As we mature, our perspective changes about ourselves and the world around us. We realize that our bodies are adjusting to midlife and our stuff is not what it used to be. Our days, weeks and months may have a vastly different look than in the past.
Those inevitable changes can make us stronger, or cause us to question this new chapter in our lives. Are we excited? nervous? worried? anxious? full of anticipation? overwhelmed? bored? uncertain?
My guess would be a little bit of all of the above emotions, even as a confidant woman. That’s to be expected.
How we respond to, react to and move through these emotions is what can empower us to be strong and confident, or utter those three words that I’m not going to say: “I don’t care”.
Okay, I’ll stop right here and say that I realize ‘don’t’ is a contraction, a combination of two words, which brings the actual total to 4 words. But just go with me here, okay? We’re going to call it three. 🙂
Let’s take a closer look at the areas of our lives as woman over 50, and see how an “I don’t care” attitude can impact us more than may first appear.
A Confident Woman’s Approach to Midlife
Healthy Lifestyle & Aging
Living a healthy lifestyle as a woman over 50 is a topic I talk about often on this blog because it is so critical to us all. We ultimately make the decisions that lead us down a healthy path, or not. And that, my friends, can add or subtract years from our lives.
I’ve talked with women who say “I don’t care” when it comes to healthy choices. What does that statement really say? Bottom line for me, is it shows a lack of confidence, self esteem or motivation.
Those three words may ultimately mean, “I give up; or I don’t know how to make this happen for me; or I’m not really worth the effort, or I’ll probably fail anyway so why try at all.”
Has a seemingly uncaring attitude been keeping you from giving your body, mind and soul the attention it needs for healthy living? Think about why you might feel that way. Be honest. I would venture to guess that you really do care, a lot.
We may take different approaches to the aging process, with some putting more time and effort into maintaining a youthful look and vibe. It’s a personal choice for sure.
“I don’t care what anyone thinks of the wrinkles on my face, or where my skin is sagging. I just don’t care.” Really? Stop and think about it.
For me, the more accurate statement would be, “I accept my face, body and age just the way I am. I care about it very much, and I accept it as a confident woman.”
And, let me clarify that confidence has nothing to do with being self absorbed or conceited. Confidence as I am using it is defined as “a feeling of trust and firm belief in yourself. “
MY CHALLENGE: Gather up your self confidence and take one small micro step in a healthy direction today. Because you really DO care.
Maintaining a nutritious and healthy way of eating is always important, but it becomes critical as we enter our midlife years and beyond.
So when someone says, “I don’t care what I eat anymore” it really puzzles me. You really and truly don’t care if you take years off of your life? Your increased likelihood of illness and ongoing health conditions because of poor diet is of no consequence to you?
Hmmm…somehow I just don’t think that is quite accurate, my friend. Fear of failing with that new eating plan, or difficulty garnering the motivation, or life’s stresses causing other areas to be neglected…I get all that.
As a confident woman, my goal is always to be honest with myself, to delve beyond the surface thoughts that pop into my little head and take the time to really understand what I’m thinking and feeling.
And you know what? The term, “I don’t care” doesn’t play into the picture. I always care about eating nutritiously. I may make the decision to stray from the healthy eating path from time to time, but I do it consciously, knowing that I chose to make that decision. I still care, very much.
MY CHALLENGE: The next time your thoughts take you down the path of not caring what food you eat, stop. Just stop. Think about why you are making that decision.
Give your self the power, and the confidence, to make a different, healthier choice right now, today. It’s the first step.
Fitness and Exercise
Our commitment to fitness in some capacity is essential as women over 50. This is an area where an “I don’t care” attitude, at least on the surface, can be devastating to our health.
The combination of both aerobic and strength training is the ‘glue’ that keeps our bodies strong and able to carry us on through our 60’s, 70’s and beyond.
I’ve talked with women who in effect say “I don’t care” in these statements:
- I don’t have time
- It’s too late to start now
- Who cares what I look like, I’m old now
- I can’t run (walk, jog, play tennis, golf, swim, hike…you fill in the blank) anymore so I can’t get fit
- I’m not motivated to work out anymore
- I won’t go to the gym, it’s full of young people
- I don’t look good enough in my workout clothes
What do these statements really mean? I believe that a lack of self confidence, a fear of failure, low motivation or low self esteem are what is really behind the comments.
