It’s that time of year again-graduation! For so many parents, high schoolers and college students, it is a time to celebrate all the hard work, sweat and tears sacrificed through years of dedication! Our hopes and dreams for our graduates are filled with “sky’s the limit” sentiments, as they should be! Truly we think, the world IS their oyster, anything is possible for them. Graduation can bring up nostalgic feelings in us and thoughts like: if only we were that young again, the things we would do.
The possibilities seem endless for the youth but for those of us a little more aged, we start to feel our possibilities dwindling. We feel like we just don’t have the energy or time and we start to limit our thoughts on what we can and can’t do. The funny thing about the mind is that when we start going down a path, it gets harder and harder to see the other options that exist and most of the time we completely stop even entertaining an idea once we decide we can’t. Have you ever said or thought “I am too old to start that”? What happens once that thought runs through your mind? Most people’s mind becomes a filter and immediately moves that idea to the “no” list which consequently removes that idea and anything like it from possibility. The thought may come up again later, but you quickly shoot it down reminding yourself that you already decided you are too old. However, for each of these excuses, we can find examples of people who have defied that idea (Toni Morrison wrote her first novel at age 40, won a Pulitzer Prize at age 56 and a Nobel Prize at age 62. Julia Childs wrote her first cookbook at age 50 and Judy Dench was 64 when she won her first Oscar). That goes for any obstacle we create whether it has to do with energy, time, money, or something else. There are always people who have disproven your theories.
These ideas of being too old, not having enough time, energy or money are surface excuses to shoot us down from moving out of our comfort zone. Those excuses are easy to come by and I have certainly used my share of them in the past. However, dismissing these ideas also robs us of personal growth and the potential to experience amazing opportunities beyond what we thought was possible.
The next time an idea of something exciting or amazing pops into your head, stop yourself from immediately jumping to one of those ready-made reasons of why you can’t. If you find yourself thinking it before you can stop yourself, acknowledge the thought but challenge yourself to remove that obstacle from your thinking. What if you weren’t too old; what if you had unlimited income? Start brainstorming what you could do. This switches your mindset from one of dead ends to a mindset of possibilities. And possibilities open you up to amazing ideas, options, and alternative thinking. This is where the magic happens!
There are possibilities all around, but it is up to us to decide if we are willing to see them. It all begins with a mindset shift, changing “I can’t” to “what if” statements allow you to remove obstacles and find the possibility.
To help you get started, I have created a mindset shift worksheet you can use, complete with 5 affirmations to keep you going. If you would like a free copy, you may click below.