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Westminster At Lake Ridge Blog

WLR Blog
Posted: Wednesday, June 17, 2020

5 ways to regain your confidence and live a fulfilled life

Have you lost your footing now that you’re entering retirement?

If you have, it’s not uncommon. Part of the reason is that you may feel you’ve lost your identity. We so often place such a value on productivity and define ourselves with our work. Once we move beyond our career lives, it can be hard to redefine who we are.

The first step is to recognize that you still have much to offer and contribute. And while it’s fun to look back on a life well-lived, don’t forget to also set your sights forward. This is your chance to express exactly what you want.

The ups and downs of confidence

The challenge to achieve that, however, can be more difficult as we grow older. Research has shown that feeling a little less sure of yourself at this time in life is rather predictable. A person’s confidence typically follows a bell curve - rising during the later teen years, peaking at middle age and declining after age 60. It’s believed the peak coincides with the time when we tend to hold higher positions of power and status. When we stop working, those self-assured feelings may temporarily stop as well.

But it doesn’t have to stay that way.

Defining a fulfilled life and the benefits of having a purpose

We need to actively participate in giving our life meaning and one benefit is that by doing so it may help you live a healthier life. In a 2017 study of adults age 50+, it was found that as their purpose in life increased, it resulted in a decreased risk of developing weak grip strength and slow walking speeds. Since we control our purpose in life, we might be able to control some of our physical functions.

When defining what you want from this next stage, consider how you’ll accomplish your goals. Here are a few suggestions that can get you started in the right direction:

  • Commit to continuing learning
  • Regularly connect with friends and meet new people
  • Stretch yourself beyond your comfort zone to achieve a goal
  • Take care of your mind and body
  • Rediscover your purpose and set priorities
  • Take time every day to experience gratitude

5 ways to regain your confidence  

Rediscovering the confidence needed to achieve a fulfilling life doesn’t automatically come easy. As we grow older, there are undeniable life-changing events we will face. Our bodies also change and it’s easy to slip into the ageist views that now we’re limited in our abilities. We actually can lose confidence by withdrawing from activities and believing we can’t do the things we once did.

But even though you may not physically be able to perform as once before, it’s more important to focus on all that you can do. These strategies recommended by Harvard Medical School are a great place to start in gaining back your confidence:

1. Look good

Appearance is not the most important feature of a person of course, but when we look good we feel good. Get dressed every morning and put in the effort to face the day positively.

2. Learn something

Learning a skill that requires effort is a great way to boost your confidence. It may have been awhile since you were a novice but it’s important to show yourself that you can do this.

3. Challenge yourself physically

Set a goal that you can realistically accomplish, create a plan of action and then get to work. Exercise is a great confidence booster that’s great for both your physical and mental health.

4. Stay connected

It’s not always easy to meet new people once you’ve left the workforce but look for opportunities to interact - with your neighbors, through volunteering or joining a group. This can reduce the risk of depression and anxiety which contributes to feelings of low self-esteem.

5. Seek help

If you’re having trouble getting the above 4 steps to work or would prefer not to go at this alone, reach out for help. Sometimes we need a professional viewpoint to clear our thoughts and share some guidance.

Cheering yourself along the way

Regaining confidence and achieving your goals won’t happen overnight. Don’t be too hard on yourself if it takes a few tries to meet your goals. It may also take a while to figure out what it is that you really want to do.

It’s common to feel a little left behind when you exit the work world, but there are still challenging and profound moments waiting for you ahead. Life doesn’t lose meaning because we grow older. For those who are determined to always have a purpose to embrace, they’ll likely find it grows richer and fuller each day.

Ingleside’s Westminster at Lake Ridge Independent Living community

At Westminster, we’re here to support you in living your best life possible. Our goal is to provide you with the community and opportunities you need to reach yours. From connecting with others, keeping physically fit and emotionally engaged, we believe you’ll find everything you need. You may discover that living a fulfilled life has never been easier.

Call (703)794-4631 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a personalized tour today.

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