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How to Reinvent Yourself

Sometimes we think we know someone because they have been in our lives for a long time. But this can get in the way of their process of self-discovery. While helping Sumay with WEquil.School I’ve seen this so many times that I wanted to take a moment to share why we do this and how we can do more to help ourselves, our spouse, and our kids learn to continually reinvent themselves and not be tethered by expectations to the past.

It is challenging to mentally recognize change in others. This seems to be especially true for spouses and siblings. For example, my wife and I will sometimes make the mistake of thinking we deeply know how the other feels about something just because we have spent so much time together. Then a friend comes to visit and she will start saying things I don’t expect. Just having that new person around sparks an opening to share a new point of view... one that she may have had for years but I never bothered to ask without any expectations.

I’ve noticed this with my kids also. Aila thought I didn’t care much about hair and braids, so she didn’t talk to me about it. Then I saw a new braid she invented and was really excited about it. She was shocked 😳...just goes to show you may not know!

Mentally it makes perfect sense that ones impression of someone that they have known for a long time will be some weighted average of experiences over the years. That impression can be good...such as building trust and understanding. That impression can also be bad...such as when one is trying to grow, change, or otherwise reinvent themselves.

One powerful way to help members of our family reinvent themselves is to create change! Change creates a lot of opportunity for rethinking who we are and who we want to be. Changing jobs, changing schools, changing locations...all make it easier to try and re-evaluate who we want to be and take a chance expressing that because we have new people around us without any impressions. Big change may not be feasible but small c