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 ChangesScroll down to read on...
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.