Happy New Year!
We can change our thoughts. That’s our work to change how we see ourselves.
What now? Can be a difficult question to ponder before and after retirement. Deciding to end a job after working many years may be delayed because of fear. Fear of not knowing how to fill time with activities that are meaningful and feel comfortable.
Responding to questions “So what are you doing in your retirement” can cause anxiety or stress. Working provided engrossing activities that didn’t require thought.
Why does fear block our motivation to try something new? Or why does fear create a block when we want to try something that seems meaningful? A quote in my bathroom “Our life is what our thoughts make it,” Marcus Aurelius reminds me that we can control our thoughts.
Many women working in corporations express anxiety trying to figure what to do when they retire. Making a difficult decision to leave a high powered position after 20, 30 years, women find themselves in a dilemma when to leave. Is it too early because it’s difficult to find meaningful activities.
Yes, it’s important to take time for you after working many years, going to lunch with friends is great, and of course, traveling is always a meaningful activity. The reality of having more time and asking what’s next challenges women to discover interests that bring joy. Here’s where I can help.
Be proactive and plan a strategy to discover meaningful activities that connect to your interests and strengths.
Talk to close friends or family members who know you well. You might learn key clues about meaningful activities that you would enjoy.
Experiment with the clues. Fear of experimenting with different activities paralyzes many women to move forward. Here is where I can help. I was also fearful to experiment with my love of acting. My story is funny but serious in my book Power in Midlife and Beyond: 14 Ways to Create An Authentic Life.
Making a conscious thought transition to how I see my self-was the impetus to help me move through my fear of discovering my strengths. Changing the lens of how I see my self-motivated me to discover my authentic and true self. The work to conquer the fear was in my sub-conscious mind.
Dr. Wayne Dwyer, one of my favorite authors, helped my quest to discover my authentic self. His books helped me to change thoughts about excuses. He states in his book, Excuses Begone! There is statistical evidence that the conscious mind occupies approximately 5 percent of the total workings of the brain, leaving 95 percent to the realm of the subconscious. Ok, what does this mean? We can change the way we think about ourselves.
The good news, according to recent studies in neuroscience, our brain cells continue to grow and change well into adulthood.
Dr. Dwyer shares “Conventional psychological wisdom says that much of what you believe about yourself, along with almost all of your daily actions, is programmed into your subconscious or habitual mind. You spend a great deal of time on automatic pilot. In fact, you could visualize your two minds as co-pilots; the conscious mind is aware of its thoughts but is a minor player, like a real pilot in training; while the subconscious takes care of virtually everything, you need to think to say or do.”
A friend of mine helped me change my mindset about exercising almost 15 years ago. Not easy. I was a tough challenge. Give me three months to work with you, she said, and guarantee you will feel better.
I was working in a stressful corporate work environment, and attending graduate school. Consciously, exercising would reduce my stress. My habitual sub-conscious mind believed that it’s too early to get up to exercise, I have nothing to wear, getting work on time was an issue, and it’s too far to drive to the gym.
Six words convinced me to try to exercise; She said, “I will feel and look great.” This story is also in my book. Today exercise in retirement is a way of life. Exercise is now a habit.
If fear is blocking the motivation to discover your strength or interest read books by Dr. Wayne Dwyer. Or find an author that helps you understand fear in achieving your dreams. Maybe a life coach will support you with issues of fear.
We can change our thoughts. That’s inner work to change how we see ourselves.
Discover your strengths is the beginning to identify meaningful activities. You might just need to change the lens on how you see you.
My book, “Power in Midlife and Beyond”: 14 Ways To Create An Authentic Life is a strategy to live a meaningful life after retirement.