Once you reach a certain age, it’s easy to accept yourself as you are and settle into familiar rhythms and habits about what you enjoy, dislike, or see yourself pursuing. Breaking habits become difficult, and seeing yourself differently – a stranger from the “you” of the last several decades – can be challenging, and erode your confidence if you allow it to.
But, you don’t have to let that happen. In fact, now that you’re older and wiser, it’s the best time to focus on building a more confident and idealized new “you.”
The journey toward a newly realized self is never easy, but it can be done regardless of your age, and your success will fill you with enthusiasm and positivity. Rather than letting years of experience narrow your idea of who you are, allow it to broaden that idea with the knowledge that people can achieve incredible things at any stage in life.
With a little work, dedication, and time, you can approach the next few decades from a place of strength and self-assuredness.
Turn Your Activities Into Routines
Routines are how human beings best operate. They’re part of how we keep our sanity as we go throughout our busy lives. They help us manage our daily tasks and activities in a habitual and organized order. You probably have a routine you follow each day without even realizing it – most of us do!
Write that routine out – even just loosely. Doing so will give you an idea of what kind of time and flexibility you have to work with. Then, think about an activity you’d like to try and find a place for it in your daily routine.
If you’re looking for new activities to try, stop by your local recreation center or community college to see what courses are being offered. You can also access hundreds of free and paid online resources to find information about new hobbies. Many creators and experts offer a wealth of knowledge entirely free on YouTube and other similar websites.
Building a routine around a new activity you’ve always wanted to try is a great way to develop confidence in yourself. Routines are just one of many paths to building confidence, and they’re effective because they provide guidelines within which to structure your goals. Over time, they’ll also allow you to see your successes laid out right in front of you.
All this sounds very simple, but adapting to a new routine, and finding an entry point into a new activity, can be its own challenge — especially if you’re already suffering from a lack of confidence. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you can’t follow your routine at first, don’t stress.
Allow plenty of room for flexibility, and if you slip up just try again next time. Failure is its own pathway to growth. Change comes slowly, and with sweat and determination, but it gets easier as you practice!
The same goes for the new activity you’re interested in. Learning something new will push you out of your comfort zone, but it also gives you a chance to experience success and a feeling of accomplishment. Plus, this new activity just might become your new favorite hobby, which is another step closer to realizing a more idealized you.
Turn Off Negative Thoughts
It’s also important to focus on turning off your negative self-talk. This negative talk can erode the hard work you’re doing to increase your self-esteem and can even contribute to depression and anxiety. When you find yourself dwelling on negative thoughts about what you’re capable of, stop, acknowledge those negative thoughts, and talk back to your inner critic.
Tell your inner critic that you don’t want to hear those negative messages anymore. Then, replace those negative thoughts with a voice that focuses on all of the good things about yourself. This sounds hokey, but it works. Praise yourself instead, and back up those statements with examples.
For instance, did you adhere to any of the routines you built for yourself – even if it’s just that you got up at the time you said you would? That’s a success! Remind yourself of it. Did you practice your new activity at all recently? That’s a success too!
Focusing on your successes is critical to self-worth and the development of your self-confidence. One of the best ways to break the habit of self-doubt is through journaling. As a part of your routine, take a few minutes at the end of the day to write down several things you did successfully.
Remember that success isn’t just achieving some big task or doing something you’ve never done before. It can be as simple as taking a shower or completing a chore. Regularly remind yourself of your capabilities and you’ll find that the negative critic’s voice gets softer and easier to ignore.
Go After What You Want
If you have a certain goal, like getting fit and running a 5K, getting a raise at work, overcoming your life-long shyness, or even publishing that book that you’ve been working on for years, acknowledge that goal and then take steps to achieve it.
Break each goal into a series of steps, and then celebrate yourself when you achieve each step. When you follow a routine and work hard to achieve that goal that you’ve set, you’ll naturally feel better about your abilities and talents.
It’s important to remember this because when it comes to getting what you want and need, there will eventually be obstacles that stand in your way. As you get older, you will likely encounter ageism as an obstacle.
Ageism exists in many aspects of life: athletics, employment, social circles, etc… but it’s particularly present and dangerous in the health industry. The stronger you can develop your self-confidence and esteem, the better prepared you’ll be in the event that you have to advocate for your health.
Surround Yourself With Support
The people that you spend your time with are also an important source of support and can give you a confidence boost when you need it. Connect with friends, colleagues, and family members who are confident themselves, but who are also highly supportive of you.
Being in a group can make you feel safer when going out or trying something new, so find some activities that you’d like to try and get a group of friends together. You could go to a conference about overcoming fear, try out your very first acting class, or even go to a karaoke night.
When you push your boundaries in the comfort of people you trust, it can be easier to try new things and boost your confidence at the same time.
Remember that developing a more idealized you is a process. It won’t happen overnight, but making small changes every day will lead to exponentially increasing levels of fulfillment, positive self-esteem, confidence, and enthusiasm when facing new challenges throughout what will surely be the best years of your life.
Have you found that you are more or less confident as you get older? Please leave a comment below.