a bump in the road, and you’re bored with your career or your relationship or the city in which you live.
Even if you have it all — you're doing well in your career and happily in love and making the most of your city and healthy — the fact of the matter is: Life happens. Any second of any day, anything can completely turn your reality upside down and, with the blink of an eye, you could be forced with having to reinvent yourself.
In fact, things don't have to be bad to want to reinvent yourself. Maybe you simply want more — you’re craving newer, bigger, different successes and setting more and higher goals for yourself.
Whatever the case, reinventing yourself doesn't come easy. If adapting to change and rolling with the punches was simple, we'd all be making moves without any apprehension. The reality is that change is hard, and it takes time.
So how exactly do you reinvent yourself? Follow these seven steps to becoming a better you.
1. Ask yourself if change is what you really want.
Before you get started uprooting your life, stop and ask yourself if change is what you really, truly want. Do you truly want to get an entirely new job, or do you just need a vacation? Do you really want to break off your relationship, or do you just need to have a talk? Do you really want to move to a new city, or do you just need to get out more?
Don't make any drastic moves without asking yourself what exactly it is that you want first. Once you can define what the life that you visualize really entails, only then should you start making moves to achieve just that.
2. Make a visual list of what you want to do, and prioritize it all.
Make a list of everything it is that you want to achieve. You want to get a new job that earns you more money, and you want to buy a house, and you want to be in a new city that offers you a lot more bang for your buck. Prioritize that to-do list. First things first, you should move to the new city. Give yourself a deadline of when you'll do just that.
Once you're settled into your new city, you can start looking for a new job there that'll earn you more money. And once you've spent some time working at that new job and saving up, perhaps you can buy yourself a house within the next year or two.
Don't expect everything to come at once. When you put your wants in a prioritized list, and constantly going back to that list to remind yourself of what you want out of life, you can achieve each item on step at a time. And the feeling of crossing off each of those items is going to be unspeakably satisfying.
3. Find a mentor or coach to help guide you through this time of change.
If you need a helping hand, considering reaching out to a mentor or coach to help you get through this time of change. You may just need someone with whom you can share your goals, so they can help to hold you accountable. Perhaps you need help visualizing your goals and setting realistic expectations. Or maybe you just want someone to listen to your questions and concerns about what lies ahead — someone who doesn't already know you or have any ties to you and can offer you objective advice.
You can find a mentor or coach online through tons of platforms or even on social media. Findd more information on finding and working with a mentor or coach here.
4. Surround yourself with supportive people during this time of change.
Surround yourself with supportive people who will root for you during this time of change. You will want to keep company that is encouraging and motivational — not company who calls you crazy for your decision to reinvent yourself. Stick with friends and family who are optimistic (though realistic) and will stand beside you to give you a hand when you need it, lend a shoulder if you need it and offer you an ear when you need it.
Likewise, steer clear of friends, family, partners or colleagues who are holding you back. You don't need to cut people from your life entirely, but you do need to be able to recognize when a relationship is toxic. If you have close family members, for example, who are constantly bringing you down, but you don't want to cut them off because they're family, acknowledge the behavioral pattern and proceed with caution. Try to keep your meetings cordial and kind but don't place too much emphasis on the relationship. Take their advice with a grain of salt. And don't let their negative vibes impede upon your successes.
5. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone.
Part of reinventing yourself is being willing to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. You can't become a newer, better or even just different version of yourself without going beyond the borders of normalcy. This may mean putting yourself out there to make friends in a new city, or having tough conversations with your partner that you've been avoiding. Whatever it is, if it makes you feel uncomfortable, that probably means your well on your way to reinventing yourself.
6. Take it one day at a time.
Take your self-reinvention one day at a time. You're not going to make any kind of serious change overnight, and that's okay. Sustainable change takes time. Set small goals for yourself and be sure to cross them off as you go — this way you feel like you're making real progress.
Likewise, don't dwell on the bigger picture. The end goal might always feel illusive. In fact, even when you finally achieve it, you'll probably still be wanting more. So just take life one day at a time, reflecting on the successes you've achieved thus far instead of concerning yourself with everything you haven't yet figured out.
7. Accept failure, and learn from your mistakes.
Accept that you're going to fail. That's inevitable. It's life. And it's okay. Learn from your mistakes along the way. In fact, being able to accept failure and learning from your mistakes, in and of itself, is one surefire way to be a better you.
Likewise, acknowledge that things might not always pan out as you'd hoped. You might get a new job and miss the old one. You might break up with your partner and realize it was a mistake. You might move to a new city and wish you'd never left you last place. Life is all about trial and error. Nothing is permanent, and just like you created this change, you can create change again. So don't sweat the small stuff.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.