Have you ever thought of reinventing yourself or finally going after your dreams? In this article, let’s look at how to reinvent yourself after 40.
How to reinvent yourself after 40
So you’ve turned 40 or perhaps 50 or 60 or 70 and perhaps you have experienced this feeling of restlessness and unfulfillment.
I get it every 7 years or so; the 7 year itch!
Here’s what tends to happen.
You’re not quite happy where you are at this point of your life.
You may feel a bit stuck or perhaps a bit subdued.
You think back of a time when you had lots of hopes and dreams for yourself and now you find yourself at a certain age and many of these dreams are unfulfilled.
Or you’re in a job you don’t enjoy.
Or you’ve always wanted to travel more but you never seem to have the time nor the money.
Or you’re in a relationships that just doesn’t fulfill you.
Or you’ve never come to terms with your body and half the time you simply don’t feel confident or happy with yourself.
It’s never too late to fulfill your dreams & reinvent yourself!
Whatever it is that you want to change, it’s not too late.
However, when you start to think about these dreams and are perhaps taking steps to fulfill them, all kinds of doubts enter your head.
How I’ve reinvented myself several times
I’ve become quite the expert of reinvention as I’ve reinvented myself various times throughout my life.
- From a very insecure person who didn’t feel very worthy to a confident woman who knows she’s 100% worthy and is not afraid to show herself to the world
- From working in a company to running my own company
- From a service based business and creating websites for others to running my own website
- From consumer of fashion to advising about fashion
- From blogger and writer to true potential coach and podcaster
In addition I’ve lived in 7 countries and being and living in each is itself a way of reinventing as every place is just so different.
Then of course this year I’m going to mostly travel instead of living at one place for most of the year.
If you like to read my full reinvention story, read my article on how I became a true potential coach.
I have no doubt that I’ll continue to reinvent myself as I get older.
Doubts you may have that stop you from reinventing yourself
Perhaps you have wanted to reinvent yourself or your life in some way, but you feel it’s too late to realize your dreams.
“I should have done this earlier”.
I can’t do it.
Perhaps you feel doubt about your ability to change or to achieve your goal.
You may feel stuck.
You may feel that family, your house or other circumstances lock you in and it’s impossible to get out.
You’re scared ahead of time.
Top obstacles for getting the life you want
In a survey I conducted recently, these came out as the top reasons you haven’t achieved your goals yet:
- Discipline: you procrastinate or aren’t motivated enough
- Confidence: you don’t feel confident that you can do it
- Time: you don’t feel there’s enough time to do what you want
- Lack of clarity: you’re not exactly sure what you want to do so you don’t do anything
- Fear: you’re too scared to fail
- Other people: your care of other people gets in the way or you care too much about the opinions of others which stops you from acting
- Health: you feel your health prevents you from achieving it
- Money: you don’t feel you have enough money to achieve it
- Age: you think you’re too old
The bottom line is this: changing just feels too uncomfortable.
But here is the good and the bad news:
Being uncomfortable is part of reinventing yourself
Should you really change?
But Sylvia, you may wonder, “why should I change? Life is good in many ways and you feel comfortable in it.”
Just thinking about your dreams makes you feel uncomfortable, so you’d rather not think about them. Much better just to enjoy yourself and watch Netflix right?
But then, deep inside, that thought keeps lingering.
I want more, I’m capable of more.
I still have many more years in this beautiful life. I want to experience more of it and travel.I don’t feel I’ve tapped into my full potential yet.
I think that we have a natural desire to grow in some way. This desire will be stronger in some than it is in others.
But when thoughts of longing come up or you find yourself saying ‘should’ a few too many times, you probably have feelings of unfulfilment.
You may have become good at suppressing these feelings though. That’s because every time you started thinking about what you want, you started to feel uncomfortable and anxious.
Because you know that when you go after your desires, you’ll have to do something that’s unfamiliar. That scares you a bit.
And the primitive brain doesn’t like to do new things that are unfamiliar.
That’s why, when you honor those feelings of unfulfillment and want to do something about it, you need to get comfortable with discomfort.
Also find more on this in my article on how to build self confidence
The good news is: discomfort is just a sensation in your body. You can cope with a sensation in your body and I’ll teach you how to do it!
How to reinvent yourself: Let’s look again at some things that you want
Hare are just a few responses from a recent survey I did:
I want to know what I want to do. I need clarity!
I’ve always been there to serve others but have never stood still long enough to understand what’s important to myself.
I want more freedom and travel more.
I want a new house by the sea.
I want to accept my body and be confident with who I am.
I want to get healthy again and stop eating too much.
I want to make more money doing something I love.
I want to be in a relationship that inspires me.
I want to get out of my shell, go out more and make new friends.
No matter what it is that you want, you can make a choice to go and get it!
Why do we want what we want?
The answer is usually that we want to feel a certain way.
You want to feel happier.
You want life to be easier.
You want to feel loved.
You think that life will be 10x better once you’ve accomplished your new goal.
But then when you start the process of reinvention, you may start to feel uncomfortable (because new things always feel uncomfortable).
