Submitted by Marlene (V) Artigues, Founder of sochickie.com and WCC Member.
We all have stories we have about ourselves as we age. Stories that tell us we’re too old for this or it’s too late for that. These are what I call, Youth-Limiting beliefs.
Eight years ago when I turned 46, I too had youth-limiting beliefs. I thought my young life was over, that I could no longer wear cute clothes or have long hair or paint my nails a certain color.
And even though I still had dreams and ambitions I thought I couldn’t start a new career because “it’s too late for that.”
I didn’t realize how much I was missing out on until the day I finally reached the breaking point (I think they call it a mid-life crisis) where not doing those things was more painful than changing my thoughts about doing those things.
I knew that if I wanted the second half of my life to be just as good or better than my first, then I would have to fundamentally change the way I was thinking. I didn’t have anymore time to waste.
And neither do you.
Thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are related. Thinking limiting thoughts will ultimately lead to behaviors that will confirm those thoughts.
For example: if you believe that after a certain age you can’t get in shape, you will be unlikely to work out or eat a healthy diet. you will think, Why bother? It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
But there’s a way to stop this cycle.
Acknowledge Your Self-Limiting Beliefs
What youth-limiting beliefs do you have? Do you think you’re too old to start a new career? Or it’s too late for you to find love?
Do you think you that losing weight is too hard at your age? Whatever it is, be honest. Write it down.
Question The Thoughts You May Have
When we believe our thoughts instead of what is really true, we experience suffering. Ask yourself: Is this true, or is this just a belief I have?
Where does the belief that you’re too old to get in shape come from? Is it your own distorted view of aging? Are you perpetuating the stereotypes that are prevalent in our youth culture?
Whatever it is, your brain shuts down to the possibility of you doing whatever it is you think you can’t do.
If you think you’ve tried working out and your body doesn’t respond because it’s old and you don’t question the thought, it will turn into a belief and that belief will affect your actions.
Arm Yourself With New, Empowering Beliefs
The next step to take after acknowledging that those beliefs you held are not true, is to form new beliefs. Find examples of women your age who have what you want or are doing the things you want to do. Use them as inspiration.
Take different action
After replacing your limiting beliefs with new, empowering ones, start acting as if. Act as if you are young!
If you really are young then you will buy those cute jeans, or you will put yourself out there more, either in love or in life. If you really are healthy and fit you will put spinach and cauliflower in your grocery cart instead of Cheetos.
It might be hard to change your (ahem) old beliefs, and it might take some time, but stick with it.
You Become What You Hang Around
We need to watch with whom we associate. If someone that you’re hanging out with has a youth-limiting belief, you may start to believe their beliefs.
Instead, surround yourself with people with positive beliefs around age; women who are young or young at heart; women who are doing things and not letting age stop them.
Are your youth-limiting beliefs preventing you from living joyfully and youthfully? If the answer is yes then you are living half-ass, and if half of your life has already passed you by, then that is no way to live.
Challenge the thoughts that are preventing you from being the most youthful version of yourself. It’s simple but effective.