Confidence After 50
Studies have shown that many women lose confidence when they hit their 50s. It’s argued that the physiological changes of an aging body exacerbated by a culture infatuated with youth and beauty leave the 50-year-old female insecure, alone in a house once vibrant with kids and life while the husband golfs, and the kids study at college.
Hogwash! I am going to very unfashionably disagree with these experts and these studies to say that for women, our 50s is when we are rocking and rolling! Decades of growth, experience, and life have made us veritable superheroes, and at 50, it is time to start enjoying those superpowers your younger self could only dream of. Let’s chart your transformation into a Rockstar decade(ish) by decade to show you why your 50th birthday is a time to open a beautiful bottle of wine and celebrate the upcoming best vintages of your life!
14 years-old to 25 years-old: Growing into your body—the battle to gain confidence begins.
It’s hard to think of a more difficult time in one’s life than the start of puberty. Remember the uncertainty of growing into your body? Ages 13 to 25 are an awkward, painful (emotionally and physically) reality that everything about you looks, feels, and acts differently than the 11-year-old you. Not to mention all these changes are happening in a social crucible called middle school, high school, and college. This is the first time you might hear from that little voice in your head, telling you “I am not pretty enough. I am not strong enough. I am not smart enough. I am not whatever enough”.
But with the help of others—parents, teachers, neighbors, friends—we make it through. By the end, hopefully you realize that how you appear isn’t nearly as important as how you ARE. It’s not that you ever grow completely happy with your appearance (let’s stick with reality) but you gain the confidence and understanding that the physical you doesn’t define the whole you and anyone who disagrees can go pound sand!
26 years-old to 35 years-old: Growing into your professional-self and gaining confidence
But the challenges don’t end there, especially for the 21st century woman. After 25 the age-old question of “what do I want to be when I grow up” is now front and center. And you learn there is another tricky question that nobody asked you, “once I know what I want to do, how do I do it well and succeed”?
It’s a process of trial and error – of risk and failure. Multiple jobs, multiple roles, promotions granted, and promotions denied. But eventually you get into your groove as you grow into your professional self. You find the role you wanted with the people you want to do it with and you realize all that trial and error was justified and required to land where you are and have the confidence to believe that this is where you are meant to be. The accomplishments fuel you and create more and more confidence that inspire you to tackle that next professional goal, whatever it may be.
36 years-old to 49 years-old—growing into your role as a mom: The confidence killer.
But no amount of professional success can prepare you for the complete humbling that arrives the first night you bring your newborn home from the hospital. If you have built a mountain of confidence in the past two decades, that night takes you back to the parking lot. Infinite mistakes, nights of self-flagellation, endless arguments leave you emotionally drained and confused wondering how anyone makes it through motherhood.
Somehow, someway, you make it through. I don’t know how. Maybe it is the 4,000 books on raising children you read, or the calming effects of that glass of wine with your mom-friends, or maybe because there is no other option. But in the end, you have raised a child and you should never lack confidence in anything again.
What Did the Experts Say About 50 years-old?
Wait, what did the experts say about 50? The woman who has made it here LACKS confidence? No way. We have grown into our body and have perspective on what matters and what doesn’t. We are in the twilight of our professional career, probably earning more money and having more success than we ever have. And we’ve done a killer job raising our children, enjoying watching the people they have become and taking pride on how you guided them on their journey.
What’s next? Enjoy. You have the answers to the test. You have the keys to the safe. You have superpowers of life. No one gave them to you, you earned them! Welcome to 50, you have your whole life ahead of you!
Trish Kendall, Inspirational Speaker: Choose and Become.