It's all About Confidence
“You don’t look like you’re ________” (fill in the blank with your age-40,50,60 etc).
It’s meant to be a compliment (I’m pretty sure) so I’m not bashing anyone who says this to another woman. It just made me stop and think.
So what is a 53 year old supposed to look like? Hmmm? Or better yet, what is a 53 year old woman supposed to look like?
I recently interviewed a photographer for my podcast who is doing a really cool campaign featuring 40 women over 40. (You can check it out here: https://www.midlifewithcourage.com/podcast) As we were talking, she told me that one of her goals is to reinvent the 40 year old woman because culturally, we are “old news” after we hit that golden age. Unfortunately, she is right.
Think about the images of women you see in advertising. Are you seeing 40+ women in commercials for bikinis or hair care products? No. You see them in commercials for hair coloring to cover that grey hair or that organization that you can join when you turn 50 which-shall-not-be-named-in-my-house or for menopause medication (my least favorite by the way). You get the idea-the media is telling us what we should be interested in by marketing it using images that someone thinks is the most likely image of that age range. Over time, we start to believe it.
But we don’t have to.
I don’t know about you but when I see people in my age range in advertisements or just in general, I am surprised sometimes. I don’t feel like I’m “old” but when I realize that I am in my 50’s, it’s just weird. Who says that all 50-year-olds have grey hair and wear “sensible clothes” and do boring things?
Let’s change that image woman-by-woman by giving all of us the confidence and courage to ignore what society tells us we need to look like, do, or consume. If you want to wear a two-piece bathing suit-DO IT! If you want to drive around in a little red sports car-DO IT!
Does that scare you? Or does it make you excited? Or both? You probably have a little voice in your head or that gut feeling that tells you to break free of what you are supposed to do or look like. LISTEN TO IT!
It’s all about confidence. Maybe you have it now, maybe you used to have it and need to find it again. Or maybe you never had it but want to get it. So how do you do that? I’ve been sharing some ideas with you in this blog and my podcast about finding my courage and ultimately my confidence. It starts with mindset and grows from there.
I recently started following a business coach on social media who works with others by helping them tell their stories. Upon joining the group, she sent me a workbook that she uses to help others find confidence. Her work is focused on people in business but the exercises are helpful for anyone. The first thing she asks you to do is think about what confidence means to you. When did you feel the most confident? What does it look like? Write it down if you need to so you remember and then decide what you need to do to feel like that again. Did you notice that I underlined “you?” Your confidence begins and ends with you, not anyone else. You are your best friend and worst enemy in one beautiful package so be the friend and work on that positive mindset.
If you heard one of my last solo podcasts, I shared that I used to be afraid to walk into an event or place by myself. I literally would not attend something that I really wanted to because I did not want to walk in solo. Ugh. I missed out on some great opportunities.
But lately, I have found it within myself to just walk into a new place with people I may not know and not worry about it. I just do it. My mindset is different. If that little negative, scary feeling creeps in, I just bat it away and walk in with my head up ready to meet new people and try new things.
I matter, and I want to learn more and do more right now. I am a 53 year-old woman and I don’t care what I am supposed to look like or do. I am doing what I need and want to do now!
I am telling you that you have the courage and the confidence within you too! My hope is that you find it so you can live your amazing life!
Take care of your beautiful self and I’ll talk to you soon!