Do you remember in our adolescence all we could think about was getting older?
Then a curious thing happened.
We became adults and the general perceptions around aging radically changed, and with it, so did our stories about aging. These stories no longer represented personal freedom, but something to resist.
Can these stories be changed after 60 or are we stuck with them?
This is part of my current series for Sixty and Me readers, in which we are uncovering limiting beliefs and how to remove them from your life after 60.
For this article, and the accompanying video, we will look at common perceptions of aging that are based on limiting beliefs and how to improve your quality of life by writing a new story about aging.
Woven into the fabric of society is a general perception of aging that it is something akin to a disease. It must be avoided at all costs. From this come three of the more common general perceptions about aging:
These generalized perceptions and stories are pervasive throughout society.
They are reflected in articles and posts on social media, in conversations between family and friends, as well as the stories and visuals in advertisements and the media.
But what if you don’t believe any of these are true for you? If so, can these limiting beliefs, stories, and the generalized perception of aging still affect your choices in life on an unconscious level?
Let us now look at how these generalized limiting beliefs about aging play out in specific desires and areas of life after 60.
A generalized limiting belief becomes quite specific for people over 60 when you desire a romantic relationship, a job opportunity, or wish to do something new and exciting with your life.
Take for instance, the widespread limiting belief that the older you get the less desirable you are. The influence of this belief is accentuated for many over 60 who believe they are not physically attractive enough, not healthy enough, or wealthy enough to attract a suitable partner.
Another limiting belief, based on a general perception of aging, is the belief that in later stages of life you have too much emotional baggage to be worthy and acceptable as an ideal partner for someone.
Now, let’s say you have a desire to get a part-time job, or you want to turn a hobby into a side business.
If you are over 60 and have a generalized belief your age is a hinderance to your desires, that belief forms a story which manifests itself into your outer world.
For example, what if you believe your age, and therefore your health, prohibits you from lucrative jobs or even being in a condition to start your own business?
A likely outcome is that you will attract people and experiences that confirm your belief to be true.
How do you change this?
To attract a loving partner or attract a lucrative and fulfilling opportunity you must be what it is you seek. For example, if you desire a new romance, it is essential you are first and foremost a loving partner to your own self.
Yes, we live in a physical world but to change the outside cosmetics of our world, that is an inside job.
Without healing and removing the influence of the generalized limiting belief about aging from within, you could self-sabotage wonderful opportunities to enhance your quality of life, even before any momentum can be established.
What all of this comes down to is that to undo a limiting belief you must be aware of it, and then accept that your sense of worth and value comes from within. From there, you begin telling a new story about aging and thus, a new story about yourself.
Here are three things you can do right now to interrupt old stories with a new, more empowering one.
Why should you do any of this? Because the quality of your life matters.
And the quality of your life is in direct proportion to the quality of the stories you tell yourself about who you are and what you can be, do, and have after 60.
What was your story when you were a teenager? Did you want to grow up faster? How about now? What story do you tell yourself today?
Tags Getting Older
Thanks for your great article. It’s important to appreciate good health and make the most of it by using what you have and enjoying regular exercise. Exploring new interests and travelling for longer are something to make the most of in retirement too. I’ve never looked back and enjoy my time a lot more now. I hope other retirees enjoy that extra time too while the goings good.
I’m 68. Grew out my hair and quit coloring it during Covid lockdown. Now I have lovely white wavy locks. I do yoga stretches for my joints, meditate regularly. I truly believe I’m better looking now than when I was younger and struggling to find myself. ;-)
This sounds great. Good for you!
Me too! I now have beautiful short salt and pepper hair, I go to Pilates and Orangetheory weekly. I have not been in such good shape in years, and I love it!
Almost 67 and just getting started. Life gets better. So within, so without!
After reading this article, I reflected on what the Bible says about longevity and how it is a Blessing. It is full of stories about men and women who were used by God to do great things once they were well passed middle age. Moses led his people until he was 120 yrs old. Those stories have given me a renewed sense of value to my Creator God. If I am valuable to Him at my age, then I am of value to myself, my family and loved ones.
I believe aging is a privilege reserved for few. So many of my friends and family members , younger than me, have passed.
I love being retired. My life is filled with classes, a Silver Sneakers program, taking care of my home and tenants, travel and seeking a romantic partner. Financially sound, in good health , I feel free, happy and am totally enjoying my life. I , as well as others , do not view me as an elderly woman. At 75 , I believe the best is yet to come!
I love your attitude of gratitude!
I would like to be friends with a person such as yourself !
Me too ! You’re right that aging is a privilege. Think of the alternative!
I would also like to have you in my friend group. We need to have a proaging movement, not only for ourselves, but to also change the natrative about aging.