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A new you

Updated on June 5, 2012

By LESLIE A. PANFIL


I recently covered an event called College 101 for the local paper I write for. Sponsored by our local career center, the panel discussion centered on what to expect your first few years of college. One of the students said, “You can completely reinvent yourself.” While it seemed like particularly sage advice for college students, it struck me that reinventing ourselves may be an undertaking we should all undergo from time to time. But, what exactly would I do to reinvent myself?

Dress for Success. I threw a sweater on the other day and realized I wore it when I was pregnant with daughter – who is now 14 years old. While it is soft and roomy, perhaps it was time to spruce up the wardrobe. As a freelance writer, there are days I can work in my pajamas but, should I? The days of a power suit in every color are gone but if you want the world to view in a new and interesting light, maybe it’s time rethink how you dress for success.


A New Do. Are you sporting the same hair do as you did 5 years ago? Stylist, Claire Niskern with Allure Day Spa & Hair Design, Anchorage, Alaska suggests, “I would first start off with a change of color in my hair. I would do a different all over-color for a more drastic effect. If I wanted something a little more subtle (but still unique) with my hair, I would just cut my bangs differently or give myself bangs if I didn’t have some. Bangs can either add mystery or help to sculpt the shape of the face.”


Let Go of the Past. Sometimes the reason we can’t seem to embrace anything new is we are so attached to our past. Whether you were a victim of a tragedy or someone desperately clinging to “the glory days,” this moment holds the opportunity become revitalized. If your present moment is so full of past heartache or long ago triumphs, there is no room for reinvention.

Expand your circle of Friends. As the old girl scout saying goes: make new friends but keep the old - one is silver and the other is gold. (That may be the extent of what I remember from girl scouts.) Like it or not, we are judged by the company we keep. It may be time to consciously choose at least one new friend, rekindle a friendship that has been neglected or let go on one that no longer serves you.

Think out of the Box. Start with . . . “I would never ______.” “I’m too afraid to ______.” To make a radical change, a great place to start is where you would never go. Remember, even if you do nothing at all, you won’t be the same person you were yesterday but, if you think and act expansively, you can be far more than if you did nothing at all.

Get out of the Box. Change your environment. I have a box – it is called the end of my couch where I sit and write. Sometimes it is a comforting spot and sometimes it feels like a prison. Sometimes simply changing where you do something gives you a whole new perspective.

Break out the Magic Wand. Sometimes we limit ourselves to what we think is possible. If you had a magic wand, what would you change? It doesn’t have to be practical or possible. The essence of that answer can be the key to a truly magical transformation.

What do you want more of? One of the definitions of reinvention is to bring something back into existence, use or popularity after a period of neglect or obscurity. Since I believe that everything you want, you already have (maybe not in the shape, form or amount you would like.) To truly reinvent yourself, you need to go within and ask yourself, “What would I like to expand and grow?”


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