My birthday is a couple of weeks away, and as is the case every year at around this time, I am starting to think about the path that I’d like my life to take in the next year. I even have an actual process that I follow on an annual basis (you can read about it here) to help me as I establish the new goals that I hope to achieve and the intentions that I long to manifest.
I used to view my birthday as a time to “reinvent” myself but I don’t anymore. Now, I use my birthday (and the month leading up to it) as a time to re-ignite myself. It might not seem like a significant change (I mean it’s just semantics after all) but let me assure you–the difference between the two is HUGE. One consistently led to frustration and failure while the other has always led to greater levels of success, satisfaction and personal levels of FabYOUlousness.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone come to me with a desire to reinvent herself. I get it, I really do. Heck, I’ve been there myself more times than I can count. I absolutely understand the longing that resides beneath the surface of this desire. It’s a longing to start fresh in a new direction, a desperate yearning to be something better than what we currently are and a craving for more fulfillment in life than we are currently experiencing. My hunch is that this is a feeling that we are all at least somewhat familiar with.
Yes–I most certainly understand the desire to reinvent oneself, however; I also know (from too many failed attempts to count) that reinvention doesn’t work. Trying to make ourselves over into something that we are not, does NOT work. Oh sure, it might feel like it is working for a while, but it won’t last. It won’t last because it is not authentic. Reinventing implies creating something new–something other than what we truly are. This lack of authenticity is what makes reinvention impossible to sustain. Our true essence, our abiding FabYOUlousness, resides within our psyche and it longs to be set free to do its work in the world. When we reinvent ourselves into something other than what we truly are, we choke off our natural FabYOUlousness and wind up back at square one–depressed, unfulfilled and desperate for a change.
So, where does this leave us? Are we just supposed to give up hope of anything better and resign ourselves to a life of unfulfilling sameness?? HECK NO!
Reinvention doesn’t work because it is inauthentic. Re-ignition on the other hand can light us up and sky rocket our potential because it simply means that we are setting flame to those gifts, talents, passions and purposes that already reside within us, and fanning those flames so that they can burn bright and light up our circumstances. Reigniting doesn’t require that we change who we are, it simply means that we add fuel to those qualities already within us that will help us to be the best version of ourselves. By remaining true to our inner essence, but lighting that essence up so that it burns bright and bold, we will be able to experience authentic and therefore, sustainable results.
How then do we go about this process of re-IGNITION? It’s not complicated but it does require some intentionality. Follow the steps below to light your fuse and get yourself burning bright with FabYOUlousness again…
Re-Ignited and it Feels SO Good…
1.) Know thyself. When I was in college I studied some Latin. I don’t really know why–I mean, it’s not like anyone actually speaks Latin anymore. However; having studied Latin, I now have a list of cool sounding Latin phrases that I could use as tattoos were I ever to decide to get more ink (I have one teeny-tiny tattoo of my husband’s initials on my ring finger but they are rarely ever visible because my wedding band covers them). One of the phrases that I am most drawn to is nosce te ipsum. This ancient Latin aphorism simply translates to “know thyself”.
While the notion of knowing one’s self sounds simple in theory; it can be so incredibly challenging in application. This is because we try so hard for so long to fit in and live up to the expectations of others that we lose sight of who we really are. I know firsthand just how damaging this can be. There was a time in my life when I had completely lost myself in an effort to be the wife/mother/daughter/friend/employee etc. that I thought everyone else wanted me to be. In striving to be too many things to too many different people, I lost touch of the person that I was truly created to be, and suffered a complete emotional collapse as a result. Fortunately, my breakdown is what led to my biggest breakthrough. Only when I finally rediscovered my true inner essence, was I able to break free and experience a truly FabYOUlous life.
You must be willing to do the work to uncover the person that you truly are. Let yourself explore your interests, challenge yourself to discover if your beliefs are really your beliefs or if they are beliefs that were drilled into you by someone else. Work to uncover your strengths and talents (for a great resource on discovering your innate strengths, check out the book Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. The book comes with an access code for an online assessment that will help you to pinpoint your top five strengths and help you learn to maximize those strengths in your day-to-day life). When you are able to see a clear picture of the person that you truly are beneath the surface, you’ll be able to see which traits, talents, passions and desires can be magnified and set on fire in your daily life in order to spark your reignition.
