Have you ever uttered the phrase “I’m too old for that”?
In almost all cases, it’s simply not true.
Because age is only something in our minds. Its something we assign ourselves based on what society says we should be doing, feeling. It shouldn’t control you. It should never hold you back.
And if it does, you should move forward with this in mind.
You’re only as old as you feel
I was listening to an interview by Dr Christiane Northrup the other day in which she made the recommendation to NOT tell people your age. And it wasn’t for the reason most people would think. When you tell people your age, they automatically make assumptions about your health and well-being, and what they think you are capable of doing.
So if you’re going skiing, for instance, they’ll adjust your bindings accordingly. Or if you plug in your age on a treadmill, it will compensate for your age and slow the machine down in order to be “most appropriate” for your age bracket. Her advice … and I agree … is you shouldn’t let other people decide what you are capable of.
If you are a marathon runner and run an average of 10 miles a day, do you really need that tread mill slowing down simply because it “knows” your age? I’m willing to bet a 50 year old marathon runner can run circles around a 20 year old who sits on the couch! You know what you’re capable of. You know how far you can be tested. Do what you truly want to do.
Experience has its benefits
Think back to a time when you did something completely out of the ordinary. It was entirely a new road for you to travel down. Even though you didn’t know what the outcome would be, I’m willing to bet you used your experiences to guide you through the unknown paths, and help you complete the journey more effectively based on what you did know. Experience comes with age; it lays clues down to help you navigate towards your new direction.
Experience allows you to project potential outcomes that may occur in different situations, based on what you’ve faced in the past. If you bump your head on a wooden beam because a chair is placed underneath it, you will either move the chair or learn to get up slowly to avoid the beam. You learn from experience. And you apply it in different ways throughout your life to avoid bumps and bruises that come from similar situations.
Experience only comes with time. It leaves a trail to help you follow things you enjoy, and help you avoid things you don’t. Once you solidify where you want to go, use your past experiences to guide you in a faster, more effective way.
Age gives you shortcuts
The younger you are, the more you have to figure out in order to accomplish something. Remember when you were a teenager and you were applying for your first job? That was scary. You worried about all kinds of things. Did you have enough on your resume to get the job? Would you know how to fit into the culture of the company? So many things you “winged” because you didn’t have any other choice.
Age, however, gives you the inside scoop on what to do and what to expect. You know how to play the game. You’ve been there, done that before. You’ve heard “no” so many times, you simply keep moving until you hear “yes”, and find the true thing you were meant to do in the first place.
Use your knowledge to bypass the things that no longer interest you, and use it to find the shortcuts to get where you truly want to be. Call in those favors from people you’ve worked with in the past. Have lunch with a friend of a friend who is doing what you want to do. Its all about connections, and be willing to use all that lie before you.
Kids don’t give up. They keep pushing, doing, until they accomplish what they set out to do. Or fail and move onto something else.
Rarely will a child ask for help. They try over and over again. And if they can’t get something, they either keep working at it, or move onto something else. They may come back to it, and try it from different angles. But they haven’t figured out that the world is filled with resources, waiting to guide you down the pathway to success as quickly as you desire.
The older we get, that process becomes easier … and more difficult. We may realize there are plenty of resources out there willing to help us on our journeys. But we’ve also hit resistance along the path, making it seem like there are more difficulties than there truly may be.
Support is always a phone call, an email, or a click away. Want to start a business? Hire a coach that can show you the ropes. Want to climb a mountain? Find a guide who’s done it before. With today’s access to the Internet, an afternoon of searching can lead you to all kinds of ways to put your plans into action. You’ll find people who have blazed the trail and done what you have in mind. Trust them to lead you where your heart desires. And you’ll get it all done in a fraction of the time.
Just do it – what have you got to lose?
I’ve actually found myself being a little more daring, and doing things that are considered to be a little bit riskier as I age. Why? Maybe it has to do with the fact my daughter just turned 20, and I don’t have as much responsibility on my shoulders. Or maybe it has to do with the fact I regret NOT trying a lot of things when I was younger, wondering where I’d be today if I had. (And if I don’t show my daughter how to take a little risk now and then, who will?)
Regret almost always comes from NOT doing something as opposed to actually doing it. Think back to all the things you regret in your life. Was it from doing something – or not?
Age in general guides us to only take action on things we feel safe doing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give yourself a push now and then. Sure, you can sit on the couch and do what you’ve always done, but what would happen if you signed up for that class you’ve been dreaming about instead? What’s the worst that could happen?
If the worst isn’t that bad at all, it may be time for you to say “yes”, and start living life your way.
Age doesn’t hold you back; your mindset does. If you want to do something, just do it.