Confidence often increases throughout your life as you make professional and personal gains, but it can take a dip once you enter your 50s and 60s. If you’re in your 50s and feeling like your confidence has taken a hit, here are eight different things you can do to give yourself a boost. From starting Kegel ball exercises to trying a new hobby, we list our favorite tips for rebuilding confidence.
1. Challenge negative self-talk.
Many people, especially women, have a voice in their head that constantly criticizes their appearance. This isn’t helped by the constantly disapproving magazines and websites targeted at women, which constantly exhort you to lose weight or get cosmetic surgery done. Instead of giving in to these voices and letting them run your life, focus on challenging their assumptions and replacing them with positive self-talk. Aging is inevitable, but getting down about aging is optional.
2. Rethink your relationships.
As you get older, you might realize that some of the friends you thought were supporting you aren’t actually there for you. Maybe they all pulled away when you started going through menopause, or they make little digs about your changing appearance, or they’re constantly trying to show you up about their house or family or vacations. Life is too short to keep this kind of negativity around in your life, so reconsider your relationships and see if you need to pull back from any of them. You deserve friends who build you up and make you feel great about yourself!
3. Stay connected to strong friendships.
On the flipside, good friends are precious, and you should make an effort to stay in touch with them even as you go through new life changes. Make it a point to reach out to a friend once a week and to have some sort of get-together or event at least once a month. You might also find yourself making new friends through classes, fitness clubs, and other groups for seniors. If you don’t have a lot of friends in your age bracket, or you’re the first person in your friend group to go through menopause, then try finding a menopause relief support group in your area so you can get to know other women who understand exactly what you’re going through.
4. Stay physically active.
Physical activity can make you feel more confident about how you move through the world and help you get reacquainted with your body’s new limits. Indeed, exercise can help keep you strong and flexible well into your twilight years. It also encourages your body to release dopamine and other feel-good hormones, which give you an instant confidence boost. Seek out low impact exercises such as yoga, Pilates, tai chi, water aerobics, and walking, all of which are perfect for people over 50. Targeted pelvic floor exercises or Kegel ball exercises can help strengthen your muscles down there and help make sex more pleasurable once again.
5. Try something new.
As you get older, it’s easy to fall into habits that you do over and over again. While healthy habits can provide a great structure for your life, doing the same thing over and over can also make you feel like you’re stuck in the rut — and the longer you’re stuck, the harder it becomes to get out of the pattern. Make it a goal to try one new thing a month, whether that’s a new type of workout or a new art class or a day trip to a nearby town you’ve never visited before. These new experiences will help keep you from stagnating and keep life interesting and exciting.
6. Get out of your comfort zone.
This is related to trying new things, but getting out of your comfort zone doesn’t necessarily have to mean trying a brand new activity. Sometimes as you age, you might feel uncomfortable doing an activity that you once did a lot in your younger days, such as dancing or running. Give your confidence a boost by trying that beloved activity once again. You’ll probably be able to find a group dedicated just to seniors if you feel more comfortable doing it with people of your own age. You shouldn’t let your age stop you from doing something that you love!
7. Learn to enjoy your own company.
For some older adults, the challenge isn’t spending time with friends, but rather with learning to be by themselves. This can often be the case for parents, who’ve had several decades of their kids constantly being around the house. Adjusting to a new schedule where it’s just you and perhaps your partner around the house can be a big change! Instead of constantly filling your schedule with events to distract yourself, make an effort to spend time alone or with your partner and figure out what you like to do now that you don’t have these other demands on your time. You might be surprised at what you discover about yourself!
8. Refresh your look.
As you get older, your skin and body changes, so the same makeup and clothes that you’ve been wearing may not be as flattering on you anymore. You might also find yourself wanting a look that’s a bit more mature (not frumpy, though!). Embrace your new appearance by getting some new clothes and trying out some new makeup techniques to refresh your look a bit. You don’t have to overhaul everything at once. Just get a few key pieces at a time and work on incorporating them into your wardrobe. A wardrobe makeover really can give you confidence!
Aging isn’t all fun and games (and sometimes it involves doctor visits or buying incontinence products for women). However, entering this new phase of life can be very liberating for people, and there’s no reason your confidence needs to take a hit just because you’re now in your 50s. Follow these tips to rebuild your confidence in your 50s and beyond.