You may start to second guess yourself:
Hey, I wanted to feel better and happier! But instead I feel all this discomfort. This is not what I signed up for! Let’s get comfortable again.
You need to be very aware when this happens, because bofore you know it, you may slip into old habits again.
But also know this: life is 50 – 50
Discomfort is definitely part of growth.
But even if you succeed in achieving you goal, you will not feel happy all the time.
Life is 50-50. There are always going to be things that will make you feel uncomfortable.
There will always be challenges.
The beauty is that they may be different challenges from what you had before.
For example the new challenge may be: how am I going to manage all these new customers , rather than how am I going to get my first customer.
But no matter where you are, there will always be moments where life just sucks a bit. When you know this, you can just accept those moments and feel them.
And then proceed with all your big plans!
So if I will not get the happiness and comfort as a reward, why reinvent myself then?
Here is why it’s so worth it.
You will get SO much more satisfaction from achieving one of your goals than watching your favorite Netflix movie.
You’ll learn so much in the process too.
You’ll get stronger, braver, more confident, may have more money to spend and more free time to spend as you wish.
Not initially perhaps, but over time.
How I reinvented myself time and time again
For example when I think of myself, my life is VERY different from what it was 20 years ago. Or even 10 years ago.
20 years ago, I was at a complete loss, very low on self esteem and had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.
Now, I feel so much more confident, so much more freedom, I developed so many more skills, which is all because I decided to go outside my comfort zone and try something new.
I’m not happy all the time, but I always have compassion for myself.
I don’t like every single task I have to do in my business, but at least I’m my own boss and don’t have to answer to anyone.
The bottom line is, I’m more confident, have more money, have a business I love that allows me to travel and have friends that inspire me.
At the same time, I’m still happily married and have a son who is now studying in Australia. Going after your dreams and fulfilling your personal needs doesn’t have to come at the expense of your family and friends!
I still have lots of plans and feel that the best years of my life are still ahead of me.
How do you start with reinventing yourself?
The process of reinventing yourself can be summarized in 3 steps
#1 Become aware of what you want and why you don’t have it yet
This first step is a really important one.
You need to become aware of what it is you want exactly and why you don’t have it yet.
The reasons you haven’t gone after your dreams yet, can be any of the reasons mentioned above. It can be lack of time, lack of confidence, too much procrastination etc. But it’s important to dig deeper.
Why are you not making time for it?
Why do you procrastinate?
Why are you fearful?
Is it really something to be fearful about?
I help my clients get really clear on this with the True Potential Formula I created.
Using this formula is a really effective way to discover the real obstacles. More often than not they are created by your thoughts.
You believe you don’t have the capability to start that new business which is why you are fearful.
You believe that you can’t lose the weight because you’ve never been able to do it in the past, which is why you don’t feel confident and don’t even start.
The True Potential Formula really helps you become fully aware of what you want and all the reasons you’re stuck.
It’s only when you become aware of what you want and what’s holding you back that you can make progress towards achieving your goals.
If you need some inspiration I have created two very helpful guides to get you started: The Reinvention Guide + the Bucket List Guide.
You can get both by clicking here.
#2 Practice believing new things about yourself
Once you become aware of what you want and how you’re creating the life that you have right now, you need to start believing that change is possible for you.
You need to practice new thoughts.
You need to learn how to manage thoughts and feelings and urges so you’re not reactive in your day-to-day but are ACTIVELY working on your goals.
For example, many of you give lack of time as a reason that you can’t achieve your goals, which is mostly caused by a belief that you either don’t have any time or that you’re not a very organised person.
You’ll learn to question these beliefs and also learn a completely new system to manage your time.
#3 Take lots of action
Once you know what you want and understand what you need to do for the next step, you will be able to take the needed action.
You will do whatever it takes and are not afraid to fail to get towards your goals. You realize that each ‘failure’ will just get you closer towards your dreams.
How do you want to reinvent yourself?
Here are just some ideas on the different ways you can reinvent yourself after 40 in various parts of your life!
Reinvent your Style
#1 Change your mindset on what you can and cannot wear
Do you have the feeling that now that you have a certain age, you cannot wear certain things?
Perhaps it’s time to challenge those ideas. There truly is no limit to what you can wear after 40 and look amazing.
The key is that you need to wear what you love with confidence.
You may like to read my article on how to get out of a style rut which dives deeper into your excuses and why I don’t accept them.
#2 Wear colors that you have never worn before
We tend to get stuck in a rut when it comes to colors. Start playing with new combinations.
Check out our color guides for inspiration.
#3 Play with different styles
Do you know your style personality? Finding out may give you some ideas on what kind of style you like.
You can take our style personality quiz.
Although we may gravitate to one style personality, we often incorporate elements of several.
Have fun playing with different ideas and styles!
#4 Get a new haircut
The difference of a new haircut should not be underestimated.
A haircut that suits your face shape and your style personality can make the difference between you looking drab and old and modern, vibrant and hip. It’s worth the investment!
You may like to check out my tips on the best hairstyles for women over 40 or get lots of inspiration from hairstyles for women over 40 pinterest board.
