Don’t Re-Invent Yourself

I’ve come to hate the expression “re-invent” yourself.  It’s not only become a bit trite, but it’s caused a lot of unnecessary anxiety.

If one feels that they need to do a makeover, he/she is often coming from a place in one’s life where they feel they have failed.  They may be at a low point in their life, either financially or emotionally and they have the desire to become someone else.

I’ve been thinking that perhaps we all have it wrong.  I don’t think we need to abandon who we really are and try to become someone we aren’t.  That never works. Creatively speaking, whenever I have approached my work as in need of a “makeover”, I have fallen victim to trends.  We all do I suppose, in an effort to “look current”.

That may work for a while, at least financially speaking – but then again maybe not.  I think my best work has come from my true self.  It’s pure but it can be raw. It’s what I just can’t stop myself from doing.  That is what resonates with others.  I think that happens when I am very clear on my vision. It affects people in a primal, yet subtle way.

Maybe we shouldn’t try to re-invent ourselves. Maybe we should just listen to who we really are and trust that voice.

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5 Replies to “Don’t Re-Invent Yourself”

  1. In Lewis Carrol’s “Alice in Wonderland” there is a clear-cut statement about this:

    ‘Be what you would seem to be’ — or if you’d like it put more simply — ‘Never imagine yourself not to be otherwise than what it might appear to others that what you were or might have been was not otherwise than what you had been would have appeared to them to be otherwise.’”

  2. I very much appreciate the premise of your post. But it still seems to stay at the buzzword level. Instead of ‘re-invent yourself’ ‘stay true to yourself’.

    Another way of looking at this, is that folks do get stale if they don’t keep changing what they do. Everything around us changes all the time. And part of being creative involves not doing things always the same way.

    So rather than re-inventing one-self it’s more about developing a healthy constant change of pace. Taking a modified approach to the same project, or experimenting with a new process. But all the while avoiding copying a change everyone else is doing (trends) or just changing without purpose. Ideally healthy change can be a trend leader instead of a trend follower.

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