Have you ever shelved a dream you held because you believe you’re just too old? Do you harbour regret that the opportunity has passed you by because you didn’t grab it when you were younger? Well, here’s some news for you, whilst some things have a minimum age limit, hardly anything in life has a maximum one.
I always had a fear about growing older. That everything I wanted had an expiration date. If I hadn’t achieved something by a certain age, I was prepared to write it off. It extended into all areas of my life too – exactly how much longer is it acceptable for me to continue to shop in Topshop? Recently I had opportunity to reflect on all the countless examples of people I was aware of or associated with that weren’t letting their age get in their way.
My husband, who is in his late (he would argue mid) thirties, has started swimming lessons, a skill he didn’t have much opportunity to learn as a child, but that he wasn’t prepared to give up on as an adult. A friend in his forties recently made the career switch to become an actor – each time I’m on Facebook there’s a new picture of him on a different film set having so much fun. A family member in her fifties decided to make a physical change in her life and has lost over 6 stone in weight – something she never thought possible. My mother-in-law is going back to school in her sixties to do an MSc (master’s of science degree) with the intention of setting up her own community enterprise once completed.
Every week I go to Zumba class (a high paced aerobic dance class) and every week, right at the front is a fantastic lady with boundless energy shaking her bottom with the best of them – she is in her seventies. She is my idol, in fact they are all my idols.
And it doesn’t stop there, Jeff Bezos was 31 when he launched Amazon. Vera Wang was in her forties when she became a fashion designer. Darwin didn’t publish his book ‘On the origin of the species’ until he was 50. Harland Sanders was in his sixties when he first franchised KFC.
I recently watched a mother in her forties compete on America’s Next Top Model – a competition usually dominated by girls in their late teens/early twenties.
You don’t have to look very hard for countless examples of actors, artists, entrepreneurs, authors, chefs (I could go on) who didn’t reach their peak of opportunity until they were well past their twenties.
It made me realise how self-limiting my beliefs were. There will be things that you naturally don’t want to do anymore as you age. However, it doesn’t matter if everyone around you is stopping doing something, it shouldn’t translate into you stopping too.
Just because you haven’t done something before, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it now. Don’t conform to society’s beliefs about age, they don’t serve you. Conform only to what will ultimately make you the most happy.
The truth is, when you’re very young, you’re not always sure of your path. Even if you do know what you want, circumstances or finances may stand in your way. Sometimes, the answers or the opportunities don’t present themselves until a bit further along in life. This is when you shouldn’t let your age hold you back.
If it’s physically possible for you (and the insurance will cover it) then go for it! Whether it’s simply starting to swim when you’re approaching middle age or building a million-dollar empire in your sixties, remember you are not a failure if you don’t make it, you are a success because you tried.
I would love to hear of any inspirational people you know or are you one yourself? Get in touch via the comments box below and help others to feel inspired!
You might also like to read: Moments: Winning the internal fight and New Beginnings