If you can’t jog or run, can you walk? If you can’t walk, can you ride a stationary or recumbent bike? Can you swim? How about chair yoga? There are always options, unless your health has severely limited your daily activities.
I’m so blessed and fortunate to be able to choose the type of exercise and fitness activities at this time in my life. As a women who has confidence and knows what is best for me, keeping fit is a priority.
I don’t always meet my daily workout goals, but most of the time there is 30 to 60 minutes of some type of fitness worked into the day. My body continues to age, and as the weeks and months go by I can literally see the transformation.
But, I care about my body, my fitness and my health, very much. If I don’t take care of myself no one else will do it for me.
MY CHALLENGE: If you’ve been avoiding a commitment to exercise and fitness, take the time to understand why. There are so many options and choices available to us as women in midlife!
One small step is all you need to take, to show yourself…not anyone else, just you…that you really DO care about your health and longevity. Do one thing today, something simple for a start.
For example, research fitness programs in your neighborhood, call a friend to set up a date to go for a walk, make a list of three exercise activities you would be willing to try. These simple steps will go a long way in building self confidence and motivation for becoming more fit in midlife.
Family & Relationships
Those three words I’m not going to say anymore as a confident woman are never more significant than with my family. “I don’t care” will never, ever become part of any sentence that refers to a family member, or someone I have a close relationship with.
I chose to relocate across the country after living in SW Florida for 12 years, to be close to my family who all reside in Michigan. It was a very tough decision, as I closed a successful home staging business, sold a home I loved and left behind a climate and location that was a huge part of my life.
But you know what? I had to be honest with myself, totally honest. And as much as I loved where I lived, my family was worth more to me than money and sunshine.
It is so sad to hear people say, “I don’t care about my family (or my mom, or dad, or sister, or brother…) and haven’t seen or spoken to them in years.” Is that really true? You truly don’t care about them and it doesn’t phase you a bit if you don’t see them?
The “I don’t care” in this context could be rephrased as:
- I don’t want to be rejected again
- If I forgive them then they “win”
- I’d have to compromise
- They have wronged me in the past
- If I reach out they might not respond
I realize that there are toxic, dangerous relationships that must result in drastic action or separation for safety reasons. Those are not the relationships I’m talking about here.
Family relationships can be challenging, no doubt. But as a confident woman I know who I am, what I’m about, what’s going on in my head, and I have control over what I choose to say. If there is a situation in my family that is tense, difficult, frustrating, etc. I am in control of how I handle myself.
I may not agree, may choose to not be a part of something, but it never means that I don’t care. I will always care about my family and close friendships.
MY CHALLENGE: Does this section resonate with you? Be honest with yourself, and realize that even though you may say “I don’t care” on the outside, there may be frustrations, emotions, anger and resentment on the inside that is eating you up and potentially creating health issues.
Your first step is to acknowledge that you really do care about that family member or friend. Having the self confidence to even think about the relationship from an honest perspective is huge! Change doesn’t happen overnight, and in this situation it may be weeks, months or years before you really see anything happen.
But the key is that it starts with you, your perspective, maturity and confidence to be honest with yourself and your relationship.
Signs of a Confident Woman
The signs of a confident woman may be a bit different in each of us, because we’re all unique. But we have some characteristics in common:
- Confidence to know who we are and what we’re about
- Honesty with ourselves, even when it isn’t pretty
- Maturity to see life with a healthy perspective
- Motivation to continue learning and growing
- Inspiration that comes from within and is shared with others
I’m grateful every morning when I wake up and have been given another day to live and enjoy. I don’t take that for granted.
How about you? Is your life fulfilling and exciting as a confident woman? If you hesitate to respond with a ‘yes!’ it might be a good time for some honest introspection and evaluation.
If you need a boost in that direction, consider the benefits of a self development plan. It might be just what you need!
Becoming a confident woman is a process, and one of the benefits of being women over 50 is that we’ve lived long enough to have developed many of those characteristics. We just might need a bit of encouragement to refine them!