Self-Renewal: Unlocking Personal Transformation, Growth, and Resilience

by | Apr 1, 2024 | Aha! Life, Life Lessons

Are you feeling stuck or unfulfilled? Do you want to live your healthiest, happiest life? If yes, then self-renewal might be the answer for you! In this article, we’ll explore the concept of self-renewal, why it’s important, and the different facets involved in it. Plus, we’ll discover the fascinating correlation between bodily cell regeneration and self-renewal. Download the Self-Renewal resource I created to support you on your journey to renewal, transformation, growth, and resilience.

“Every single cell in the human body replaces itself over a period of seven years. That means there’s not even the smallest part of you now that was part of you seven years ago.” ~ Steven Hall

You’ve likely heard about our cells replacing themselves every seven years and wondered if it’s true. Well, it’s partially true. We humans are way too complex for such a simple answer. But as I was thinking about self-renewal, transformation, and growth, this factoid was the first thing that came to mind. I’ll tell you why, but first, let’s explain the quote.

The human body is composed of about 37 trillion cells, which are constantly dying off and regenerating themselves. On average, our cells regenerate every 7-10 years, but there’s a lot of variation among cells. For example, our skin cells are replaced every few weeks. We lose 500 million skin cells a day! On the other hand, cells in the skeletal muscles can take 15 years to regenerate. (1)

So, as much as I like Steven Hall’s quote, it’s not entirely true. However, all is not lost. We can still learn so much about self-renewal from the cell regeneration process.

Some cells die naturally, and others become damaged by an injury or illness. That’s when the body’s intelligence activates to replace dead or damaged cells with healthy ones. The healthy cells help us heal. (2)

Do you see the correlation between bodily cell regeneration and self-renewal? Self-renewal is what unlocks your potential for personal transformation, growth, and resilience.

What is Self-Renewal and Why We Need It? 

Self-renewal is the act or process of renewing oneself and coming into alignment with one’s truest self and values. When we live estranged from our authentic self and core values, we become like the body’s dying and damaged cells—weakened and degenerated. Self-renewal restores us so that we can live our healthiest, happiest lives.

What Signals the Need for Self-Renewal? 

Several life events and internal shifts can lead to the need for self-renewal. While each person’s journey is unique, some common reasons include:

  • Significant life changes including moving to a new city, ending a relationship, or experiencing a substantial loss.
  • Burnout and stress, which can call for a reassessment of one’s lifestyle, values, and boundaries for work and life.
  • Feelings of being stuck or unfulfilled in one’s personal or professional life which can spur a quest for more meaning and purpose.
  • A desire for personal growth or an inclination to reach a new level of self-awareness or to reach one’s full potential.
  • Reaching certain life milestones, such as a significant birthday or retirement, which prompts a reflection on one’s achievements and future goals.
  • Health challenges which prompt a desire for a healthier lifestyle.
  • A deep-seated desire to live more authentically and align one’s external life and internal values and desires.

I’ve experienced a combination of these shifts or events – everything from taking on a new job within the past two years, reaching a milestone birthday, moving closer to retirement, letting go of a relationship I had high hopes for, and overcoming a health challenge. That’s a lot, right? You see, our lives are messy like that. We are constantly confronted with life challenges – and not all are necessarily bad; they just can be a lot, which is why self-renewal, resilience, and personal evolution are necessary. If we are not renewing ourselves, it can feel like we’re drowning, or our healthy cells are not regenerating fast enough.

I remember one day writing in my journal after what seemed like a long period of sadness in my heart. I wrote in my journal, “Here’s where I have to be stronger than my current feeling.” Then I wrote, “I feel my own strength; I feel my resilience.” This was me welcoming self-renewal, growth, and resilience. And just by welcoming renewal in, everything changed.

Whatever you’re going through, could this be your inner self telling you it’s time for self-renewal? Philosopher, mystic, and transformation guide Jenna Galbut said, “Each new chapter of our lives requests an old part of us to fall and a new part of us to rise.” I love that.

The Four Facets of Self-Renewal and Reflection

As you can see, the concept of self-renewal encompasses a broad and multifaceted definition. It involves the process of personal transformation and growth, rebirth, revitalization, and rediscovery. Each of these four facets of self-renewal illuminates the power that self-renewal has in our lives.

1. Transformation and Growth:
The journey of evolving, learning from experiences, and growing into a more mature, wise, or fulfilled individual. This transformation often involves overcoming challenges, gaining new insights, and developing a deeper understanding of oneself and one’s place in the world.

Reflection questions for personal transformation and growth:

  • When have I faced a challenge that fundamentally changed my perspective? This question invites you to explore pivotal moments that sparked growth and transformation in your life.
  • What recent experience taught me something unexpected about myself? Reflecting on recent lessons can help identify areas of growth and the impact of those experiences on your personal development.
  • How do my reactions to setbacks reflect my growth over time? This question encourages examining how your approach to challenges has evolved, indicating growth in resilience and perspective.

2. Rebirth:
The idea of shedding old identities, beliefs, or behaviors that no longer serve one’s wellbeing or purpose, and emerging renewed or “reborn.” This aspect of self-renewal emphasizes the cyclical nature of growth, where endings pave the way for new beginnings.

Reflection questions for rebirth:

  • What aspects of my identity have I outgrown, and what does this make room for? This encourages contemplation on shedding old selves to make way for new growth and possibilities.
  • In what areas of my life do I feel ready for a new beginning, and what’s the first step? Identifying areas ripe for change can motivate steps towards rebirth.
  • Which beliefs or habits am I holding onto that no longer serve me, and how can I release them? Reflecting on this can facilitate the letting go of outdated beliefs or habits, essential for rebirth.

3. Revitalization:
The process of rejuvenating one’s spirit, energy, and enthusiasm for life. This can involve rediscovering passions, embracing new interests, or cultivating a renewed sense of purpose and direction.

Reflection questions for revitalization:

  • What activities or practices refill my energy tank and inspire me? Identifying sources of energy and inspiration is crucial for revitalization.
  • How can I integrate something I’m passionate about into my daily routine? This question encourages practical steps towards incorporating more joy, purpose, and fulfillment into everyday life.
  • What does my ideal day look like, and how can I take one step closer to that reality? Imagining an ideal day can clarify what revitalization means to you and how to achieve it.

4. Rediscovery: The journey back to one’s roots or essence, often after a period of feeling lost, disconnected, or alienated from one’s true self. This aspect highlights the importance of reconnecting with one’s authentic self as a source of strength and renewal.

Reflection questions for rediscovery:

  • When have I felt most myself, and what was I doing? Reflecting on moments of authenticity can guide you back to your true self.
  • What values and passions have I neglected, and how can I reconnect with them? This question prompts consideration of core aspects of your identity that may have been overlooked.
  • How have my life experiences shaped my identity, and what core aspects remain unchanged? Exploring the interplay between change and continuity in your identity can lead to a deeper understanding of your true self.

Pondering these questions can help you take a more intentional journey of self-renewal, embracing transformation and growth, rebirth, revitalization, and rediscovery along the way. I hope each question provokes thought, inspires action, and encourages a deeper self-awareness, which will lead to a meaningful process of personal self-renewal, growth, and resilience.

Download the Self-Renewal resource to support you on your journey toward renewal, transformation, growth and resilience.


  1. Do my cells really change every 7 years? Quest Diagnostics blog, February 21, 2023

  2. Ibid.

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