Society places so many negative labels on aging. For many people, hitting their 40s and 50s comes with a bit of a blow to their self-esteem. Boosting confidence in midlife starts with a mindset shift, to unlearn what we’ve been taught and embrace our next chapter.
We have so much to give – and still so much to achieve in our lives! We are wise, strong, and resilient, we have been through trials, learned from them, and come out the other side.
Boosting Confidence in Midlife Starts with Action
Confidence is created. It’s cyclical and starts with action. The more things you do that make you feel good about yourself, the more confident you will feel. The more confident you feel, the more you want to try new things. It’s a beautiful spiral to be stuck in!
There is a system in each of us called the RAS (Reticular activating system). It connects the subconscious with the conscious and acts as a filter to sort the intense amount of stimuli surrounding us every day. In short – your subconscious mind looks for what it thinks is relevant to you.
Have you ever been in a crowded room full of talking people but snapped to attention when someone called your name? Or bought a green car because you don’t see many of them, and then see them everywhere once you have one?
It’s because your RAS filters out all the data and lets in what you’re looking for. Subconsciously, your brain works to find what you tell it to! You can use this to your advantage – if you constantly think, “I am old, and my best days are behind me,” your RAS will look for information to support it.
BUT if you shift your thoughts to “I am vibrant and strong and have so much to accomplish in my life,” it will let in the data that supports those thoughts. This is why it’s critical to set intentions and bring focus to the things you want.
10 Tips to Help You Boost Your Confidence
1. Acceptance and self-love.
We all get older and change as we age. Accept the changes in your life, and work to make the absolute best out of them. You may not always be able to control your situation, but you can control how you react. Accept where you are now – make a promise to yourself to do the best you can with the tools you have!
2. Set boundaries and protect your energy.
Are you spending time with toxic people who make you feel bad about yourself? Or scrolling social media and feeling envious of someone’s perfectly curated feed? Stop! Set yourself up for success. Don’t be afraid to set boundaries and stay away from things that bring up negative thoughts.
3. Pay close attention to your inner dialogue.
What you say to yourself matters! We often take our thoughts and feelings as facts, but they are not always true. They are fleeting thoughts, and YOU choose which ones to focus on. Make it a priority to regularly pay attention to your inner dialogue, especially the things you say to yourself when you make a mistake. If you wouldn’t say it to a close friend, push it out of your mind and replace it with positive self-talk.
4. Give yourself a chance to succeed!
One key to boosting confidence is to give yourself a chance to be proud of all you’ve accomplished. We get a boost when we complete a task or job. Give yourself a chance to try something new – a hobby, a course, a side-gig or a part-time job.
5. Celebrate yourself!
Reward your wins, both big and small. When we get lost in our to-do lists, it can be easy to move from one task to the next without pausing to pay attention to how much we have accomplished in a day. Get into the practice of rewarding yourself for all those small wins to stay motivated and proud of your accomplishments.
6. Find your people.
Spending time with like-minded people who build you up can make you feel like you can accomplish anything! Seek out people in the same stage of life you’re in – people who are doing things you admire, facing the same struggles, and setting similar goals.
7. Be intentional.
How do you envision your life? How do you see the next few years playing out for you? Set goals that will help you move closer to the life you imagine – small steps add up to big results.
8. Plan self-care.
Make you a priority. Plan exercise and healthy routines into your day, and schedule time to care for yourself physically and mentally. What makes you feel good? A manicure, pedicure, skincare routine, workout, healthy meal planning, yoga class? Schedule it like you would an appointment – make time for the things you love.
9. Step out of your comfort zone.
We don’t grow in our comfort zones. Stepping out, trying something new and pushing your limits will help you see what you can accomplish. It can be uncomfortable and scary – what matters is that you do it anyway. For me, this was learning to play golf – it was frustrating at first, but I’m so happy I tried and kept at it!
10. Know your weaknesses and play to your strengths.
Not one of us is good at everything! Awareness of the areas that aren’t your forte helps you accept and improve as you go. But focusing too much energy on trying to build up your weaknesses can leave you feeling depleted. Instead, spend time sharpening skills in the areas you already excel in!
Boosting confidence in midlife starts with action – what can you do today to give yourself a boost?
Significant life changes and transitions can cause dips in self-esteem as we navigate and figure out how to move forward. They are also exciting times full of new possibilities! Slight shifts in your mindset can have a significant impact on your life. It’s time to confidently embrace your next chapter!
Join our supportive community, to meet other GenXers, facing midlife with a positive mindset!