Change your life: can you ever reinvent yourself?
Let’s say you are struggling to enjoy life again after divorce or you’re no longer fulfilled by your career. So you want to embrace change, knowing it will probably change you or reveal something new about you. What next?
Reinvention of this kind works best when it is authentic. That means that the change you make should feel connected to what you value. Staying true to your values (while still stepping outside your comfort zone) is most likely to create change that sticks.
If you want to change your life, start by asking yourself questions. Most people start with very practical questions when they want to reinvent some aspect of their lives. ‘What job could I do instead?’ ‘Shall I change my hair?’ or ‘What if we get a static caravan in Bognor?’ But the really powerful, life-changing questions are far broader.
The following three questions work really well because they require you to think as if anything were possible.
Question 1: What would you dedicate your life to if you knew you couldn’t fail?
The fear of failure gets in the way of our imaginations. We would rather not try sometimes than try and fail. Of course, we know that failure is rarely devastating. We normally recover and often learn a lot in the process. In fact, failure teaches us more than success. But it does hurt! Asking yourself what you would do if you couldn’t fail enables your imagination to roam.
Question 2: What would you dedicate your life to if money was no object?
People say, ‘Well, it’s OK for him/her. He/she probably didn’t have the same financial responsibilities as me. I can’t do what they’ve done because I don’t have the money.’ In truth, most people who’ve done anything interesting have found ways to overcome the financial constraints. They save up, they get sponsorship, they win a grant, they find a way to do it on a shoestring. By imagining what you would do if money were not an issue, you are free to dream. Later you can work out how to make your dream a reality but don’t get bogged down in that kind of practicality too soon.
Question 3: What would you dedicate your life to if you weren’t concerned about what other people think?
A few weeks ago a client told me that he would pursue a bigger role in his company if he wasn’t worried about being thought arrogant. But this is a job that someone needs to do and that someone is going to get the opportunity to do. Worrying about being seen as arrogant simply ensures that that someone is not going to be you! What if it didn’t matter if people judged you or not? What would you allow yourself to want then?
What changes have you made for 2016? Tweet us @healthymag