Reinvent Yourself! By Michelle J. Richards, Ph.D.

Reinvent Yourself!
By Michelle J. Richards, Ph.D.
Nancy has thought about all the things she needs to change in her life for years. She’s still considering what she should do. Elaine always wanted to be a stay-at-home
mom and wife. Now, she has her dream family. Yet, all she and her husband seem to do is holler at the kids and argue. She wonders if she’s living up to her full
potential. William thought he would feel better about himself if he was a responsible, financial provider for his family. All it has left him feeling is overworked, tired,
and bored with the monotony of being a family man. Besides, all his family seems to need him for is to dole out money. Despite, getting paid well, they always seem
to be struggling financially. Sandra, on the other hand, has attained her dream of climbing the corporate ladder. She makes a six figure salary. However, she has no
time to enjoy her sprawling home, take her dream trips, or find her soul mate. Do any of these experiences sound familiar to you? In this article we will discuss the
recipe for reinventing yourself.
What is your dream? Would you like to travel to exotic locations---go back to school---get a new job---leave Corporate America---start a business--pursue a career in the entertainment industry---buy a home---downsize--- stay home with the kids--- or live a more exciting life? How many times
have you dreamed about your life being different? What’s stopping you from fulfilling this aspiration? Do you have a list of excuses? How long have
you been wishing for this? Yet, it still remains just a distant fantasy. You are no closer to fulfilling this goal than you were the first day that you
conceived it. Are you tired of putting off your plans? If not now, when?
The start of a new year is an opportunity to get a fresh start. Stop being a dreamer who is just chasing windmills. Reinvent yourself this year!
Where do you start? How do you reinvent yourself? Here is the recipe for reinventing yourself. Believe that you can change. Be courageous.
Envision how you will be once reinvented. Develop a plan that you can commit to with every ounce of your being. Back up your commitment with
graduated actions. Cultivate patience until you become the new you.
This recipe seems so simple. Yet, because of lack of self-discipline and disobedience to God’s will, it is easier said than done. Yet it can be done.
There are many inspiring examples of historical, bible figures who reinvented their lives.
“…Be not afraid, only believe” (Mark 2:36b).
Primarily, believe in God. Be confident not only that He exists but trust that He is working in your life now. God can use you to accomplish His will.
When King David is mentioned, most people recall how David killed Goliath (I Samuel 17). It is usually told to illustrate the underdog winning over
the giant. However, from David’s life you can also learn how to reinvent yourself. After all David was a lowly shepherd boy and a gopher who was
transformed into a king.
David believed in and trusted God. Realize that you are made in His image as David did. Given this, you also have the power to materialize what
you believe. Speak your belief out loud just like God did when He created all things.
God has given each of us strengths and talents. Know who you are. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Believe in yourself. David, though a
youngster, knew who he was as a child of God. He was armed with the knowledge of what he had previously achieved. David believed that God had
given him the strength to kill both a lion and bear to protect his sheep. He believed that the Lord could also deliver him from this giant, Philistine.
What giants do you need to believe you can overcome?
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” 2 (Timothy 1:7).
It takes courage to believe. Others may mock and doubt you like they did David (1 Samuel 17:28-33). Your beliefs may be ahead of the times. It may
cause you to doubt yourself. You may wonder if you are being foolish to believe as you do. I’m sure that was what they said to the first person who
said the world was not flat. No doubt they mocked the first person who said invisible microorganisms called bacteria could make you ill.
You worry that you won’t succeed---you’ll be a terrible student, business owner, or parent. The things you believe must line up with God’s word.
The scripture says “...[S]o is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve
the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11). If your goals align with God’s words take courage because you have no option but to succeed.
© 2012 Michelle J. Richards, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved
Joyful Life Institute, Inc. 105 Kathryn Dr. Ste. 400 Lewisville, TX, 75067
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Reinvent Yourself!
By Michelle J. Richards, Ph.D.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5). Your courage must have a foundation. For
Christians, that foundation is your relationship with God. Are you spending time with God in the Word---in prayer---listening to what He instructs
you to do? Are you quickly obedient to His most seemingly ridiculous commands? Do you give back the first and the best of all you receive? Do you
show up where you are told?
“And the LORD answered me, and said, write the vision, and make it plain on tables, that he may run that reads it. 3 For the
vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely
come, it will not tarry” (Habakkuk 2:2-3).
Loosely translated this scripture encourages you to write down your vision so that it is very clear. At a God-ordained time, the plan will definitely
come true even though you may have to wait a long time.
You need a clear vision of what your reinvented life will look like. If you are having difficulty seeing the vision for your life, evaluate your current
life. Are you in crisis? It can be hard to envision a different future when your present is uncertain. Maslow, a famous motivation psychologist,
developed stages of development. He noted that you are unlikely to self-actualize (fulfilling our highest purpose) if your basic biological needs for
food clothing, shelter, and sleep are not met. In addition, you must have your need for safety, belonging, and esteem addressed.
