At this time of year, I regularly write a piece intended to remind us all that we don’t need to wait for 1st January to set resolutions. That’s something we can do any day.
And also to remind us that we can do much better than vague and uncommitted resolutions. And one very powerful way to upgrade our start-of-the-year thoughts is instead to focus on REINVENTION.
I’m a different person from who I was, this time last year.
And next year, I will be a different person from who I am today.
And I want to relax into these thoughts and get intentional with the unavoidable act of reinvention. I want to use them to craft a better version of myself that helps – rather than hinders – me in achieving my goals.
Some are averse to these ideas, choosing to believe it somehow implies they’re unhappy with who they are, right now. Or that it’s disingenuous, inauthentic or out of integrity.
But the truth is I’m changing all the time, anyway. And it’s possible (preferable!) to love who I am today AND be excited for who I might be, tomorrow.
So, what is reinvention?
“Reinvention” means letting-go of the labels I’ve attached to myself (and allowed others to attach to me) and preferring instead to be in action and get back to being.
Choosing not to focus on WHAT I need to DO, but WHO I need to BE.
Choosing to understand the word authenticity (“auth-enticity“) to mean authorship (“auth-orship“) of my life and work. To use life, like an energy source. Not to have life use me, like an energy drain.
Take a moment now to notice how different a person you are now, from who you were a year ago. Not what you now have or don’t have. Not what you have or haven’t achieved. But the differences in who you are. Who you are being.
And maybe you like what who you’ve become. Maybe you don’t. But either way, it’s a powerful perspective as you set intentions for the coming year.
And like resolutions, you don’t have to wait a single day to start your reinvention project.
Here are 6 thoughts to inspire you towards reinvention, in this present moment.
#1 Take an inside-out approach to life.
Many people hold the thought of “life” as somehow outside of themselves, pushing in. That is: to be at effect; not at cause.
And you can hear this relationship to life reflected in their language. They’ll say that circumstances cause them to feel or be a certain way. Or there’ll say “That’s life!” only ever in relation to challenging events – as if to only ever think of “life” as difficult, hard, burdensome and unfair.
In reinventing myself: I want to reverse that relationship and come at life, from the inside out. Life is inside me, bursting out – not outside, pushing in. Life is an energy source – not an energy drain. Life is a blessing – not a curse. Life doesn’t use me – I use life.
Promote this new way to come at life by focusing on the question: “What do I intend to use my life for, today?”
#2 Let go of your “personality”.
We’re all keen to have an answer to the question “Who are we?” So, it’s little surprise so many of us collect and proudly hold on to labels and patterns that perhaps give us a sense of permanence and individuality (a.k.a. “personality”).
But the truth is: that’s no more “who we are” than any other of our inventions. And that permanence that we’re so keen to keep going (and notice now: those labels and patterns we have to – actively and with effort – keep going) is actually slowing us down.
So, let go of those labels and patterns. Simple as that. “I’m a procrastinator.” “I’m a control freak.” “I’m not a people person.” They are all just passing thoughts.
To reinvent yourself: I want to focus less on personality and more on purpose. Have those passing thoughts in the moment be not for personality, but for purpose. And if “purpose” is unhelpful, focus instead on how you create a difference. Because that’s what purpose is.
We make ourselves up as we go along. So, no need to let your permanent personality box you in.
#3 Come from the future.
The future doesn’t exist – except in this present moment.
If we set a goal to be achieved in the “future”, the only place we’ll ever create that “future” will be this moment, right now. And if I cast myself into that “future” and reflect on what I’ve achieved, I notice that everything I’m now enjoying in this “future” was created in the (present) moments that led up to it.
So, yes: I want to create a compelling vision of my desired future. But then, I want to live into that future right now. Today. I don’t want that compelling future vision to be not-so-much a place I’m moving towards, as a place I’m coming from.
So, in my reinvention project, my rule is this: “My creatable future is the place I come from.”
Install that “rule”. And build the habit of living into that future, now, today.
#4 Check for language of intention.
Language is critically important. It has a strong influence on our internal working model of the world – and the beliefs that underpin that model. If we allow our language to become full of obligation and reaction and pessimism, it wears us down. Drains our energy. Crashes our system.
But obligation, reaction and pessimism are not my only options. They’re just some of many – and I’m choosing the language that’s full of such characteristics. Such victim-based language.
For reinvention: I want to use the language of ownership and intention by dropping the “should’s” and “ought’s” and “have to’s“. And instead, adopting “choose to“. Language that takes me back to responsibility and ownership.
Practise noticing language that has us at effect. And revise the thought with the sentence stem: “I choose to …”
#5 Stop reacting. Start creating.
The very fastest and most effective way to take charge of your (creatable!) future is to move from reaction to creation. It’s the very definition of the distinction between Victim and Owner. Here’s how it works:
A Victim will REACT to circumstance. They will have you believe that the circumstance caused them to feel or behave in a certain way. An Owner will look at the circumstance as a neutral event, having no meaning until they themselves ascribe it a meaning.
To drive my reinvention project forward: in any and moment and in response to every given situation, I want to choose to CREATE. And I do that by building the habit of continually stepping-back, taking a breath and noticing: am I using my mind for creating or for reacting?
When I create that powerful shift from reacting and creating, I am automatically operating at a higher level of energy and consciousness, where imagination, innovation and – of course! – creativity are mine to access.
Step back. Breath. Ask. Am I using my mind for reaction or creation?
#6 Commitment = Decision.
Let’s imagine I’m your coach and you’re my client. And I suggest a next session date which is during your upcoming holiday abroad. Of course, you say: “I can’t make that. I’ll be abroad.”
How do you know? How do you know for sure you’ll be on holiday? Yes, you’ve bought the tickets. But perhaps you’ll miss the flight. Perhaps you’ll oversleep. Perhaps there’ll be traffic on the way to the airport. Or any other of a raft of possible reasons.
But notice how you talk about your holiday: “No, I’ll be there. In that situation, I’d do this. I’d do that. However it happens, I’ll be there.” That’s the language of commitment. Like it’s done. You can bank it. It’s DECIDED. You’ve put the idea of holiday into the committed area of your brain and it’s happening.
For those that are successful in their reinvention project, they use the language of commitment. And they have instilled a simple but powerful rule: COMMITMENT = DECISION.
Take your reinvention project and move it into that committed part of your brain where it’s decided.
Thanks for reading!
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