Like most people, I’ve been watching the Olympics the past week and a half. It is the best way to witness people’s pursuit of their passions in action. What I love most about the Olympics and sports in general is the inspiration and encouragement it provides for everyone who has a passion and a dream.
You’re Never Too Old…
One story in particular I am personally inspired by this Olympic season is of the Uzbekistan gymnast Oksana Chusovitina. Oksana is 41-years-old competing in her SEVENTH Olympics (and still hasn’t ruled out Tokyo!) in a sport where age 21 is considered “old.” Oksana is my “shero” because she and I are almost the same age (I’ve got a year on her), and she is not letting her age be an obstacle to her dreams and her passions.
Most people in her position would tell themselves they are “too old.” Too old for what, I ask? Tell that to the 85-year-old woman I met while recently volunteering for the Senior Olympics. By the time she had made it to the event I was working, she had already competed and medaled in NINE other events over the previous three days.
…Or Too Young
On the flip side of this, I was recently working with a new client who shared with me that one of her self-talk limiting beliefs (a perceived obstacle) is she is “too young.” I found this surprising coming from someone who works as an actress, also a career where time and age are against you. My response was, “too young for what?” When I delved deeper into where this limiting belief came from, I discovered she suffers from the same thing I do, “youngest-sibling-syndrome.”
Age Is Just a Number
The point is, age is just a number. We have the choice to let our circumstances, others’ opinions, or even our own negative self-talk control our lives. Or, we have the choice to be inspired and moved by the examples of those who ignore all the “you can’t because of your age” talk and say to themselves, “I can, even if I fail in my attempt.”
From the judges’ perspective, Oksana failed miserably in her landing of her vault. Upon landing so hard she ended up going into a flip on the mat. From my perspective, she should have gotten extra points for the extra flip, for making such a failed landing look so graceful, and for experience!
Change Your Limiting Beliefs
If you have a God-given desire in you to try something you may consider to be either “too old” or “too young” for, ask yourself these questions:
- What is this limiting belief keeping me from?
- What would be the worst-case scenario if I keep believing this?
- How can I turn this belief around to a more positive statement?
- How can I benefit from believing the more positive statement?
- What would be the best-case scenario if I start believing the positive statement?
Be honest in your answers. For more inspiration, check out these other blog posts: