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S2 Episode 2: Brave Enough To Be Strong From the Inside Out (espcially after 50)

aging with grit and grace brave enough courage fearless after 50 Feb 15, 2022

Are you headed toward being one of the cranky old ladies?


I've seen it happen way too many times in way too many women's lives as they get older. They become defensive.

They become very strong on the outside thinking that that is going to defend them on the inside. And the result is that they just come across as being domineering, controlling, angry, but really what's happening is that they are scared on the inside and so they have to put on this strong front.

Now that's why I call this S.O.F.T. & Strong because the S in the S.O.F.T. stands for being Strong on the inside.

So you could be S.O.F.T. On the outside.

Now where we've been and what has happened to us in life always contributes to how we see ourselves. And by the time you read this point in your life where you are at 50 and beyond, much of that is set. Am I right?


You can choose to Age Beautifully


Okay. So just to show you how this does not have to be you.

You can age beautifully. You can get better every year - deeper, more lovely.

Every year as you age, you can get to the place where you feel as if you are a Warrior inside. That nothing's getting past you and you can handle anything.

That's the outcome that you want, I hope, for your life. I believe we all want that.

We want to know that we're safe.

We want to know this certainty inside that whatever happens, we can take care of ourselves.

Or we can handle it. Even if we get into a dicey situation.

And even if things fall in on top of us - bombs go off, boulders fall on us, other people throw rocks at us - we want to know that we are Strong on the inside so that we can think clearly, so that we can be who we will want to be on the outside.


Who do you want to be?


The beautiful, magical, warm, loving, caring, purposeful person that takes herself out into the world, that shows up in the world.

So the question is, who do you want to be?

Who are you now?

And who do you want to be?

That's what we're talking about here because aging beautifully is actually moving towards that, always, til the day you die... who you want to be.


Take a Bird's Eye Look At Your Life


So imagine with me that you climb into this hot air balloon, alright? Okay, even if you're afraid of heights. This is in your imagination so we are just, all we're doing.

The hot air balloon is tethered to the ground, by the way. And all we're going do is rise up, up, up, up high enough so that we can see the path behind you and the path ahead of you.

So there you are. You're tethered to the spot where you are right now today, and you're looking down and you can see all the decades on the path before.


Every decade has a marker. Bear with me here...

It has a marker, a gate that you walk through because, face it, every time we hit a new decade, it gives us pause, right? That birthday is a big one.

So in between the markers and every decade, there are many things that happen.

The bombs go off, as I said, because that's the course of life.

You are a heart walking on that path, an individual, and you make decisions about how you're going to handle everything that comes up.


Now, bombs go off and totally destroy parts of your world.

Boulders, fall on you and there you are with your arms and your legs sticking out from under the bolder flattened for a while.

Rocks are thrown at you from other people on their paths thinking that they need to control you in some way or manipulate you in some way, or just wound you.


So many Beautiful Sides of You


All those things happen.

So, right now, as you look back and you see yourself in all these decades, what have been all your roles?

What are your roles right now in life?

We all have different sides, different places we have to show up, right?

Different duties we have to perform in different sides of our lives.

You may be a business woman who is running a business right now.

You may be an executive. You may be a support worker. You may be somebody that has a career.


Who are you?

What is that side of you?

Are you a wife?

Are you a single woman who is out there trying to find love or a single woman just growing her life on her own?

Are you a mom?

Are you a daughter?

Are you a friend?

All of those things, all of those roles are sides of us that we need to play. There are so many of them.


How old you feel in your head (and heart) is your Identity

In the last episode, we talked about how old you feel in your head.

Now, when I think about that, I feel 27. And as I said in the last episode, that's really not a scientific, acceptable thing, because usually we think of ourselves as just a few years younger than we actually are. But I always think of myself as 27.


So anyway, how you see yourself matters so much because that's the simplicity of life.

It's really only made up of two things: how you see yourself and how you see others.

So when you think of yourself in each of these roles you play, they are an identity.

You have some kind of strength or weakness or story you tell yourself inside about who you are and how others see you in that role.


Your question may be more about how others see you.

Are they your comrades?

Are they your partners?

Are they your allies...or are other people out to get you?

Because that is going to really affect who you are and how you see yourself.

This all adds up to your identity.

And this is what we're talking about.

It's being Brave Enough to be who you are.

What you wanna do is grow yourself inside to be your true you, to be who you really are.


Brave Enough to BE Who You Are


So open your eyes to see yourself. To see who you believe you are. This isn't always easy. Sometimes when you're asked to define who you are, you're not really sure.

Consider this scenario.  Say someone criticizes you. Maybe as a business owner.

How do you respond?

What is the story that you tell yourself about yourself and about that other person?

