Women over 60 are often known for having high self-esteem and confidence. This time of life is supposed to be a time of confidently engaging with the world and trying new things, learning, growing and making a difference at the prime of our lives.
But what if the changes of midlife and the approach of retirement and the shifts happening in your family are leaving you feeling more bewildered than confident?
What if you are going through some sadness or loss in your life – the loss of a spouse, divorce, the loss of a job, the end of a career, grown children moving farther away from home, or many other things that can give us pause and cause us to doubt our capacities?
So, how can you increase your self-esteem and self-confidence? Here are a few ideas for how women over 60 can regain and strengthen their sense of self-confidence – at any age an in any life circumstances:
By the time we reach age 60, we have been fortunate to amass some significant life experience. We have hopefully had the opportunity to try many things in life – whether that’s different jobs or career paths, different stages of motherhood, different romantic partners, different living situations and travels.
If you want to tap into your core of self-confidence, remind yourself of everything that you have learned in your life. Remind yourself of all the things you do well, all the people whose lives you have touched in a positive fashion.
What would you like this next year of your life to be about? Would you like to try something new, run a triathlon (or just a more modest 5K “fun run”), take dance lessons, learn a foreign language, travel to a new city, or just re-read a list of your favorite books?
Give yourself some small-but-exciting goals for the year (or two, or three years) ahead. Sometimes the mere act of setting goals can help us feel more calm, centered and capable.
Many people are held back from reaching their goals because of a misplaced sense of fear and perfectionism. Ask yourself, “What’s the worst that can happen?” One of the strengths that many women over 60 tend to have is that we tend to be more able to laugh at our shortcomings and shrug off inconsequential “failures” and “mistakes.”
There’s no such thing as “failure” if you learn from it. This is a lesson that many women over 60 can relate to from the many experiences we’ve encountered during our lives.
Many women tend to beat themselves up by saying, “If only I was still as good at _______ as I was when I was younger,” or “If only I had more energy like when I was younger,” etc. The truth is, to maintain self-confidence, you need to stop comparing yourself with a past version of yourself, and accept and embrace the self that is present in the here and now.
Everything that has happened in your life has led up to making you the person that you are today. Regardless of what you were like in the past, you have never been smarter, more connected, more capable, more resourceful, and more willing to make a difference in the world than you are right now.
Sometimes it helps to get outside of ourselves when we’re trying to improve our self-confidence. If you’re thinking of pursuing a new career, starting a business, launching some new venture, getting involved with a new organization or taking on a new role at work, it might help you clarify your decision process if you can talk with a trusted friend, mentor or adviser.
Ask them, “What strengths do you see in me? What do you think would make me a good fit for this thing I want to do next?”
Ask people for honest advice. You might find that you’re your own worst critic and that other people see you as being much more capable, confident and polished than realized.
There’s an old saying about teaching, that the only way to truly learn something is to teach it to someone else. In the same way, the best way to boost your self-confidence is to share your talent, wisdom and expertise with someone else.
Sign up to be a mentor or volunteer at a school. Start a blog. Be a freelancer or consultant and share your expertise (and make some extra money on the side!). Many women over 60 are determined to show that we are not invisible, we still have a lot of vitality and energy and ability to contribute to the world. Let’s get out there and do it!
Do you ever feel lacking in self-confidence? What is the cause of these feelings, and how do you overcome them.