I feel the same way about Taylor Swift’s Reputation Album as I do about any major life challenge I’ve faced; it was much darker than I would have liked it to be, but looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way. And I am, in fact, grateful for it.
With Reputation, Taylor Swift revealed a side of herself that we don’t usually get to see. A moodier side. An angrier side. But a very real side that exists within us all, whether we want it to or not.
If you have found yourself in your own Reputation Era, ask yourself, “What Would Taylor Do?” And then do as she would – explore it. Embrace it! And know you’ll come out stronger, more connected to yourself, and more confident than ever before. Here’s how.
Your Reputation Era Reminds You What You’re Made Of
Taylor Swift’s Reputation Era is representative of a Dark Night Of The Soul – one of the most challenging periods you can go through in life. Everything seems to be going wrong. You lose. Failure surrounds you. And you will likely feel exhausted and depressed.
To paraphrase J.K. Rowling, “you go through A Dark Night Of The Soul when rock bottom becomes the solid foundation on which you can rebuild your life.”
And we know Taylor Swift’s Reputation Era is all about her own Dark Night Of The Soul when she says,
“I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, cause she’s dead!”
When you go through this kind of experience, an old version of yourself dies. And of course, death is painful.
But what actually dies is your ego. And when your ego dies, you are able to get in touch with a deeper sense of who you are, and what gives your life purpose. You find your way back to Your True Self – the more pure and authentic version of you.
If you’re in this period right now, I know it’s hard. Believe me, I’ve been there! And I know that you wish more than anything it wasn’t happening.
But remember, you’re not alone. Others have gone through this kind of experience (including Taylor Swift).
You can use this as an opportunity to better understand yourself and what you want out of life. And work towards reinventing that new version of you. So you can look back on this moment in a few years and see how far you’ve come.
Your Reputation Era Gives You Access To Your Shadow Self
I think we were all surprised when Dr. Swift revealed more of her shadowy side during the Reputation Era.
Like the side of her that wants to seek revenge on those who harmed her (Look What You Made Me Do).
Or the side that is attracted to someone else when she is in a relationship (Dancing With Our Hands Tied).
And the side of her that admits how sometimes, it feels good to be bad (I Did Something Bad).
Accessing the parts of yourself you may not want to acknowledge but do in fact exist, can guide you to a place where you’ll feel more whole.
For you, maybe it’s really hating your job. Or being annoyed every time your Mom calls. It could be as simple as admitting you’re frustrated at a friend who cancelled plans last minute.
Repressing those seemingly “negative,” feelings aren’t going to make it better in the long run.
Learning to acknowledge repressed feelings and choosing to be curious about them instead of judgmental will help you discover more about your needs.
You can then be more intentional about how to handle those uncomfortable situations you’d rather not think about. So they don’t end up blowing up in your face.
(By the way, this is a skill that takes practice. If you are always putting yourself down or denying yourself your feelings, download my feelings guide.)
And let’s clarify – just because those feelings exist, doesn’t mean you need to act on them!
You can do what Taylor does – which is to express how you truly feel instead of brushing it under the rug.
You can also try emulating this other thing that Taylor does so well during her Reputation Era – which is to fantasize. Let yourself fantasize about what you want to do with those emotions, without actually doing them.
For example, you might be so angry that you want to punch your boss. Punching your boss in real life is never recommended, but thinking about a certain someone while in a boxing class might give you the emotional relief you need.
And you can also channel Taylor by using your shadow self to create art. Even if you aren’t into songwriting, try painting or journaling, or even taking up a new hobby that turns your shadowy energy into something beautiful.
3. Your Reputation Era Teaches To Be Assertive
In Reputation, Taylor Swift recognizes that her tendency to please everyone but herself isn’t how she wants to live her life.
So you see her evolve. And learn to be more assertive about how she feels, what she wants, and what her boundaries are.
The Reputation Era is for anyone who is sick and tired of being taken advantage of, bullied, or misunderstood. And is ready to be reborn.
If you’ve ever felt like life has knocked you down, this album helps you tend to your wounds, then get back up with a newfound sense of confidence and outlook on life.
It gives you space to feel angry when someone has wronged you. It also teaches you how to stop letting others walk all over you, and instead, assert yourself.
To put it simply, Taylor Swift models how to stand up for yourself in this album.
Standing up for yourself starts with the idea that you are deserving of basic human rights. Ya know, simple things like feeling comfortable around others, being treated with respect, permission to ask for help, etc.
With that being said, I’ve created a Reputation Era Bill of Rights, for you to review, or even hang up to serve as a reminder of what you deserve.
And if you’d like to get notified every month when I post a new Taylor Swift inspired article, sign up below! (I’ll never spam you – I promise.)
So now, just for fun – which song from Reputation helps you connect more to your darker side? Let me know in the comments. Right now I’m really feeling Dress (perhaps because I’m going through my own personal style rebirth?!).
If you enjoyed this article, feel free to like and share it below! And check out A List of Taylor Swift Songs To Help You Cope With Feelings.