Here’s why it’s time to stop letting the date on your birth certificate hold you back
Once we reach a certain age, there are many things we believe ourselves to be too old for, whether that’s because society tells us it is, or because we genuinely think it’s true. However, as Donna Elliott, a mindset and leadership expert and co-founder of Now is Your Time (nowisyourtimeto.com) explains, this is far from the case. “Any myth that states ‘you’re too old for…’ is dangerous because we hear them spoken commonly, our subconscious takes in this information and uses it to form beliefs,” she says. “Nobody would tell a man that he was too old to date! Look at the female role models we have now that have smashed the stereotypes, such as Meryl Streep, Michelle Obama and Oprah Winfrey – is anyone going to tell J-Lo that she’s 50 and needs to cover up? Is anyone going to tell Dame Helen Mirren not to wear red lipstick? It’s for all of us to bust the myths and we do that through action and the intention of being our authentic selves, and doing what makes us happy.” So, with this in mind, we’ve rounded up six things you may think you’re too old for – and why that’s not true!
I’m too old… to wear red lipstick
While 40 percent of us say that red lipstick implies confidence, 35 percent of us would never wear it, according to research by Avon – and that figure rises to nearly half of women in the 56-65 age bracket. We don’t think it has to be this way though – think about how amazing the likes of Dame Helen Mirren, Madonna and Julianne Moore look on the red carpet! This hue automatically brightens your complexion and, by finding your perfect shade and texture, you can easily master the look, no matter how old you are. Worried about it bleeding around your mouth? Simply apply a clear lip pencil before the colour, and everything will stay in place.
I’m too old… to change careers
Did you know that Vera Wang didn’t start designing clothes until she was 40, or that Dame Judi Dench didn’t break into the big time until she was 66? After you start working in your 20s, the idea of starting afresh can be incredibly daunting, but as business coach Moira Doherty (moiradohertybusinesscoach.com) explains, you’re never too old to change careers. “Although I’ve been an entrepreneur running my own successful companies all my adult life, it wasn’t until I was 61 that I became a business coach,” she says. “It’s easy to learn new skills, no matter what your age is, and if you embrace everything as a new adventure, it’s true that anything is possible.” Making the change will no doubt be a challenge, but the positive benefits it could bring will be more than worth it. Not sure where to start? Head to careershifters.org for lots of helpful hints and tips.
I’m too old… to try intensive exercise
After hitting a certain milestone age, you might think that it’s all Pilates and swimming from here on out, but that doesn’t have to be true, as Sam Gregory, head trainer at F45 Stratford (f45training.co.uk/stratford) explains. “Age is definitely not a barrier to any form of exercise,” he says firmly. “It’s all about mindset and accepting your body’s limitations. With planning and smart exercise selection, you can perform intensive exercise at any age. An easy example of this would be swapping out jumping squats for speed squats – they have less impact on your joints, but you’ll still get the same muscles recruited and the same cardiovascular benefits.”
I’m too old… to start a new hobby
Ever wanted to take up French, or fancied having a go at a new activity, like archery? Your age definitely doesn’t have to hold you back. “You’re never to old to learn a new hobby,” states health expert and author, Sara Davenport (reboothealth.co.uk). “Plus, it has the added benefit of boosting your brain health – use it or lose it, as the saying goes. However old you are, your brain keeps changing, and the more you feed it new information, the sharper it will be. Sign up for a painting class, a lecture series or learn a new language. Physical activities that involve an additional challenge requiring total concentration, such as martial arts where quick reactions are essential, or dance routines where responding to your partner and focusing on new choreography are key, all boost brain health.”
I’m too old… to make new friends
The friends you made at school and university don’t have to be your only pals for life – and quite often, we drift apart from them naturally anyway thanks to life’s changes. That doesn’t mean you have to be consigned to loneliness, though – embrace the opportunity to forge new relationships and remember that, despite what you may believe, there will be people out there open to friendship. Yes, it’s harder to do when you’re older, but there are ways to go about it – accept invitations you receive, volunteer in your local community, ask your neighbours round for dinner, or join a club – a study by the University of Kansas found that it takes 40-60 hours to form a casual friendship, so ensure you keep making the effort!
I’m too old… to get in shape
“When it comes to getting fit and healthy, it’s never too late to get in shape,” says Abby Watkins, a personal trainer at OriGym Centre of Excellence (origympersonaltrainercourses.co.uk). “In my experience training women of all ages and fitness, the only time working out has been affected by age is when the client themselves has felt that their age is a barrier. It’s all about approach and mindset. Instead of using age as an excuse, I encourage clients to think about how brilliant it feels to be a little older and still reach their exercise goals – and, in some cases, being fitter and stronger than they were in their early 20s!”