When was the last time you used an internal lie to keep you from doing something you were scared of?
Internal lies almost always start with "I'm too..." and help set the stage for your big excuse.
"I'm too tired after working all week -- I'll take dance lessons next year."
"I'm too cold -- skiing down that mountain might make me sick."
"I'm too broke -- I can't afford to take that class."
Yes, those internal lies hold us back throughout our lives.
But as you approach midlife, you may have had a new one creep in and impact your life. It's the "I'm too old" lie.
When you reach milestone ages -- 40, 50, 60 -- why not blame it on your age when you simply don't feel like doing something. "I would do that but I'm too old. Nobody does that at my age."
But the thing is in most cases, you CAN find someone who's "done that," whatever you've chosen to push away.
You can find 70 year olds who are world class skiers, 80 year olds who have scaled the highest mountains, and 90 year olds who are starting up new businesses.
So what's holding you back? Why have you started using the "I'm too old" lie to justify your actions? I'm too old really means:
I'm afraid of the risk
Midlife is a time when a lot of our hard work has provided us with rewards. Our houses finally have built up appreciation. Our bank accounts are starting to grow. We finally have a little extra time and money to enjoy some of the good things in life.
We also begin seeing the other side of what's to come. Maybe you're providing care for an aging parent. Maybe a friend was recently diagnosed with cancer. All of it has led you to see your own mortality in a new light. Should you really risk everything for a new idea?
Risk is relative.
What if the reward far outweighed the risk? In most cases it does. Yet we have a hard time looking past the good that already exists in our life. That's what allows complacency to creep in and take over who we are. It also allows us to age at a faster rate, and makes us old well before our time.
Use your knowledge to help overcome the risks involved. Spend time discovering how to reduce risk as much as possible. Use the knowledge you've gained to create a dynamic plan to put into place. Then go for it ... a little risk will help keep you alive.
There is less chance of success
When you start something in your 20s, you have a lot of time to recover if something goes wrong. When you start it later in life, negative results are harder to overcome. What if you lose your savings? What if your retirement fund goes away?
I recently sat through a financial seminar that showed the impact of investing money throughout a lifetime. Someone who invests a little at 20 can come out hundreds of thousands of dollars ahead of someone who invests a lot more in their 30s or 40s, simply because of the act of compounding interest. It can make anyone in her 40s or beyond question if they even have reason to start.
What they don't tell you is that compounding interest is only one way to the end goal. If you're goal is to retire with a million in the bank, what if you could get that by starting up and selling a business over the next five years? Would compounding interest matter as much then?
Just because you have less success at one method doesn't mean there aren't other methods with even greater potential out there. You simply have to find them.
People will laugh at me
We all like to fit in with the people around us. And lets face it; the normal thing to do is to be like everyone else. Any time you step away from your crowd and try something new, you risk having them look at you and ask "why?" Or worse, laugh at you and condemn your dreams. In a matter of minutes, they can leave you feeling like a fish out of water, questioning everything you've dreamed about.
Family and friends love you, but what they love even more than you is their vision of you. They want you to fit in with who they think you are. They want you to be a part of their community. And when you start rocking the boat, they do what comes natural to anyone in a risky situation ... they try and get rid of the risk.
And that means putting you back in your place. One of the easiest ways to do it is to throw age back in your face. "At our age? I would never try something that risky." That simple phrase is meant to squash any action you were considering, and bring you back to reality ... their reality.
If you want something, don't let your community stop you. Find a new community that shares your goals and your dreams first so that you have support when you do announce it to your lifelong friends. It will give you that support you need when you have a bad day, and really start questioning if you CAN live out your dreams.
It's time to put those internal lies to rest.