By Lucy Johnstone – Guest Writer
I was chatting to a friend recently about all the different versions of ourselves that exist. Take me, for example. There’s the me before I became a mother, and then after. There’s the professional work version of me, there’s me as a daughter, me through the eyes of a stranger, or a friend. Different versions of ourselves exist through the eyes of everyone we meet. This is a good thing, because it proves that so much of life is open to interpretation, and nothing is permanent. You may not subscribe to the “new year new me” way of thinking, but regardless, the power to reinvent yourself is in your hands. Like a chameleon changing colour, or my ever ever evolving high school sartorial choices, we can be whomever we choose. If you want to change the way you see yourself, here are some ideas…
- Change the record
Your thoughts are so powerful. In fact 50% of the outcome of any goal you set yourself is determined by whether you believe you can achieve it in the first place. So if you tell yourself you’re capable, skilled and competent, you’re halfway there.
Fill your mind with positive affirmations. Remind yourself of all the cool things that make you who you are. Even if you don’t feel confident to begin with, fake it until you make it. The things you believe on the inside will manifest on the outside too. So transform any negative self talk or beliefs and watch a happier, healthier mindset unfold.
- Change your lifestyle
Have you had some thoughts about changing your lifestyle? Maybe for health reasons, or to be more true to yourself, or to celebrate new growth (or all three). You are the master of your own destiny, as well as responsible for your own choices.
I had an epiphany around the age of 33 where I decided it was time to focus on my own wellness. Call it (finally) growing up, or the discovery of self worth, or the result of settling into a healthy relationship with the man I love, but my values changed and so did I. Gone were the nasty cigarettes and boozy bar hopping. My lifestyle these days is more about good food, good people, creativity, meditation, and gratitude.
- Change the labels
Sometimes I listen to the way people, particularly women, label themselves. “I’m so ditzy” a woman recently told me in a shopping mall bathroom after she dropped her lipstick in the sink. “I think you’re fabulous! Look at all the bags you’re juggling and applying lipstick at the same time!” I said, but she looked at me as though I wasn’t at all qualified to attest to her fabulousness or lack of and immediately reiterated “oh no really, I’m a klutz!”
Why do we talk this way about ourselves? We are so quick give ourselves a negative label, either out loud or in our own head, and it’s got to stop people! Change the record.
I spent the first three decades of my life telling myself and everyone else who would listen, “I’m fat!”. Then I decided I’d had enough of perpetuating unhealthy standards around female body types. So I changed the record, and now I say (in my head and out loud) “I’m voluptuous”. Because not only is that actually more accurate, it’s kinder, and more badass.
Ditch the labels that make you feel less than the wonderful human you are.
- Change what you know
Learning is a journey which never ends. If you want to reinvent yourself, learn something new. It’s never too late to pursue a new interest and grow that fabulous brain of yours. It could be as simple as reading a book on a topic that’s always interested you, joining a club, taking up a night class at your local college, or throwing in your job and staring full time study in the upcoming semester.
Whether it’s big or small, there’s no such thing as wasted education. Education will broaden your mind and expand the way you look at the world and at life itself. It’s also a great way to meet new friends and people with similar interests and values.
- Change location
I’m a huge believer in a fresh start. The world is such an amazing place and if you truly want to reinvent yourself, why not change locations? When I was 7, my adventurous parents decided to emigrate with their three young children from England to New Zealand. Though this meant leaving behind family and friends and having to adjust to Christmas in the summer, this change in location shapes the person I would ultimately become, and I’ll forever be grateful for the decisions which bought me here.
A change in location doesn’t have to be permanent. What about working abroad for a year, taking part in a house exchange or even just taking yourself off grid for a long weekend? A change in location can be just the ticket for resetting your mind and spirit and reinventing yourself as a courageous traveller expanding your life experiences.
Remember, “new year new me” doesn’t have to mean “I’m going to lose ten kilos in 2020 and meet the man of my dreams”. How about “new year better me”? Better self belief, a better lifestyle and a bit more bloody kindness to ourselves. New year or not, you have the power to reinvent yourself whenever and however you want to darlings.