You’re Allowed To Reinvent Yourself Everyday

Recently I was caught off-guard by a casual comment made by a friend whom I’d known for a short while: “You live an easy life in London”.

At first, I was annoyed and defensive. I thought, “You know nothing about me!”, thinking back to all the internal struggles that kept me awake at night.

And then suddenly, to my own surprise, I felt relieved. It was like a light bulb had just got switched on above my head. I felt… free. I thought, “Wait, he was right.”

I was intelligent, I was independent, I got a stable job, I had my loving family and supportive friends around, I was living in one of the best cities in the world, I really had no reason to not be enjoying my twenties to the fullest.

Why didn’t I think of this before? Why did I have this daunting impression of myself as a struggling person who carries around so much hidden pain that I couldn’t imagine myself being happy and, yes, having an easy life for once (ironically, as my friend pointed out, I already had)?

Well, I know why.

I knew all my past struggles and mistakes and hangups and I brought them with me to the present day no matter how long before they had happened and regardless of whether I had resolved them. I subconsciously used them to define myself despite all the great progress I’d made to my life. I looked confident but inside my self-esteem was always going up and down.

The truth is, I couldn’t allow myself to be happy. I couldn’t believe I could be happy. I couldn’t notice all other positive things going on in my life and see myself from a better perspective as I was so wrapped up in my own head with a pitiful victim mindset that had no way out.

Meanwhile, my friend obviously didn’t know the extent to which I was wrapped up in my own head. Especially, he didn’t know the nasty inner voice that narrated my past and the way I really saw myself which convinced me my life was anything but easy.

And damn sure, every new person I meet doesn’t know this. No one ever will. They only see how I carry myself, the stories I tell, the actions I take. And that’s all that ever matters to the outside world.

My inner working, however, is all up to me. I can do whatever I want with it, trick it however I like. I can be whoever I want from the inside.

It strikes me that why don’t I just do the best for myself? Why don’t I just make it as easy as possible?

It’s a game-changer because it means the power has always been with me.

I’m allowed to reinvent myself every day.

I’m allowed to let go of my past. I’m allowed to be the person I have grown into and become and will continue to change. My past struggles and mistakes and hangups are real and my feelings are valid, but they can’t box me in one place. They don’t define me. They don’t have to influence my behaviours anymore. I’m allowed to be whoever I want to be mentally and I can be that person today — there’s nothing to hold me back.

In practice, it takes a bit more time and effort than just a switch in thinking. For me, it’s a two-step feedback loop to change.


I make sure I know who I’ve become and want to be.

I write down definitive statements of my values and the behaviours that align with these values, of the stories now I tell of myself.

I go through these statements and stories again and again until I internalise them (the same process as when I write personal development articles like this and re-read them).

That said, this method is particularly effective for me because I’m a person of words. You might want to use visuals or sounds or whatever suits you best.


I act out these statements and tell these stories in different situations to collect constant evidence of the person I’ve become, which will gradually overwrite my own impressions of who I was in the past.

It might be hard at first as I’m not yet used to the new way of thinking and behaving, but the more I push through and keep going at it, the more I will feel comfortable with myself and less likely to get trapped in my past identity and old patterns of reactions. It will come to a point where I stop having to remind myself of who I’ve become but naturally act like it.

This process is wonderful not only because it helps me improve my self-esteem and adopt a positive outlook. It also reminds me to separate my past issues with the new ones life might be throwing at me.

I now remember that what happened in the past was done — it belonged to the past. What happens to me now might sometimes be similar to that past and as a result, trigger my old wounds, but it does not mean I’m still who I was. I should think before I act and I should act as though my past had never happened. I should act like the person I believe I’m now.

It’s always easier said than done. No one will change at a snap of a finger. No one can become someone completely new. But we can always become a better version of ourselves, a version we feel truer to, more content about, and that’s why self-awareness is important. Every improvement must start from somewhere and this is where mine does.

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