I create content for and work with many women over 50 who are trying to figure out what’s next for them at this stage of the game. Most of the women are content, overall, but are trying to figure out what they can do for themselves now. They are trying to find their joy and purpose.
As we’re looking at this, a big part of what we do is consider what barriers might be standing in their way as they truly reflect and consider any and all possibilities.
And the number one barrier that I see, both in my 1:1 work as well as among the women in my program is that we censor ourselves.
One of the first things that I ask women to do when they’re looking to redefine in some way, is to take time to imagine what an ideal day and week would look like for them. What would they be doing? How would they move about their day? Who is there? Where are they? I encourage them to really put themselves in the moment and imagine all that is around them as well as themselves.
When women really carve out time to work on this reflection and write it all down, this can provide a WEALTH of information for them as they move forward on their journey.
But, with this reflection, more than any of the others, I see women censoring themselves. They’ll have a thought and decide not to write it down because:
And the list goes on. Their brains stop them with fixed mindset statements. With most of us, these statements come from a negative core belief that has driven us since we were young children.
Let’s pretend that one of the elements of your ideal day and week is that you are living at the beach.
You start to write that down, pause, and think, “I can barely pay my bills now. Why would I even write this down – there is no way I’d ever be able to afford living at the beach!”
Or, “How would I just pick up and move to the beach at this age? The whole idea seems overwhelming!”
So that wish never gets on the paper. Even though it might have been the first thought you had.
And you might be right. You might not get to live at the beach.
Or, you might be wrong! But you’ll never know because you haven’t even entertained it!
Maybe you won’t live at the beach. But maybe that thought will prompt you to treat yourself to a beach weekend every quarter. Or to research jobs or opportunities at the beach. To find communities and people who do live at the beach to follow and get to know.
By censoring yourself, you have closed a door that might have led to something great for you! Even if it didn’t mean you were going to live at the beach full time!
Censoring yourself may keep you from considering an idea that could provide you with real joy in your life.
That seems like a big deal to me, at any stage of the game, but particularly on this side of 50!
Doing an uncensored brain dump on a topic and going through the act of writing all of your thoughts down around that topic can provide you with great information when you go back to look at it.
You can see trends.
You might see some things that surprise you. Thoughts, feelings and dreams that you didn’t even realize you had!
New ideas may formulate.
All of which will increase your self-awareness around whatever the topic might be.
Doing an uncensored brain dump on a topic gets it out of your brain and onto the page.
You are literally clearing your head!
Once you’ve written down your thoughts and reflections on the topic at hand, you will have it all in front of you. This enables you to be able to review what you’ve written and create action steps around anything that you’d like to do.
It allows you to examine all of the possibilities.
At this point, you can decide to leave certain ideas. As long as you are not discarding those ideas for the wrong reasons.
But… if you’ve censored yourself, if you’ve decided not to write something down because it seems impossible and silly, it may be forever lost.
And, what if it would have led to a dream come true on this side of 50?
What’s something that you’d like to do an uncensored reflection/brain dump on? What possible censor thoughts might your brain present you with while you’re doing this? Being aware of your own censorship can help you to push those thoughts aside and keep going!
We decided that we wanted to retire in Cuenca Ecuador. Together my husband and I made it happen. We love living here and wouldn’t change a thing.
What a great idea! Just reading it, I was censoring my thoughts about what I’d write. Great way to try and stop that, plus see your progress.