Isn’t a personal or professional reinvention just for young people? What if I’m too old?
After major shift happens in our lives (leaving a long time job or, relationship, or losing your loved one) it is normal to feel afraid & confused. Many people are so disheartened that they simply stop looking for a new path.
Change means an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Maybe you’re on your own for the first time since you were twenty-something, or you’ve been on your own for years.
Turning 50 could be more than a number; a wake-up call and the possibility of finding yourself just in time to act on who you are and what you want. Is is too late to reinvent yourself after 50? Definitely no.
Here we identified 6 key steps for older people who hope to make a significant transition.
Create a vision for your future
Before you begin, it’s helpful to clearly identify what you want to achieve through your reinvention. Imagine the future that you want, whether it’s simply a feeling or a situation such as a new career. Imagine how it will feel to be in that new place. Stand for a moment and silently voice your appreciation for everything that came before. Once you’ve thanked the past, turn forward, with gratitude, imagine yourself walking away from the past and into the future.
Understand you do have enough time
There’s no reason you can’t explore wildly new areas. Plus, there is also enormous liberation in reaching age 50. You may feel less compelled to please others and freer to please yourself.
You have the gift of experience to guide you
Search for clues as to what filled you with pride in the past, and what has left you wanting more.
Become a student
Your reinvented life doesn’t need to focus on creating a new career. Why not become a student for the first time and study a subject that fascinates you without having to wonder if it’s going to get you a job. Many people, now in their 60s, grabbed the opportunity to become students in their 50s and enjoy painting and print making for the pleasure of it; not to make money.
Turn to friends and family
They are the ones who know you and who will applaud your reshaping of dreams and desire to pursue them, or, at the very least, efforts to make small changes that allow you to be happier & healthier. Be open to their suggestions, their observations of your skills, and don’t be shy about enlisting them to assist in building a network.
Understand that you are not alone
While being confident is an important part of our culture, aren’t most of us more uncertain in who we are or what we want than we let on? Isn’t 50 the perfect time to renew resolve, to accept our flaws, to appreciate our own strengths?
Connect with your past
Reach out to your existing network of contacts. But many don’t realize some of the most valuable information and opportunities come from “dormant ties,” or people we’ve lost touch with from the past.
We make opportunities happen by using every tool at our disposal
For example, ask yourself do I have experience already that I’m not viewing as a transferable set of marketable skills? Do I have skills that could be packaged up into a home-based job? Examine your skills to see whether they are translatable to another job or field.
Change your look
Get off of the couch, eat healthy, take a walk, ride your bike, go to the gym to do some resistance training, try some new like yoga, pilates, and drink lots of water. A healthy diet and active lifestyle is a great way to reinvent yourself.
Understand that reinvention never stops
Every day you reinvent yourself. You’re always in motion. But you decide every day: forward or backward.
While starting over at 50 or older is no small undertaking it can be done! Remember, failure may feel like you’re being tossed from an airplane but you’re really only two inches from the ground.