After the death of my wife, I was thinking about how to begin moving forward with my life, controlling the grief, and realized that I needed to reinvent myself. In my book “Balloon in a Box,” I wrote that after the death of my wife, I was now a different person, and that did not happen by accident. It was by design.
Several years ago, during a tough time, my wife told me as we discussed her favorite, “It is what it is; deal with it.” I remember asking her how. She answered, “You need to reinvent yourself, and we will do it together.” We began by outlining what I needed to do:
Understand yourself, and be self-aware.
Who are you? What would you like to achieve today, tomorrow, and in the future? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are you afraid of? Why? What are your base beliefs? What are your core values? Define them, and say them out loud. Be honest with yourself and figure out who you are.
Make the changes you want, need to make, and why.
Now, knowing who you are... What would you like to change? What do you need to change? What major flaws in you would you like to change? What is missing from your life? Who do you want to be? Where do you want to be in life? Make the changes, one at a time, easier ones first, but make them.
Make a plan...set your goals...
Now, knowing who you are and what you need to change, make a plan. This plan should include your goals, realistic and achievable. Goals that are practical and within your reach. The program should also have “good” habits like exercise, sensible diet, education.... habits to help develop physical and mental health.
Self-Evaluation....be honest with yourself.
Self-evaluation is an integral part of reinventing yourself. It must be an honest judgment of your progress in accomplishing your goals. Lying to yourself will not help you achieve your goals. You need to understand where you are, what you have completed, and where you have failed. Fix it and move on with the process. This is where writing a journal or a daily period of reflection can help you stay on track and, as I like to call it, develop “emotional smarts.”
Seek the necessary Support.
Ask your family and friends to help you in your quest to reinvent yourself, but only those whose opinions you respect and who are genuinely interested in your success. Find those sources, books, and the internet that can guide you on moving forward and improving the “you.” Remember to surround yourself with people, the right people, who understand and want what is best for you. Find those people who can “lift you” while keeping you grounded.
Reward and Celebrate.
As you travel the journey, celebrate and reward yourself for your successes, small or large. Build your confidence and self-esteem. Keep moving forward.