My mother says that she is too old to learn anything new. She says this when we try to explain everything that a smartphone can do or anything about using a computer. She turned 73 this past year, however, she’s been saying this most of my life.
Here are some jobs that she has held:
Day Care Head Teacher
Warden’s Secretary at a Minimum Security Prison
Telephone Operator back in the 1970s
She has also raised two children and negotiated countless moves as she followed my dad all over the country, which entailed selling various houses, coordinating school enrollments, signing new mortgages, etc. And yet, she has convinced herself that she cannot learn anything new.
Please don’t feel like I am picking on my mom here. I have encountered numerous women of all ages who say the same thing. They don’t have enough education or they don’t have any experience or they will never be smart enough or talented enough. I call major bullshit! Stop feeding your brain that negative BS, and give yourself credit for everything you have accomplished so far, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem to be to you.
I will be 50 next year. The past couple of years, I have learned some graphic design, started two websites, written articles for this blog and launched an online business. I didn’t have any experience before I started doing these things, I just jumped in and fumbled my way through.
Let’s put this in perspective. No one starts out perfectly with a new skill. You HAVE to be able to be uncomfortable in order to gain the experience needed. That is how we learn. There is no shortcut around that.
Our problem is the fear of the unknown, the fear of ridicule, the fear that we won’t be able to reach our goals, but try this, what about the fear of regret or the fear of nothing in your life ever changing?
How do we overcome the fear? Here are a few tips.
It’s Not Fear, It’s Excitement
The day of my launch of my store, I was very nervous. I started envisioning site crashes, being sued, and the faces of angry customers. I felt the adrenaline surging as I thought about these things, then it occurred to me, the things going on with me physically are the same things that I feel when I’m excited. So I told myself there was nothing to be scared of, I was excited.
That little switch lead to feelings of pride and expectation. The rest of the day it was about celebrating every sale and milestone. So reframe your thinking to get past your fear.
Remember Why You Want It
Starting something new is indeed uncomfortable. If you keep reminding yourself about the regret you will feel if you don’t try it will help you to hang in there and keep moving forward.
Take a Baby Step
The first step doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. You want to lose weight, don’t replace everything in your kitchen with healthy items and start working out an hour every day. Replace maybe one bad food and walk for thirty minutes a day. Once you adjust to those changes, add more.
Or if you want to get a degree, you don’t have to take a full load of classes, you could just take one class. If you want to switch careers, start by talking to someone that does what you want for a living.
You will feel good about the small step you took which will lead you to take another and another, and eventually you will get there. The point is to take some action as opposed to no action.
Act like you would act as if you have already accomplished what you want to do. Walk, talk and carry yourself as if you are the person you want to be. You can trick your mind and body into actually feeling more confident and less hesitant.
So get off your butt and go for it, Ladies! Life is fleeting.