Four ways to create a growth mindset for women over 50

Four ways to create a growth mindset for women over 50

Do you have a powerful and confident woman inside you just wanting to burst forth? 

The photo above is my climb to the top of Mt. Elbert – 14,443 feet. It was nine miles round trip, and took 8 hours.  I did this the year I turned 50.

Do you see yourself making bold moves, and plans for your years after 50?

Or do you think it’s just too late to do anything about making changes now? You’ve made your bed and now you have too much invested in a marriage, a job, or your identity.

Do you have that powerful and confident woman trapped by a fixed mindset?

Growth vs Fixed Mindset

Dr. Ellen Langer has been addressing the limits of a fixed mindset for years. Dr. Langer’s findings strongly point to the simple fact that who we are and what we do is heavily influenced by the stories we tell ourselves. And sadly, the stories we tell ourselves about getting older are fixed.

When an individual has a fixed mindset such as, I can’t start a new business, or go back to school now, or find true love, exploration and learning come to a screeching halt. A fixed mindset is black and white with no room for the capacity to try something new, therefore no room for growth.

On the other hand, a growth mindset encourages flexibility, is more adaptable, and creates possibility for us as we get older.  A person with a growth mindset even views failure as part of the path towards change and success.

How can you develop a growth mindset?

1.  Don’t believe everything you think

What you think determines how you feel, what you do, and who you become.

Dr. Carol Dweck, researcher and author of many mindset books, calls our thoughts and beliefs “mindset.”  She identifies two types, fixed and growth.  Thinking with a fixed mindset stops our ability to change our lives, whereas a growth mindset keeps us curious, learning, and open to change.

Thinking you can’t do something just because of your age is a fixed mindset, and women over 50 can absolutely fix that.

What about you?   Do you find yourself saying, “I’m too old, I missed the boat, you can’t teach a dog new tricks?”  These thoughts, first of all are not true, and it will keep you stuck. If you think you can’t learn new tricks, then you won’t even try.

Instead take these thoughts and turn them into questions.  How old is too old anyway?  Who says I can’t learn new trick?

Stay curious and turn all your fixed thoughts into questions. This will allow you to direct the story of what the next stage of your life will look like!

2. Be a dreamer  

And please take them seriously.  Look to the future with these dreams because the past is not the direction you want to go.  Looking to the past for the answers to your future will have you repeating same patterns of behavior. The very ones you are trying to change!

When you dream, you can begin to create the women over 50 you will be in this world.

We have to turn to our imagination, the place where we conjure that which is not yet present.  We can create who we can be as older women in the world.   

Dream big.  Don’t get caught up in the how or the “yeah, buts.”  You create your future script.  Don’t let someone else write it for you.

3. Focus on your strengths.

Let’s face it, it is so much easier to identify our weaknesses then it is to know our strengths. 

Here may be the reason why.  There are actually 40,000 labels pointing out our weaknesses and only 4,000 labels for what is right. Ageism has us seeming weak and unable to do anything different with our lives.  

It is time to identify our unique strengths, own them fully and use them purposefully.  

There are two valid assessment tests to take online and uncover your strengths, The Gallup Clifton Strengths Assessment, and the VIA Institute On Character.  Use these to find and focus on your strengths. And when you find those strengths, develop them. Stop focusing on trying to bring you weaknesses up to speed.

You can also do this – think of a time when you felt you were your best self.  Write the story.  Look to the story for the strengths that you portrayed.  Write them down. 

Use your strengths to inform the choices you make, the goals you set and the actions you take.

It’s time to transform our complaints about aging into a mission.  A mission that turns what once seemed impossible into something possible. 

It is happening.  And it can for you too.  

Stay Curious

Author Elizabeth Gilbert calls curiosity a gentle, forgiving, and constant friend. Become a three-year-old again, always asking why.

Ask yourself, can I do better than this right now? What will happen if I really try to run for a minute or quit my job and start an online business.

Ran my first half-marathon at the age of 52

Just a few of my adventures since turning 50!

A practice of curiosity loosens the grip of a fixed mindset, leaving room for a growth mindset and allowing us to create and live a life we love!

Would love your thoughts on mindset – leave me a comment below!

Additional content

Anne Noone was a guest on my podcast and she has a few things to say about mindset for women over 50, 60, and even 70! You can listen here.

Or watch the video here (make sure you subscribe to the channel while you are there!)

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