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CONFIDENCE

Midlife Confidence

How to Rediscover your Confidence in Midlife

For many women, loss of confidence is one of the most disturbing and bewildering aspects of the peri-menopause years, leading us to feel invisible and unsure of our place in the world. 

For some of us it's a sudden realisation, but for most it's a gradual wearing down, a slowly dawning realisation that everything we had been certain of before suddenly isn't so certain any more.

Sometimes, there seems to be no apparent reason for this loss of confidence. Anxiety, depression, a feeling of being lost can come out of nowhere. So what can cause this loss of confidence and what can we do we do to arrest it? How do we get our mojo back?

6 Ways we can Lose our Confidence in Midlife:

1. Physical appearance

2. Psychological changes

3. Physical changes

4. Career difficulties

5. Loss of Fertility

6. General Life Changes

Scroll down to read on...

 

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Ideas to rediscover your lost mojo in midlife

1. Physical appearance. Slowing metabolism often results in weight gain, especially around the middle - the so-called "meno belly". Facially, we lose elasticity, which can result in a softening of our features. Our lips become thinner and less plump and our eyebrows become less defined.  If we feel we don't recognise ourselves in the mirror any more it can knock confidence.

  • You might start to see a resemblance to your mother or grandmother staring back at you in the mirror. Whilst this can be alarming, many women find it comforting, seeing the evidence that life - and love - goes on!

    Take a look at our project, Face it, Own it!  The Bare-faced truth about Midlife Women to see our film where 52 women. share their thoughts. about growing older.

STYLE OVER 50

A conversation with Personal Stylist, Sarah Gray

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

THE SKIN WE'RE IN

Sara Austin reveals her motivation to seek out the best organic skincare

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN

GREY HAIR

To dye or not to dye...that is the question! Do you embrace the grey?

CLICK HERE TO READ

2. Psychological changes. Anxiety is very common during the midlife transition, as is loss of concentration, "brain fog" and panic attacks. To suddenly experience these things can be very alarming. Personally, I genuinely believed I was losing my mind. 

Suicide risk amongst midlife women grew by 63% between 1999 and 2014. In a way it is one of the final taboos - midlife women are seen as the copers, the hub of the family and that is often how we see ourselves. No one talks about Mum feeling she doesn't want to wake up in the morning.

  • Firstly, if you are feeling suicidal, please speak to someone IMMEDIATELY. You don't have to go through this alone, If you are in the UK call 116 123 for the Samaritans. For many restoring hormone levels can. help. You are not "going mad" - more often than not, there is a physical cause.  If you are finding yourself worrying more than usual, feeling anxious for no apparent reason, there are many techniques and therapies you can try. Hypnotherapy, mindfulness, meditation, yoga - all these are known to help. If you are clinically depressed, don't shy away from anti-depressants as they might be needed to"lift" you just enough so that you can find the energy and motivation to access these things for yourself. Take a look at this blog post for a few ideas on alternative ways to deal with the symptoms of the menopause.

I See You!

To the woman who woke up this morning and had to fight the urge to put her head back under the duvet. Who maybe groans a little when she rolls out of bed because everything aches.

To the woman who doesn't recognise the face in the mirror, who feels a little sad as she watches as the water runs down her body in the shower, whose hair is losing its colour and whose clothes suddenly feel a little tight around the middle...

CLICK HERE TO READ ON

SELF DOUBT

One of the most insidious barriers to achieving the life we want to lead has to be self doubt. Can I do this? Do I have the skills, the confidence, the resilience? And if I do, dare I?

READ

SELF SABOTAGE

Unhelpful habits keep us trapped in inertia...  We are, it seems, all too prone to shooting ourselves in the foot when it comes to working towards goals or even simply living a happy life.

READ

REGRET

It is possible to feel such regret over perceived mistakes, poor choices or bad behaviours, it can be all consuming, bringing the past into the present and colouring our hopes for the future.

READ

3. Physical changes. When your body starts to let you down - aching joints, irregular and erratic periods, loss of temperature control, an unpredictable bladder - a whole plethora of inconveniences and indignities,  confidence. can hit the floor.

  • The physical changes that occur during these midlife years, including menopause, are covered in a separate article. Click here to read "Health".
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT YOUR HEALTH IN MIDLIFE

WHOSE HANDS?

It’s as if a malevolent gnome has crept into my room at night, armed with liposuction equipment and... sucked out all the fat on my fingers...

READ NOW

CHANGING

A conversation with Jane and Lucy who braved the BBC cameras with me, make-up free, as part of the Face it, Own it! project.

LISTEN HERE

BOOK REVIEW

Tricia Cusden's mission is to encourage older women to embrace their ageing selves and celebrate the way they look now.

CLICK HERE TO READ

4. Career difficulties. Some women might have been successful in a career for years, yet suddenly start to doubt their ability. Many workplaces still don't support menopausal women, which perpetuates stigma so that many women feel they have to hide their age and any symptoms they might be experiencing.

  • According to a recent study, 1 in 4 women consider leaving their jobs due to menopausal symptoms. Conversely, some seize the opportunity to go for promotion.
TAKE A LOOK AT THIS ARTICLE FOR MORE ABOUT WORK

5.  Loss of Fertility. Having choices over our lives removed is disempowering. Many women mourn the end of their fertile years, even if we've had children. If we've put off having children, or decided not to have them at all, there is a difference between that being our choice and nature making it impossible and many women who have been happy with their decisions are surprised by a feeling of loss.

  • Loss of fertility is a very tangible reminder that we are getting older. Often, it is not the fact that we can no longer have children, but the loss of CHOICE that batters our confidence. If, however, becoming a mother was something that was dearly desired, the grief experienced as all hope fades can be overwhelming. Please don't be afraid to seek support so that you are able to move forward into this new phase of your life.

6. General Life Changes. Very few people get to 50 without some experience of hardship or loss. Bereavement, joblessness, empty nest, divorce - big life changes often knock our confidence as what we have always believed to be normal life for us is turned on its head.

  • Coming to terms with the past is an essential part of moving forward in life. If there are unresolved issues from our childhood, our love lives or other personal events that have caused us pain, midlife seems to be the time when we can no longer sweep them under the emotional carpet. Now is the time seek counselling if needed to bring everything out into the open in our own minds so that we can put the past to rest, leaving room for new experiences.

THE UN-QUIET WOMAN

Be seen, be heard - refuse to be invisible, especially to yourself!

READ HERE

SELF IMAGE

How is a midlife woman supposed to look? And why should we even begin to care?

READ HERE

SELF ACCEPTANCE

Can you learn to acceot yourself in all your perfect imperfection in 7 simple steps?

READ HERE

Losing confidence during the midlife transition is common, but doesn't have to be inevitable. As we age we can become somewhat entrenched in the views we have developed and our own sense of what is right, comfortable and desirable.

I believe that the greatest skill needed to make the most of our midlife and beyond is the ability to embrace change. Adaptability, resilience, an open mind - these are the essential tools we need to be happy. The good news is that if you do find yourself struggling, these are attributes that we can develop or strengthen at any age,  rebuilding our confidence and paving the way for a happy, more contented life.

Start now by making a list of your strengths, the things you like about yourself, the achievements that make you proud. They don't have to be big things. I make a good Victoria sponge for example, leads you to think about the benefits of that attribute - my work colleagues love it when I bring cake into the office, or my grandchildren love Grandma's chocolate brownies are positive thoughts that form the building blocks to increased confidence.

We work extensively on rediscovering confidence in the Membership - do consider joining us if you need a little help.

CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BECOMING A MEMBER
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