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Reinventing yourself: 10 ways to realize your full potential

January 5, 2022 - 19 min read

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What does reinventing yourself mean?

Reasons to reinvent yourself

10 steps to reinventing yourself

Why is reinventing yourself important?

The power of Inner Work® for reinventing yourself

Top books on reinventing yourself

Do you ever find yourself questioning who you are? Wondering how you got to the point you're at today? 

Maybe you achieved some goal or success, but it's no longer satisfying. Maybe you didn't and feel stuck in a rut.

Do you daydream about doing something completely different? Maybe you've been thinking about pursuing a different career, something unrelated to what you do now. Maybe you don't have any experience in it but believe it would help you find true happiness and success.

Or, perhaps your life has changed. With different needs and expectations, you may be motivated to forge a new path that will provide 

Reinvention can sound exciting. Yet the idea (and process) of reinventing yourself is daunting for many people. It can take a lot of work to change who you are as a person, how you think of yourself, and how others perceive you. But reinventing yourself can be truly empowering

Here’s a guide to how you can reinvent yourself and why this journey could be key to unlocking your full potential.

What does reinventing yourself mean?

This can be interpreted in a number of different ways. For some people, self-reinvention means a major career change. While for others, it could mean breaking bad habits or adopting a new life skill

Reinventing yourself is not a standard process with a specific textbook or map. It’s important to view your own reinvention as a journey of self-discovery. Reinventing yourself is related to finding your ikigai, or your "reason for being."

In nature, we can observe self-reinvention happening all the time. Birds molt, seasons change, and snakes shed their old skin when it is time to grow a new one. 

All of these processes are indicators of our natural need for change and evolution. It is the force that prompts us to let go of the past, step outside our comfort zone, and move forward into the future.

Reasons to reinvent yourself

There are many reasons why you might find yourself craving self-reinvention. Ultimately, it’s a sign that you are seeking change in some area of your life.

Here are some possible reasons why it could be time for you to start reinventing yourself. 

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  • You’re looking for a career change. Many people aspire to change careers when they’ve been in the same line of work for too long. Careers take up so much of our time and energy. Sticking to one for years on end can leave us feeling ready for adventure.
  • You’re going through an existential crisis. Sometimes, what bothers us most is a sense of existential confusion about what we are meant to be doing in life. Nothing is wrong, exactly. In fact, life might be pretty good... but it lacks meaning, and we're no longer okay with that. When we let our unhappiness stick around for too long, it can cause a major reassessment.
  • You need a change. There doesn’t always have to be an exact reason why you crave self-reinvention. It could be that it is simply time for a seasonal shift to occur in your life. From a new haircut to breaking up with your toxic partner, change is a natural thing to desire.
  • You’re seeking fulfillment out of life. Wanting to reinvent yourself could come from your desire for personal fulfillment and deeper meaning and purpose in your activities and how you spend your time. This need for self-improvement tends to happen when we acknowledge how much time we’ve wasted on things that don’t bring us joy or meaning.

When it comes down to it, you don’t need a reason to justify wanting change in some areas of your life. But understanding why that yearning exists is still beneficial. 

10 steps for reinventing yourself

Realizing that you want big changes in your life is the first step towards self-reinvention. 

However, it is important to remember that personal growth is a process. There are many small steps to take before you might see tangible results. 

But don’t be discouraged. The process of reinventing yourself is challenging but rewarding. You are taking charge of your life and making healthy changes, which is a feat worthy of respect. And the journey of self-discovery can often be as enjoyable as the final outcome.

If you’re ready for change but not sure how to create it, here are 10 steps that might nudge you in the right direction. 

1. Start with self-understanding and self-awareness

One of the first steps you can take towards reinventing yourself is self-awareness. This means actively assessing your situation and what you would like to achieve

Who are you now? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are you really scared of?

Contemplate your current position in life and what brought you to where you are now. Think about what you’d like to achieve in the next five years and where you would like to be in the future.

2. Define your core values

One really useful practice is defining your core values. It will be much easier to make positive changes if you know exactly what they look like and why you want them. 

Use these core values to create a personal vision statement that will orient you toward how you want to reinvent yourself.

3. Ask yourself what you want to change

Everybody wants something that they do not have. But chasing after what you don’t have is only worth it if you’ve deeply considered what it is you really want and why. 

Take a moment to yourself and ponder what is missing from your life. Where/who do you want to be, and what constructive changes can you make?

4. Set realistic goals

In the midst of all this contemplation, you might get carried away with what is realistically achievable. Make sure that the things you want to change are rooted in reality and reflect healthy, practicable goals. 

5. Build positive habits

In addition to personal goals, it’s helpful to build positive habits that bolster your ability to evolve. Some positive habits include: 

These habits will also help you develop physical and mental fitness.

6. Practice self-reflection

Self-reflection is an inseparable part of the self-reinvention process. Through self-care practices like journaling and mindful breathing, you can gain a better understanding of what has brought you to this point — and what needs to happen next.

Self-reflection can also help you develop emotional intelligence.

7. Be honest with yourself

Despite the fact that we all know how important it is, honesty can be challenging. 

Being honest with yourself can force you to deal with some hard truths that are uncomfortable to acknowledge. This makes it all the more important. Lying to yourself will only hold you back from personal development.

