Are You Afraid of Getting Older?
Tackling that fear and embracing life
-The Betty Editors
Why do women in their early 30s or even late 20s nowadays worry so much about getting older? That is what Bonnie Fatio, a motivational speaker and the author of a new book, Age Esteem has been wondering. Bonnie, who lectures in the United States and in Europe on the subject of making the most of one’s life in your 50s and beyond has been struck by how much fear of aging there is among women who should consider themselves young.
“I have talked to women who are 29, and they are panicking. They think they need Botox,” she says. “Of course, part of the problem is the media’s focus on the young and the flawless. Women do compare themselves with the airbrushed celebrities who look so young and so perfect in photos in magazines. When they look in the mirror, if they even see a tiny line or wrinkle, it concerns them.”
“It erodes their self esteem and that becomes the real problem,” she continues. “Not the line or the wrinkle or a couple of gray hairs, but the way they feel about themselves.”
Bonnie is a founding partner in Blewfield Partners, a Geneva-based organization that specializes in motivating and helping people shine through their special talents and interests in their work and private lives.
“I’ve found that when people concentrate on their age, no matter what age they are, it tends to limit them. Of course older people often can feel as if life has passed them by. But sometimes I see younger women who limit themselves in almost the same way. Especially if a woman is in her 30s and is very busy with a young family and a lot of responsibilities. She sometimes feels it is too late to achieve what she wants for herself. Of course, that is not so, and she has to stop thinking that way.”
Bonnie also believes that women too often focus on the negatives in their own life.
“If you are 35 and not married or haven’t achieved what you want in your career, you can spend your time being miserable. You have to reprogram yourself and feel proud of the positives in your life.”
There are definite ways to feel better about whatever age you are and the whole process of aging. Bonnie’s advice includes:
• Be Honest “First of all, you have to be honest and ask yourself, why are you so afraid of aging. Today women, in general, live very long lives and each new decade gives new opportunities.”
• Find Friends of All Ages “It is important to know people of different ages. It puts aging into perspective and makes one realize the advantages one has at different stages of life.”
• Help Others “Find the talents you want to contribute to others. That will inevitably make you feel valuable and help build your self-esteem.”
• Dream “Have dreams that you will realize in the future. Don’t look backward. Always look forward. There can be so much ahead for each of us.”