Advertising
Advertising

How to Reinvent Yourself, Starting At 6 pm Today!

How to Reinvent Yourself, Starting At 6 pm Today!

You are who you are. You know yourself well. When you meet people, you know how you describe yourself. You also know that you’re not happy with the image you currently present to the world. That means you’d probably like to learn how to reinvent yourself.

Some people think that personal reinvention is difficult, costly and time consuming. After all, you’ve spent a lot of time becoming who you are and communicating that information to friends, work colleagues, family members and others. Yet, if you want to reinvent yourself, you can do so quickly. In fact, if you want to reinvent yourself, and you’re prepared to start as soon as you finish work today—say at 6 pm—you can make a good start in just a few hours.

Reinvent Yourself by Saying Different Things

You don’t have to use the same old words or focus on the same old things when you introduce yourself to new people or talk about yourself at work or away from work. You’re on a journey from places you have been to somewhere you want to travel to. The present is just a staging post in that journey.

If you’re on your way to a new job, or a new career, you can choose to define yourself in terms of where you are now and where you want to be.

“I’m a ………………… I’m learning how to become a …………………”

Advertising

“I’m a ………………….. and I’m focusing on …………………. because in the long term I’m hoping to …………………….”

Remember that some jobs and situations lend themselves to be reshaped to suit your interests and enthusiasm. If you talk more about your interests and aspirations, then people will start to associate you with these subjects. As a result, you’ll be able to reinvent yourself in the minds of other people quickly. Those same people just might think of you when a project comes up that would be right for you to be involved with.

If you know you’ll struggle to get some people to think differently about you, plan for that, too. Acknowledge the past and the present, but get those people to pay attention to your future, too.

“I know you know me as a ……………………….. I’ve also developed my skills in ……………… and I’m looking for ways to combine the two.”

Action

Practice this tonight: create three or four statements that you might use with colleagues, with strangers you meet, and, where appropriate, with senior people in your organisation. Link what you do and what you have done to your desired future in the words you choose. Say those words aloud. Revise your statements until you feel comfortable saying them. Then decide how you’re going to use them tomorrow.

Reinvent Yourself by Writing Something Different

When you come to write about yourself, the opportunities for reinvention are enormous. Let’s start with your CV or résumé.

The most important thing to do now is to rewrite your CV showing how your experience to date has prepared you for the new role you’re looking for, or to travel in a new career direction.

You’ve done a lot of things in your past. Now that you want to reinvent yourself in a particular way, look again at your experience—find the experiences that add credibility to the career choices you’re looking to make, and the things you would like to do. For example, if you want to take up a training role in your organisation, focus on any learning events you have been involved in organising and on any work you have done to help your colleagues to achieve more. Think flexibly. Your experience doesn’t need to have been labelled “training” for you to draw upon it to help you with this transition.

Think strategically, and consider the skills that people in training roles need. Think, too, about which of those skills you have developed and are using. By doing this you will be showing other people that a move into a training role might be the obvious next step for you, given your experience and interests. That will make your reinvention easier.

Action

This evening, rethink and reshape your experience to prove that you’re already on the way towards that career destination you have in your sights.   Rewrite your CV to reflect your new way of describing yourself.

Reinvent Yourself by Asking Others to See You Differently

In the end, it’s what others think of you, and how others see you, that goes a long way towards defining who you are, especially at work.

Stop and think carefully about how people at work introduce you or speak about you. Do they label you in ways that you find helpful and with which you are comfortable?  Do their introductions limit people’s perceptions of you and make them think of you in ways that don’t fit with your long-term aspirations?

Next, consider what you would like the people you work with to say about you. Everyone labels people they meet—you can’t stop that. You can influence the label that is applied to you, however, and you can create the labels that will be applied to you.  Use them yourself first. Others will follow.

Stop thinking of yourself as a customer services supervisor because that’s how your job description defines you. Remind yourself, and others around you, that you’re a bilingual customer services supervisor. Be clear that you’re keen to make use of those additional language skills to help your employer—you want the people who count in your organisation to remember you can speak another language and label you as such when they speak about you.

Action

Tonight, think about the actions you can take to alter subtly, or amend, the ways in which other people at work describe you. Wherever possible, draw attention to additional capabilities you have, and indicate where your skills may be of use to your organisation.

How To Reinvent Yourself Quickly

You are who you are. However, we’re all different people in difficult contexts. At home, at work, with our loved ones and with strangers we behave differently and are perceived differently. We already practise personal reinvention several times a day as we move from one role to another. 

You can reinvent yourself whenever you want by remembering to make the links between your past, your present and your future demonstrate that you are travelling towards a clear career destination.

Start to reinvent yourself at 6 pm today. By the time you’re ready to fall asleep, you may have surprised yourself by how much you have already changed.

 

 

Advertising

More by this author

Enter the Video Job Application! How to Reinvent Yourself, Starting At 6 pm Today! Online Biography VS Traditional Resume: Which Is Best? Five Reasons to Cheer When You Fail to Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions

Trending in Productivity

1 The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain) 2 What to Do When Bored at Work (And Why You Feel Bored Actually) 3 6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills 4 How to Concentrate and Focus Better to Boost Productivity 5 15 Productive Things to Do When Bored (So Time Is Not Wasted)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on July 17, 2019

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

What happens in our heads when we set goals?

Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

Advertising

Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

Advertising

One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

The Neurology of Ownership

Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

Advertising

But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

The Upshot for Goal-Setters

So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

Advertising

It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

More About Goals Setting

Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next