The middle years. Does getting older make you feel like you’re losing something? It is said that around the age of 50 most women start to feel invisible. They no longer feel noticed when they walk into a room. Their confidence begins to dissolve, their hair is turning grey and to top it their body is changing too! But let’s face it, being young and attractive is truly a given and definitely not earned. However, pretty much everything we see in the media seems to be geared around anti-aging and youth. So, what does that mean for aging women? Don’t get old, don’t get wrinkles, stay forever young? If you’re over 40 then you’re over the hill?
When I first met my client, who is a single mother of two grown children, the first thing she told me was that she felt invisibility seemed more like a sentence than an option. She was really struggling with her feelings around it and she explained “I remember the first time I felt it” …. “I was 51”.
“My daughter and I were out shopping, the streets were crowded and busy. People were bustling around and together we were laughing and having fun. As we weaved our way back to the car I felt a jolt inside of me. I noticed heads turning and looking my way, however, that feeling nudged me even harder when I realized that they were not looking at me, but admiring my beautiful daughter.
There and then, I felt a huge emotional shift and I knew at that moment it had happened. I suddenly felt a sense of loss. I felt invisible!”
Her experience is an example of a social phenomenon called ‘invisible woman’s syndrome’ a dissatisfaction around how women feel about their aging body. They begin to lose self-confidence even self-worth by not feeling slim, smooth skinned and youthfully dewy anymore. To some losing their looks and feeling old means getting weak and deteriorating.
- As we worked together we saw that it was time to change her script. First by working on how she thought and talked to herself about aging. She stopped saying things like “I’m getting old,” I’m losing my looks and becoming invisible,” “I’m too old for that” or “I just can’t seem to get myself motivated anymore”. Over time you say it so often that you begin to believe it, and it’s true, only IF you believe it.
Become consciously aware of your thoughts and feelings, listen to what you are telling yourself and if it’s not true, time to change those thoughts.
- My client began to journal and became aware if she wrote anything negative then immediately turned it into a positive. Together we worked on letting go of old beliefs and patterns, and soon eating healthy and regular exercise became the key for her mind set and well-being. With a new haircut, some good skincare products and a few new outfits, life was beginning to feel good again.
- As we worked through my program she finally realized that her self-worth wasn’t wrapped up in how much she weighed or what color her hair was. She knew that she didn’t want to turn back the hands of time, she just wanted to look and feel good, feel sensual and even desirable on some level.
- Eventually, she was able to stop mourning the young pretty girl she used to be and was finally able to embrace this next stage of her life. Amazingly, when she let go of worry and obsessing, her confidence magically began to return. She truly was tapping into her inner beauty which gently helped her to fall in love with the skin she was in. She started to feel a new sense of freedom and embrace the changes of growing older. Inside she felt healthy and strong and this altered her focus.
- Finally she made a conscious choice to start living for herself, looking at exactly where she was in life right now. she was sleeping well, exercising more and eating healthy. “I’m so glad I got my act together and found the courage to make a change for the better, at last I feel like I am doing everything right for myself and I want to continue to age with grace, vitality and lots of energy”. “I feel like I’ve found me again”.
Yes, I’m pleased to report that my client stepped into the dating world again with her new-found confidence and even perused a dream she’d had as a little girl.
When women come together at all ages, it opens the door to talk about all of this stuff. So, let’s change the aging conversation from loss and lack of to one of open-mindedness even empowerment. It is fun to talk to friends and ask them what they love about themselves? Tell them that they can only say something positive, you’ll see how critical we can all be when it comes to ourselves. This then is a chance to encourage each other to look deeper and see how beautiful we all are right now at whatever age we are. As women, we thrive on this kind of connection and there is a need to create a network and have a support system. Create strong bonds and pass on to others what you have learned in life.
As the years go by It can be fun to look at everything you know and all that you have learnt.Interestingly we seem to want less as we age. It’s important recognize and let go of the past and the baggage that we have been dragging around for many years. Life isn’t always a bed of roses and we have to feel and experience all of our emotions, after all we are human.
We all deserve to find peace as we age and live the life we desire. May it be filled with as much joy, love, fun, and adventure as possible and may we each enjoy it every step of the way. Age is just a number and it’s how you look at the things that really matter the most. Remember, we are the only one standing in our way.
How are you feeling about aging? Are your thoughts and feelings causing you to feel invisible? Then please reach out as that’s the hardest part and it takes courage. Schedule a chat with me I’d love to listen and help.
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”. Eleanor Roosevelt
Diane Morgan works with women who are overwhelmed and torn by the aging process and have a hard time finding themselves and their place in life during and beyond midlife. She is the creator of a powerful transformational program Awaken Your Beauty Inside Out: Fall In Love With The Skin You’re In. This phenomenal program capitalizes on her 20 plus years of experience in the beauty industry and her expertise as a certified Master Empowerment Coach for women.