November, it is a significant month. It’s my birthday you see, I am going to be 39. I was always told a woman should never say her age unless under duress by my grandmother…sorry Dodo (our family’s pet nickname for her) but in this case it is relevant!
Age is just a number
We hear it all the time don’t we?
It is a fact though, it is just a number, a number that counts how many years we have been on earth, which freaks out some more than others. You don’t have to be a mathematician to realise that I am approaching a significant number, I would be lying if I didn’t admit that it has caused me a wobble or two in the past couple of months, but for every wobble there is someone saying ‘it’s how you feel on the inside that counts’.
I heard on a podcast yesterday that 38 is the year that many women start to naturally feel more confident with who they are.
This got me thinking, why does confidence come at a certain age, that age in particular?
Why should feeling good in ourselves be tied to reaching a certain age.
I saw a meme of something Brene Brown said on Instagram which encouraged me listen to her on a podcast The Tim Ferriss Show that said – (I have edited this for quick reading reasons!)
‘We all grew up and experienced to varying degrees, trauma, disappointment, hell, you know, hard stuff. We armoured up and at some point that armour no longer serves us. And so what I think I would say to that person is “How is not talking about this serving you?”
/ But I would say that “It’s not serving anymore. And now the weight of the armor is too heavy and it’s not protecting you. It’s keeping you from being seen and known by others.”
And so this is, I mean, to just tell you quintessentially, this is the developmental milestone of midlife. From late thirties to, through probably your sixties, this is the question. Yeah. This is when the universe comes down and puts her hands on your shoulders and pulls you close and whispers in your ear, “I’m not fucking around. You’re halfway to dead. The armour is keeping you from growing into the gifts I’ve given you. That is not without penalty. Time is up.” So this is what you see happen to people in midlife, and it’s not a crisis. It’s a slow, brutal unraveling. And this is where everything that we thought protected us keeps us from being the partners, the parents, the professionals, the people that we want to be.’
This theory that we shed our armour around mid-life and start to uncover who are and our capabilities really resonated – especially when coinciding with this statement of reaching 38 and finally feeling comfortable in our own skin.
Do we as women get to a certain point in our lives where we just want to not be defined by circumstances, influences around us anymore and step into our own light? Or as Brene Brown says, does time run out on the armour we have and so we have to create a new one?
I have mentioned before that many of my clients come to me when they are approaching a big birthday or have had a recent shift in their circumstance, such as divorce, career change, having children or even their children flying the nest and leaving an empty home and a mum without purpose.
These are what I would see as kind of, life triggers.
Triggers that almost force women to stand up and say ‘hey, I am going to do something for myself, I want to feel more like me, more stylish – not frumpy!’
Those midlife, universe tap on the shoulder moments maybe?
Ok, so if they are those moments, why do we wait for them to be triggers? Why do we wait for life to happen and our ‘number’ to creep up for us to arrive at a point where we start actively seeking out how to feel more confident in ourselves?
What about how you feel about yourself now?
We are at war with ourselves in so many ways, with our weight, our looks, our success or lack of, our parenting abilities, and endless list of personal disgust. Every single day we are wasting precious energy having negative thoughts about what we hate about ourselves and the reasons why we should be better. (unrealistic expectations anyone??)
The irony that we create armour to protect ourselves from the world but yet at the same time, we are having our own internal war doesn’t escape me. Thankfully it is becoming easier, and more accessible to explore ways to break those emotional and mental barriers.
I often meet women who say to me that they would love for us to work together but need to lose some weight first. I totally respect this decision, you need to approach me when you are ready.
However I also ask that person, so what about how you feel about yourself right now? Why are you waiting to feel confident and to love who you are in this moment?
Confidence should be at any point, age or stage in life not ‘when I have just….’
Women whom I have worked with that are at the start of their transformational journey have found the benefits of having more self and body confidence a boost and more motivational.
There is so much lightness with the liberation of personal hate and guilt that the challenge of changing our habits, lifestyles and embracing who we really are is easy.
So as I step into the ‘age of 39’ I am feeling kind of excited.
My armour has been shedding since I had Buddy and realised I needed to love my new body and discover a style that suited it rather than hate it and work against it. I feel more motivated, supported and inspired by the wonderful women I have around me more than I have ever in my life and I am looking forward to creating fabulous outfits rather than armour for myself and clients!
So hows about you?
Is your armour starting the crack and shed a little, do you feel like now is the time to start discovering yourself?
Don’t wait for the trigger or for your number to reach a certain one, just feel good about yourself today. It will be worth it I promise.
Book your FREE Style chat here and make that step toward replacing armour with gorgeous clothes and true self love and confidence.