If you are accepting that criticism, you're going to grow but if you find yourself becoming really defensive and angry and protective of yourself, it is an indication that there is an insecurity inside.

The story you tell yourself matters so much.


It can be, 'I'm not enough. Therefore, this person is saying to me - that I'm not popular, I'm not loved. And I can't be because I'm not enough'. That can be your story.

Or your story could be, 'This always happens to me or I don't know what I'm doing'. That could be your story.

You can see how it would affect everything you do in your business.

You can also see how, when that becomes your story, you begin to shrink and you begin to pull back from taking any action because your action is always dependent on what the story is that you tell yourself.


So if you are criticized as a wife, what is your response?

If you're criticized as a single woman, what is your response?

What about if somebody criticizes you as a mom or your mom criticizes you as a daughter?

Or a friend tells you something that's really hard to hear about yourself or comments on a decision you made that makes you feel as if they think you're wrong in what you decided to do.

How do you respond? What is the story that you tell yourself?


Listen to how You Show Up


Can I tell you that who you want to be affects everything?

That is how you can come back to the place where criticism doesn't bother you. That it's just one scenario, but where things that happen that set you back, don't have to set you back.

You can grow from them instead.

So the thing to do is to ask yourself, 'Who am I now in my head? And how can I tell that because of my responses?

Secondly, you ask yourself, who do I want to be?


So, as you think of yourself as a business owner, as a mom, as a daughter, as a friend, as a single woman, who do you want to be?

That's the picture. That's your big WHY.

What character do I want to show up as in the world?

What are my values?

What do I stand for?

How I want others to see me?

What is the legacy that I want to leave?


Find Your Sweet Spots - They make you Strong on the Inside


We call this the Sweet Spot.

I call it the Sweet Life.

All the sweet spots are all the places, the most beautiful place that you wanna be in, in each of these sides of your life.

Who you want to be there.

Your ultimate most incredible side.

The you that brings you so much joy where you would feel immensely proud of yourself. Where you would feel just at peace being that person.

That's Strong on the inside.


Each of those Sweet Spots - all of your Sweet Spots - add up to living a Sweet Life.

The ultimate strength is not making it through different situations or not making it through life.

The ultimate strength is knowing how to always bring yourself back to your Sweet Spot.

Because finding that place of peace, that center inside you where you are totally okay to be yourself, where you are your growing self and you know that you're going to become somebody MORE is the ultimate strength.

To aim at becoming somebody deeper, somebody more of who you are - not more of what someone else wants you to be but more of what's important to you.

That's your Sweet Spot. Always being able to come back to that place of peace is so important.


Draw a Picture of Your Many Sides


So what I want you to take away today is this. I want you to do an assignment. I want you to draw a circle.

You know it's a very popular coaching thing to do - the Circle of Life it's called sometimes where you divide it into pieces like a pie.

And you list all the sides of your life as we talked about.

Your business or career side...

your mom side...

you have a wife piece...

or a woman piece...

or a fun piece...

an exercise piece or a health piece...

Whatever you name it. However you see it.


First of all, define all these sides in your life.

Then what I want you to do is to take each one and take a piece of paper and draw three columns.

#1. Write the main roles down on the left column.

#2. And then in the middle, write down how you see yourself right now IN THAT ROLE.

Now think of yourself in a situation where you are criticized, where somebody is commenting on something and your life and your hackles go up. How do you respond?


Because that will tell you how you see yourself.

What's the story that you tell yourself in that situation?

Write that in that column.

#3. And then in the last column, the third column on the page, you write how you want to be in that situation.

What would be your ideal picture of who you are in that situation?

Who do I want to be?

So if, say as a mom, one of your kids criticized you and said, 'You always do this' when you know that's not true - you're always trying to be the best mom and with as much love as you can.


So in the middle column you put, how did you, how do you see yourself when that happens? How do I see myself as a mom?

You may say, 'I see myself many times failing. I see myself as not being enough for my kids. I blame who they are and their flaws and the struggles they have many times on myself'.


So in the third column, you would say, who do you want to be? You might say, 'I want to be accepting of who they are. I want to understand that life happens. And that I was doing the best I could at every stage along the way.

I was working with what I knew. I may be wiser now, but I know my child needs to grow and find their own identity to work out the things that happen in this imperfect life and just become all that they can be on their own.

I'm not responsible for their decisions.'

Maybe that will be in your third column.


I'm gonna tell you what we're going to do with that third column in the next podcast.

So work on this, okay?

Take each one of these sides of you, each one of these identities, one of these personas and describe how you see yourself now and how you wish you would see yourself, who you want to be in that third column.

Thank you so much for being here. I love sharing this with you. I will talk to you in the next podcast.


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