Here are three insecurities that I see as a self-esteem coach in my adult clients.
Has your self-esteem decreased with age?
It’s time to turn it around by changing how you think about it.
Listen to the companion podcast episode if you prefer audio:
Insecurity 1: You lose your looks
This one has hit my mother.
She is 57.
She is full of energy and feels young on the inside.
But looking in a mirror reminds her she looks older now.
She doesn’t like to be in photos or videos.
Not accepting herself like this is detrimental to self-esteem and also health.
Insecurity 2: Your ability to perform physically goes away
One of the best soccer players of all time is Xavi who played for Barcelona.
At the top of his career, he played full matches, i.e., 90 minutes.
But after 30, his time on the field got shorter with each new season.
He didn’t have the stamina to play the whole game at his top level.
He went down to about 80 minutes when he was 32.
At 33, he was playing 70 minutes.
Then he went down to 60 minutes.
Until he retired at 35.
The truth is that we become less stronger physically as we get older.
But accepting it can be difficult, right?
Especially if we are used to priding ourselves about our ability to perform physically.
Insecurity 3: Painful perfectionism
I made many errors in my life including quite a few embarrassing ones.
One major mistake was investing in building a house in 2014.
First, I made a few errors while designing and constructing the house.
For example, I realized I didn’t like the neighborhood already after I had purchased the lot.
The ground floor ended up being not high enough relative to the ground.
I was also in too much of a hurry because I wanted construction to be completed within a few months.
So I didn’t have time to find a good contractor.
The one that I found was mediocre at best and also made a lot of errors of their own.
As a perfectionist, all these errors were difficult for me to put up with.
I kept returning to these errors in my mind, especially because I saw their consequences every day such as imperfect brick patterns.
So I sold the house.
By doing so, I lost half of my investment.
See, I invested in construction at the peak of the housing market.
After that, the prices fell by 50%.
What I noticed in myself as a result of this error was analysis paralysis.
I started to spend too much time analyzing before making decisions.
Even about very small things.
It’s a vicious circle of perfectionism.
I started with overthinking big things and eventually took that thinking pattern to smaller things.
Until I literally calculated every step.
As I did this, I felt my confidence was slipping away.
Because self-esteem is tied to perfectionism.
Reframes for these three insecurities
Okay, these are the three insecurities that cause lower self-esteem in middle age and old age.
- Physical performance
As a self-esteem coach, I’ve found that reframing works very well when it comes to dealing with low self-esteem.
Let’s look at more specific reframes for each of these three insecurities.
Reframe 1: Shift focus from looks to other things that ground you
When a client is hung up about losing their looks, here is my first general recommendation.
Shift focus from looks to looking good for your age
- Being clean and tidy.
- Wearing clothes that fit well.
- And most importantly, wearing a smile.
These things make you look good on the outside and feel good on the inside.
Find things to ground yourself beyond looks
It wasn’t the right thing to base your self-esteem on them anyway!
Keep working no matter what because contributing to other people through your work is a huge source of confidence.
Routines, habits, rituals that keep you going.
I have a huge part of my day planned because of rituals.
One example is the morning ritual that includes affirmations, exercise, meditation.
They give me confidence about where I’m heading and what I’m doing in life.
And whenever I finish a ritual, I feel a sense of completion that boosts my self-esteem.
As you grow older, you recognize life principles that are good for your self-esteem.
For example, in my 20s, I tried hard to make others see that I was right and they were wrong.
When I failed, this created a lot of resentment and was also detrimental to my self-esteem.
At 37 now, I know that it’s more important to be happy in life rather than right.
Because I don’t try to change others, I’m happier and my self-esteem is stronger.
Reframe 2: Shift focus from physical to mental strength
Some time ago, I was at my lowest point in terms of physical strength in my life.
I overexerted myself, and my body went into this energy-saving mode.
Even climbing the stairs felt difficult at times.
I remember living in Montreal and coming to the subway station Berri from Longueuil.
To get out of the station, I had to walk a lot of stairs.
That felt like a struggle.
So I reframed this lack of physical strength in my head:
“Now that my energy level is low, I use it as an opportunity to train my discipline. And when I’m back to my normal energy level, discipline will feel even easier”
It helped me take my discipline to a whole new level.
And my self-esteem shot through the roof.
Reframe 3: Painful experiences make you a leader (or a self-esteem coach in my case)
Remember how perfectionism got the best of me after I had lost half of my investment in the house?
Here is the reframe that I used to turn things around:
“All my experiences up to this point have prepared me to be a leader for my loved ones, friends, and coaching clients.”
As I get older, I feel grounded because of my wealth of experiences.
It doesn’t matter whether they are good or bad.
What matters is that I can share what I learned.
And bad experiences are especially useful because they have a stronger impact when I share them.
With this reframe, I make even my most painful experiences a valuable lesson for people in my circle of influence.
This is very beneficial for me as a self-esteem coach.
There you go.
Even though you do lose self-esteem points in some areas as you age, you can actually build your self-esteem even further thanks to wisdom or discipline.
Think of yourself as wine getting older and better in a cellar.
And use those reframes to make you cherish your maturity.
Your self-esteem coach
As a self-esteem coach in Toronto, I’m here to help you improve self-esteem through reframing and other internal work.
Contact me for a free introductory session by clicking this link.