Once you have your needs met, you need to make sure you are not rushing from one deadline to the next. Visions are more likely to appear when
you are quiet and still. You can jump start the revelation of your vision by spending time in God’s presence. He will reveal His vision for your life.
Read the bible, read bible-inspired books, meditate on God’s words, pray, praise, and worship.
Asking yourself the following questions can also help you identify your vision for your life: What have I always wanted to do but was afraid to try?
Upon entering the pearly gates, what would you like to be told that you have done well? If you were writing your epitaph, what would you like it to
say about your accomplishments? When you think of yourself living your ideal life, what is your vision? If money was not a concern, how would you
live the rest of your life? Be specific. Where would you be? What would you be doing? With whom would you be doing it?
“A man's heart plans his way: but the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
A vision is just a dream unless you have a solid plan to execute. Develop a plan that describes how you will get from where you are now to where
you want to be. Create a stage-wise plan that identifies what steps must be accomplished first. The best way to develop this plan is to build on your
strengths. Identify what’s missing and is needed to get you one step closer. Pretend you were already living your dream life. Think of every step
that you need to take; don’t leave anything out. Then write them down, too. Then ask yourself: “What is the end result that I want?” “What do I
have to do at each stage to get there?” “What is the first step I will need to take to get from here to there?”
“Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and
walked” (John 5:8-9).
Jesus asked the disabled man who had lain by the side of the Bethesda pool for years awaiting a miracle to take action. Would this man have even
known he had been healed if he had not believed and acted as instructed?
Your plan becomes the basis of your action plan. An action plan lists the discrete steps that you will take to get to your goal. Identify the time table
for completing each step. If your plan is a big one, you may have to assign tasks to various people. Check off each step as you accomplish them.
Celebrate each victory along the way.
Once the action plan is completed, ask the Holy Spirit to guide your steps. Take the next small step. When that step is successfully accomplished,
continue to take all the “next small steps” that follow until you finally arrive at your desired outcome. It is as simple as that familiar slogan, “just do
© 2012 Michelle J. Richards, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved
Joyful Life Institute, Inc. 105 Kathryn Dr. Ste. 400 Lewisville, TX, 75067
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Reinvent Yourself!
By Michelle J. Richards, Ph.D.
If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6
But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the
wind. 7 That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he
does” (James 1: 5-8).
Often we think that we trust God but our own words condemn us. We are double-minded, one moment believing for the best outcome and the
next expecting a catastrophe. Commit! This will get you closer to your goal. Awake every morning and renew your commitment. Commit that you
will not allow fear or distractions to keeping you from pursuing your vision.
“Knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience” (James 1:3).
You must be patient as you put one foot in front the other. You may encounter setbacks. Additional steps may need to be added to your plan. Face
the challenges head on. Do not waver or wane. Maintain your fervor. Keep your eyes on the prize no matter how long it takes to achieve your
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14).
When at last things are just the way you would like them to be, take the time to look back at where you came from to where you are now.
Celebrate your accomplishment. This is important! Pat yourself on the back. Do not just rush off to the next goal. Enjoy your new life, new job, or
new relationship. Revel in your new-found independence, newfound voice, or newfound freedom.
Once this is all said and done, especially if you have accomplished a life changing goal, your life can feel aimless. You might begin resting on the
laurel of your past success. Don’t forget to set new goals. Keep your life interesting and exciting. Reinvent yourself all over again!
About the Author:
Dr. Michelle J. Richards, Ph.D., counsels or coaches clients, executives, employees, and businesses owners. Our services
include counseling (individual, marital, family, & group); trauma work; peak performance, and executive coaching; EMDR;
hypnotherapy; parenting coordination; and Critical Incident Debriefing. She welcomes clients who are in crisis or need to
accomplish goals. This is an adaptation from her unpublished manuscript, “Deceived.” For more information, go to her
website: or call 972-906-5607. Follow us on Facebook at Joyful Life Institute. Tweet us at
This article may be copied, printed, and shared with others as long as this box and the copyright remain intact. This
permission does not void the author's reserved copyright.
Vignettes and anecdotes are works of fiction. Any names, characters, incidents, locations, and interactions herein are
fictitious. Any similarity to or any identification with any person (living or dead), history of any person, historical figures,
event, location, product, or entity are entirely coincidental and unintentional. The descriptions of people and their interactions
are composites of many people she has met in her life.
© 2012 Michelle J. Richards, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved
Joyful Life Institute, Inc. 105 Kathryn Dr. Ste. 400 Lewisville, TX, 75067
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