8. Ask for support

Don’t be afraid to ask for support from friends, family members, or co-workers that you trust. Chances are, they either have some wisdom to offer or are experiencing similar struggles.

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In some cases, it’s best to seek professional help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to a coach or therapist who can guide you on your journey of self-discovery.

9. Surround yourself with the right people

The type of people that you surround yourself with has the power to either lift you up or bring you down. Make sure that the people around you are kind, honest, and want what is best for you in life. They will encourage you to do the right thing and keep you grounded. 

10. Celebrate your success

Last but by no means least, remember to celebrate your success. When it comes to significant shifts in your life, every milestone is worth recognition. Celebrating the wins, big or small, will boost your confidence and self-worth.

Why is reinventing yourself important?

Reinventing yourself provides you with a platform to build up the best version of yourself. In turn, this enables you to lead a healthier, happier life.

Let’s look at some other reasons why self-reinvention is so important.

  • It allows you to continue exploring new parts of yourself. When you reinvent yourself, it opens up the floor for new parts of who you are to emerge. Discovering new elements of your personality and values can be exciting and fulfilling.
  • It helps you realize what you truly value in life. Throughout the process of reinventing yourself, you will be forced to take a deeper look at your core values. This can help to identify the things you find most important in life.
  • It encourages constant learning. You’re never too old to learn, and self-reinvention is a reminder of that. No matter how old or set in your ways you might feel, reinventing yourself can push you to learn and embrace new things.
  • It makes you resilient and agile in an ever-changing world. The world is changing, and we must change with it. Self-reinvention can give you the right outlook of adaptability and flexibility to deal with the world in a practical way.
  • It builds your sense of purpose. Having a sense of purpose can add meaning to your existence. Some people prohibit themselves from enjoying life because they are afraid to grow, but self-reinvention can change that.

happy-woman-on-a-rooftop-reinventing-yourself

  • It boosts your positivity and lust for life. Life is so much more enjoyable when you feel proud of who you are. Reinventing yourself provides an opportunity to cultivate a positive mental attitude, which is a powerful tool to have. 

The power of inner work for reinventing yourself

You cannot hope to reinvent yourself without knowing who you really are. And this is where Inner Work® becomes so powerful. 

Inner Work is the practice of looking inward to our authentic selves and experiences. It is about thinking about how we think and how we interpret and interact with the world. Our inner world plays a major role in how we conceptualize and relate to the world.

Through this self-exploration and self-understanding, we can better understand the things that ignite our passions. From here, we can identify the biggest and most fulfilling opportunities for self-development. 

Turning inward is an essential part of reinventing yourself.

Top books on reinventing yourself

Reading a book about self-reinvention can keep your mind on the right track while feeding you with useful information. These books can provide insights into the process of reinventing yourself.

1. The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work by Shawn Achor

What do you seek when you pursue reinvention? Most of us seek happiness. And if we don't understand that as a key motivator, and if we don't understand how happiness works, we may be disappointed in our reinvention. In fact, we may discover that the key part of ourselves or our lives that we sought to reinvent, our unhappiness, wasn't reinvented at all. 

Shawn Achor reveals how we can rewire ourselves for happiness. With the right focus and specific, research-backed practices, you can transform yourself into a happier, more satisfied person.

As a happier, more satisfied person, you'll be in a much better position to take on a new career, relationship, or way of living. 

Learn more about this book here.

2. Your Next Level Life by Karen Arrington

For our journey of self-reinvention, we need to define what the next level is and what it looks like. In her book, Arrington shares her rules and advice on how to expand your horizons and identify your superpowers. Her aim is to help women write the new rules of power with life-changing confidence. 

With the right tools, inspiration, and connections, women have the power to transform their lives and communities.

Learn more about this book here.

man-lying-on-couch-reading-reinventing-yourself

3. Be Who You Want: Unlocking the Science of Personality Change by Christian Jarrett

Be Who You Want explains how personalities are more plastic and flexible than static. Because of this malleability, Jarrett gives us the tools to shape our personality in ways that will make our lives better. 

This is a great book to read if your interest lies in cognitive behavior and reshaping the mind. Jarrett takes his readers on a journey of self-discovery and motivation to pursue transformation.

Learn more about this book here.

4. It Ain't Over... Till It's Over: Reinventing Your Life by Marlo Thomas

Thomas’ inspirational book is filled with stories of bold and brave women who won’t give up and won’t be held back. She shows how it’s never too late to pull yourself out of a hole or to live out a dream. 

The journey of reinvention is hardly ever an easy one. It may be complicated, frightening, and full of disappointments. But these struggles are all part of the process.

This book has one main inspiring and empowering message: The best is yet to come.

Learn more about this book here.

Reinventing yourself means discovering yourself

Reinventing yourself doesn’t necessarily have to be a complete overhaul of who you are as a person. It should be about recognizing your values and living your life as your authentic self.

Whether your goals involve a new career, moving to the countryside, or finally learning to love yourself, self-reinvention is a quintessential part of life. It is also a lifelong journey.

If you need some support on your journey of personal and professional growth, BetterUp can help. We’d love to help you discover what matters and develop the skills and mindsets to change your life for the better.

Request a demo for our personalized coaching experiences.

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Published January 5, 2022

Shonna Waters, PhD

Vice President of Alliance Solutions

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