Reinvention can sound scary. The first thing that many people think about when they hear the word ‘reinvention’ is the idea that they may have to totally and completely change who they are.
That is simply just not true. Reinvention is about making slight improvements that are built upon a solid base. The base is who you are as a person and it is typically broken into five different categories. It is commonly known as the five-factor model. These five factors include openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism and different people have different levels of each.
These base building blocks of your personality are not likely to change over time. So what are we talking about when we mention the words reinvention or regeneration? Most of the time we don’t want to change who we are as a person deep down at our core, but we do want to change the way others perceive us. By making small changes to what we say or do, we can leave our base building blocks in place and achieve the desired result.
More often than not, we simply want others to see us the same way we see ourselves and the first step is recognizing how others see us. While I might believe that I am humorous, charming, and insightful these traits could easily be seen as cocky, pushy and a know-it-all to someone who doesn’t understand my background or where I am coming from. In order to resolve that conflict between self and external perception, try following these four steps:
- Make sure to share information about yourself. This information can provide background knowledge about yourself to the listener so they have a better understanding of where it is that you’re coming from and the experiences that you’ve had. With this information, you are placing the new base building blocks of your personality in that person’s mind. Every time you meet someone new, you are being given a blank page with which you can write your own story. In essence, every time you meet someone new, it is a chance to reinvent yourself.
- The information that you’re sharing should be relevant to the conversation. For instance, if you’re talking about cars, you can talk about the first car that you ever owned. Don’t bring up a new piece of info from out of left field eg. the red balloon you found in the park that you found interesting.
- The information that you’re providing the conversation must allow the listener to perceive the traits you’re trying to project. For instance, if you would like to project the idea of trustworthiness, ensure your conversation in the information you provide relates to you being trustworthy. This may sound like an over-simplified concept, but it’s not. Think of the number of conversations you’ve had, even today where you paid no attention to the type of personality trait you were projecting.
- The information that you’re providing should be able to be used correctly even when taking it out of context. You want a listener to be able to repeat the things you said and provide the same feelings to their listeners that you provided to them.
When you perform these four steps in a meaningful manner you will have achieved the goal of reinventing yourself. You will have reinvented yourself without changing any of the foundational personality blocks that are essential to you being you. What you have really accomplished when you have followed these four steps is the goal of having others perceive you the way you wish to be perceived and that is the best and easiest form of reinvention you could possibly make.