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10 Steps to Dismantle Ageism

By Joanie Marx May 15, 2024 Mindset

How often do you consider your age as being helpful to fulfilling your desires after 60? What kind of desires are they and how does being 60 and over benefit you?

These questions can be difficult to answer at first because you may not view your age as a benefit. If so, you are not alone.

Millions of women over 60 often find more things to lament about their age than they do in seeing the benefits of being 60 and over.

Why is that?

The short answer is ageism.

What exactly is ageism? Where does it originate? And how can we dismantle it?

We will answer these questions and more in this article and accompanying video. This is the fourth of an eight-part article and video series on “Being Enough After 60.”

What Is Ageism?

Ageism refers to prejudice, stereotyping, and discrimination against individuals based on their age. As a debilitating form of social bias, ageism can affect all aspects of life, especially for those of us 60 and over.

From a devaluation of our worthiness and diminished options for romantic partners, to unhelpful options for healthcare and limiting social interactions, there are many areas ageism affects our overall well-being. It can also have a negative impact on our finances, such as decreased employment or lack of business opportunities.

Many people are convinced that ageism comes from outside of us. Therefore, it can only be solved by fighting against society’s negative perceptions of aging. While there is a lot of evidence to suggest that is true, there is only one place ageism can truly be dismantled. That place is within you.

10 Steps to Dismantle Ageism

Addressing ageism and its impact on the emotional well-being of women over 60 requires both individual and societal efforts.

Before you go exerting your emotional, physical, and even financial resources to changing the outside world’s perception of aging, it’s essential you go to work on changing your inner world first.

Women over 60 can take several steps to dismantle ageism and promote their well-being. Here are 10 steps you can take to support your journey:

Educate Yourself

Read books, articles, watch documentaries, attend workshops and/or take online courses that challenge myths about aging and rewrite the narrative of outdated stereotypes.

Reframe Limiting Beliefs

Identify limiting beliefs you have about aging as well as negative assumptions about what you can be, do, and have. Create a list of positive affirmations about yourself that counter and reframe these beliefs.

Change Daily Routine

Engage in a new daily routine that defies ageist expectations, such as trying new hobbies or pursuing physical fitness goals.

Expand Your Network

Seek out intergenerational connections by joining online and offline community groups. Attend events or activities that encourage diversity and inclusion across different age groups.

Personal and Professional Development

Enroll in online classes or workshops that foster personal growth and learning. Explore new areas of interest or hobbies to challenge fixed beliefs and help you foster a growth mindset.

Practice Self-Care

Engage in loving, self-care activities that promote physical, emotional, and mental well-being.Start with daily meditation of at least 10-15 minutes as well as journaling your experiences.

Creative Self-Expression

Express yourself through creative outlets such as art, writing, dance, yoga, or music.Prioritize activities that bring joy and fulfillment, regardless of societal expectations.

Share Your Story

Write a personal memoir or start a blog to share your experiences and insights about ageism. Also, use social media platforms to amplify your voice and advocate for positive aging.

Engage in Positive Media Representation

Tune out media that perpetuate negative, fear driven stories about aging. Support media outlets that promote realistic and diverse representations of mature women. Also, share positive stories and articles about aging and inspirational women on social media.

Reflect and Celebrate Personal Growth

Take time each day to not only do inner introspection but also journal your experiences in dismantling ageism. Celebrate your achievements, big and small, and acknowledge the progress you’ve made.

It’s Your World

By applying these 10 actionable steps, while also adding your own, you will play a pivotal role in empowering yourself and others to reframe society’s perception of aging and contribute to a more inclusive world.

Your outer world reflects your inner world. Therefore, when you look outside of yourself don’t see someone’s limited idea of who you are but instead see yourself positively reflected in the world around you.

Ageism does not have to be thorn in the heart of your innermost desires. With a little adjustment of your inner perceptions about aging and realigning your sense of worthiness from within, you can overcome even the most challenging aspects of ageism.

I invite you to join me in the video where I share additional insights into overcoming challenges of ageism along with three journal prompts and 10 affirmations to help you integrate what you are learning.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

What was a recent encounter you had with ageism? How did it play out? Do you think ageism is only external or does it have an internal component as well? Which of these 10 steps do you resonate with and do you have any stories to share on how you have reframed your perception of ageism?

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6 Comments
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Nyuk

Great informative article..am 70..a dream i have hit this age. The workout part daily routine n expanding. ..

Holly Schmitz

This morning I was electric hydrofoiling an a “board” the size of a boogyboard. Since I’m 77, have had many knee surgeries, including one knee replacement, I am not so flexible when trying to stand up on the board while operating the hand-held control and keep my balance. However I have persevered. Now I’m up above the water with just the wing(which looks like a long (28″) fin, holding me above the water. It is difficult to learn for most people, but an older woman like me is certainly uncommon! I’ve had quite a few difficulties in my life during the last few years, i.e. divorce, raising a defiant grandson, and being hospitalized for severe depression. Forgot about the long term Covid I had for six weeks from January into March this year.. Strange as it may sound, the electric hydrofoiling has brought me the happiest times lately. It makes me feel invigorated and young again!!!!!!!!!!!!! It took intense grit to get to where I am now. I highly recommend doing something new that will rejuvinate you!

Angie

Love the article! Redefining self is an exciting journey-scary at times, but worth it. I am almost 69 and live alone. I have taken all sorts of classes thru library, museum etc-most free. But one thing I decided, I have gone to concerts by myself-a recent one-female rapper! lol. I was by far the oldest person at the concert, but loved every moment! Enjoy Thanks

Ardith

Excellent! Good to see you joining in the chorus. Together will make a difference. Ardith

Cathy Manning

Just a note to say hello to Margaret and the group as Im new here. I haven’t experienced any, recent, at least, encounters with ageism, but feel it internally often enough. Im very lucky right now to have a good job where that doesn’t occur and Im able to just use my abilities and skills and be appreciated for them. Im happy I found your group and hope to make some new friends!

The Author

Joanie Marx is a three-time bestselling author and the creator of the new, groundbreaking Refocus & Renew Your Life® online course series on Udemy. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in Psychology, and a leading authority on refocusing and renewing your life.

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