Victoria Gimeno. Director Institutional Relations. IE University
29 April 2016
It doesn’t matter what age we are, it is the beliefs we hold that shape our reality and which limit or empower us. If we don’t believe in ourselves, it will be difficult to get others to believe in us.
After hours and hours of coaching, there’s one particular comment that the majority of my coachees make, with very few exceptions. Sooner or later the matter of age crops up. The comment could be either “I’m really old” or “I’m really young.” I’m getting too old to be changing job, to aspire to a junior position, to set up a company, or to start a family, or I’m too young to do the opposite, namely aspire to a senior position, set up a company with little experience, or have a family… I even hear someone who is 35 years old make exactly the same comment as another who is 50 – “I can’t do that at my age.”
The roots of the age issue lie in our lives, and form part of not only individual beliefs, but also popular and collective ones. It seems that when we get to a certain age we can’t change jobs, get married, or start a new project. Our age produces a mental block. It would appear that these days we’re advancing in certain aspects, such as life expectancy, which increases each years by several months, along with the retirement age, and yet we feel more and more washed up with each day that passes.
Yesterday I was having dinner with some friends from way back in school, and one of them said that she couldn’t think as quickly as she used to, and yet I saw her as having the same quick mind and wit as when we were children. But she said it in all sincerity, and really believed it to be so. Beware of your beliefs, because as Henry Ford says in this quote we have used before on Ava’s Blog, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can't- you're right.” Our beliefs shape our reality, and they are what limit us or empower us. If we don’t believe in ourselves, it will be more difficult for others to believe in us.
There are two things to which society affords real importance, and they are beauty and youth. The way both these factors presuppose extremely positive characteristics makes belonging to society almost like belonging to a cult, when neither has any particular merit. That’s why beauty centers abound, along with surgical procedures to make us look younger. If this restores your faith in yourself, the self-confidence to get other goals, then go ahead and do it.
The coach’s job is to deconstruct that belief. We have to look into the past the find the building blocks of our self-confidence. We have to draw it from what we have achieved and know that if we have done difficult things before, then we are capable of doing almost anything. It’s never too late to set up a business, to be an artist, to write, to embark on a new journey. The more you have lived, the more ideas you have. Sometimes, using age as an excuse to not dare do things is the simplest thing to do. It’s a way to be a victim and seek understanding from others. But it is also certain that big ideas occur at any age, yet if we create a mental block by thinking that we can’t have ideas at our age, then they certainly won’t come.
And always remember - the best is yet to come.