What would you think if a motorcycle decided it would like to become a tour bus? This poor motorcycle hadn’t been ridden much during its lifetime, and when it was, its rider didn’t come anywhere close to pushing its limits. For most of the time, it had been neglected, stuck in a corner of the barn, gathering dust and providing a home for mice.
When it was out on the road, it saw lots of tour buses and they were always filled with people laughing, chatting and excited about their vacation. “A bus has a great life,” thinks the motorcycle. “It goes to fun places, makes people happy and it’s bigger than everyone else on the road. It does something worthwhile. I’m just sitting here rusting away.” (sigh)
But we all know that a motorcycle can’t be a bus. It wasn’t designed for that. It has only two wheels and can carry no more than two people. And we all know how exhilarating a motorcycle ride can be! How many motorcycle riders do you know that would rather ride a bus?
The only way for that motorcycle to become a bus is to go to the scrap bin, get recycled and come back as a bus.
We’re no different than that motorcycle. Why do we think we need to reinvent ourselves at midlife? It seems to be all the rage. People feel pressured to change.
5 reasons why you don’t need to reinvent yourself
- You have a unique set of gifts designed for your unique purpose. That motorcycle is designed for carving corners and cruising the open road, creating a realization of freedom and independence for its rider. A bus can’t do that. It has another job to do.No one else has your experience or skills, nor can they fulfill your purpose in life. Take a close look at the gifts you have. How can you use them for better service to others?
- Everything you’ve experienced has prepared you for today. Everything you’ve done has led you to where you are – to the people and situations that are in your life.While we often don’t know why things happen as they do, there are always life lessons for us to learn; lessons that help us in new situations.
- You won’t recognize yourself. Imagine if that motorcycle looked in the mirror and saw a bus reflected back at it. It would wonder what happened! If you try and change who you are, you’re fighting your own spirit. That creates resistance and saps your energy. Besides, how do you know who to be?Maybe you feel that you’re not expressing your authenticity; that you’re role-playing. If that’s the case, take the time to get to know yourself rather than trying to invent someone new. Your problems won’t go away just by changing the exterior.
- Others won’t recognize you. Trying to be someone you’re not only confuses people. It’s easy to see through the illusion and you’ll attract the wrong people and experiences into your life.Imagine that motorcycle pretending to be a tour bus pulling up to the airport to onboard a tour group that’s just arrived. It just doesn’t work!
- You’re already yourself! Why would you want to be someone different? It could be that you’ve hidden the real you behind layers of protective walls. Maybe you’ve already tried to be someone other than whom you are and that’s why you’re feeling restless.That was me at age 48, living in a shadow of myself, having cast myself in the wrong roles for years. It’s taken a lot of work to get through the layers I’d built up around myself, and it’s still a work in progress. My spirit was screaming to get out and express itself and finally I listened. Although it meant major changes, they were necessary to get back on track.
There may be things that you want to change about your life and that’s OK. Maybe some re-purposing of your gifts is in order, but the good news is, you don’t need to reinvent who you are!