Often when we approach middle age, we deal with feelings of inadequacy, we are losing time and that we are no longer necessary. Women feel this even more so than men because of the standards that society falsely places on women and the fact that women go through menopause. Rather than cater to the whim of society’s unhealthy view of women, we should embrace our unique diversity and celebrate the wisdom of age.
Fighting Cultural Norms
American culture projects unrealistic values on women in the media, newsstand and in advertising. Though there is a sign that some of those trends are dissipating, still the overriding message is you must be young and skinny to be relevant. Developing your mind and taking the time to love yourself in every phase of your life is crucial to feeling good about yourself. All of those magazines and commercials that make you feel bad about yourself is not reality. It’s usually an advertisement trying to get you to buy something that you don’t need, playing on your self-doubt.
Older Women Make The Best Leaders
The truth is that women who are in their 40s, 50s and beyond are making great achievements in the world. Women such as Sheryl Sandberg (43 years) who wrote Lean In, Somali-Dutch-American women’s rights activist, Ayaan Hirsi Magan (44), American author and poet, Maya Angelou (85), one of the most leading women architects in the world, Iraqi-British Zaha Hadid (62) and Supreme Court Judge, American Sonia Sotomayor (58) just to name a few, are changing the world in powerful ways. They are using their collective knowledge of experience to make positive change.
Upgrade Your Style And Your Self Esteem
Consider a style upgrade. Often, women try desperately to hang onto certain ways of doing their hair and makeup like they may have done in their 20s to compensate for their age. Growing older doesn’t mean you have to start dressing or styling your hair to match, it means that you may want to reassess your style so that it will make you feel good about yourself and not try to make yourself look younger. This should be a positive exploration and a new beginning. Being your authentic self at any age will allow you to thrive.
Change The Conversation In Front Of The Mirror
Some of the oldest trees in the world have deep wrinkles and beautiful textures in their trunks. They are majestic and give great shade and oxygen to the world around them. This is how you should view yourself. Changing your own dialogue as you stand in the mirror by loving yourself and accepting each new phase of your life with honesty is how to combat self-doubt and feelings of unworthiness.
Understanding that you really do matter and have a lot of wonderful wisdom stored up in your years of living should make you feel confident and empowered. You need to love yourself no matter what phase of life you are in.
John Gower is a writer for NerdWallet, a personal finance website dedicated to helping you save money with financial tips on everything from retirement to mortgage rates.Photo credits: