This post is made possible with support from AARP’s Disrupt Aging. All opinions are my own.
I feel like one of the hardest things to deal with as you age are the stereotypes that surround it and how limiting they can be if you let them take hold. How many times have you heard someone say “so and so shouldn’t do this…she’s too young/old”? I was chatting with some friends the other day about different myths and stereotypes that we’ve all encountered over the years and here are just a few of the many:
“You started running at WHAT age? That’s too late.”
“You haven’t started a family yet? You’re already 35! It’s too late.”
“I can’t believe you dyed your hair that crazy color. You’re too old for that”
“Don’t you think you’re too old to start a new job?”
“What’s the point of going back to school now? You’re 50!”
I’m sure you’ve heard a few that are similar (and this goes for the younger crowd being told they are too young as well). Unfortunately, these silly stereotypes and thoughts can be so limiting and can hold you back from going after the things you want and who you desire to be. There’s no magic age in which you have to act or be a certain way just because you’re now a decade older. In this age where opinions are everywhere, there are a lot of messages inadvertently sent to us saying that we should act or be a certain because of our age, the way we look and so many other factors. These messages can take you away from the life that you want to lead and instead live a life in the way that others think you should be. Too often we spend our days trying to live up to the stereotypes and expectations that others impose on us.
Let’s stop doing that and work on living our truth!
One of the things that I’ve really discovered as I’ve aged is the freedom that comes from living your truth. Living your truth allows you to become more comfortable in the person you are, secure in your beliefs and aspirations and acknowledge who you are fully (faults and all). For a long time, I was a people pleaser and cared entirely too much about what other people thought and would mold myself to be the person that they wanted me to. Whether it’s been growing older, becoming more confident, or just getting tired of the BS of trying to play this facade, I’ve stopped trying to please everyone. The only person I look to to make myself happy is myself and the things that fuel my fire and fill my cup.
Below are a few ways for you to seek your truth and Disrupt Aging stereotypes one decade at a time:
- Accept Who You Are and Own It: Be authentic and true to yourself and really look deep at the person you are and the person you desire to be. You can’t please everyone, but you can work towards doing the things that make you happy!
- Stop Feeling Guilty: Don’t let the disapproval of others guide your happiness. In the long run, your innate happiness will fulfill you. Stop feeling shame for who you are or how you look.
- Be Proud: Stop hiding behind the stereotypes that others put on you. Do those things that make you happy, even if you may fluff a few feathers along the way. Does it make you happy? Yes! Is it harming anyone else? No! Then live your truth.
It’s liberating, freeing and oh-so-fulfilling to finally stop worrying about the stereotypes associated with aging. Someone will always have an opinion about the things you can and can’t do at certain ages. I say, do your thing no matter your age. Age is just a number and has no bearing on what you’re capable of. Brush off societies beliefs and do you. Let’s flip the lid on aging, especially those negative stereotypes, and continue to disrupt aging one decade at a time.
As for me, I’ll continue to wear what I want, work towards higher goals and more growth (both personally and in my business), get my yoga teacher certification (despite having a few people insinuate I’m too old to do so), and I’m dying my hair that pink color I’ve been dying to try! 😉
What are some aging stereotypes that people have pushed on you?
What’s something that you want to do but are afraid of how people will react?