#5 Add a bit of makeup
Makeup is another area where just a little bit of color can make a huge difference.
Do you always stick to neutrals, try a brighter color.
Have you never worn eye shadow or tried a smokey eye, give it a try and see how it makes you feel.
Reinvent Your Lifestyle
#6 Start a new hobby
Has your life become a bit stale and without excitement?
Why not try taking up a new hobby or learn a new skill?
Have you always wanted to do something creative, take a class! If you love photography then why not start learning how to create these yourself?
Once you find something that you love and can pour a lot of your energy in, you feel energized and alive.
The extra benefit is that you will often meet a lot of new interesting people too (both on or offline).
#7 Do something scary, like going on a trip by yourself or with a friend
Are there things you have always wanted to do but you are just too scared to do them?
Perhaps it’s going to a restaurant by yourself?
Or booking a trip for one?
It’s never too late to push boundaries and if there are things on your bucket list that you would like to do but cannot find others to do those with, try to do them by yourself.
Travel is a good example.
Don’t wait before others will join but take the leap yourself.
You can start training yourself to do something that feels just a little bit scary every day.
One year from now, you you will find yourself doing things you never thought you would be able to.
Career & Business
#8 Go back to work
Are you a stay-at-home mum or empty nester that would like a new challenge?
There are lots of opportunities on and offline to get back to work. Many of these new jobs didn’t even exist 10 years ago.
Here are just a few of the kind of freelancers I have hired in my business:
- Community manager
- Copy writer
- Ads manager
- Style advisor
- Graphic designer
- web Developer
Sites like upwork.com make it easy for anyone with a skill to bid for projects at any time.
Don’t have the desired skills yet? Train yourself in one of the many online courses.
#9 Start a business
It’s never been easier to start a business.
You can set yourself up as a freelancer and offer your services on sites like Upwork.
Or you can start a blog and turn it into a business as I have done.
The best thing is that you can start an online business even when you are still in a permanent job.
Even as little as 15 min a day can make a huge difference towards achieving the dream of starting your own business.
Want some ideas? Check out these business ideas for women over 40.
Health and Wellness
#10 Stop buffering with bad habits
Many of us don’t like to deal with uncomfortable feelings. That could just be that nagging feeling that you’re not fulfilling your full potential. So what do we do? We buffer.
We avoid feeling those feeling and instead start eating too much, drinking too much, buying too much, facebooking too much or watching too much TV.
When you buffer too much you are taking away time from the tasks that are important to reach your goals. It stops you from achieving your long-term goals.
You may also be sacrificing your health which will also prevent you from reaching those goals.
#11 Get fit and strong
When I recently did a survey on what you want, this was the option that was ticked most.
It’s so important to stay strong and fit as we get older. But we often have so many other things to do, that we forget that this is our highest priority.
Set yourself a goal to do daily or weekly exercize, plan food in advance and eat healthy and quit sugar.
My secret weapon: 85% dark chocolate. It has almost completely eliminated my desire for sugar and has helped my menopausal tummy weight!
I have also hired a personal trainer that helps me with my workouts every week. He keeps me accountable.
Here are some other tools I use.
Relationships & family
#12 Make some new friends
It’s true that making new friends after your forties can be tough. Most people already have their set circle of friends.
But there are still lots of opportunities to meet new people.
- Join an education class
- Start a new hobby
- Organise a meetup
- Connect in local facebook groups
- Become active for a cause you believe in
- Do volunteer work
Getting new friends takes commitment and time but the investment of both can be so worth it.
There are so many more ideas!
These ideas are just the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible.
The truth is: it’s never too late to reinvent yourself and create the life you want for yourself.
Even if you don’t quite believe it.
It starts by taking small steps and perhaps spend 15 minutes a day on what you want to change.
We all have 15 minutes per day spare, so start using them wisely. In fact all of us have the same 24 hours in a day. It’s up to you to decide what to do with them.
Do you know what you really, REALLY want?
Sometimes, you find it hard to change, because you don’t know what you want yet.
If you like to have to have an amazing year, check out my article on your best year ever.
I’d like to help you get lots of ideas.
I have created an extensive bucket list for you that you can use to create your own.
In addition I will also give you a reinvention guide. These two resources can help you kickstart your reinvention journey and lead you towards the life of your dreams.
They’re 100% free and all you have to do is request them here.
Let me know what you want!
For now, I would love to hear from you in a comment below:
What do you really, really want? Is there an area in your life where you want to reinvent yourself or set bigger goals? What would you need to do to make this your best year ever?
I look forward to seeing your comments on how you plan to reinvent yourself and reading your feedback!
- How to build self confidence
- How to live a life of freedom and joy
- How to create your best year ever
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Thank you, dankie. I am from South Africa. It is great to know there are people that feel the same as I do. Now, where to start…
From the top of all the links in this article.
Slowly but surely, I’ll get there.
(we might have the opportunity to move to the Netherlands. That is how I got to your website. Not a coincidence!)
Wishing you lots of fun in your reinvention journey!