I have to let you in on a little secret – I couldn’t wait to be 60! Whilst others around me were bemoaning the advancing of their years and telling stories that it was all downhill from here, I was quietly rejoicing becoming 60.
There were many reasons for this. The first is that it is such a privilege to get older. Some people never achieve it. Indeed, my own father died at only 35 years old, so 60 was a milestone I shall always remember and cherish with gratitude.
The second reason is that, at 60, I have an inner confidence in who I am, and I truly love the woman that I see reflected back in the mirror at me.
It wasn’t always this way.
My early life was a struggle to like and accept who I was. I never really felt good enough and this manifested itself in a myriad of eating disorders and I was always striving for some sort of imagined “perfection.”
Age brings us such glorious gifts, if only we can look for them. We are constantly being told how getting older is rife with problems, loss of energy and vitality and how we become invisible after a certain age.
And whilst we may struggle with illness or limited mobility, it’s what we do with this that matters. Having had Arthritis since the age of 40, I understand this only too well. However, today, at 62, I am grateful for every step I take and every moment of joy that I am blessed to experience.
The key to ageing joyfully and confidently is to create a mindset which allows you to flourish with every year. It is always how you think and what you believe about who you are (and who you are becoming) that will determine your feelings about yourself, your body and your life at any given point.
Everything is always in a state of ebb and flow. Nothing stays the same. We are always in perpetual motion. Life is our greatest teacher. From the moment we were born to the day that we will eventually leave this beautiful earth, we are continually shaping and reshaping our experience of what it means to be alive, what we desire and who we are.
When we embrace our life journey with a sense of eagerness and looking forward to the next chapter, we instill within us a confidence that is unstoppable and unshakeable. We know that we are more than our age, how we look, our dress size, income, relationship or anything else.
We have battled the storms, climbed many mountains, lost those we love and risen to greet another day. We are both messy and magnificent and this knowing alone calls us to move forward with confidence and a deep appreciation of who we are.
Enjoy these five self-love tips to appreciate yourself more and age with confidence.
The relationship that you have with yourself is the number one factor in ageing with confidence and loving you MORE with every year. Spend time every day really tuning in to how you feel and what you desire.
Begin to really connect with you again. Every morning before you get out of bed say “hello” to yourself, wiggle your toes and wish yourself a lovely day.” (The wiggling of your toes helps you to connect with your body.)
Smiling is a fast track to releasing stress and helping you move into the parasympathetic nervous system (which is the branch of the nervous system that is responsible for relaxation and wellbeing). When you smile, your body reads this as a message that you are okay and that all is well.
Smile first thing in the morning; smile at yourself in the mirror; smile at all of the wonders that the day brings you. Smile because you are here and you get to experience the gift of another day in your life.
It’s so easy to minimise what we do or play down our gifts and talents. The secret to having more confidence is in building on what you have already experienced in your life. Own your journey, celebrate each step you have taken and keep it alive within you every single day.
A lovely exercise is to write three to five things that you appreciate about yourself every day. This simple exercise can be a game changer!
As we grow older it can sometimes be a challenge to accept certain changes in our body or how we look. Although, on the other hand, growing older can also bring with it a feeling of freedom that we didn’t have in our 20s.
Wherever you are in your life, choose to accept all of who you are. Acceptance brings peace. Body confidence isn’t about having it all “done and dusted” and never feeling unconfident about your body. It’s about being able to recognise those moments when you feel triggered into feeling bad about your body and being able to navigate them with compassion.
If you think back to this morning when you first awoke and then consider where you are right now, you may be aware of how your body has changed just in this short space of time. You may have started the day feeling tired but have gained more energy through the day. You may be feeling hungry, thirsty, excited, tired, full or empty.
Your body may feel quite different from earlier on in the day. If we can learn to read our body’s subtle messages, we can develop a loving and caring relationship with our body which will make us feel more confident that we can feel nourished and loved no matter what!
Appreciation can be as simple as saying, “Well done, I’m so proud of you,” to taking yourself on a magical holiday just because you deserve it! Kindness is love in action and whenever we truly love and appreciate ourselves, we become the fullest and most radiant expression of who we authentically are!
Ultimately, ageing with confidence and self-appreciation is something that we actively do. Ageing is a verb – it is not something that simply happens to us. Growing older is inevitable; however, we get a choice in how we will age and what the different stages in our life mean for us.
If we simply grow old passively, we may not be able to truly benefit from all of the experiences that age can offer. Our challenge is to be there fully for our own ageing process rather than fighting it. Everything changes and so too, will we. The key is to allow yourself to become more YOU with every year that passes, so that you can find passion, purpose and presence in every stage of your life.
For daily inspiration please join me on Instagram. It would be lovely to have your company!
Has your own confidence grown with age? What is your own experience of appreciating yourself more after 60?