When was the last time you slowed down and went inward?
Of all the things we can do to love more of ourselves, there is truly nothing more valuable or important than going inward.
If this is true, and I believe it is, why is going inward one of the most challenging things we will ever do?
In this third of a five-part series for Sixty and Me readers, we’re going to focus on the second step of the 4 Steps to Blaze a New Path for Yourself After 60.
Going inward is the process of inner discovery through self-introspection.
This might sound easy until you get the urge to bypass this all-important step in blazing a new path for yourself after 60.
Going inward is where you get to know more of your true, authentic self. It is also how you chart the new path you want to go on.
There are many benefits to going inward. Here are the top 10 (in my experience):
The benefits of going inward go far beyond this list. Don’t just take my word for it.
Try going inward and feel the benefits for yourself.
When you do, however, be prepared to face some unexpected resistance.
For something as simple and beneficial as going inward may appear to be, it is actually one of the hardest things any of us will ever do. There are many reasons why, most of which are due to past teachings.
One of the most pervasive is that our generation was raised to believe being idle meant you were unproductive. As we grew into adulthood, we were incentivized to be hyper productive in an ever increasingly fast-paced world.
The harder we worked, the more we sacrificed, the quicker we would get ahead, at least that’s what we were told. But this idea of constant activity went beyond the workplace.
No generation before us had as many options for leisure activities as we have. For many of our generation, as hard as we worked, we played even harder.
For those with children, or large extended families, there was likely even less time to slow down and go inward.
Then there is the incessant noise and influence of the media. When we weren’t hard at work, raising a family or engaged in leisure activities, we were consuming what the media fed us.
When you look back in the rearview mirror of our collective past, it begs the question:
At what point did any of us get a moment to breathe, recharge, and process all of the information and experiences we were having?
And sleep is not the answer. For as important as sleep is, the moment most people wake up, they are right back to the daily grind, negating any benefit of rest.
I am not at all suggesting we should not take full advantage of opportunities to enjoy an active lifestyle. For those of us over 60, remaining active is essential to our well-being.
But equally essential is slowing down enough to gain a real sense of who we want to be and what path we want to go down at this stage of our life.
What is it, then, that keeps us from going inward after 60?
It’s not the false, lingering belief you’re being unproductive or lazy. With most of our generation’s children grown, family obligations can’t be used as a valid reason either.
What keeps so many over 60 from going inward is the fear of what we will discover about ourselves.
Being alone with one’s thoughts can be downright frightening. But it doesn’t need to be.
Going inward is an act of self-love. You are getting to know who you truly are by learning to love and appreciate yourself unconditionally. So why is it so difficult?
Because when you go inward, you will initially be met by your inner critic.
Slowing down and getting to know who you are is the last thing your inner critic wants you to do. Using your limiting beliefs against you, your inner critic will stir up as much inner turmoil and outer distractions to keep you from going inward.
Once you get past the inner critic’s defense system, you will be greeted by the voice of your true, authentic self.
Your true, authentic self speaks to you through loving words and timely encouragement. She sees zero flaws in you. She acknowledges and affirms how lovable, likeable, beautiful, and valuable you are.
Developing a deeper bond with your true, authentic self is the ultimate benefit of going inward. It’s this benefit that is essential to blazing a new path in life after 60.
Join me in the video where I will share additional insights, such as a list of the most effective ways you can go inward. I will also guide you through a three-part action item to help you integrate what you are learning.
How often do you spend time on your own to reflect? What can you do to incorporate ‘going inward’ in your days? Are you afraid to go inward? What are you afraid of?