2.) Stop justifying yourself. Once you’ve determined who you really are and are ready to light yourself up; you need to stop justifying the changes that you will inevitably be making. You don’t owe anyone an apology for being yourself, you don’t have to reign it in when someone else gets uncomfortable because you aren’t behaving the way that they want you to behave and you don’t need to explain yourself in order for others to accept you. When I finally decided to drop the facade and live my life in an authentic manner, there were those (including my now ex-husband) who were so threatened by my reignition that I could no longer have them as a part of my life. Sure, that separation was painful but here’s the thing–you have the absolute right to be unapologetically yourself. If there are people in your life who can only love and accept you if you fit into the box that they’ve ascribed to you–you are better off without them in your life. When I finally allowed myself to be myself, my marriage failed because I was no longer willing to let another person control the way that I thought, behaved or lived. Looking back, I can now see what a blessing in disguise that whole situation ended up being, because now I am married to an amazing man who loves me just exactly the way I am–no apologies, no excuses, no justifying.
3.) Prioritize pleasure. What does the real you love to do? Is it dancing, drawing, baking or beer making? Do you love to run or enjoy writing poetry? Do you enjoy singing along to your favorite country music (or death metal) station? Whatever activities light up your soul and make you lose track of time when you’re doing them are things that you need to be doing more often. Too often, we allow the burden of living up to other people’s expectations weigh us down and suck the life out of us. It is high time that we shake off those shackles and begin putting pleasure back at the top of our priority list. This doesn’t mean that we completely shirk our responsibilities in exchange for a life of hedonistic pleasure–it simply means that we reignite the part of our psyche that craves pleasure by creating boundaries for our responsibilities. If you are allowed two weeks of vacation time per year at your job–TAKE IT. If you need to hire a babysitter occasionally so that you can meet your girlfriends for lunch and a mani/pedi–DO IT. Stop denying yourself–instead; define yourself as someone who knows how to take pleasure seriously because she knows that she’s worth it.
4.) Light it up–Every. Single. Day. Reignition isn’t something that just happens one time and then it’s done. It is something that you need to do every day. Find a way to light yourself up Every. Single. Day. Maybe this means waking up early so that you can spend time in meditation or working on the novel that you’re writing. Maybe it means signing up for pottery classes so that you can explore a new creative outlet (my husband and I just did this–I’m so excited for our classes to start!) or maybe it simply means unwinding by soaking in a luxurious bubble bath. However you decide to keep your fire burning is perfectly acceptable as long as it feels authentic to your core desires–the important thing is that you don’t let yourself slip back into the unfulfilling and inauthentic routines and drudgery that led to your initial discontentment. For me, reigniting every day means spending time every day reviewing my goals and progress for FabYOUlous Life, meditating, spending time with my hubby and engaging in some form of personal development (reading, listening to podcasts, watching a YouTube training etc.). On days when I find it difficult to reignite (yes–it happens to all of us occasionally), I find it helpful to have a contingency plan in place. My contingency plan simply consists of having a variety of inspirational materials that are easily accessible so that I can get a quick hit of inspiration whenever I feel the spark of my reignition beginning to wane. I do this by making sure that I have uplifting podcasts uploaded and ready to go on my phone, I have a photo of my vision board (pictured below) uploaded onto my phone and computer background so that I can look at it whenever I need to and I have several motivational books uploaded onto my Kindle so that I can dive into them whenever I need a boost (for a downloadable list of some of my favorite reignition resources, click here). By keeping inspiration so easily accessible, reignition becomes as simple as plugging into my phone or popping open my Kindle. This helps immensely on those days that are more challenging.
5.) Give your reignition some time. If you’re anything like me, patience is not one of your strong suits. When I take on a task (reigniting my life for example…) I want to see results and I want to see them NOW. Well, unfortunately, that’s not usually how things work. Do not get discouraged and whatever you do–DO NOT GIVE UP. If you set your intentions, stay true to your core desires, keep reigniting yourself every single day and trust that the universe is blessing your efforts–you WILL manifest the magnificence of a truly reignited life, and trust me when I say, you deserve nothing less.
Experiencing a true reignition requires that you know who you are and that you have plenty of energy to keep your flame burning bright. Click the box below to receive TWO free resources that will help set you on your path to truly FabYOUlous, reignited life.