Are you a woman going through a midlife crisis? Well, here’s a secret: it’s not a crisis at all. In fact, it’s an opportunity for empowerment and transformation. Welcome to the world of midlife badassery where women are discovering their true power and embracing their inner strength. In this article, gendered ageism expert and executive coach Bonnie Marcus will explore how to embrace inner badassery in midlife, offering practical tips and inspiration to help you navigate this transformative stage of life, challenge societal prejudices and find your true voice.
Katie Couric, an award-winning journalist, podcaster, documentary filmmaker, and best-selling author, who promoted gender equality in the workplace before it was popular, defines a badass woman as someone who “stands up for herself, is confident, and is not afraid to challenge the hierarchy, the patriarchy, or conventional thinking.” In other words, a woman who knows herself and honours who she is, a woman who owns her story, her history, her experiences, and bases her confidence on that knowledge and self-respect.
As we approach fifty and beyond, some women, now stripped of child-rearing responsibilities, are, in fact, ‘feeling their oats’, so to speak. With more personal time and space, they have more time to self-reflect and realize they are powerful beyond their expectations. They change careers, start new businesses, leave toxic relationships and start fresh, all the things that take courage and require action.
But the reality is, in some ways, it’s more challenging to be a badass as we approach fifty and beyond. In our ageist society, as we show visible signs of aging, we are considered less competent, less valuable, and often pushed to the sidelines or out the door prematurely. Our opinions are no longer respected or even requested, and in the face of gendered ageism, our tendency can be to allow these cultural forces to overwhelm us and make us feel invisible.
We can’t let that happen. Being a badass woman is about showing the world that we are capable of achieving anything we set our minds to. So, let’s explore how we can embrace our inner strength and resilience, challenge ageism and start over again.
How to tap into your inner badass
As we get older, it’s easy to fall into a routine and stick to what we know. But to tap into your inner badass, you need to challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone. Here are some ways to take back control of your life.
Challenge what you believe about aging
There’s no question that we all, to some degree, absorb the ageist beliefs of our environment. But the good news is that what has been our default thinking can be changed or at the very least, reframed.
Ask yourself what you truly believe. Do you think you’re too old to learn new things? To get promoted? To find a new partner? To start a business?
Now, challenge yourself. Is this really true or are the beliefs themselves the cause of you not living your full badass potential? Because these beliefs become self-fulfilling prophecies. You think you’re too old to get promoted, then you will withdraw and not do the things you need to in order to move your career forward.
Write out your beliefs and then write down how they keep you stuck. Believe me, it’s not just about aging. These limiting beliefs are powerful forces that hold you back.
Own the power of your age
We don’t get to be fifty or older without a lot of baggage. In fact, many of us, myself included, have trunks full of memories of life experiences, good and bad. Our stories mould us into who we are today, and it’s important to honour our journey.
Ask yourself what battles have you fought and won? What have been your challenges? What did it take to survive and thrive? Writing this out is a great exercise because we often downplay or forget all of our accomplishments.
Now review your list and acknowledge your journey. Perhaps you’ve been blessed in many ways, but no doubt, you have also overcome a lot of adversity. Own it all including the negatives for they have taught you many important lessons. You’ve accumulated much wisdom over the years. Own who you have become, the sum total of all your experiences, and stand in your badass power.
Take back control of your life to master badassery
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anyone telling me I’m too old to do something that I still feel competent doing. I don’t want anyone making assumptions about what I can and can’t do based on how many birthdays I’ve had.
If you agree, then now is the time to take control of your life.
Do you abuse your body or honour it?
Ask yourself what are some ways you can take control of your body. Maybe it’s diet, exercise, releasing stress and practising more self-care. Write down a list of ways to honour your body to boost your confidence.
Do you stay in toxic relationships or let them go?
Take control of who you let in your life. Who are the people that love and support you? Who are those who don’t? How can you shift your energy to spend less time or release those who cause you stress in favour of the people who respect and honour you?
Do you make choices that support your success or not?
You can control your attitude, which affects everything in your life and career. Do you make choices that support your success or not? Do you remain invisible or advocate for yourself? Do you stop apologizing for your age or own it and love it?
A badass woman makes choices that celebrate who she is.
Choosing joy is my favourite badass thing to do. Because you do have a choice in how you live your life. Sure, there’s a lot of negative stuff going on in the world as well as challenging things you experience in your personal life every day. But you can consciously make a choice to either see everything in the world through a negative filter and live a ‘woe is me’ existence or decide to look for evidence of joy around you.
I guarantee you that once decide to look for joy, you’ll find it. And it’s this positive energy that fuels a life of vitality, optimism, creativity, and accomplishment.
In other words, embracing joy is badass.
As you approach 2024, choose to overcome your fears about aging and stop playing small. Make the choices that support you owning and honouring who you are and stand in your power. You have one life to live. Be bold and be your badass self.