Earlier this week a former, much loved and respected colleague was killed in an ultra-light plane crash. He died doing what he loved doing most. One minute he was in the air – the next he was in an ambulance on his way to the hospital, and he never came home. He was 59.
I woke this morning to do my normal meditation, journaling and tapping, but I couldn’t get my colleague’s sudden and tragic death out of my mind.
That morning he was probably doing exactly what he normally did every time he took to the skies. Knowing him, he would have been meticulous in preparation. He loved to fly. And yet, in a moment, something went wrong and the outcome was a tragedy that seems so surreal.
He has been on my mind a lot over the past few days. The question ‘why’ always close at hand. Then this morning a realisation.
It occurred to me that one of the greatest legacies he has left for all of us, is that time is the most precious commodity we have.
We have no idea what will happen from one minute to the next. Yet, the greatest crime we commit to ourselves is wasting time. Perhaps even worse is that many of us waste precious time getting caught up in dis-empoweing thoughts that can strip away our confidence and stop us leading our best lives… especially in our 50’s!
Many of my clients tell me that as they enter their 50’s they begin to feel invisible. Suddenly the person they see in the mirror is not the image they saw at 30, and because of that often struggle with confidence, finding it difficult to adjust to this new stage of their lives.
What we believe about ourselves has enormous ramifications on how people see us and interact with us. When we are feeling inconfident, it shows. People’s responses to us are different. How we embrace each day is different. How we spend our time is different. The impact of inconfidence is like a huge weight that holds us back from taking hold of opportunities as they present themselves to us.
When I am talking about confidence, it’s not the same confidence as when you were in your 20’s. That confidence comes from feeling arrogant, bullet-proof and invincible. When you can’t see yourself ever getting old and anybody over the age of 35 is ‘over the hill’.
Self confidence at 50 is different. It’s about rediscovering who you really are, and acknowledging the insight, wisdom and intuition you have earned. That brings with it incredibly valuable skills that can’t be bought. You can only learn those the hard way; from experiencing and surviving life!
It is true that for many ageism is real, but the world won’t value us until we do. In order to change that, we have to start where we can make the most change – within ourselves. Valuing each and every day as a gift, that is so precious. Because once that moment, minute, day or week is gone, we can never get it back! What we think about ourselves right now in the present moment is great leveller. It’s what we all have.
Here are four Strategies that can help to increase the value of your time and confidence.
1. Be Fully Conscious of Your Thoughts
According to the National Science Foundation we have an average of 50,000 thoughts per day, and research predicts that as many as 60 – 70% are negative! http://www.mind-sets.com/html/mindset/thoughts.htm.
What are the thoughts that dominate your day? What are the thoughts you have about yourself? Your abilities? What you want to do with this next stage in your life? Your thoughts are yours – nobody can influence them. But they stem from beliefs you have about how you value yourself, and believe is possible.
2. Be Constantly Mindful of the Words You Use to Describe Yourself.
Often times we unknowingly say things like “At my age” or “I used to be able to” or“I remember when….” or worse “I can’t”. Our words are powerful in determining our outcome. Catch yourself when you are using words that do not enhance you! Don’t get caught up in conversations where people ‘remind’ you of any limitations because of your age, especially in the office! Use words that describe the ‘you’ you intend the world to see! Be a guardian of your words as you would your most precious possessions.
3. Recognise any Patterns in Your Life That No Longer Support You
Each of us brings our life experience, challenges and triumphs to our journey, and that brings our unique wisdom to every aspect of our lives. Take time to reflect on any patterns in your life that no longer support you. What have you always done and said? What type of people do you continually attract? What behaviours do you consistently take on? The clue lies in the patterns. If it no longer supports you, time to change it!
4. Commit To Not Wasting A Minute
We live in the most extraordinary time. We have technology and science that is keeping us alive longer than any other time in our history. We have opportunities to connect with people who live all over the world. We have access to more information on health than ever before.
We just don’t know what is going to happen next, ever. But what we can do is to commit to being fully conscious and present each moment of our day. Not living in the past or the future, but right now. Our thoughts and this present moment are the only thing we have 100% control over.
Live each moment with energy and Confidence! With your experience, knowledge and wisdom, you just might change the world.
Thank you my dear colleague, your life was a great example of somebody who lived each moment. And you have helped me reaffirm how precious time truly is. Vale my friend.
Sally Thibault is a speaker, author, EFT Practitioner and Counsellor, whose passion is working with business women in their 50’s to free limiting beliefs to create energy and success in their lives.